Monday, April 15, 2013


Illustration Friday has come out with the world Storm!
First thought was the typical storm with lightning bolts and dark skies that have dense heavy clouds. I do love those storms. There's nothing more magical then natures own fireworks and the scary sound of thunder beckoning you to look. I remember always watching these storms with my childhood best friend Jessica, while we would sit and watch in awe as the show started. It was always so much fun and would give us goosebumps with every lightning bolt and rumbling thunder.


Even though the storm was so great our favorite part was still after all of it. When the rain would gently fall into the puddles making almost a musical sound. It was almost hypnotic watching the rain drops fall into the puddles and make little rings or plops of water spray.


When the rain would finally clear up we would run into the puddles with our rain boots and make a huge splash. Covered in water near the end of it, we would be laughing so hard as we jumped from one puddle to another. One of my favorite memories with Jessica was doing this. To this day I still jump in a puddle when the urge comes over me.



So for my Illustration I decided to make a gouache painting.
Here is the steps I took into the painting. First starting with the rain boots, adding shadows and highlights for depth.
Next The jeans. I wanted them to show the wrinkles in the jeans where the knee bends and give it a more realistic feel with movement.
Finally adding the background and puddle. I wanted the puddle to be full of colours. Not just a plain clear water splash. I thought it would be appropriate and make it more lively. I also wanted the background to just be black so it wouldn't take away from the main focus of the puddle splashes and colours.

steps storm

Which lead to the final product. I've never used gouache before and have come to the conclusion that it is my least favorite. I rather use watercolours but it was nice to try something new. Maybe if I keep practicing it would be as disliked as it is now. Hope you enjoy the final piece.



For Illustration Fridays word "Myth" I decided to go back to my Asian heritage and explore what Myths there are about teas. Since tea is man kinds oldest drink to date, I figured there would be some Myths revolving around tea.

Black asian teapot with mint tea So lets travel to Japan, where we find perhaps the most gruesome tea myth of all: the myth of Bodhidharma’s eyelids.


Bodhidharma (known as Daruma in Japan) was said to have been a pious sage from India who lived in the fifth or sixth century AD. He is credited with travelling from his native India to China to spread his Buddhist teachings (which eventually reached Japan); the Japanese consider him to be the founder of Zen (or Chan) Buddhism. One of the main practises of Zen Buddhism is meditation, which involves sitting still yet awake for long periods of time. This story tells of the origins of the first tea plant and also explains why, to this day, drinking green tea is such an integral part of Japanese meditation ceremonies. It is said that Bodhidharma travelled to Northern China, where he entered a cave outside the Shaolin temple; here he vowed to meditate without sleeping for nine years in order to demonstrate the principles of Zen Buddhism and also to achieve enlightenment. Bodhidharma had completed over half of his task (some say five years, some say seven) but was so exhausted that he drifted off to sleep. When he awoke, he was so infuriated with himself that he ripped off his own eyelids so they could not close again and threw them to the floor. But from his severed eyelids sprouted the shoot of a tea plant, which grew into a bush. Bodhidharma plucked one of the leaves and chewed on it, he found the leaf had a stimulating effect that helped him stay awake and eventually complete his task. To this day Zen Buddhists still drink green tea to help them stay awake during long periods of meditation and tea is closely associated with Buddhism in general.


So here's are the first steps to the creation of my digital illustration. Starting from the shadows then leading up to the highlights.

roughs par1

Next step adding some final details. Using a flower brush I found online I created a print on her shirt to add some more details, which I found added a nice addition to it. She's starting to look more realistic and a lil more depth with the final steps. Less like just a flat drawing and more like a photo but still a little animated.

roughs part 2

Now the final product. I didn't want it to be too complicated with a busy background. I felt this was take away from the main focus. The girl and her tea which is glowing from the cup. Like she's about to open a mysterious gift. Hope you enjoy the Myth behind the tea as much as I did.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Eye Glasses

When I saw the word Eye Glasses appear as the topic of the week. I was so excited. I just love eye glasses. In fact I own about 6 pairs. Not only are they fashionable but they can change your look in just one change. Kind of like Clark Kent when he turns into Superman. One minute he has his frames on and he's just normal human Clark and then he takes them off and he's Superman!

clark kent Superman

I started to brainstorm some ideas as to how I could make the topic eye glasses represent me. Since I usually wear these black thick framed glasses, I choose to make them my starting point. They are one of my favorite pairs after all.


To make the art more catered towards who I am I thought how can it reflect myself. So I started thinking more about reflections.

specs reflection

I choose to pick a favorite memory where I had stared off into the distance for a long time. That memory was the sunset in Saint Maarten. While I was lying on the white sand I always thought about how perfect it is. So very relaxing to watch the sun go down and watch the pretty colours change.



Below are the steps I've taken to create my final image. First with the background. Followed by the frames themselves and next some highlights to add some dimension. Then I added the reflection of the view I would have been gazing upon. Makes me miss Saint Maarten.

Step 4-6

Step 4-6

Finished Digital Illustration! I'm beginning to love having a tablet.

Eye Glasses


This is my second selection for Illustration Fridays word Wheel. I choose this one because right away I could visualize many different ideas. First image that came to mind was a bike wheel...I made me think of all the times I had washed my mountain bike after riding the trails in Vancouver's Stanley Park. I always had a great time going through the trails and the views I would see along my journey.

Bike Wheel

The next thing that I visualized was the colours in the colour wheel...which lead to a random thought of Wheel of Fortune...

color-wheel-1 wheel of fortune

Then I decided on the one that kept popping in my mind. The Ferris wheel. It is so large that it can be seen from far away. I haven't been on one in a few years and always loved the view of the sunset when riding one. So here I created this digital illustration.

Wheel 3

Wheel 1

The worlds current largest Ferris wheel around is Singapore Flyer, Marina Center Singapore Stands: 541 feet Cost: S$240M Built: 2008


The first steps I started with the background colours, I wanted them to feel bright and cheerful and make you think of the brights lights at the fair. Next I added the shadow For the silhouette of the Ferris wheel and trees. Added some texture with some watercolour layering over top in subtle colours. Some other elements to create the over all appeal and some dimension.


Finally the finished piece!!


Sunday, January 20, 2013


I'm working on a new project inspired by the word "Ocean". When I started to think about what the word Ocean means to me, the typical imagery of white sand and teal blue waters came to mind.

sunset ocean

I thought to myself that's been done.

rough ocean

So I started to brainstorm more ideas. Sunken treasures at the bottom of the Ocean and living creatures in the deep. Then a picture of an old man came to mind.

ocean painting

The idea became very appealing to me. So I drew a few rough thumbnails to explore it further.


Here is the progress of my Illustration so far. I'm starting with the old mans face. I started off with a beige wash and then added the highlights. Next I started to define the wrinkles of his face. Then lastly the shadows to create more depth. I choose to keep everything in black and white except for his one eye. To reflect the ocean and create a visual point of interest.

Painting Progress

Acrylic on Illustration board.

The rest of the progress will posted when done.

Continuing on with Photoshop, I find a picture with a setting I want to use as my backdrop. After applying a few filters and techniques. I create a greater scene by adding a body for the character, the old mans face to my picture and then a hat. In the background I add on the cliff a lighthouse with a slight glow where the light is and then a sinking ship in the water. Darken the water near the ship sinking and some saturation in a few areas to create a finish.

Step 5


Wednesday, January 16, 2013


This is a self portrait using typography to create the image. Konnichiwa
Konnichiwa Watashi wa Jacqueline des.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Watercolour Refresh

Below is a painting that I created to refresh my watercolour skills. It had been a few years since I've used this medium and thoroughly enjoyed creating with it. Sakura
Hope that you enjoy the painting as much as I do!