Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Holy smokes, it's been a while. I've been working on a number of pieces, mainly inspired by books I enjoy, and in general experimenting with various mediums and doodling. I love monsters and horror so I've been finding ways to feed that fear loving side of me :)

Inspired by "Zu Hilfe" aria of "The Magic Flute"


Illustration from Stephen King's short story "1922"

Tribute to Stephen King's "Gerald's Game"

 I love "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

playing with colors and loose strokes


Sunday, July 21, 2013


It's been a while since I've posted, but I've certainly not been un-busy. I have several pieces in the works all at various stages of completion. I finally finished this latest illustration of Papageno from The Magic Flute.

This is the lonely, love seeking, bird-catcher  servant of the Queen of the Night, known as Papageno.  There are lots of interesting interpretations of the character, ranging from a guy dressed in a hunting outfit, covered in feathers, or even a half bird man (I even came across one where he was part penguin http://i4.ytimg.com/vi/w4KQBSrGJ5I/mqdefault.jpg). For the face covering, I was inspired by Venetian masks.

 I love Papageno's aria, particularly the way Simon Keenlyside sings it (actually the words make him seem like a total creeper even though he's a sweet, somewhat comedic character)

This kiddy one is pretty stunning with all the bird puppets visually, but I prefer the singing in the first link:

Process work:

Sunday, June 2, 2013

After some struggles and changes I've finally finished the latest Magic Flute opera aria illustration (and  gift). The original poses left me a bit bored. *Sarastro would have been clothed eventually in the old one hahaha.

 I tried to add a little more dynamism to the scene, and a bit more of a clear focus on what is possibly causing the emotions of the upset character, Pamina. I think the newer version achieves this better than the old would have. I'm already looking forward to tackling another aria.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Had fun sketching at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology

I'm currently working on another piece inspired by "The Magic Flute".  I want to do a whole series based on various songs in the opera.

This will be "In diesen heil'gen Hallen". Right now I'm getting a feel for the interpretation of the location, the poses, and outfits. As Osiris and Isis are featured notably in the opera, it seems reasonable to integrate an Egyptian sensibility. At the same time, I don't want to limit the characters' attire, but plan to have a sense of diversity from person to person. Horus is so fascinating looking that I had to include him in there somewhere too.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Ancient mythology was one of my favorite topics as a kid, and the legend of Pandora's Box is one of those stories which inevitably spurs the imagination. The possibilities of what could come out of that box are endless, and of course I wanted to go with something suitably macabre and icky looking for my horror-loving self. The first sketch actually scares me more than the final product because she looks like the victim of some bad plastic surgery, and appears to be looking in the wrong direction, so some serious reworking of that face occurred ASAP.

I've been inspired to use line more lately, and while I'm really enjoying working in black and white I don't want to entirely stop exploring color. Working on an aquatic piece seemed a great opportunity to try out some vibrant colors. Ocean life, both fictional and nonfictional, offers so many ideas to play with. I'm having fun creating detailed backgrounds more and more as well as creating my own textures from acrylics. I'm finding that mixed media is quite stimulating for my process, and gives me more random factors to play with, which I otherwise might overlook.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Queen of the Night Process Work and Illustration!

Here's an ongoing project I've been working on. I'm really loving doing black and white illustrations right now, and finally got around to drawing something from my favorite opera: Die Zauberflote/The Magic Flute, by Mozart.

This is the scene in which the deceptive Queen of the Night appears to a wandering Prince Tamino, urging him to rescue her kidnapped daughter Pamina, promising he will be greatly rewarded.

As you can see in my process work, the concept changed a bit as I was working on it. Originally I had more characters involved (the Queen's servants), but then decided they weren't as relevant to the moment in the narrative, so I removed them and I also changed the male protagonist's expression to be more awed and concerned, rather than simply delighted at the sight of the kidnapped princess.

About the Queen's first aria:

In the first part of the aria, the Queen of the Night bemoans Pamina's capture in motherly grief. Just when you think the tragic song is over, the entire mood of the musical piece shifts. She declares that Prince Tamino will be the one to save her daughter in a hopeful and victorious manner. That was the particular moment I wanted to capture. In most productions Tamino has already seen a picture of Princess Pamina, showed to him by the Queen's servants, but I wanted to take a little artistic license with his love at first sight.

One of the things I enjoy so much about the aria is the vast number of interpretations one will find. The queen ranges from sombre, to seductive and confident, charming and bewitching, yet fiendish, to all of the afore mentioned. She really is a dynamic and wonderful character, and her arias are amazingly beautiful.

Here's a link to the aria with English subtitles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZnajWt115g&t=3m35s

for a great visual performance, I recommend Diana Damrau:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Some of my work thus far

2012: An illustration from The Chronicles of Narnia
Media: pencil and photoshop
2012: Degree Project illustration about greyhounds

2012: Handmade books and collection of illustrations from my degree project
>> Samples from the Degree Project book <<

2012: Keeping Watch     Medium: Photoshop
2012: Street Music    Medium: Photoshop
2012 Book Cover Commission
Media: watercolor, pencil, photoshop
  View on Amazon

2012: Geisha    Medium: Photoshop
2012: Japanese Folktale    Media: Ink, illustration board