28 October 2010

don't spoil your dinner!

I was in a bit of a long meeting this morning.  My hand began doodling of its own accord and this carrot mama began chastising her chocolate-eating boy in my notebook.  I liked her hairdo ~ what else can you do with long, fluffy stalks of green but a stylish updo?

22 October 2010

design evening

Went to a talk this evening about fonts & music, and saw my design professor from two years ago.   It was so nice to see him again; made me want to take another class.  I learned that he had put one of my projects on display in a small exhibit in the design center, so I popped down to see it and to admire the other selected works ~ several of which I liked very much.  They were all self-portraits.  This was mine: 

As I recall, in that project we needed to create a self-portrait in Photoshop, also utilizing scanned physical objects.  I used pieces of my paintings along with some scanned objects from my childhood and a photo here and there.   When I look at it now, there are a few things I would clean up were I to do it again, but overall I'm still fond of it.

21 October 2010

✿♥♡❀ L♡VE ❀♡♥✿

My sister Tami and her boyfriend Paul recently announced their engagement!  I'm so joyful and excited for them! 

But they're not nearby for me to hug and smother with congratulations {as they're enjoying a romantic Engagement Vacation} ~ so I channeled my enthusiasm into a little sketch of them instead.

Congratulations Tami & Paul!!

  ✿♥♡❀ L♡VE ❀♡♥✿

I'll fix it up and color it in Photoshop, but this is the first sketch.  

I'm so happy for their happiness!!

20 October 2010

the forest

Got my sketchpad and pencil...

 I went for a hike at Mt. Madonna with my sister, her boyfriend and my mum.  As we walked along, I sketched material to refer to for my Sketchbook Project.   I had already been hiking there this summer and found so much inspiration for a little sketch story.  Giant hollow logs, clusters of graceful fungi, wild huckleberries, steep trails and tall, tall trees.

I was curious to know how many photos it would take to photograph the trees from top to bottom.  It took six:

We climbed to the ruins of Henry Miller's summer home.  This little photo was displayed there, but there are just some old stone walls and foundation pieces left, so it was impossible to figure out exactly how the house had been situated.  We tried to picture the hillsides with forests cleared, providing views from Santa Cruz to Santa Clara, and what life must have been like for such a wealthy landowner and his family.

One interesting thing we noted was that the foundation under the mess hall seemed to be hollow underneath.  Perhaps I'll imagine and draw what's under there in my Sketchbook Project...

At the end of our hike, after visiting the pens of white deer, we were heading to the car when we were invited to join the celebration party of a wedding.  The couple was from Monterey and I believe the husband was a marine biologist.

Champagne and sangria with the groom's work colleague
(in amazing, colorful dress!), my sister and her bf.

Sangria and wedding revelry were a charming and unexpected way to end off our hike.  Perhaps I shall find a way to include all of those elements in my sketchbook.  It was a good day of research, nature, family and inspiration. Happy day!

09 October 2010


The ground has been parched as summer has suddenly returned upon us.  I went out to water the garden and who did I scare out of the flowers but Jerry, the praying mantis. 

Jerry had not done any modeling before, but turned out to be a natural.  I offered him/her a part in my sketchbook project and we shot a number of different poses and angles for future reference.  Jerry has the amazing ability to move very, very slowly while hanging on to smooth, impossibly vertical surfaces with tiny feet that don't even have gripping toes.

Performing acrobatics on the manifold, Jerry told me the critter that had nibbled the edges of all those leaves was now "handled".  I didn't ask any further questions, but I did recall that I used to hear a cricket in the bush and hadn't heard its song for a couple evenings.

We hung out until Jerry began to look off into the distance, dreaming of greater things.  I guess that's how it is when one befriends a praying mantis.

03 October 2010

sketchbook project progress ~ {part 1}

 A mundane and moody beginning

Here we are with the first pages of my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project.  My, my ~ it's really taking me a long time to get moving on this. 

This is a view of Highway 17 heading south towards Santa Cruz.  My topic is Lights in the Distance.  The overall idea I have is to set the sketchbook here, in the Bay Area and follow a story of various lights appearing in the distance that bring other characters with stories of their own.  That sounds kind of like aliens or something, but that's not what I mean ... you'll see.

Room in the sky to write something... possibly...

I started the sketchbook with the road heading south because I spent a lot of time there this summer ~ on the beaches and in the mountains ~ and found a lot of inspiration, especially in the redwood forests.  But for all the magic to happen with the lights, I wanted to set up a bit of a dull contrast with views of "normal life" first.  So, sorry if this is boring... at least it's deliberately so!

I plan to segue into more of a cartoon style very soon.  I haven't thought out the full story, thinking that the nature of a sketchbook should be less planned.  But I am looking forward to using different types of media or styles depending on what characters show up out of the lights.  I've encountered people in daily life sometimes and thought they should be characters in my sketchbook!

Reality before the surreality

I'm just using pencils to start with.  I'd like to paint but the pages are so painfully thin.  I think I'll either paste some pages together to fatten them up or paint on other paper and glue those in as I progress through the book, because I definitely would like more vivid color to show off the lights in the distance (and all that comes from them).  

Hope you'll keep me company and follow along on this project.

xo kimi

02 October 2010

emotion sketch ~ {sorrow}

I suppose I am fortunate in my life not to feel sorrowful very often.  Sadness is so overwhelming.  With full sorrow and grief, it seems that everything closes down to wrap around the pain of sadness and the outside world becomes faded and unreal.  For this reason, while painting this character, I let the features and background all blend together.

Later, playing with the image digitally, I darkened the colors overall.  The deeper tone suggested a moodier, deeper sorrow to me. 

Then I realized that in some states of grief, as a sense of apathy creeps in, there might not be much color at all.  So I tried one more, taking out the painful reds and muting the colors further.  I liked the way this one suggests darkness all around ~ reminding me that a true state of sorrow doesn't usually have room for light and hope.

It would be interesting to sketch the landscape around each of these degrees of sadness and find out what was happening to cause such a sad feeling.