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 #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 #24 – A New Year

Happy 2023, and welcome back to another semester of Industrious Illustrating! While I’ve been busy with a lot of things these past few weeks that hit me one after the other, I did at least find the time to cobble together a 2022 art summary showing off some of my favorite works from last year by month. In 2023 I’m hoping to further strengthen and diversify my illustrative skills, while also putting more work into projects such as “Flamechaser” and tabling at more conventions.

In terms of what I’ve been drawing lately, I’ve been trying to get back into the flow of freely sketching, as I haven’t been working in my sketchbook as much as I used to. Here’s a few sketches I made recently from life and from photographs I took in Portugal:

See all of you again next week, hopefully when I have more to show for artistic output!

Industrious Illustrating #12: A New Semester

A new season means a new semester, and a new semester means a new Industrious Illustrating banner! It’s been a while since I last posted to this blog, and I hope that the summer was a restful or productive time for all of you, whichever one was your goal. While I have some exciting new projects I want to share with you guys over the next few weeks, I want to focus first on a brief recap of a few pieces I made over the summer.

For most of the summer, I was spending time living with my parents in Hong Kong. We lived pretty close to the beach, so sometimes I’d go down to the beach and look for interesting-looking animals in the sand and rocks. Attached are a few watercolor and ink sketches I made of a Fiddler crab, as well as some clams, sea urchins, and sea snails I found when the tide was low.

Aside from sketching the wildlife, I also made more refined illustrations based off of the scenery and sights I saw in Hong Kong, albeit with a few changes for artistic effect. For example, one of the new pieces on my year 2 banner features a tiger girl dressed in summery clothing while leaning over the railing of a staircase next to overgrown terraces. This is actually based off of a real staircase near my summer home that led down to some tropical fruit trees and a tiny beach (though it wasn’t the one I frequented).


If you look at the other side of the new banner, one of the pieces I added features a girl floating in a brightly lit vestibule as if she’s in a spaceship. This is actually inspired by the Moncler clothing store display in Hong Kong’s International Commerce Center, which always caught my eye when I was walking from the Kowloon MTR stop through the ELEMENTS shopping mall and the ICC lobby. I made a few tweaks to the lighting to make it look more dramatic, but otherwise I kept it close to the reference in an attempt to capture what I liked about the design.

For a side by side comparison:


Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten around to making more studies of the sights I saw in Hong Kong, or even more pieces inspired by what I saw in Hong Kong, but I’ll be sure to work on some and post them when I have time!

What did you guys do over the summer? I would love to hear about it in the comments.