Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Earlier this year, the mother of my close friend passed away due to lung cancer. She was a big influence and motivation to him during his schooling at the Art Institute of Seattle. I made this illustration as a symbol of my friend's dedication and determination to someday be an animator for Disney/Pixar. The Unicorns in the sky are symbolic of his mom's favorite creature and that she's now in a better place watching over her kids.

5" x 7" - Acrylic

Monday, November 20, 2006

You ever have that generous co-worker that would always have a bowl of candy by his or her desk? Well, I used to have a cube mate that had a large, never ending bowl of candy by his desk.

I was moving at the time, so decided to I leave him this illustration from one of his favorite films, "V for Vendetta".

I later drew a bubble of "V" saying: "Thanks for the candy".

Monday, November 13, 2006


Finally picked up my copy of "Cars" on DVD. I would have scooped it up sooner, but this cold/allergies really kicked my butt last week. Well, thanks to the Luxo blog for providing such a detailed description of which retail stores were offering what extras and freebies. I opted for the Target version which came with the extra "Rev'd Up" DVD and a nifty light up pin of Lightening McQueen. Well, I really don't collect these type of memorbillia, but it may come in handy for New Year's Eve.

Awhile back, I provided a few face paintings for a child's "Cars" themed party. They had it all...We're talking plates, napkins, favors, decorations and even a Lightening McQueen pinata!

Here's a request for good ole Luigi.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sketchcrawl # 11 - Sausalito, Ca.

I have to commend everyone that contributed to making Sketchcrawl a world-wide success last weekend. I can't imagine coordinating a sketchcrawl event on my own. So I offered Enrico some help by putting together a map with an agenda, ferry schedule, contact numbers, and landmarks. I figured the coffee landmarks may come in handy since I'm always looking for some caffine halfway through the day.

12:30PM - I got to the Sausalito Ferry terminal on time, but looks like a few people have gotten there just a bit earlier. Two of them were animators from the Acadamy of Arts and two of them happened to be Vern (aka:2danimator) and Don Kilpatrick. I remember running into Vern's blog and reading about a sketch group he's part of...So I invited him to join us for Sketchcrawl 9. I still recall Enrico mentioning that a Vern fellow was there looking for me...but I just couldn't find him. So two sketchcrawls later, I finally meet the guy.

12:40PM - The "Sonoma" Ferry just docked, but I was just kidding when I said that every one of those people walking off the ferry was here for Sketchcrawl, because it sure felt like it...with a record setting attendance of 88+ participants.

We were all on our way so I started handing the maps out like hot-cakes. I though I had printed out too many maps, but looks like it was just enough.

12:50PM - The pack of crawler found the fountain with no problem. There were people sitting against, on the edge, and in front of the fountain sketching away. So I started off with a sketch of Oliver. He had this huge watercolor travel palette with a velcro film canister to hold his water.

1:20PM - There were these set of elephants at the entrance of the fountain that read "Plaza Vina del Mar". I spent a good amount of time sketching this one...but my brush pen felt like it was running out. Argggg!

2:00PM - I proceeded to the area near the water, that looks towards the city....and found a handul of sketchcrawlers sketching away. All the shaded areas were taken, so I just found a spot at the bottom of the stairs. I saw this interesting post with a seagull on top, not realizing later...that everyone else drew the same thing. Hahaha. It's nice to see everyone's approach to the same object.

I filled the top of the page with a couple of boats in front of Angel Island and found this huge boat near the Yacht Harbor.

If you remember seeing the sidewalk entertainer with a parrot...there was a framed glove with the signature of Marcel Marceau. Not sure why that caught my attention?

3:00PM - Here's Enrico sketching other crawlers. Check out his watercolor skills.

3:30PM - I wanted to draw these group of people on segways, but I was craving for an iced espresso. So I stopped by Cafe Trieste and drew a potted flower instead.

4:00PM - Everyone was scattered by this time, so I decided to explore the boats off Humbolt Ave. Instead, I came across this awesome camouflage jeep. I started laying down the colors and this guy walked up to me asking if I knew anything about this jeep? Of course, I say "no". So he totally schooled me and mentioned that it belonged to one of the boat owners behind us. It was a replica of a 1950's German Jeep. I was surprised the darn thing still runs? It looked like prop that belongs on the backlot of Universal Studios.

4:30PM - I catch up with everyone at Dunphy Park and run into John Hoffman. We chat for a bit and exchange sketchbooks.

5:15PM - I head back to the Ferry Terminal to see if anyone is catching the last ferry back into San Francisco. I don't see anyone so I decide to sqeeze in one more sketch for the day. I find a set of stairs facing the ferry, but this seagull on a rock catches my attention.

5:40PM - I recognized Kevin (aka:Funky Bat) jumping in line with 3 other sketchcrawlers. I stop on by to chat and exchange sketchbooks. Our conversation was cut short because the ferry started boarding.

6:00PM - I run into a couple of crawlers that actually met us here in Sausalito. Kelly works here, but Jim drove up all the way from Los Angeles. They got a late start, but glad they could make it out.

I met soooo many people on Saturday, but I forgot most of your names, so please drop me an email or leave a comment. I'd like to see your sketches for the day. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Monet or Titanic?

We were hoping to visit the Monet in Normandy Gallery on the last weekend is was here in San Francisco, but there was a big disappointing sign waiting for us at the front entrance..."SOLD OUT". We missed the gallery back in Seattle and now we missed it again...Bummer. Well, we always wanted to see the Titanic Exhibit at the Sony we decided to drive across the city to check it out.

I'm really glad we decided to visit this exhibit . Not only were there so many artifacts, photos and video clips...they even took the time to replicate several rooms and open areas of the Titanic - Just amazing!

I wish I could have snapped some photos to share, but no photography was allowed. I guess that gave me a chance to mess around with this new pen I purchased in Japan Town.

We ended the day by visiting Beard Papa's. If you haven't checked this place out, you gotta go...right now.....try thier cream-puff! Just be prepared to stand in line for 10-15 minutes. Service is fast, it's just the people in front of you that are buying 2 dozen boxes. Hahahaha.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A sketch from the St. Vincent's Church off the Redwood Highway. I did more exploring than sketching on this trip.

St. Vincent's, an Italian Renaissance Mission-style church, was constructed in 1855 and is designated a California historical landmark. The state's oldest home for dependent children, the school began as an orphanage during the Gold Rush. St. Vincent's now provides residential care to boys ages seven to 17 with serious emotional and educational problems.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Here's a couple of mixed sketches from Sausalito, Novato, Mill Valley and San Rafael. The leaf on the left side was a little rememberance when I found a long hidden stairway filled with bamboo in Mill Valley.

Monday, September 11, 2006

San Francisco, Ca. - Part II

Here's a few mixed sketches from the Golden Gate Park Carousel in San Francisco and from a cafe in front of the Sausalito Ferry (which may be the next San Francisco SketchCrawl location - TBA). It's amazing that this Carousel has been around since 1940.

The winds started to pick up but I was able to sketch this nifty looking popcorn machine.

Here's a sketch I did while my car was getting its' oil changed. I roamed around and came across a bakery with tons of bread at the front window. Too bad they closed early...sure, smelled good.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Monday, August 28, 2006

Oakland Museum

My friends Anna and Marie recently informed me of a Disney Exhibit (Behind the Magic - 50 Years of Disneyland) held at the Oakland Museum. It was a nice informative exhibit, with tons of enlarged photos, concept art and early video footage of Walt...but there were so many people...there was not enough room to sketch. I think we spent a good 2 hours in here.

There are several other good exhibits like the "San Francisco Earthquake" and "Walk across California". This particular sketch was from the "Gallery of California Art". With 20 minutes until closing, I was not satisfied with results. So I totally re-sketched it at a coffee shop later that night.

Julia Bracken Wendth
Titled: "Doris"
1909 - Cast Bronze

Monday, August 21, 2006

San Francisco, Ca. - Part I

Exploring the Bay Area a bit....

I've always seen this tall red and black antenna from a distance and finally got a closer look at the top of the hill known as "Twin Peaks". The middle sketch was from inside the St. Ignatius Catholic Church. Perspective and black & white tones were all off. I'll have to give this one another try another day. The top right is from the popular "Burma Superstar Restaurant". Not only did my co-worker Ken, highly recommended it....but we also saw a segment on television recently. The food is very good and I thought the portions were just right. We ended the the afternoon checking out one of my favorite stores "Kid Robot". We took a break after walking back to our car and decided to sketch these folks waiting for the bus.

More to come....

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

IF - "Play"

I came across this fountain of ducks made of bronze while visiting the Corte Madera, Ca. shopping center.

I didn't realize that it's been 4 months since my last entry for Illustration Friday...I miss participating.

Friday, August 11, 2006

From the California Hwy of Redwood Trees aka: “The Avenue of Giants”.

Here's a rusty wagon used to haul slabs of chopped Redwoods. While I was sketching, a car was trying to park behind me and my leg was almost knicked from thier bumper. The couple that came out of the car ended up being one of the nicest people we came across during our trip. They made couple of nice comments on my sketches and then stood in front of me to take a long look at the wagon themselves. I think they were hoping that I'd include them in my sketch...sorry.

This park is well known for its' drive-thru tree named the “Chandelier Tree”. It’s just amazing how the trunk of this 315 ft. tree is hollowed out and has continued to live and grow over the years.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

Here's some doodles right before the showing of "Little Miss Sunshine". (top) a girl sitting 2 seats over (middle) a guy sitting 2 rows in front of me - waiting for friends to return with a bucket of popcorn and drinks (bottom) a girl at the end of my row chatting with some friends that arrived late.

Yoga Flame, Yoga Flame...

Ah...the ever so popular anime and video game "Street Fighter II". The actual animated film was released back in 1995 and was recently re-released onto DVD (uncut version). Alvin Lee and his uber talented team at Udon Comics has continued dishing out this amazing quality of art work. I was so blown away by thier take on the SFII characters, I decided to paint the Martial Arts Yoga Master, known as Dhalsim. Known for his ability to contort and extend his extremities in ways that are physically impossible, I decided to smash him into a box shape for this illustration. Creating the glow effect in his eyes were the most time consuming, but fun.

Acrylic on 16"x 20" canvas.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Here's a small b-day gift I painted for my girlfriend.

For years we've always wanted to visit the Berkeley Kite Festival and last weekend just happened to be the event. We saw it off the freeway and decided to get a closer look. The parking was really bad...It's a good thing that the event offered shuttle rides.

Well, we drove into the park and double parked for a few minutes and were amazed at how many people were participating. There were at least 30 kites in the air...not including the 5 or 6 that kids were still trying to get off the ground. But our favorites were the bubble-shaped octopus kites.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Just adding the final touches....
This painting was inspired by spending an afternoon at a beach where pelicans continuously flew from a lake, over our heads and into the Pacific Ocean. We sat there for about 45 minutes just snapping photos and observing the pelicans taking turns to find food.

The colors and patterns were inspired by the decor in our living room.

Monday, July 24, 2006

"Festa Italiana Chalk Art" - San Mateo, Ca.

(left) Well that looks familiar? It's my chalk mural during my final year at the Art Institute of Seattle. (right) Here's the final product completed on Sunday.

Comparison: The Seattle mural was twice the size of the San Mateo mural, but I'm glad I was assigned a smaller square so I could concentrate on the details instead of the dimentions. I was also worried about the cracks in the asphalt, instead they added to the scales of the Koi. I love happy mistakes.

(below) I didn't have enough reference on the lilly-pad flowers, but I did enjoy adding them to this years mural.

(below) Olivia and I originally worked together on the the hi-lites, but the overall look was inconsistent. I thought Olivia had a real knack for hi-lites, so she offered to work on each lilly-pad while I finished up the ripples in the pond.

Thanks to everyone that stopped by to greet us throughout the day. We had a blast meeting you and answering your questions. Hope you enjoyed the parade and all the delicious foods & desserts... We did :)

Here's a photo from the first day results of the other sponsored artist.

So far, so good...

10:00AM - We arrived at the location and the heat was already getting to us. We checked in with the coordinator, recieved our chalks, slapped on the sun-block and hit the pavement.

Not sure how these cracks on the asphalt will affect the mural?

I was very glad Olivia offered to assist me on the mural. With this record setting heat wave on the West Coast, I'm not sure how we managed to to get as far as we did on the first day.

12:00pm - Lunch was kindly provided by the Festa Italiana Foundation - Thanks Julie!

3:00PM - The heat was at its' peak and we were feeling totally de-hydrated. We packed it up and headed anywhere we could find an ice cold mocha.

With 5 hours of work under our belts, we knew what we would be up against on Sunday. So we better get back here pretty early in the morning if we want to add the amount of detail we originally planned on doing for the lilly-pads.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Majority of fellow artist and friends are already in San Diego for the big "Comic-Con" event this weekend. For the past week everyone has been scrambling to get thier art books prepared and shipped on time. And by the looks of thier blogs, everyone's print jobs and shipping went well.

I won't be attending this years "Comic-Con", but I've decided to do a bit of scrambling myself. I've managed to squeeze in (on a last minutes notice) as a chalk artist for this weekends San Mateo Festa Italiana Chalk Art Event. I had another aquatic design in mind but decided last night to just replicate my "Koi Pond". I'll keep the overall vibrant colors but hope to add more detail on the Koi and Lilypads. I ran out of time during the previous Chalk Art event, so I'm crossing my fingers.

I hired a close Graphic Design friend to design and print about 50 self-promotion brochures to hand-out during Sunday's event. Included are samples of my watercolor sketches, line art, a small blurb on "Sketchcrawl" and a small bio on the back.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

de Young Museum

I missed out on Sketchcrawl #7, when the San Francisco group visited the de Young Museum in the Golden Gate Park. I finally had a chance to check it out over the weekend and saw all the amazing African masks and Guatemalan artifacts. There's even a wall dedicated to the history of "etching". Such an interesting process. Here's a couple of masks I was able color up. I'll post more soon.

"Skull of reliquary"
19th century human skull,
shell, cloth and rattan.
(from the Gulf of Papay)

"Head of diety"
(from Guatamala) made of Jadeite.

Our friend from San Diego flew into town for the 4th of July weekend and the Okuda's hosted a "Fry Party". Menu: Spam Masubi, lumpia, calamari, yams, taro, mushrooms and Korean chicken.

The sketch above was a bowl of tempura sauce and a large bottle of Plum Sake.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Had a chance to finally visit Point Reyes, Ca. which is a great location if you love the coastal views. The winds were high, but that didn't stop us from finding a dozen elephant seals along a beach. Actually there are several beaches just to hang out and enjoy some delicious seafood. The oysters were so good that the cafe ran out. But they cooked up an excellent dish of muscles in garlic butter sauce.

Above, is a sketch of a very shy artist at work. No name to the artist, but he did mention his work can be found at the California Art Gallery in Laguna Beach....very mysterious person.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Spent a nice relaxing Memorial Day weekend in the Presidio Area.

On Sunday, I had a chance to visit the Presidio National Cemetary and took a few photos. When you first enter the gate, you immediately see the huge U.S. flags along the side. Looking closer, every grave site was decorated with a minature U.S. Flag.

The next day, I headed towards the Lucas Letterman Digital Center. There, I had a chance to find a nice sunny spot at the park in front of the Letterman building. The landscape is gorgeous and it has just enough space for anyone to enjoy a small picnic, for playing some catch with the kids or just to read a book.

This was a first, but right after I finished this sketch (above) those same "still-life subjects" came by and a friendly art related converstation began. Come to find out, the one in green is a professional photographer, the one in blue (15 years in Graphic Design) designed his site, and the one in white used to play tennis professionally. Just super nice people that get together every weekend for a picnic and to catch up on things.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Just enjoying a nice Sunday brunch in Marin.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Bellevue Chalk Walk Art Festival - Bellevue, Wa.
Comissioned 4'x6' mural completed in 2 days. Located along the front entrance of the Bellvue Mall (in front of P.F. Chang's).

Monday, May 08, 2006

Grabbed a bite to eat at a Chinese Restaurant in the South Bay.

Such a great selection of food to choose from, we decided to try a delicious dish with cod fish.

Here's a couple sketches from that evening. Trying to adjust to this new brush pen I recently purchased (more control than a Tombo Pen).
Warmed-up with a tree across the street. Then sketched my tiny bowl of rice.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Here's an girlfriend and I came across a pottery store in Benicia, Ca. and painted a set of coasters for our apartment back in Jan. 2005. We enjoyed it so much, we decided to reserve a table during the following month for Valentine's Day. My girlfriend, being the graphic designer that she is, painted a serving bowl with fancy patterns (too shy to post) and with Star Wars Episode III just around the corner, I had robots and jedi's on my mind. At the time, I was really stoked about Warren Fu's concept designs for General Grevious and loved how that charater turned out on the Cartoon Network version. I know the design had nothing to do with Valentine's Day, but it was the first thing I threw down on paper.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sketchcrawl 9 - San Francisco

The first sketch of the afternoon took place down the hill on Fillmore. The view was perfect but there was just so much to sketch. I wish I could've included the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, but the weathered whale compass on the roof and the tangled wires on the telephone poles really caught my attention.

So we crossed Lombard and headed over to the Palace of Fine Arts, where the architecture is absolutely amazing! (Refer to older sketch in previous entry).

I stumbled across a couple of swans towards the entrance of the Museum. This swan was gathering twigs and branches while the other guarded the newly developed nest from all spectators. I've always heard stories of swans being very territorial and will attack when provoked. So staying on the opposite side of those pillars was quite comforting.

Ronnie's group gathered and decided to walk onto Chestnut for lunch break. Most of the sketchcrawlers stopped at the Grove to eat, but Emil and I chose to grab a slice at one of the pizza parlors. The price was right and the portions were generous. When they say "Monster Slice", they mean it!

I gave Enrico a call to see where his group was located. Come to find out, his group did the complete opposite...ate first then headed to the Palace of Fine Arts. So his group just started sketching by the Museum. Emil and I decided to head back to the Palace of Fine Arts to crank out a few more sketches of people.

Here's a father preparing some cheese and crackers for his daughter.

Here's Amelia.

Here's Larry.

We decided to pack up and meet at the final gathering spot in Japantown. Thanks to Ronnie's navigation, we avoided some of the steepest parts of the hill and made it around 4:30pm. We exchanged sketchbooks, contact info, and visited the popular Kinokuniya Bookstore.

I had a chance to chat with Ronnie afterwards and asked him about some tips on appoaching a sketch with watercolor. He used his Fabriano sketchbook to explain steps and examples (this particular sketchbook was filled with fantastic illustrations from his previous trip to Japan). Thanks Ronnie!

That's a wrap for SC#9. I has some great conversations with Amelia, Kevin, John, and Emil. It was good to see Alex Woo make it out today, Congrats on your new job!!! It was also good to finally meet BigA, you were a sketching machine!

Just before heading home, I headed back up Fillmore and sketched one more building before it got dark. I tried to apply everything Ronnie pointed out and I noticed that I'll need to work with a smaller brush and with a lot more patience. Hoping to improve on better control, better details and for many more experimentations in the months to come.
(an older sketch done back on May 31, 2005)
A view of the Palace of Fine Arts from Lyon Streets Steps.

Gerald's Sketch Cards

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