Summer Update

It’s the first day of summer. Medical school has waned, and art has commenced. Since my last day of classes a few weeks ago, I have had opportunities to design digital works for friends and colleagues, and just recently, I resumed working on an album cover for a musician friend. But, I will write about that in a separate post.

During the year, I’ve been mainly using cooking as a creative outlet. I’ve made delicious dishes that are within the parameters of my most recent diet: the Whals Protocol. It is a diet I’ve kept now, off-and-on, for nearly two years. It has a very credentialed author, and current research is showing lots of promise at staving off chronic disease. Plus, I feel wonderful most of the time, digestion and energy-wise. Sometimes, the best evidence comes from conducting experiments on oneself.


I’ve also left various doodles on white boards around school.


Obviously, or not so obviously, some other students added their drawings to my cupcake and coffee:


As soon as school let out, I finally hung up some old paintings around my home, and I tried my hand at painting a rose. However, I had to throw away the first attempt, because I was very rusty. The painting was not becoming what I had imagined in my mind. It’s been about a year since I’ve worked with actual paint, and patience is a requirement for obtaining skill. It’s frustrating when what you’re attempting to create doesn’t match with what is in your mind’s eye.

As I worked, it was fun to see the skill slowly come back. Here is the second attempt:

It’s still not exactly the look I wanted, but it’s much better than the first one I threw away. I will probably not finish it, since it is a practice. It’s been sitting idle for about two weeks now…


I have a couple of research projects for school to focus on during the first half of summer, but I’ve been thinking about pursuing the “Painting A Day” challenge for the second half. In recent years, some artists began creating one, small painting each day in order to sharpen skills, and gain more discipline. It’s a modern movement, with many artists selling their small works online. I think the activity could be a great way for me to get more practice in July.

Here are a couple of links to inspirational artists who have gone the “paintings a day” route. Their works are mainly impressionistic still-lifes, which I love:

Duane Keiser:

Here are some of his works:

Carol Marine:

Here are some of her works:


Of course, before embarking on a painting a day (which I imagine will be difficult to maintain at times), I will be working on the current art projects at hand, including the portrait project, and that mysterious album cover. By summer’s end, I plan to have a gallery of sorts on my blog for my old paintings.


More posts to come,


Portrait Project #6: Ana

After a few month’s delay, the Portrait proejct has continued.

For Ana, I thought I would do something fun, but simple:  A classic color scheme with some bleeding washes and risky textures… and of course, renegade scribbles:


I wasn’t sure how to complete the background, but I think I did a pretty good job of framing. Framing is really the name of the game when it comes to digital art. The photo I selected didn’t include her entire head, so I decided to make it fade into the background. With digital art, framing is a fun thing to do, too… you could layer colors all day without the permanency of paint.

I hope she likes the completed portrait. Hopefully, I’ll have the next one by next week.



I’ve Gone Digital…

There are some incredible iPad apps for digital art. Ever since I used Notability to draw a self portrait for class, I’ve been having fun with the possibilities. Much less money than Adobe, and yet, still just as professional.






Using these apps brings a memory to mind:

When I was in elementary school, I remember getting scolded in biology class for allegedly copying and pasting a diagram of the layers of a leaf… we were to draw our own diagrams for a major project, and the teacher was very upset that I hadn’t followed the instructions. Despite my protests, she was ready to give me a failing grade. I had to bring my mother to school for a parent-teacher conference about the issue, and when my mother saw the project, she laughed and supported what I had been saying the entire time: that I had actually drew the diagram myself on our 90’s Dell PC computer, using none other than the old “Paint” program.

I miss the old computer… but I don’t miss how it would crash. It once crashed when I was in the middle of writing a story, and it deleted everything. That was not a fun afternoon.


Portrait projects are back on- and this time, they’re digital.



“Sandy” is Complete

Sandy took longer than I originally thought… but I think it looks great. It’s quirky, fun, and bold-colored.

sandy complete2

Spacing is everything in this painting. The humor is in the empty space, and the two unfortunate birds in the background. Sandy’s blissful, unaware of the tragedy that just took place. She’s so excited to see you, she forgot all about her vicious activity.

The bird did not.


I just noticed part of the scolding birds’s head has been compromised. I’ll fix that… Based on what I’ve learned about birds, these are Texas yellow warblers.

The painting is a nice, big size. I left extra space at the top so that it can fit nicely into a frame without compromising space.


… I’m going to keep it in my bedroom until I can deliver it to Tiffany.


You’ll notice that sometimes it looks more green than blue; the lighting in my room is a little bit yellow… which makes the background appear more green.





“Sandy” for Tiffany

I was asked to do a pet portrait for my friend Tiffany. I’ve done a few pet portraits before, but decided to try a different method this time.

Here is some of my inspiration:

DoggyArts on Etsy
Andy Warhol

I think a pop-art cartoon style would be so fun for pets.

This is Sandy:


Here’s the outline and progress:




The portrait is a whole body shot. I’ve only done shadows in the face, and will have to finish the rest of the body. I’ll also most likely lighten some of the lines on her face. Some parts are a bit darker than they should be.


There are some surprise friends in the background. That red splotch is not supposed to be in the picture… it was an accidental spill. I think it might be to morbid to leave red drips there.


Sandy is known to have brought back some presents for her owners once or twice, so I thought adding these friends to the picture would make the paining personal…

…and quirky.

While working on Sandy’s outline, I also finished  the outline for the next painting in my Portrait Project series: Ana. I plan paint her in the same cartoon style as Sandy:

SandyAna Outlines.jpg

Yes, she’s holding a fish…. There have been so many animals lately.



Portrait for Kassie: Complete

It took a few tries to finally get the colors and background just right, but I really like the outcome. I’m delivering this one in person, so there’s no mysterious envelope picture in my post.


Portrait for Kassie finishedsmall1

Here’s a progression of the background and final layers:



You can see all the subtle differences between them. The edges were done in a matching reddish-brown:



Sepia is a difficult color to capture, and I found out there are many different types… ranging from yellow, to orange, to brown. I chose a reddish-brown, but it looks more yellow in sunlight. I think it’s a great color that will match most rooms. I like how it looks in my living room.