Thursday, September 2, 2010


Starbucks Aiea, Watercolor on paper, 11" x 14"
"Beauty is made out of connections."
Jean Cocteau

This was drawn at Starbucks Aiea and is one of the first pieces I did using the water color pencils. I was little heavy-handed with the pencils, the watercolor color came out dark, with a lot of the burnt sienna brown. This took about forty minutes to complete at the Starbucks. Afterwards I touched up some of the painting to better render it.

There are things I do not like in this, like the perspective, but I do like the way the light comes through the window and the light on the floor. The shadows are nice.

Use the Experience

Cramming with Passion Tea, watercolor on paper, 11" x 14"
"Nothing is a waste of time
if you use the
experience wisely."
Auguste Rodin

This was done at Kaneohe Bay Shopping Center Starbucks and the subject was focused on her laptop, cramming for a test. I was able to get a lot done on the drawing. It took me awhile, more than and hour, to do this one. It was still in the early set of drawings that I did in 2010 and it is one of my favorites. I like how the bag was rendered. I like the chair.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Courageous Soul

Vanishing Boy, Ink on paper, 8" x 10"
"And moreover, to succeed, the artist must possess 
the courageous soul… the brave soul. 
The soul that dares and defies."
 ~ Kate Chopin

This was done at Kaneohe Bay Shopping Center Starbucks and it is one of a series that I did with FriXion ink, thermo-sensitive gel pens.

I initially liked the idea of working with erasable ink, using a ballpoint with clean lines and nice erasing. So I could create really strong lines AND be able to erase my mistakes.

I really loved the results of working with these pens. However, as I used them, I discovered some problems.

I started to notice that the pens were not working, because the ink was coming out but there was no pigmentation. Could it be that leaving the pens in my hot car was a bad idea?

I once tried to preserve a drawing done with this ink by laminating it, but it was a horrible idea. Once it ran through the hot laminator, the ink was totally gone.

I discovered that the thermal ink disappears with heat as well as friction. So this drawing has probably vanished like water vapor in the Hawaiian heat.

Thus, I no longer draw with FriXion ballpoint pens.

Creative Train of Thought

Barista on Break, ink on paper, 8" x 10"
"A creative train of thought is set off by: 
the unexpected, the unknown, the accidental, 
the disorderly, the absurd, the impossible."
 ~ Asger Jorn

I was on a roll, drawing a lot with the friXion pen because I could erase the ink. It took me less than 30 minutes to draw this one. So it worked up quickly. I like how her legs are crossed and the shadow on the wall.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Get to Work

Students at Kapolei Middle School, Watercolor on Paper, 11" x 14"
"Inspiration is for amateurs.
The rest of us just show up and get to work."
Chuck Close

This is one of the classes that I was observing my student interacting with others and I was able to draw as I observed. This was rendered quickly. 

Kapolei Middle School is new, so the furniture, specifically the solid plastic chairs, was fun to draw.  These two students were watching a video about bullying so I was able to capture them.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sketch Everything

Girl Watching Video, Watercolor on Paper, 11" x 14"
"Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh."
~ John Singer Sargent

I really enjoyed working with watercolor pencils because I could work quickly. It took me 15 minutes to draw this one. 

Feels Like Something

Teacher with Students, Watercolors on Paper, 11' x 14"
"A painting is good not because it looks like something 
but rather because it feels like something." 
~ Phil Dike

I enjoyed drawing multiple figures. I was trying to test how many figures I could do in a drawing and was happy with how they were coming out.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Perfect Man

Kid Biz, Ink on Paper, 8.5" x 10"
"The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror."
~ Chuang Tzu

A 20-minute drawing of a student working the Kid Biz computer program at Leihoku Elementary School. This drawing is done with a Tombow pen before I learned I could do washes with them. The chair rendered nicely. I can tell I was working fast and I like the frantic motions in the drawing.

In Love with Beauty

Sweet Okole, Conté on Paper, 18" x 24"

"A heart in love with beauty never grows old."~Turkish Proverb

I like the line quality of this drawing. However, her lip looks silly to me.

String our Experiences

Nina at Borders Kaneohe, Oil Pastel on Paper, 8" x 10"
"Words form the thread
on which we string our experiences."
Aldous Huxley

I went with a friend specifically to draw and I decided to use oil pastels. This drawing of Nina, one of the regulars at Borders, took about 30 minutes and I am happy with it.

Chance of a Lifetime

Leaning Nude, Oil Pastel on Paper, 18" x 24"
"A day dawns, quite like other days; 
in it, a single hour comes, quite like other hours; 
but in that day and in that hour the chance of a lifetime faces us."
~ Maltbie Babcock

This was done at Figure Drawing open studio at Windward Community College. It is more of a portrait. I focused on her face because she was leaning on one of the drawing benches. I like the bright of the white color paper and makes me weigh the option of not drawing on toned paper. 

Scribble Poetry

Scribbling Gestures, Ink on Paper, 18" x 24"
"We all scribble poetry."
~ Homer

I received a lot of compliments on the way I created these gesture drawings. It has a graffiti feel to it. These are three-minute drawings. I was able to capture movement here.

Do Great Work

Three Kids, Ink on Paper, 8" x 10"
"To do great work, a man must be very idle
as well as very industrious."
~ Samuel Butler

I used the G2 pen to sketch this. This was a quick drawing and I am happy with the trio. There was some flow and serendipity in this creation.

All that is not Beautiful

Funky Nude, Conté on Paper, 18" x 24"
"In the nude,
all that is not beautiful is obscene."
~ Robert Bresson

I was trying to do a two-tone on this one, using light and shadow. I was happy with the shapes and it is different from how I usually sketch my nudes. 

With her looking down, it makes it easier for me to make the drawing more interesting.

Straighten Her Back

Rear View Window, Oil Pastels on Paper, 18" x 24"
"The sudden desire to look beautiful 
made her straighten her back. 
Beautiful? For whom? Why, for myself, of course."
~ Colette

There were a lot of people in this class, so I had no room to move. She took a pose where her okole (butt) was facing me. All I could see was her okole. So I can't move, I'm here, and I might as well draw it. When life gives you lemons, or butts, you draw them and make lemonade.

I do like the drawing, but it makes me giggle when I see it.


Pensive Pose, Watercolor on Paper, 18" x 24"
"If anything is sacred,
human body is sacred."
Walt Whitman

I was really happy with finding this color in my watercolor pencil collection. The torso might be a little long, but it looks fine. I got a lot done in 25-minutes.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Koolau Triptych

Leilani's Koolau Mountains, Oil on Board, 6' x 4'
I painted this triptych for my cousin Chad and his wife Leilani for their home. It is a pretty landscape. My mother said she wished she had that for her guest room wall. Guess I will need to paint her something like it, too.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Koolau Triptych 3

Panel 3, Oil on Wood, 2' x 4'
This one has a nice texture. I like the way the purple comes through. I painted this first in acrylic and then added the oil to get the texture. It took me awhile to do. 

"Great things are done
when men and mountains meet.
This is not done by jostling in the street.
~ William Blake

Monday, May 10, 2010

Koolau Triptych 2

Panel 2, Oil on Paper, 2' x 4'
I did Panel 2 first. It is the main part of the Koolau Ridge. The purple came through and it pleased me, so I made sure to add the color to the other two panels.

"On the mountain,
joy and sorrow are close companions."
~ Fritz Marz

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Koolau Triptych 1

Koolau Tripict One, Oil on Board, 2' x 4'
"Distance lends enchantment
to the view."
~ Thomas Campbell

This was one of three oils, commissioned for house decor. I am happy with the way they turned out. These are the Koolau Mountains in front of my house. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Great Idea

Italy Self-Portrait, Oil Pastels on Paper, 18" x 24"
I spray painted this piece of paper first, then added the oil pastels. It created an interesting effect. I was wearing a blue shirt, so I carried the color into my hair. It was a nice spill.

I had some fun placing the mirror. I was tempted to place it above, but decided to try it at eye level.

"A good idea will keep you awake
during the
morning, but a great idea
will keep you awake during the night."
~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

All True

Dark Nude, Conté on Paper, 18" x 24"
This drawing was done at the Windward Community College class. I used one of my favorite techniques here. I covered the page with conté that I rubbed on its side to get this textured effect. I did the highlights using an eraser, then filled with black charcoal.

This technique gives a wonderful mood to the piece when I use it.

"There's no one thing that's true. It's all true."
~ Ernest Hemingway

With Life and Heart

Florentine Lady, Oil Pastels on Paper, 18" x 24"
This is not one of my favorites, but I drew it in Italy and the drawing is pretty true-to-life. This was an assignment for my pastel class and this was our model. I like the necklace in this picture.

"One day, with life and heart,
is more than time enough to find a world."
~ James Russell Lowell

What Is Love?

Standing Nude, Oil Pastels on Paper, 18" x 24"
I do really like this figure. I was trying to elongate her and her torso is a bit too much, but it does look good. I like her hands and it is impressive for a 20-minute pose.

"What is love?
It is that powerful attraction towards all that we conceive,
or fear, or hope beyond ourselves."
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

Friday, April 16, 2010

Silent Poetry

Antella Cemetery, Watercolor on Paper,  11" x 14"
This is a cemetery that I walked to in Antella, a small city outside of Florence, Italy. This was a multi-story cemetery where you walked into the basement. I was fascinated by the place. The graves dated back to the 1600s and the cemetery was still in use with recent burials.

I do like the yellow and blue transition and I had fun with the light, which went from dark to sunlight. It felt cold in there, but it was beautiful. The marble reflected everything, so the light areas glowed golden light.

"Painting is silent poetry, poetry is eloquent painting."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Art of Art

Gesture Trio, Ink on Paper, 18" x 24"
I love this gesture drawing exercise and I drew this one using the tombow pens that I love. I like the two figures on the right with the extended arm and the shading. There is movement and flow. On the central figure, I like how the front leg is created from the negative space of the back leg.

"The art of art... is simplicity."
~ Walt Whitman

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What's It For?

Gestures Drama, Oil Pastels on Spray Painted Paper, 18" x 24"
Another gesture drawing from Florence, Italy, but I am happy with the effect of the figures on the spray painted paper. There is a flow of movement here. Although some of the figures are not my favorite, they seem to work together well. I really like the lower left kneeling figure.

"To be human is to keep
rattling the bars of the cage of existence
hollering, 'what's it for?'"
Robert Fulghum

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Called Content

Sleeping Nude, Conté on Paper, 18" x 24"
This is an exciting piece because I nailed the perspective. Both hands look great and the face looks good. Everything works for me. There is great movement because of the way I applied the Conté.  The pattern from my scribbling vibrates and moves the eye around the drawing.

"My crown is called content, a crown that seldom kings enjoy."
~ William Shakespeare

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Block of Granite

Study of Cellini's Perseus, Conté on Toned Paper,  18" x 24"
I really like this drawing of Cellini's Perseus in the Palazzo della Signoria of Florence, Italy. Cellini's piece is the only bronze in the square and is quite dramatic to see. When I was in Florence, I was really passionate about drawing sculptures.

After doing a small drawing, I prepped a piece of paper and worked on this larger drawing. I worked on this for two hours at the square. I think my sketch captured the strength and mood of the piece very well.

"The block of granite, which was an obstacle in the path of the weak,
 becomes a stepping stone in the path of the strong."
Thomas Carlyle

Take Pleasure

Two Moving Figures, Oil on Paper, 24" x 36"
This is another assignment from my Italian studies. There were two figures and they would take a two-minute pose and then change positions. They did this for an hour. There was no set pattern to their poses and our assignment was to capture their movement.

It is a little trickier than one would think because oil does not dry quickly. So, you had the figure to work with, but you really had to springboard and make something else out of the painting. This was more about movement than capturing the figure.

"Take pleasure in your dreams
relish your principles and drape your purest feelings 
on the heart of a precious lover."
~ Giotto di Bondone


Squares, Oil on Paper, 2' x 3'
This is a process painting. The assignment was to work on a painting continuously until you thought it was done. I enjoyed the layering, then had fun creating negative shapes then creating patterns with the negative shapes. I used to do these with tape, but I did not use tape in this one, so the edges are less defined.

"The process will set you free."
~ Chuck Close

Rhythmic Measure

Antella Cemetery 1, Watercolor on Paper, 10" x 14"
This is the study of the Antella Cemetery that I used for a larger piece. I really tried to capture the depth of the hallway by drawing squares. I experimented with colors and I liked the pinks and reds the best. I changed the orientation of the page in the final drawing.

"The same stream of life that runs through the world
 runs through my veins night and day in rhythmic measure. 
 It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust 
of the earth into numberless waves of flowers."
~ Rabindranath Tagore

Saturday, March 20, 2010

White Canvas

Angel in the Monotype, Mixed Media Monotype,  8 x 10"
These were fun to create. I would do the monotype print, then go back with colored pencils and strength the forms and play with the pattern. There are some cool shapes in this. I like what is going on in the bottom half of the page. If you look carefully, you can also see the angel in the monotype.

"When you are an artist, say, a painter, you have this huge white canvas, 
and you have this unstoppable urge to fill the canvas with color. 
Red and white and blue."
~ Christo

Big Art

Falling Figure, Mixed Media Monotype, 8" x 10"
I was picking forms and faces out of the prints and went with these. I spotted the face of anguish in the bottom right corner and went with that theme for the rest of the print. It has good falling movement.

"All the arts we practice are apprenticeship.
The big art is our
M.C. Richards

Without Freedom, No Art

Figure with Energy Swirls, Mixed Media Monotype, 8" x 10"
My mom has an obsession with energy swirls, so when I made this figure, I was trying to accent the energy swirls. You can see the swirls in the figure and background. I had fun blocking out the shapes. The result is a very nice piece. The colors are simple, but effective. Good movement in the piece. I should use the black print more often.
"Without freedom, no art; art lives 
only on the restraints it imposes on itself, and dies of all others." 
~ Albert Camus

Red Tree Thicket

Red Tree Thicket, Mixed Media Monotype, 8" x 10"
This was a grove of trees. I was having fun playing with the negative and positive spaces of the shapes. I played with the repeated pattern of the tree shapes. I had fun with the brown ink pen. Filling and drawing roots with watercolor and ink. The red is dramatic and looks like a tangled mess. There is much vitality here.

"Red is one of the strongest colors,
it's blood, it has a
power with the eye."
Keith Haring

Get Away With

Man Reading Newspaper,  Oil Pastels on Paper, 11" x 14"
My mom and I went to Borders at Ward Center so she could work on her website I did a quick sketch of this man reading a newspaper. I think I fit it on the page nicely. The pink comes through nicely and I had fun layering the pastels. I used cross-hatching to define shapes.

"Art is anything you can get away with."
Terence Trent D’Arby

Essentially a Channel

Lady at Borders, Oil Pastels on Paper, 11' x 14"
More cross hatching to define shades. I had great fun with her curly hair.

"The position of the artist is humble.
He is essentially a channel."
~ Piet Mondrian

Dig Beneath the Surface

Woman with a Visor, Oil Pastels on Paper, 11" x 14"
There is not much to this drawing and I got the basic figure down quickly and finished it later. This woman resembles one of my friend's mom.

"I don't dig beneath the surface for things
that don't appear before my own eyes."
John Singer Sargent

Drawing the Line

Lady on a Bus, Oil Pastels on Paper, 11" x 14"
This woman was on the bus, riding to Ala Moana Shopping Center. Her granddaughter was so cute, I wanted to sketch her, too, but she moved around too much. The blue of her glasses are a nice focal point. I used effective cross hatching on her jaw, drawing down. And I like the way I drew her gray hair--black with white on top smudged.

"Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere."
~ Gilbert K Chesterton

Divine Perfection

Guy on the Bus, Oil Pastels on Paper, 11" x 14"
I like this drawing because it has a nice spontaneity to it. I like how I drew the ear. In fact, this one came so easily, it is like it flew out of me onto the page.

"The true work of art is
but a shadow of the divine

Nudes - Hot and Cold

Nudes Hot and Cold, Oils on Paper, 2' x 3'
This was a painting I am very happy with. I painted it in Florence and it was the first time I painted two models at the same time.

These were a two 30 minute poses with a model break of 10 minutes

The assignment was to paint the two models and try to put as much distance between the two figures.

I did this by through focusing on the hot / cold contrast as well as the amount of details in the figures. The red figure really jumps in this painting and by the same token the blue figure sinks into the paper. 

There are some minor problems with this painting but overall I am really happy with it.

"I am still learning."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Criticize by Creating

Angry Nude, Conté on Paper, 18' x 24"
This was another assignment for the pastels class I took in Italy. It is probably one of the most academic nudes that I have done. It looks cool. This is one piece of Conté, rubbed on its side all over and then I shaded with an eraser. This is an excellent likeness of the model.

"Criticize by creating." 
~ Michelangelo

Friday, March 12, 2010

Love Deeply

Self-Portrait, Oil on Paper, 18" x 24"
I think I look young in this self-portrait. I was in Florence and I needed to do something, so I started this. I like the colors. This was my Twitter avatar for awhile.

"To love deeply in one direction
makes us more loving in all others."
~ Anne-Sophie Swetchine