Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bring on 2013!

2013 started off with finishing off a commission piece. Measuring at A2 size, this is the biggest work I have worked in only in ink pen and sumi ink! Painting wise I have gone as big as a mammoth mural painting measuring 27m x 3m. Took my sister and I the whole summer break during our high school days to finish it off. Think we got payed about $2 per hour, arrgh back in the days.
Anyway this girl in the picture is based on the client's (who is also a good friend on mine and an respected artist himself) wife. He wanted me to draw something oceanic and to have his wife as not exactly a mermaid but some sort of sea-being. 

Pencil Rough

Ink Outline

Inking in the black areas. I had to go over the black areas about four times to achieve pure black. I wanted to achieve totally matted flat black areas but you can still see the different textures under the light... hmmmm

Drawing in details with ink pen 

Coral Detail


Face detail


Lastly a little drawing I did to celebrate 2013, the year of Snake! 
Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Post

It's that time of the year again!
Merry Christmas!

I have spent my first 8 years of my life in Nagano City of Japan, where the temperature would drop to as low as -15 Degrees Celsius during winter. So for me Christmas was all about making snow huts, waiting for Santa and enjoying mum's cooking and dad's Bush de Noel Christmas Cake!

Since immigrating to NZ, while missing the snow we have come to love the Summer Christmas here! We would spend the Christmas and New Years Camping and fishing,  still enjoying the Santa magic, mum's cooking and dad's Bush de Noel!

This year we will be having a quiet one. My man is still recovering from his head injury. Things has improved a lot though in the last five months! From his bed ridden vegetable stage he has steadily recovered and is now undergoing rehab programme back into his work. His medication is stopping him from having late nights or early mornings, and he has become really sensitive to sunlight (another side effect from the medication). Obviously no alcohol has been allowed this whole time either. So this year we have booked an small beach house in the country side for two nights with two friends  My man can enjoy the quiet beach while I make sure he is well covered up and alcohol free! I am happy as long as I have a pen and paper :D

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Billie B Brown 17: The Deep End

Welcome to another Billie B Brown post! "The Deep End" was the 17th book in the series that I have illustrated in the Billie B Brown series, written by Sally Rippin, published by Hardie Grant Egmont.

Before I go on any further, for those Billie fans out there check out Booksellers NZ. They have been featuring a Billie B Brown Week this week on their Facebook page. It is still not too late to take part in their giveaways so get commenting, sharing and liking! Sally and I will be checking in on their facebook page too so feel free to fire away any questions or suggestions!

OK back to Billie-B-Behind-the-Scenes.

For "The Deep End" cover I sent in only one rough. It was approved straight away. Yay

For the background patterns the editor asked for Sharks and Stingrays.

 "Shark is looking a bit too evil" was the feedback so I fixed him up a bit.

After I have sent through the images the designer tweaked around with the colours and the cover was done!

I used to love swimming. My siblings and I used to spend our summer at the beach, swimming and fishing all day. We all used to take swimming lessons over the winter season. Unlike my sister and brothers I was terrible at all other sports that involved using equipment (Tennis, baseball, rugby etc) so I was happy when our coach told me I had "good form" and chose me to take part in local swimming races. Yay to my little athletic achievement. These days my daily activity involves walking to the fridge, walking to the post box and burying compost in our tiny backyard.... I really need to get out and active this summer!

Anyway working on the internal illustrations of this book reminded me of my childhood days a bit :)

I always enjoy drawing the whole BBB cast.

Occasionally changes are made before inking. 
For this image I got rid of Billie in the final image.

My favorite image for this book was the rough version of this exhausted Billie...
 I love drama :)

When Booksellers NZ announced that they are holding a Billie B Brown Week it made me reflect back on the three years I have been illustrating Billie. 20 books, 2 big bind ups, Billie B Website and numerous  limited Billie pack editions! So much time and love have been given to all these books, by me, by Sally Rippin of course and by the wonderful publishing team at Hardie Grant Egmont. Countless sleepless nights, dismissed roughs and despite the editor kind and well timed deadlines I have managed to corner myself against deadline-demons by over scheduling myself with other works and procrastination important tasks..

Now Billie has gone global, her stories have spread across over the pacific ocean and have been translated into many languages including Spanish, French, Thai, Indonesian and Turkish! Sally Rippin has been successful with the spin off series "Hey Jack". Furthermore books from the BBB series has won numerous awards and I heard someone saying  that BBB series is the bestselling young series in Australia! YAY I am feeling so grateful that I can be part of the creation of Billie B Brown world. Lastly, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all the readers who bring these characters to life, without you guys Billie's stories would have not spread this wide and far. Hoping for more stories to come :D

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps: December Release

Hi everyone and welcome to the first day of December previews! Today Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps store is excited to show you Chinese New Year Rin (designed by... ME). All new stamps will be available to buy on Saturday 8th December 2012.

When Sparkle first asked for a "New Years celebration image using Rin" I went on Google to research on Chinese New Years outfits, gestures, animal year etc
Sent through the first rough...

Since 2013 is the year of Snakes I also added a little silhouette of a decorative snake.
Made a few adjustments after showing to Sparkle:

Rough approved and I inked! But looks like the snake was omitted in the final product! It happens :)
Sparkle is giving away Chinese New Year Rin to one lucky person. Read her post for more details!

Check out how some of the wonderful craft-makers used this new stamp!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

X Group Exhibition: Letham Gallery

Apologies for the late update. Been a bit hectic completing new gallery pieces while tackling publishing deadlines and commission works! Last night was the Preview Night for the group exhibition X at Letham gallery in Ponsonby Auckland, where five of my original pieces are on sale!

Letham Gallery presents X, a group exhibition celebrating the diversity and talents of the many artists 
we have been privileged to work with this year, alongside a selection of new artists we believe 
have the potential to succeed. 

Over 30 artists will exhibit up to 5 original works each, 200mm x 200mm (8” x 8”) in size, 
available to collect for only $200 each, featuring painting, photography, prints, 3d installation and more!

Featuring Lianne Booton, Cristina Silaghi, Amy MacKinnon, Clinton Richards, Tony Tia, Pip Ashburn, Jade DuPreez, Barry Read, Sena Park, Antonia O'Mahony, Caroline Herdson, Simon Darlington, Justine Giles, Farhad Nabipour, Natchez Hudson, Rhys MacKenzie, Martin Horspool, Max Thomson, Oxana Timofeeva, Ingrid Gotlieb, 
Peter Christian, Sarah Matthew, Francis Van Hout, Jessica Brice, Laura Scheper, Ashleigh Blake, Sally Ann, 
Ramon Robertson, Weilun Ha and Aki Fukuoka.

The exhibition will run through 4th - 24th December 2012 - ALL welcome! 

Below are some work process/close up shots for the five pieces.
Didn''t have time to think of funky titles when I took these pieces into the gallery. but I assure you they have all been given so much time and love. I could just name them now, but I would rather just share with you the main themes and ideas I had in my mind while working on these babies. 

1. A little Red Riding Hood lost in wonderland 

2. A Boy and his pet Gold Fishy.

3. Floral 

3. Goth Pop mix. Bunny ears, skull, girl.... all my favorite things!

 5. Something kiwiana. Fantail Girl

My last pieces waiting to be put up before the show. 
Then I notice that my Little Red Riding Hood painting has already been pre-sold! 

Works by other great artists! 

See my works on the bottom row :) 

 Letham Gallery

The turn out was GREAT! At one time it was so packed that you couldn't see the walls :D
As I stood in my little corner I met up with my old university friend, met other artists (I spent a lot of time talking with a beauuutiful Russian artist) , and just enjoyed being surrounded by art lovers! As much as I enjoy working on my art and illustrations in my dungeon  its so nice to get out once in a while and meet new like minded people! 

I was also happy to see my Kiwiana Girl being red stickered! THANK YOU to those people who bought my work :D
Lastly thank you for Carla and Richard for organizing this event and letting me take part!

For more updates on my works please visit my Facebook Page. I do regular updates on my personal and published works. Also sometimes I do giveaways to followers so get liking!