Industrious Illustrating #58 – Botanical Gardens 2 Electric Boogaloo

Hello and welcome back to another week of Industrious Illustrating! This week I actually have some watercolor and ink sketches I made at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens for the aforementioned map project. I picked the Meyer Lemon plant from the Mediterranean/temperate biome because of its fragrant flowers and fruit providing interesting subjects to paint. It’s been a long time since I last used watercolors, but getting to work with them again reminded me of why I love them so much — there’s just something so charming and beautiful about the layered translucent shades and letting them settle into their own texture on the page.

One of these days I want to do watercolor painting more again — maybe with mechs, since I’ve only really drawn mechs digitally — and at that point I think I’ll have to buy another watercolor paint palette because my current one is at least six to eight years old now and shows every bit of its age! Anyway, I hope everyone will get to enjoy spring break next week and maybe even rekindle their love for an art medium they haven’t touched in ages!

Industrious Illustrating #57 – Katsucon 2024

Hello, and welcome back to another week of Industrious Illustrating! This week’s post is late because I spent the entire weekend in National Harbor, Maryland (near Washington D.C.) at Katsucon — a large anime convention — in the Artist Alley selling merchandise of my artwork! It broke my previous convention sales records several times over and I ran out of a bunch of merch designs, so I’m very happy with the results! I also got to network with and meet a bunch of other amazing artists!

When I was in the area, I also visited the Steven P. Udzar-Hazy Center, which is an offshoot of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum located nearby in Virginia where the space shuttle Discovery is on display alongside an SR-71 Blackbird, a Concorde supersonic plane, an X-35B STOVL, and many other exciting civilian and military aircraft! I took lots of reference pictures and even did some on-site sketching to the best of my abilities, though I’m not as practiced at drawing aircraft and I was exhausted from driving all the way to D.C. (with an overnight stop at Pittsburgh) last week.

Anyway, I’m elated that I got the opportunity to do a convention outside of the Michigan-Ohio area for the first time and that I gained so many valuable experiences from it, plus I had lots of fun and made enough money to fund my next art business ventures and pay for a bunch of personal expenses! I’m looking forward to my slate of upcoming cons next month (Anime Milwaukee in, well, Milwaukee at the beginning of the month, Sakuracon in Seattle at the end) and I also hope to do more original design work soon with aircraft as inspiration!




ID [ K1B 12.03 ]



[ Though small, these creatures are vicious, opportunistic hunters in their own right. They rely on camouflage and concealment to ambush their prey, and are capable of digging rapidly or sprinting in short bursts. They have also been observed to construct burrows and underground traps. Their scaled hide provides some protection against the abrasive elements of their native environments, as well as attacks or predation by others. ]

Industrious Illustrating #56 – Botanical Gardens

Hey guys! This week I visited the Matthaei Botanical Gardens with my classmates for ARTDES 364 – Visualizing Science and took a lot of notes on the guided tour. We’re working on a project to revamp the Botanical Gardens’s map, so I made sketches of the general layout and where the different plants of interest are located.

I also took note of some botanical facts that made me imagine sci-fi speculative evolution worldbuilding for my own projects, especially the Indian banyan tree’s ever-encroaching roots that try to suffocate any plants in their path. In my own imagining they become the inspiration for giant biomechanical tendrils slowly engulfing ruins and wreckage from a bygone era.

All in all, I’m really glad that I got the opportunity to learn more about the botanical gardens for various creative projects that I’m gradually working on! Next week I’ll be selling in the Artist Alley at Katsucon in National Harbor, Maryland, so my weekly post will likely come later in the weekend than usual! Have a great week!





[ These large creatures stand around 4.5-5.2 ft at the shoulders and are 8.3 to 10.5 ft long, and are native to the planet Khepri-1d. They have been domesticated for transportation and livestock purposes, providing protection and travel over uneven terrain and a source of leather and rudimentary armor. Their lumbering, heavyset appearance belies the surprising speed they can attain in quick, short bursts in defense of their herds. ]

Industrious Illustrating #55 – Study Step-by-step

Hello and welcome back to another week of Industrious Illustrating! This week I’m doing a quick breakdown of how I do digital painting studies to brush up on my fundamentals and improve my mental visual library for my drawing and design work.
It’s generally better to do studies from life rather than from photographs because cameras distort reality and also you can understand the subject from more angles if you see it in real life. However, for this exercise I’m using a Shutterstock stock photograph because trying to find and draw an excavator on-site during the winter months is too much hassle for me personally.

My first step is to draw color blocks to get down the idea of the subject matter while not worrying too much about complete accuracy. It’s way easier to work with a drawing that already exists than with a blank canvas.

My next step is to tweak the proportions and start adding in details to represent what I see in front of me.

As I work on details, I realize that some of the proportions aren’t correct and fix them. This is also how I work on my regular art pieces — mistakes are just a natural part of the process and can be overcome!

The finished study now looks like this! It’s not a fully refined drawing, but I feel like I’ve done enough work to better understand how the different parts of an excavator work together, which was the goal of my study session anyway.

I even draw shapes over my study to solidify my understanding of what the basic building block shapes in an excavator are.

Of course, this is only one way to do studies, and there may be a way to learn that makes more sense to you! I just hope that talking through my process like this helps you discover what might work best for you in the future. See you next week!