Jan 30, 2022

Happy Lunar New Year!

It is the Year of Tiger!

It’s the third year of me creating spring couplets. In Taiwan, we used to get free spring couplets from friends or buy some in traditional market. But it’s hard to get those in the U.S., so I just create one by myself. (This is what an illustrator is for, right?)

The materials for spring couplets are very simple. 
    - A piece of drawing paper (self-painted red background)
    - Holbein Acryla Gouache (black as a replacement of ink)
    - Watercolor brush (a replacement for Chinese brush)

In the previous two years, I had included our two cats, Albert and Richard, in the spring couplet illustrations. This year, I make a decision that they will appear in my spring couplets every year! (And a complete collection after twelve years.😂)

For me, tigers and cats are similar species, so I want them to have similar poses. In this illustration, I drew the draft directly on the paper. I used a red colored pencil (Caran d'Ache Luminance), and purposely drew the lines heavily. For one thing, the lines could be visible after layering down the red background. For another, it won’t look weird if some lines could be seen from the final work. 

Here are close-up looks for the Year of Tiger.

I wish my family will have a promising and fulfilling year! Good luck and keep pursuing our goals!




    - 自製紅紙 (把畫紙塗上紅色)
    - 黑色壓克力水彩 (代替墨汁)
    - 水彩筆 (代替毛筆)



鏘~這就是今年春聯小祕辛啦!今年的題字是「福虎生風🐯」! (本來想加「行大運」,但沒位置了😂。)




Jan 28, 2022

Gouache Practice #2

The first two illustrations are city night scene with ice skating arena. These are a recollection of a trip to Chicago with my husband last year. My husband and I wanted to do ice skating there but didn’t make it. I want to illustrate different night colors, one with cold tone and one with warm tone, and both must capture the glamorous atmosphere of city lights. The painting process had a lot of fun. I enjoyed creating different values/tones of blue and yellow, and then used thick paint for highlight. 

The other two illustrations are Japanese restaurants. I am currently working on a draft featuring a JP restaurant, so I want to do color test. I imagine the restaurant’s interior would have the warmth of wood yellow and lively ocean blue for seafood. So, for this practice, I tried to find the balance of the two colors. 

Practice makes me become a better illustrator! I want to build my illustration journey with confidence and ease! 



這次練習了以溜冰場主題的兩個都市夜景。靈感是去年感恩節我和petit ami去芝加哥玩,那時很想溜冰但沒溜成。夜景一個藍色調,一個黃色調。我喜歡混色的過程,想辦法混出不同的藍和黃。最後用厚顏料點出夜晚的亮點。




Jan 23, 2022

Old Sketch, New Painting

Sometimes if I want to practice watercolor but have no idea what to paint, I would repaint an old sketch.😂

This is old sketch from 2019. I took a reference from an old photo on Pinterest. I like these three girls playing hula hoop, because I could see their lovely friendship and pleasure of playing together. The first time I painted, I just picked whatever the colors that came to my mind. But this time, I wanted to only use these three colors: Prussian Blue, Magenta and Flesh Tint; flesh tint with a tiny bit of magenta for the skin tone, and Prussian blue for the girls’ dress code. I like how the blue makes the dresses look vintage.

I usually start to paint background and then characters. But this time I painted the girls first. After finishing it, I felt that I didn’t want the background to be pure white. I wanted to have some color play! So, I used three Caran d'Ache neocolor water-soluble neon crayons to wet/mixed the colors. 

The result was OK but not quite satisfied😂. It looks like the girls are floating and playing hula hoop, haha! But it was just a practice and I had much fun, so I don’t mind the result. And I am happy to see the changes and growth from the two old and new illustrations. I want to tell myself: Good job and keep going! ✌





這是我2019年畫的草圖,那時候想練習畫小孩,在Pinterest找了黑白舊照模仿。第一次上色時隨意挑選想用的顏色。時隔兩年再畫,這次我有特別想用的顏色:Prussian Blue, Magenta 和Flesh Tint。

Flesh Tint當然是用在小女孩的膚色,不過我喜歡加一點Magenta,這個紅意外的讓膚色亮起來。Prussian Blue是女孩的衣服主題色,因為我想要有古著感的洋裝,而且我想像她們可能是親生姐妹或是三個好朋友......

通常畫圖我都先畫背景,不過這張是直接畫角色。可是畫完後,又想試試再畫背景會變成什麼樣子?後來用Caran d'Ache 水溶性蠟筆,用水彩筆把蠟筆顏色暈開混色。其實我覺得畫圖時,背景和角色邊緣的銜接處不好處理,因為顏色會互相染色,邊緣不銳利角色就跳不出來。有時候需要用細筆修圖,把輪廓描繪清晰。