Thursday, November 29, 2007

Another Enchanting Young Lady (follow up to Tuesday's post)

(These days, who's got time to wait for a midnight post, huh? Posting early, as I am wont to do.)

As promised, here is a picture based on the toy version of Castaspella. Also posted here on my variants thread on the fan-art forum.

click above for larger view

First off, you will notice that I have changed her into another character. While the toy's packaging depicts Castaspella very much like her cartoon appearance, (bouffant intact), the toy itself simply had the hair tied in a ponytail. Because of the significantly different hairstyle, coupled with the toy's differing color scheme, I decided to make her into a new character. The name Sorciela is taken from an image I found online of international packaging for Castaspella--unless I'm mistaken, Sorciela is her French name.

I made a few minor tweaks to her costume, but for the most part, this is a pretty straight interpretation of the toy. I turned her spinning disk accessory into a magical ward--the symbols on it are nothing more than the symbols of the western zodiac. I rarely use a dark background color, but here it was necessary to accentuate the glowing magical energies. And the finishing touch; a super-nerdy bio...

* * *

PROFILE: An extraordinarily capable magic-user, SORCIELA far exceeds the limits of most of her peers, but still requires focus and experience as a result of her youth. She specializes in hypnotism, but excels in this particular area to the detriment of her other magical capabilities. Sorciela can be impatient and frivolous, but her sense of compassion and fairness is true.

HISTORY: Sorciela is the younger sister of Castaspella, Mage-Queen of Mystacor. When Castaspella ascended to the throne, Sorciela was sent away to a hidden location. There were two motives behind this--first, so that Sorciela could continue her education in the use of magic, and second, so that the next in line for the throne would be protected in case any harm should ever fall upon Castaspella. With the Horde's presence growing ever more oppressive and She-Ra's departure to Eternia, Castaspella has summoned her sister back to Mystacor to aid in the defense of the country, and the planet.

* * *

A message from purchasing dept.

Hi everyone!

The holiday season is fast approaching and all of us here at Imaginism Studios would like to wish you and your loved ones all the best!

Thank you very much for all your support over the past year, commenting on our blog, coming out to see Bobby and Kei at your local conventions, and of course for choosing to shop our Imaginism Online Store this Christmas!

According to Canada Post, parcels to the United States intended for delivery before Christmas should be sent out by Thursday, December 6.

The suggested cutoff date for international shipping is Friday, November 30. Unfortunately, any purchases made after these dates will most likely arrive to you sometime after Christmas. We're sorry for any inconvenience that this might cause.

Our Purchasing Dept. will be working extended holiday hours, which will include weekends until Dec. 21 so if you have any questions or concerns regarding our store, products, or orders, please feel free to contact us at purchasing (at) and we will do our best to help you!

Happy holidays!

Purchasing Dept.

Imaginism Studios

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dragon Sketches mailing out this week! Subway Sketches Sold Out!

Hi all,

I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for all those that have a copy of our Subway Sketches book! We just sold the last one yesterday. Thank you so much for your support everyone!

On another note, thank you for all the people that purchased our Dragon Sketches book! Over 25% sold before the books arrived!

Here's a piece I did from the book
Materials: gouache on recycled sketchbook paper

A Shocking Event: I have drawn a character from an 80's cartoon.

(Well, I'm running off of no sleep, so I'm posting early rather than risking a loss of consciousness and a late post. Enjoy.)

An entry for a re-design challenge at the fan-art forum. The subject is Castaspella, ruler of the magical land of Mystacor and an ally of She-Ra. I didn't have much to express about Castaspella (in terms of a real re-design) but I did want to draw her, so I posted my drawing but abstained from entering the contest. My version is really a minor tweak rather than a true re-design. The thread is here, my post is here. Check out the other entries in the voting threads here and here. The final voting thread is here.

click above for larger view

This picture is based on Castaspella's cartoon incarnation, as opposed to her toy incarnation (a pic based on the toy version is in the works). The toy was billed as an "Enchantress who Hypnotizes"; I have instead billed her as "Heroic Mage-Queen of Mystacor" because A) she never hypnotized anyone in the cartoon, and B) she was the heroic mage-queen of the country Mystacor.

The main tweak in my take is that I merged her top and skirt into a dress (and juggled some colors around accordingly), in an attempt to accentuate the 'go go girl' look that Castaspella sported in the cartoon. Her posture is meant to have a bit of a haughty aristocratic feel. If I could change one thing, I would make her hair more curly.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Farm Animals at the Royal Winter Fair

Every year, just when winter starts, hundreds of farmers from Ontario come together in Toronto to showcase their livestock in this HUGE convention called the "Royal Winter Fair". Its a really fun-filled event and most of the art schools from the area would come to draw the animals and their owners. Its one of my favorite fairs that I'd always try to attend--its just full of character and life! You have everything there--little smelly school kids, friendly and not so friendly farm people, funny wine & cheese people, the elderly, and tons and tons of animals to pet! It was a really great time. ( but not so great for the cows n pigs, because they also sold some bacon and burgers close to them)

So here are some of my sketches from the event:

farm animals (gouache on watecolor paper, 8 1/2 x 11 inches; pencils on paper)

Lemur studies (gouache on watecolor paper, 8 1/2 x 13 inches)

And here are Bobby's Sketches

(these were from a cool dog show there)

Here's a wonderful link to
Thorsten Hasenkamm


Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Magical Sprite and a Thanksgiving Flashback

(Posting early for Thanksgiving...)

This sprite is Orko, who is not actually a "Sprite" at all, but a Trollan:

I started this a while back when I was trying to get into RPG Maker. The general proportions of the head (particularly the spacing of the eyes) mimic those of RPG Maker's character sprites, but this was rendered from scratch. I did try animating this at one point, but it was choppy at best. However, this is definitely something I'll try more of in the future.

And as a bonus treat for anyone who likes He-Man, She-Ra, or awesome Thanksgiving parades:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Another quick one; Vinny suggested a "zombie baller":

click above for larger view

I'm surprisingly pleased with how this one turned out. It sure ain't perfect, but overall, I think it 'works.' I purposely made the shading on this one more 'contrast-y' for a slightly more dramatic look. Incidentally, I don't watch sports (at all) and he's not supposed to resemble anybody or be from any particular team.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Strut Your - Interview

Here's an interview I did on Strut Your Reel ( a little while back.

Click HERE

Hope to see some of you at the Labyrinth this Saturday for our art show!
And here's a little preview of one of my pieces from the Dragon Sketches book.
Title: Goth Dragons
Material: Ballpoint Pen on recycled sketchbook paper with a little bit of PhotoShop

Friday, November 16, 2007

Feet of Clay

Charles gave me another speed challenge, this time a golem. Drawn in 5 minutes, inked in 5 + 3 minutes (I asked for an extension), and colored and typeset in about an hour. Yeah, I'm a slow colorist. ._.

Anywaaays, you should check out Charles' blog--he was going to have some Golem-related videos posted sometime today.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Gort, have you been working out?

I've been trying to stockpile blog entries so that I can clear a chunk of time to work on some other things. This time I went to Charles for a quick sketch subject, and he suggested Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still:

This is a slightly modernized and somewhat buffed up version of Gort. Why? I have no clue. For the record, I have yet to watch The Day the Earth Stood Still, but it's on my list!

Did You Know...? The alternate title to this post was: "Hey Gort, how many sandwiches do you want? Five? Okay."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dragon Sketches and Toronto Art Show CHANGED TO Nov.24

Our art show has been moved to next Saturday Nov. 24th. My apologies for any inconvenience!

Our books have been flagged for customs check. Appearently books made in Columbia are suspicious to them.

Here's one of my favorite pieces from our Dragon Sketches Book.
Title: How to care for your dragon by KEI ACEDERA
Materials: Gouache on recycled sketchbook paper

Hi everyone,

Many things are happening... too many to mention all of them at this moment but I would like to mention two of them.

On Saturday November 24th 7pm, we're having an art show in Toronto Canada to showcase the original art from the book. If you're in the area please feel free to come on by and say hi! It's at the Labyrinth.
Visit us at: 386 Bloor Street West (2 blocks west from Spadina Subway Station) 416 840-4506 or

If you're not in the area but are interested in the book, please go HERE

Limited to 1000 copies. Signed & numbered.

7”x10” 72 pages full color


Friday, November 9, 2007

Billionaires in Power-Suits (Part 2 of 2)

Continuing the theme from last Friday--while coloring up my Iron Man post, I was IMing with Charles and Lex Luthor came up in conversation. Yes, we are that nerdy. Anyways, Lex in his early 80's power-suit seemed like a good follow up to Tony Stark:

click above for larger view

From start to finish this whole thing took under 3 hours, which is pretty fast for me. Sketched in pen and Sharpie, but this time I did look at reference and I took a little more time cleaning it up in Photoshop before coloring it. Getting the colors right on this one was surprisingly easy. But I guess when you're coloring lime and berry power armor, it's pretty easy to zero in on the right colors. As for the drawing itself, Lex's pose is a little stiff (somewhat intentional) and the composition is incredibly boring (not intentional).

Continuity-wise, this one is all over the place. Identifying Lex as a billionaire in the title of the post implies the post-Crisis version (I'm pretty sure all the pre-Crisis versions were finiancially unsuccessful). However, the reference I followed was the Lex Luthor action figure from the old Super Powers toyline, which implies either the version from the Super Powers cartoon (naturally), or the pre-crisis Lex Luthor of Earth-One. Furthermore, while drawing it, I decided to give Lex his kryptonite ring, which is definitely a post-Crisis detail, and to complicate matters his face is somewhat reminiscent of the version seen in Superman: The Animated Series" and Justice League Unlimited. Of all these confusing and obscure details, my favorite is the fact that post crisis-Lex has green eyes (according to the DC Comics Encyclopedia) and pre-Crisis Lex from Earth-One had blue eyes (according to Who's Who volume XIV)--I gave this one blue eyes. So, in summary: hell if I know. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

the process-Borders Holly & Marshmallow

Hi guys!
Here are some of my drawings and sketches for the Border's campaign. The idea is about a sweet relationship between a toy polar bear cub and a fairy named Marshmallow and Holly. It's a story about friendship, inspiration and enchantment.

They needed Holly to be youthful and sweet, and less mature--so they chose the one on the far left. I also drew numerous variations of dresses for her--and the "holly" dress fitted best for their color palette and also matched her name :)

Originally Marshmallow wasn't supposed to be a toy, but the idea that he magically came to life, just like Pinocchio, made the concept even more holiday-ish.

Bringing Marshmallow to life was a lot of fun-- he is like this really adorable playful puppy, except he's a bear. I love how he just got chubbier by the end.

And here are some photos inside the Borders store courtesy of Michael Campbell and Shelly --Thanks so much guys!

It was one of the most fun projects I had the opportunity to work on (so far), and the people were great. They also made actual Marshmallow plush toys!...Yes, I have one :P


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Contents Of Blog Are Self Explanatory:

A conversation between myself and Kevin of BeaucoupKevin...

6:59:20 AM me: i need a quick subject! (past quick subjects include: sasquatch, viking, platypus)
6:59:32 AM Kevin: Baby With Knife
6:59:36 AM me: NICE

Moments later, I am self congratulatory...

7:30:51 AM me: this baby is awesome
7:31:01 AM me: i'll show you as soon as i scan it
7:31:18 AM Kevin: WHAT TIME IS IT
7:31:25 AM Kevin: (that's the theme to my new show.)

But Kevin could not contain his excitement...

7:46:00 AM me: the question america is asking itself
7:47:42 AM me: lol... you sir, are on crack

He's on the east coast, but WTF was I doing up so early??? Oh right, and the result of our conversation:

KNIFEBABY is trademark and copyright Kevin Church and Jason Ho 2007.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

BORDERS - Marshmallow & Holly

A few months ago I did the winter holiday campaign for BORDERS bookstores. Unfortunately we live up in Canada where there is no BORDERS.

I wonder if I could ask for a small favor?

If anyone can take a picture of the illustrations at Borders and email them to me, I'd be very appreciative!
email: kei at

As a token of my appreciation, I'd be happy to post the pics on our blog and put a link to your blog :)

I really just want to see what it looks like in the stores! We're going to try to take a road trip down but things have been really busy around here so we might not be able to go.

The characters I was asked to create was a little fairy named Holly and a cute little polar bear cub named Marshmallow. It was a really fun job. Thanks BORDERS!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Schoolism - Digital Painting Classes start on Jan 3, 2008

Hi all,

My Schoolism January class is now open for registration.

Course: Digital Painting Techniques with Bobby Chiu
Start Date: January 3, 2008
Spots available: 15
Duration: 9 weeks, one lesson every week
Personal feedback videos on every assignment
Cost: 798US

Or register for self-taught classes and start anytime.
With Self Taught classes you have access to all the videos (including everyone's feedback videos) but without your own personal feedback.
Cost: 558US

Find out more information HERE


Now for a much deserved update on the 3rd year animation students in my life drawing class!

I'm a strong believer in the idea that everyone has the ability to become great. With hard work and dedication, just about EVERY student has improved noticeably in the past 8 weeks!

My method is to teach them a new way of fundamental thinking and analyzing every week. They practice it until they can do it too. That's it... it's as easy as that to improve. Continue to learn new things in new ways... new ways of thinking. This gives yourself options on how to approach the things you observe. That's just what I think anyways... either way, it working!

Here's just some of the students that have really been stepping it up!

Letti Lo - Beautiful gesture! Great design as well

Lisa Tao - 5 minute pose. Great job Lisa!

Vivian Lai - excellent job!

I don't remember who did this. No name on it either. It's a great drawing though! Inspired by a pose the model did.

This week we started learning about caricatures. Here's a great one from Alex Haddock!

Please visit the STUDENT BLOG for more of the 3rd year Sheridan Animation students.

Billionaires in Power-Suits (Part 1 of 2)

I was in need of a quick sketch subject once more--this time Vinny helped me out and suggested Iron Man. And so:

click above for larger view

Sketched in pen and Sharpie, straight up (in approximately 15 minutes). Cleaned up slightly and colored in Photoshop. The colors on this went relatively quickly for me and I whipped up the background treatment just so it wouldn't be so plain. I drew this without looking at reference, but Iron Man's costume is something approximating his mid 80's gear, because apparently I am an old-timer who only remembers the allegedly good old days. It's the good part that's alleged, the old part has been confirmed by laboratory results.

I've never really been a fan of Iron Man--perhaps I should clarify that while the concept of Iron Man is interesting enough, I have never found his alter ego, Tony Stark, to be a sympathetic character. Actually, Tony Stark is kind of a jerk (I thought this long before Marvel's Civil War crossover started), and his moustache is way cheesy. That said, his personality does provide for an interesting dynamic in a team situation, and I also think the trailer for the upcoming movie looks pretty decent.

I'll follow up next Friday with another rich dude in powered armor.