...listen to yourself...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Echo at the Olympic Sculpture Park


At today's sketch outing with the Seattle Urban Sketchers I saw new and familiar faces of local sketchers who gathered to draw in the Olympic Sculpture Park. But the face I really wanted to draw was this one: Jaume Plensa's "Echo" sculpture. Although I first sketched it for my Seattle Times column when it was being installed in May, this is the first sketch I do of the complete head. And, hopefully, it won't be the last. A passerby informed me that the piece is even more striking when the sun shines on Echo's face.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hands on the handbook

My sketcher pals in Singapore have already got their hands on some copies of the Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes (Quarry Books, US$17.99, 112 pages) at Basheer Graphic Books. They say it's flying off the shelves! Cheers, from left to right, to Paul Arts, Tia Boon Sim and Patrick Ng!

The book release date in the U.S. is Oct. 15. Let me know if/when you get the book. I'd like to know what you think about it.

(Photo courtesy of Patrick Ng)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Some days I don't recognize myself


I did these self-portraits over a series of days a while back. They got me thinking. Why do I recognize myself in some but not others? Is it that I wasn't paying enough attention to my lines, shades, measurements?

That's probably one of the reasons. Another one is that I wasn't in the mood to draw. I forced myself to make a selfie every night for a week, just for practice.

Have you ever drawn when you didn't feel like it? How did that affect your results?

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that good drawings, at least for me, happen when I'm in a good mood. If I'm not in the right mindset, but I have to draw —as part of my job at the newspaper, for example— I need to readjust my attitude, then lines start flowing better.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Two visuals, one illo


The juxtaposition of two seemingly unrelated visual elements often proves an effective formula with conceptual illustration. To illustrate an article about the emergence of white hip-hop, I combined a flock of birds and an a boombox. The first are meant to symbolize the white musicians; the latter, the beat of hip-hop music.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Kind caricature of co-worker

To be a successful political cartoonist, drawing good caricatures isn't enough. You have to ridicule and poke fun at your subjects, and I think that requires a certain type of personality that I don't have.

But ask me for a light-hearted caricature and I feel in my element. This one of Lance Dickie, a Seattle Times editorial writer who recently retired from the newspaper, may serve as an example. It was part of a commemorative page presented to him by the newsroom as a gift.


Original art in ink.

Digital version in grayscale.

Digital version in color.