People Watching: Midterms Edition

Hi again! I’m not sure how much this drawing counts as “people watching”, but who says “people” has to mean “strangers”? I’ve been spending a lot of time this past week opposite my friends just studying and I think today’s post portrays that rather accurately. Drawing on notebook paper instead of my sketchbook felt particularly fitting. The top image took place in the LSA building (where I spent six and a half hours today), and the bottom was in my friend’s apartment. I loved noticing how much stuff we surround ourselves with while studying: laptops, tablets, water bottles, my two indispensable pens, so many notebooks, planners, and… a french press? I suppose caffeine is a must. Good luck to everyone taking exams this week (I know I’ll need it)!

Industrious Illustrating #34 – Life Drawing 3

Can you believe that the Winter 2023 semester is already almost over? I’m personally gearing up both for Sophomore Year Review and for the upcoming convention tabling season, which means that I’m running around like a headless chicken trying to delegate enough time to all of the projects I have going on (concept art portfolio for my sophomore year project, new prints and branding materials for my convention tabling business, applying for internships…). What has remained consistent is that I’ve been diligently practicing my figure drawing skills in ARTDES 269 twice a week for this whole semester. That means that I have more figure drawings to show of more masc-aligned bodies, both in charcoal and in ink, that show how I’ve further developed my sense of anatomy, value, and constructing 3D forms. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone interested in drawing humans or simply improving their draftsmanship skills, and I’m also interested in seeing how many UMich students would be interested in some kind of figure drawing club or weekly session that would make figure drawing more accessible and regular for both art students and non-art students!

Warning for depictions of artistic nudity under the cut:

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Industrious Illustrating #33 – Character Turnarounds

Apologies for the lack of a post last week. I’ll make an extra post to make up for the gap.

Recently I realized that I’m lacking character design work, specifically turnarounds, in my portfolio. As a result, I decided to make more detailed character sheets for my cast of original characters for my cyberpunk/post-apocalyptic story idea “Blade of Seafoam”. If I were to one day make “Blade of Seafoam” into a video game or a comic where I have other artists assisting me (e.g. 3D modelers or character artists on a video game, art assistants on a comic) I would need to have these design sheets to pass along to other artists as a reference for how they should depict the characters. Even if I don’t end up doing anything substantial with the “Blade of Seafoam” story concept, I can still use these in my portfolio to apply for character design jobs with larger companies.

What I want to do next is work on turnarounds/orthographic (internal/detail) views of the mechs in Blade of Seafoam to better establish the world that these characters live in as well as demonstrate my ability to draw mechs when applying to video game art jobs. Stay tuned to see those!

Also, if anyone is interested in seeing me in real life, I’ll be selling my art in the Artist Alley at Con Ja Nai at the MLB on April 8th, and I hope to table at more conventions pending results! (I’m still waiting on artist alley application results from Anime Central and Dokidokon in particular).

Industrious Illustrating #30 – Self Portraits

While most of what I post is related to freelance work, commercial art, illustration, etc., I do also enjoy drawing from observation to learn from and reinterpret what I see around myself. Just as I try to find visual solutions to questions and problems (what would a giant military robot engineered from a construction model look like?) through stylization, I also try to find ways to convey information about the real world in the most efficient and expressive ways possible. Which is to say, for the self-portraits I’ve made for class over the past few weeks, I’ve simplified my features and the shadows on my body down to express what I’m seeing and feeling in the moment, rather than committing a photorealistic representation to paper. The self-portraits are shown below, starting from the earliest to the most recent (drawn last week).


Out of all of these, I like the most recent one the most because it looks the most developed and thoughtfully realized. It also helps that it was at the largest scale (18×24″) and on the nicest drawing paper I own (Strathmore 400 series), whereas the others were at 9×12″ at the largest and drawn on mediocre drawing paper or mixed media sketch paper. The quality of materials really does matter for traditional art, which is both a major annoyance (supply costs add up very, very fast) and an interesting limiting factor (making the most of the given materials is immensely satisfying to me).

While I’ve been pretty busy with schoolwork and making game assets for “Flamechaser” lately (we’re releasing the 0.58 build soon with an expanded story and more complete visuals/animation/sound effects), I’m also going to try to find time to make watercolor and oil paintings again, either stylized or observed from life. Having to draw people from life on a regular basis has reawakened my interest in traditional art, and my improvement over a few weeks of study feels promising for what I could do if I practice my traditional painting skills more.

Industrious Illustrating #27 – Life Drawing 2

This semester I’m enrolled in ARTDES 269, aka Intro to Figure Drawing, meaning that I’m drawing regularly from live models to hone my skills at drawing human proportions and anatomy from observation. This is something I haven’t been practicing as much as I feel I should because I’ve been so caught up in the grind of making game assets and polished illustrations. But now that I have a mandatory biweekly opportunity to draw the human figure from life, I’m working with charcoal and gray pastels again and falling back in love with drawing humans.

Warning for artistic depictions of nudity under the cut: Read More

Scribble #21: Everlong

“I know you’ve always been out of your head,”

All of a sudden, I only have a few short weeks until I return home for the summer. At the beginning of the school year, I viewed summer break as something to look forward to – a return to my own room, my home, my family, and some stability. With each passing day, however, I become more and more sad to know that, soon, I’ll have to say a temporary goodbye to Ann Arbor and all of my friends here.

“Out of my head, I sang,”

I don’t sit around dwelling on the fact that soon I’ll move out of the place I’ve spent the majority of the past 8 months and be hours away from my best friends, and this allows me to make the most of the time I do have left. I am only halfway done with my time pursuing my undergraduate degree, and there is plenty to look forward to over the course of the next two years. However, the end of this academic semester comes with sadness – many of my friends are graduating soon – but I am happy excited for them and excited to see all of the amazing things they go on to do after graduation.

“And I wonder, when I sing along with you,”

Here’s to having a good rest of the semester, to focusing on savoring every moment I have left here, to studying hard for my exams, to not procrastinating my final papers, to spending as much time as possible with my friends, and to knowing that I have plenty to come back to when I return to Ann Arbor in August.

“If everything could ever feel this real forever?”

Ann Arbor – my second home – and my friends – my second family – I will see you again before I know it, and I look forward to all of our future adventures!

“If anything could ever be this good again?”

Listen to Everlong by Foo Fighters here: