Friday, December 15, 2017

Shecember Day 12

I really like the way this one came out. I used Conte pastel pencils and a little bit of colored prismacolor pencil on a cheap pad of marbled paper that I got from Michael's Arts and Crafts Supply for $1 a couple of years ago. The Conte works really well on this paper.

I missed a couple of Shecember days because I ran out of ideas that would be interesting enough for me to draw. A few years ago I painted an ACEO card of a plump lady in an old fashioned striped bathing suit. It came out really good and I want to draw something like that. I have to find a good swimsuit and think of an interesting pose.

I've been listening to dogman podcasts (Dogman Encounters and Dark Waters on YouTube) while I draw. Land Between the Lakes and Taylor, Mississippi seem to be scary places to be after dark. Yikes! I shall remain in the city.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Shecember Days 8-11

Shecember day 8, done with blue Crayola pencil which was too light for my taste. Prismacolor is better.:

Shecember day 9 done with crayons and pencil:

Shecember day10 done with red and blue pencil on marbled paper:

Shecember day 11. Vintage swimsuit:

Friday, December 08, 2017

Shecember Days 6 & 7

I tried to turn Marilyn Monroe into a Fred Moore style drawing, but they didn't really turn out that way. They didn't turn out bad, but I have to keep at it.

I still have to do my Shecember drawing for today. But first, I have to make dinner...

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Shecember Day 5 - Looking Through The Rock Wall

I drew this with crayola crayons and white pencil. She had a mass of wavy hair, but I thought it was more interesting just to show her face because it looks as if she could be looking through a hole in a rock wall.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Shecember Day 4 - Morticia Addams

It's hard to find interesting things to draw. I go with what I'm in the mood to draw and Morticia Addams was it for today. I kind of made her less sinister, but that was not intentional. I don't think people would know it was her unless I stated it.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Shecember Day 3

No crayon today. Just the flat pencil lead. Trying something different today. Sort of trying for the Justin Sweet style.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Shecember Day 2

I posted the pencil sketch without color to Facebook and Instagram, but I thought I would post the colored version here. The color takes something away from the drawing for some reason. I don't know why. The color isn't bad, but it didn't have the effect I thought it would.

Yesterday, I tried using crayon and I liked it, so I'm going to be using it more often. I used just regular red Crayola here, but it looks more like cadmium red on my computer.

This is the pencil I used which is from a shop at the mall called Morning Glory. It's a chain. I've seen it at several malls. I actually spent two hours shopping for art supplies there, but that's beside the point. I always thought it was Hello Kitty type of store, but they sell other types of super cute stuff there. It's not an art store, but they have a lot of cute, cheap stuff you can use to draw with.

Anyway, this pencil has a flat tip and is a 2B, so it's soft and draws dark which is awesome. I used it to create the drawing I posted yesterday for Shecember Day 1.

Happy drawing!

Friday, December 01, 2017

My graphic novel process 3 - Paper and Fonts

I heard that several graphic novelists use Strathmore Bristol Smooth, 300 Series so that's what I am using. My scanner is standard size, so the biggest I can work on is the 11"x14" pad. You can stitch the scans together with the scanner I have, but I don't want to try it. I have an Epson Perfection V370 Photo scanner. I don't even remember why I bought this scanner, but I think another artist recommended it. If I had more money, I would buy a scanner with a bigger bed so I can draw on bigger pads of paper.

Raina Telgemeier draws as small as 9"x12" I think, if I remember correctly from reading her blog. That happens to be the biggest size my scanner can handle, so that's the size I'm drawing my pages. The drawings get pretty small in the panels when drawing at this size. I try to draw the figures as big as I can while still fitting the characters and word bubbles in.

If you haven't figured this out yet, you need to draw toward the bottom of the panels in order to fit your word bubbles in.

I wanted to write my own text in the bubbles, but sometimes it's hard to fit all the text in there so I created my own font using my handwriting. The web site I used was My thinking is that if I need to make quick changes or corrections, I can hand-write it without having mismatched fonts.

I initially wanted to use a free font from a website like Blambot, but I didn't want to have to worry about copyrights or using something that a lot of other people use. With free fonts, you can use them for personal use, but not business use. All that is confusing to me, so going with my own font is a better option for me. No hassle, no worry.

With Calligraphr, you may not be able to make fonts for numbers. I had a problem with making question marks and exclamation points, so I had to do the process over two or three times. I wanted those symbols to be slightly slanted to distinguish them from the other letters. It's probably a personal preference, but it's something to think about if you want to make your own font.

If you're getting the free font, only one font can be saved at a time on your computer. If you want to make a different font, you'll have to delete the previous one.

When using fonts for comics, there is a rule I found out when using the "I" with and without serifs. If it is used as a standalone word, "I" has serifs which are the horizontal dash-like marks on the top and bottom of the letter. For example, "I am" would have serifs. If using the "I" in a word, it would have no serifs. I'm probably not explaining it very well. You can read a clearer explanation at the Blambot website:

That's it for now. Happy drawing!

Costume Drawing at the CTNX (Creative Talent Network Expo)

It was so crowded and hot at CTNX a couple of weeks ago, so I went outside and finished filling up my sketchbook with costume drawings. Here are some of them:

Since it was the end of the day, I didn't have time to draw the other models.  I heard someone say this model models at Art Center in Pasadena.

There were two other stands nearby with a woman dressed as a witch (I think) and a man in a top hat. I would've liked to draw them, but I filled my sketchbook and it was starting to get cold. The day was unusually hot for November, but when the sun went down it got cold. My jacket was at the Animation Mentor booth where my husband was meeting his students, so I had to stop drawing and go get it.

I was going to bring two sketchbooks to the expo, but didn't think I would draw that much and didn't want to carry it. D'oh! I wish I had brought it.

Shecember Day 1

December snuck up on me real quick! I'm participating in Shecember which is an informal challenge to draw a woman every day in December and post it on social media.

Drawing females is usually my forte, but a week or two ago I tried coming up with something early for Shecember and all the drawings of women that I drew pretty much sucked.

I forgot about Shecember after that until my friend texted me yesterday reminding me of it. Thinking that December was next week, I didn't prepare for it. When midnight hit, I realized that it was December 1! What!

I grabbed a flat-lead, carpenter style pencil ($2) that I got from Morning Glory which is like a Hello Kitty store (in my mind) and a few of my kids' crayons that they never use anymore and went to work on a quick sketch.

Here is what I drew in different stages:

In the first drawing, she looked like a troublemaker, so I kept going. I still wasn't satisfied with the second one. I used some cheapo generic crayon which didn't have rich color, but worked perfectly for the cheeks. I think I used Crayola for the rest. It came out way better than I thought. Now I know how I can make good use of these crayons besides giving them away like I was doing.

You should try it!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

My graphic novel process 2

This is a picture of the stack of thumbnails I did the first time around. I almost used a whole ream of paper. I don't remember the exact number, but I think it was around 180 pages.

I didn't write a manuscript before I started. I just drew out my ideas for scenes and revised as I went along. I went through it again and added and deleted drawings. I tried to cut the story down as much as I could. I asked myself whether or not each scene needed to be there to move the story along. If not, it was deleted.

A lot of people write a manuscript before they do the drawings, but its easier for me to draw it out so I can easily move scenes around. I've written a novel before and it's hard to have to sift through pages of text to find a scene you want to alter. With thumbnails it's much quicker. If I want to add drawings, I just write "* insert" and add a letter after the page number. For example, "* insert page 32A" then I would add it after page 32.

For pages or drawings I want to delete, I don't throw them out. I just write an "X" in the corner of the page and put it in another folder. Sometimes I'll look at those pages again and decide that I need them after all.

I've looked at how other people go about creating their graphic novel. I've looked at how Raina Telgemeier, Colleen Coover, Faith Erin Hicks, Sarah Glidden, Kazu Kibuishi, and other artists go about creating their books. It's best to look at how other people do their graphic novels and use what works for you. I've modified an idea from Fran Meneses of "Frannerd" to organize my thumbnails. I would post the link here, but I can't find it. She has too many videos to count on YouTube, but I'm sure there are many helpful things you can find on her vlogs.

Since I have so many pages, I needed a system that would be more manageable. I thumbnailed out the whole book again, but this time thinking about the design of the pages. I cut a sheet of 8.5"x11" paper into 4 sections. I laid out my pages on these small sheets of paper and used a glue stick to paste them lightly onto a sheet of 8.5"x11" paper. Glue sticks don't adhere very well, so by using them lightly allowed me to remove and add pages easily if I wanted to make changes along the way.

I learned that you should have a sort of cliffhanger at the end of the pages where the reader will be turning the page so they will be compelled to keep reading. Laying the pages out this way helps you to see how your pages flow.

That's it for now. More next time. Ciao.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

My graphic novel process 1

I decided to document my progress while working on my first graphic novel so that other people can learn from my trial and error. It might also help me to refer back to what I did right and what I did wrong.

I have Clip Studio Paint version 1.6.2 for Mac which I bought during a sale. I'm pretty sure it was less than $100. I've had it for a couple of years, so I don't remember how much I paid for it. I'm guessing it was around $80, but I think you might be able to find it cheaper if there is a sale. Don't quote me on that, though.

I am working on a middle grade graphic novel based on my funny experiences as a kid visiting relatives in Hawaii. My rough sketches of laid out panels come to be 211 pages. I was shooting for 170-180 pages originally when I was doing my thumbnails, but when I designed my panels I had to add more drawings to fill up empty spaces in the page.

Starting from the beginning of the process, I wrote an outline from the idea I had. I listed all the events I wanted to hit. It wasn't very long or too detailed. I think it was three pages.

Using the outline as a guide, I started thumbnailing to get the drawings and dialogue down. I just used crappy throwaway paper because I knew I was going to redraw it nicer later. I didn't do any model sheets for the characters since I just wanted to get the story down, but I had real people in mind who I wanted the characters modeled after. Modeling characters after real people makes drawing them much easier than trying to create a character from nothing.

What I did not know when I started my graphic novel was the difference between a graphic novel and a comicbook. By the way, when I saw Stan Lee at the L.A. Comic Con a couple of weeks ago he said "comicbook" should be one word, not two. "Comic book" implies that the book will be funny or "comical" which is not the case for all comicbooks. So, that's why I'm writing it as one word.

Comics are a series of short strips. A graphic novel is one story with a beginning, middle, and end. Basically, a novel with its story told in graphic images.

What I initially was doing was a comic with a bunch of funny strips tied together. I wanted to do a "graphic novel" not a comic, so I had to create a story with a beginning, middle, and end. Instead of a memoir which it was supposed to be originally, it became fiction. I had to add characters and events that didn't happen to tie the story together as a whole.

Here is an example of page 2 of my thumbnails:

I was trying to get the snotty personalities of the three characters on the right, but it was too dialogue heavy. I learned later that text should be condensed with as little words as possible while still getting your point across.

Mistake number two was drawing too much detail. It was taking me too long drawing the characters. I was trying to make them look different with different personalities. Stick figures would've been better in the thumbnail stage. That way I could get the story out quicker. I figured this out sometime during the thumbnail process, so I drew stick figures later on.

I did not lay the pages out either. I didn't lay them out during the whole thumbnail process although about halfway through I started thinking more about composition as I went along. My focus was more on the story in the thumbnail page.

My thumbnails were all done with traditional pencil and paper. I tried using Clip Studio Paint, but found it difficult to use the digital pen on the Cintiq. It took me longer to try to figure the program out and get used to the digital pen than it was drawing on regular paper.

I don't know if other people lay their pages out in the thumbnail stage, but this is how I did it. Maybe next time I'll try laying the panels out as I go along. I would imagine it would take longer, but I won't know until I try it.

Once the thumbnails were done, I went through the whole thing laying the panels and pages out, getting rid of scenes, adding new scenes, condensing and changing dialogue, combining two similar characters into one, and adding clearer detail. More about this later.

Since this post is getting too long, I'll continue in a later post. I hope this helps!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Vintage Circus

When I was living in a smallish town in France, south of Paris, a traveling circus came to town. I didn't attend, but I saw them camped out in a field close to where I lived. I tried to draw a llama that was in the field that was part of the circus, but I don't know if I got any good drawings that day. It was probably very cold and I most likely left because of that. I would've had to draw standing up with a small sketchbook which is not easy to do, especially with gloves on.

I drew something standing next to that field before. You would think that artists drawing would not be an unusual sight in France, but a man and his young son almost crashed into each other on their bikes because they were staring at me instead of watching where they were going. It was quite funny.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Young Madame Leota

I did this for Inktober last week. I used liquid inks (Dr. Ph Marten, I think) for the background and a Micron ink pen for the drawing. Since it was toward the end of the month, I was running out of ideas for Inktober. I wanted to do something related to a vintage circus. After I did this, it reminded me of Madame Leota from the Disneyland Haunted Mansion ride.

It was around midnight when I was working on it and I was tired. If I had more time, I would've drawn the ball better and maybe given her a sexier outfit. But I like the way the background came out.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Stranger Things

Stranger Things 2 is on Netflix today. I can't wait to watch it. I'm being good and waiting for my family to be available so we can all sit down to watch it together. It's the only TV show that all of us like to watch together.

I did this drawing of Eleven from the show. What I like best about it are the socks. Those are my high school colors, too! Haha. I wonder if I had a pair of those socks in high school... Yikes.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Discovering 100 Somethings

I recently heard about Jake Parker's Draw 100 Somethings challenge. That sounds like a fun one! What you do is pick a subject that is hard for you to draw and then draw it 100 times. It's a good way to improve on a skill you're lacking in. For instance, if you're bad at drawing hands, you would draw hands and post them online until you reach drawing 100.

I believe Jake Parker started off with Design 100 Somethings. I'm not a designer, but I would be interested in designing 100 costumes or characters. Maybe when Inktober is over I'll start drawing 100 somethings.

You can find Jake Parker's videos on YouTube where he shows his 100 drawings and explains the challenge.

My cousin opened a pet store in Arkansas called Woof and Wander. She wanted me to draw some dogs for her, but I'm really bad at drawing dogs. If I do the 100 challenge, I should definitely draw 100 dogs. Maybe I'll come up with something she can use for her shop.

Some other ideas I have for the 100 Somethings are:
  • Turning real people into a comic drawing
  • Interesting/dynamic poses for comic characters
  • Monsters
  • Character designs for comics
By the way, the drawing I did above was done in ink and watercolor on very old Strathmore watercolor paper. That's why the paper is a bit yellow. lol I think I was saving the paper until I got "better" at watercolor. It's a waste not to use it. I should've used it a long time ago like my other art supplies gathering dust.

Friday, October 13, 2017

New artwork

Wow, I can't believe I have neglected this blog for a year! I'm so sorry!

I've been working on a middle grade graphic novel and also decided to do web comics. After writing a YA novel, drafted a picture book, wrote a middle grade book, I've found that graphic novels and comics are the best thing I can do for my skill set.

I have a BFA in Illustration and have been writing all my life, so GN/comics are the most logical way to go since it marries art and writing.

I started a Tumblr account this week to post my web comics, so you will be able to read them on

The graphic novel I'm working on is a fictionalized version of my funny childhood experiences visiting relatives in Hawaii. It's not a travel guide, but more of a glimpse into Japanese-Americans-from-Hawaii culture.

I've laid out all the pages in thumbnail form. All 211 pages. Egads! Now for the arduous process of drawing clean roughs and inking them. This is a new experience for me so it's kinda scary. (bites nails)

In the meantime, I'm participating in Inktober and World Watercolor Group as well as drawing random pictures here and there.

I posted some one-off gag comics online for the first time this month. The ideas I have written down are for longer comics which don't work for posting on Facebook or Instagram, so I had to come up with one image at a time to post. That's so hard to do! I have a lot of respect for people who can come up with something funny every day and draw it quickly enough to post. Hats of to you if you can do it! (bowing)

For now, I'm not going to post my comics on this blog because you can see them on my Tumblr account.

Here is something I did recently:

Have a good day!

I will try to post more often. Maybe I'll be really techy and post from my phone! Oooh!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Older Woman in Bathing Suit

I was shown how to simplify my drawings, so here is one of my practice ones. It's not second nature for me to draw like this. I have to make a point to do it. I like it, though. I need to do about a hundred more drawings like this.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Portrait of Kaleo in Gi (red col-erase)

He modeled for 2 different classes, so I got several drawings of him. It kind of looks like him and kind of doesn't. Some people liked it, though. What I like about col-erase is that you can draw lightly, then layer it to get darker, and of course it erases.

I watched the tutorials for Clip Studio Paint Pro and it's awesome! It can do so much! Now I'm wondering if I should do a more elaborate comic than the simple, quick drawings I was planning on doing. My goals were set to doing comics like Lincoln Peirce, Lynda Barry, and Kek Zanorg. Now I'm thinking they need to look slightly more involved like Nana, Death Note, or Naruto. I don't want it to look too real because that takes too much time and, frankly for me, it's boring. Now, Tony Sandoval's graphic novels are what I like! Yeah, I could strive for that. I'll have to see what Clip Studio Paint Ex can do with that type of drawing.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Haylie in blue pencil

As I was saying yesterday, it's hard for me to get a likeness of someone. This is a second drawing of Haylie. She looks like a different person. I like the drawing, but it doesn't look like her.

I'm working on sketches for a Peanuts Halloween art show. I might as well since I cut the bottom of my foot and can't drive anywhere. My dog wanted me to throw the ball for her to fetch this morning, but I didn't want to get my hands dirty, so I kicked it. It was right next to my heavy duty metal art easel. I kicked the ball, but also kicked the base of the easel and sliced my foot. Plans of going to the gym and the dojo are out the window now. It's probably meant to be because now I have more time to work.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Portrait of Bodhi in his gi

I draw pretty good faces, but nine times out of ten, they don't look like the person I'm drawing. When drawing in a classroom setting, I noticed that people don't care much if you get the likeness right. If it is a pretty drawing, they will rave about it. Some people draw beautiful faces, but they don't look anything like the model. Everyone oohs and aahs and the model loves their portrait. To get a likeness takes a lot more time. Hours even.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Haylie - ink

We had to go to 4 funerals within the first 5 months of this year which is a record for us. Our friends also had family members passing away in their 40s and younger. Even celebrities were dying. It was such a sad, depressing first half of the year. I started to gain weight and had to lose it again so that I could fit in my funeral attire. The year continued to get bad with a series of plumbing problems that took several weeks to fix. One thing after another started leaking. My family saw a tall, slim, hairless entity in our house where most of the plumbing problems were occurring. The house had to be blessed 3 times. Then the sprinklers outside and the pipe under the lawn broke. We're still sort of dealing with that, but it should be fixed tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Now things are turning around. I sold a painting in a gallery and my sketchbook went on a U.S. tour. I started going to drawing workshops regularly and met a lot of new people who are like-minded. I made some great new friendships with some girls at the gym. One is a writer and another is an artist. My writer friend is modeling for the portrait workshop today. I've gotten several friends from the gym to model. I'm like a booking agent for models. Hahaha! It's nice to have a lot of friends at the gym.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Bodhi in Gi

Inktober is coming up next month. Anybody who has a social media account can participate. All you do is draw something in ink and post it to your blog, Facebook, Instagram, or whatever social media platform you prefer. There is no cost. I did it last year and was surprised at how many people enjoyed seeing my drawings posted every day. I'm not sure if I want to stick with a theme this year or just do random drawings. I'll probably try to do a theme, but with the lack of time will probably just post whatever I can draw quickly. A Halloween theme would be good since it's October, but I'm thinking of doing a Gibson girl theme.

I heard that Manga Studio 5 was a good software program for artists including comic book artists. The newer version is called Clip Studio Paint Ex and is touted to be better and cheaper than Photoshop. It's on sale at Smith Micro right now. I downloaded it last night, but haven't watched any tutorials on how to use it yet. I'm very excited to use it for my comics and emojis. I normally don't like digital art. I don't like the fuzzy edges they make. I take one look at that artwork and move on to the next image. I hate it. Maybe I'll get used to it and turn to the dark side once I learn how to use this program.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Jewel - Drawing


This is another drawing of my friend, Jewel. This was done in Col-erase pencil. It was so nice of her to model for the class. I have gotten a lot of my friends to model for these art classes. I messed up drawings of two of my friends. Kind of embarrassing. Oh, the pressure! The ones I did of Jewel came out nice, though.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Jewel - watercolor


My friend, Jewel, was the model for the drawing workshop yesterday. I got a couple of good drawings of her, so it was a pretty good session. I'm not good at getting a likeness, so it doesn't look exactly like her, but I like the way it turned out anyway. I'll post the other one tomorrow.

I made a new friend at the gym named Brittney and found out that she likes to draw, too, so I told her about this workshop. She showed up yesterday and loved it. When she was younger, she got accepted to Otis Parsons which is a reputable art school. She couldn't afford to go, so she ended up not going. It's so sad. Now she has a chance to draw again.