Saturday, August 29, 2009

mascara and ponies

I'm off to work and I really don't have time to write this blog.

However, I felt it was kind of neccesary to inform you that I do not feel as fed up as I did last Saturday. I have had a very strange week with lots of ups and downs, but I'm glad I've gotten out of bed each day.

Yesterday I was riding Icelandic ponies (I'm giving mr. P half a point here in being right. But only half a point!) and it was wonderful. It's amazing what spending time in a forest on a horse's back can do to your mood.

Anyway. Off to work after I've put my mascara on. Because mascara is the essence of life. :-)

Friday, August 28, 2009

I was drawing, and this happened:

click above for larger view

I don't really have an explanation for it. That is all.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Come fly with me....let's go to Fan Expo!

This is a little fun piece I did for our friend Jean Barbaud's up coming book.
He draws magnificent, exquisite planes like nobody's business so I was so honored to be a part of his book! Merci Jean!!

Title: Come fly with me
Material: Gouache on recycled paper

Also, this weekend Friday Aug 28 to Sunday Aug 30 is the Toronto Fan Expo. Kei and I will be signing stuff at table P02. The Imaginism Studios table will be at A01 along with artists Jason Seiler, Thierry Lafontaine and Peter Chan!
Also, Stephen Silver and David Colman will be at P03.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Anyone remember these guys?

Here's one for Southern California locals...

Back when I was a kid (we're talking the eighties here, bear with an old-timer), there used to be a chain of hardware stores called National Lumber. Contrary to their name, I believe they were in fact, not national, but a local phenomenon. They were most recognizable for their two cartoon mascots, Shorty (a man in overalls and a painter's cap) and Cheap Chicken (obligatory wise-ass animal sidekick). National Lumber's catalogs and mailers were peppered with comic strips and gags featuring Shorty and Cheap. It wasn't amazing material, corny with crudely executed art--but it was pretty funny stuff for hardware flyers! And as a kid with a modest allowance, who had to scrape together 75 cents to buy a "real" comic book, those catalogs were a good diversion while I was trying to gradually accumulate three quarters. National Lumber even had a series of commercials, featuring Shorty and Cheap in animation, and their catchy jingle:
It's the good stuff, at the right price,
Na-tio-nal Lum-ber!
Whenever my parents needed something from the hardware store, I would ask them if they were going to National Lumber. The answer invariably was no, due to their prices and/or geographical distance. Well sadly, National Lumber went out of business, sometime in the mid-to-late eighties. I probably hadn't thought of Shorty and Cheap Chicken in over a decade, but someone at work brought them up, and we looked up the commercials on YouTube.

After being reminded of these obscure characters, I naturally felt the need to draw my take on them:

click above for larger view

This was a lot of fun, and actually quite a challenge. In situations like this, I typically don't like to do draw the characters in their native style, because if you want to see that, you can go right to the source. But at the same time, you don't want them to be unrecognizable. Hopefully this piece walks the line. I'm pretty happy with how the wood grain turned out, but I'm not so sure about the background color.

That jingle is gonna be in my head all day!

For more on National Lumber...
  • See some photos on Flickr, here.
  • And watch some commercials on YouTube:

  • Plenty more commercials here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Subway Sketches

Hi everyone! Special thanks to everyone that came out to join us for subway sketching yesterday. We had a blast. Here's my sketches from the train

Until next time!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

shitty day


Don't forget!

Don't forget to enjoy drawing and painting! Sometimes this means to draw something for yourself!! take some time for yourself today! Kei, Peter, T and I are going subway sketching in a bit. Come along & draw with us if ur in Toronto!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Life Drawing books are over half gone!

Half the LifeDrawing books are sold! That's over 500 books in 7 days! They're going so quick!! I'm astonished and so thankful.


We will be signing ALL Life Drawing books purchased between Friday August 14th to Monday August 24th.


Requiescat In Pace

Today's piece is for Matthew Schultz AKA "skeletoncrew," one of the founding members of COTU, a group that specializes in customized He-Man figures. I didn't find out until a few weeks ago, but he passed away in June.

Matthew was one of the most creative and prolific customizers on the forums. I can't claim to have been very close to him, but I always had a great time comparing notes with him, and talking to him about how he approached his take on the Masters of the Universe mythos. More importantly, he was always gracious, generous, and encouraging of everyone's creative endeavors--a true gentleman and artist. His presence will truly be missed.

Today's piece is a tribute to him, featuring one of the many characters that he created. Matthew's close friend and partner-in-crime at COTU, "galaxy warrior," helped me pick out the character:

Make sure you visit the COTU blog, to see some of the custom figures that Matthew helped create. And do something creative today!

(also posted here at the forums)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

my last pennies

The past month's expenses have really taken its toll on my finances.

After the Gothenburg trip I was left with 2000.- (£150). I have been dying for a new camera for ages now, and when I noticed it was on special offer - HALF PRICE! - I couldn't resist buying it.

And so now I'm left with 6.- in the bank. Very sad. And I never thought of the fact that I needed to buy a memory card for the camera, so now I have a wonderful, new camera that I can't use and an empty bank account.

Pay day is a whole week away. And before pay day I have a friend who's coming to stay with me for a few days. And friends who are coming around for dinner two nights. And I'm off out to ride Island ponies which costs 400.-.

So, what I'm trying to say is that I'm up shit creek. And I don't like it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Air Force One

Here's a drawing I did called "Air Force One."

It was for a friend of Kei and I named Jean Barbaud. He's doing an artbook full of fun and beautiful air plane art and he asked me to contribute. Since I've been so interested in drawing creatures recently, I decided to combine a creature with airplane parts :)

Done in ballpoint pen on watercolor paper. 7"x5"


Roger's Better Half

Mashi is hosting a Jessica Rabbit jam on Deviant Art. Check out the everyone's pieces in her journal entry. Here's mine:

click above for larger view

Hmmm... I'm not sure if this piece is a success or not. On the one hand, Jessica Rabbit is not (and should not be) subtle. But on the other hand, my drawing goes a little too far in the opposite direction and is sort of... trashy? There are other problems with the drawing in general, but I am pleased with the face/hair, and the solution I came up with for rendering sequins. Live and learn.

Should I draw Holli Would next?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

the past week

Last Wednesday I was lucky enough to get a lift down to Gothenburg with the fantastic Lisa, who was driving there after a few days in Stockholm.

We left mid morning, and stopped off at a couple of gloomy looking resting areas for coffees, cigarettes and food.
In the car, during our trip, I noticed how hairy my legs were. But Lisa, clever as always, drove into the nearest town we were passing by and off I went to buy waxing strips. And 30 minutes later I had legs smooth as a baby's bottom.

The trip to Gothenburg was fab. And I will write more about the seeings and doings when I get the photos from my days in the area. However, yesterday it was time to head home again, and truth be told I missed the boys something silly (who were well looked after by Katarina and my brother: thank you both!!). It was great to be greated by cuddles galore!
And when I opened the fridge, I noticed that someone had left me a cake with a candle in. Because it was my birthday yesterday. Kif, Tylor and I ate cake on the floor in the livingroom last night and sent grateful thoughts to my brother. Because he bought it for me.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Most Dangerous Game

The most recent re-design challenge at the fan-art forums featured Huntara, a fan-favorite one-shot character from She-Ra (based on Grace Jones, incidentally). My take on Huntara was pretty direct (hardly qualifying as a re-design, in my mind), and I was short on time anyways, so I skipped the contest. You should, however, check out the entries here, and the voting threads, here, here, and here.

Here's my non-entry, (also posted here):

click above for larger view

The overall result is somewhat Warcrafty and Night Elf-ish, but I don't mind. I think it's in large part because I added pointy ears to her, and made her armor look a bit more baroque (and therefore Warcraft-esque).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Life Drawing Book available!

Hi everyone,

As promised Imaginism's 11th book "Life Drawing" is on sale now in our online STORE.

Life Drawing
by Bobby Chiu & Kei Acedera
August 2009

7″x10″, 72 pages.

A collection of Life Drawings by Bobby Chiu and Kei Acedera. All sorts of styles and approaches: gouache, colored pastel, conte, ink and digital life drawing.

We wanted to make this life drawing book is different. It concentrates on COSTUMED figure drawing with only a few nude poses. Chalk full of tips and "words of wisdom" from Kei and I.

We will be signing ALL Life Drawing books purchased between Friday August 14th to Monday August 24th.

I've seen better days . . .

This is a piece I started about a year ago . . . I decided to take it to the next level and beyond . . . I'm in the middle of about 10 paintings right now, so there will be plenty to share here soon. I'm going to keep this painterly, get tight where it needs it, but to my eye and taste, I like things to be a bit brushy . . .

Update on Prints for Sale!
It was brought to my attention that I forgot to mention that the prints I have for sale on Etsy are Limited Edition of 200 Prints. Each print will be signed and numbered, once sold out, that's it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Girl Sketches Sold Out! Life Drawing book on sale this Friday!

So long Girl Sketches! Our very first book, Girl Sketches is officially sold out! This was one of my personal favorites. Not just because it was our first book but because of the great tutorials and all of the wonderful memories from each of the paintings inside. Many of the drawings were done before we started Imaginism Studios. When the idea of being an independent artist was REALLY just an dream for us.

It just goes to show that with some common sense and a whole lot of passion ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE for ANYONE from ANYWHERE!

My love and gratitude goes out there for everyone that supported us throughout these years and continue to support the cause. You've allowed us to create so much independent art throughout the years and without you, Imaginism Studios would not have been possible.

Thank you so much for allowing us to continue to do what we love to do.

- Bobby

*Look out for our 11th Imaginism book - "Life Drawing" on sale starting this Friday August 14th. We will be signing ALL Life Drawing books purchased between Friday August 14th to Monday August 24th.

*Our friends and long time supporter Brand Studio Press still have a few copies of Girl Sketches. Go get it HERE

my prayer


I've mentioned Nathan's Boris the Raccoon previously. Starting this Saturday (August 15th), some Boris customs will be on display (and for sale!) at the Black Maria Gallery. The show runs through September 5th, but if you aren't local, don't forget that you can still purchase a normal Boris from the U1 Toy Arts website.

Not sure if you should buy Boris? Well, he looks great standing on your window sill while you're away:

click above for larger view

And he looks great hanging out with ol' Bone-Brain, whilst planning some kind of mischief and/or mayhem:

click above for larger view

I know what you're all asking yourselves...
"Hey Jason, what would it look like if you drew Boris looking somewhat aggro with an arbitrarily-added orange light source?"
Here is your answer:

click above for larger view

I had a lot of fun with this--it's always interesting to do a take on a very stylized character and see if you can walk the line between keeping recognizability and adding your own style. And the basic color scheme on Boris made it easier to play around with adding the random extra light source. Now go buy yourself a Boris!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

to be an immigrant in Stockholm

On the way into town yesterday, I sat next to three foreigners who were talking to eachother. Their Swedish were really bad, and I was impressed how they really tried to explain things to one another.

I pretended not to listen, but I will admit I followed their conversation wholeheartedly. Was there ever something called eavesdropping, this was it!

One guy was from Irak. The other two were from South America somewhere. They had very recently met, and didn't know bugger all about eachother, so they started off with the usual "where are you from?" and "what do you do for a living?" even though they of course didn't ask it like that (i.e. presumed they had jobs), but instead said "have you managed to get a job?". It turned out they all had managed to get a job in Stockholm.

One was a painter. "Does it pay well?" the others asked. "no, it doesn't pay well, but it pays", ha answered matter of factly. Then he started to explain how his boss treated him, with not paying his social security, not paying taxes, forcing him to work 14 hour days and getting paid peanuts.

The others nodded. It was obvious they had similar empoyers. All black workers, exploited with no legal rights at all. Yet they laughed about it and started talking about nicer things, such as the weather and spare time activities.

Then the guy from Irak said " do you have families here?" and the others answered "no". The Irakie guy looked at the South American boys and said "me neither. I'm alone. All alone". The others nodded and for the rest of the journey they sat all quiet. And that silence said more than a million words.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Marginal Improvement

At least a little bit of preliminary sketching goes into the pieces I put up here, and in the course of that preliminary work, there's a lot of miscellaneous doodling that goes in the margins. Occasionally, one of those doodles is worth cleaning up and coloring. Here's a more cartoony streamlined take on one of He-Man's foes, Trap Jaw:

I drew Trap Jaw previously, so the colors on today's piece are pretty much cribbed from that, with a few adjustments for better contrast. The changes are subtle, but I can see where I've improved, even if only marginally...

Pun linked to title and first paragraph... accomplished! Time to go play video games.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Quick vote on what I should paint next!!?

Ok what should I paint when I get back from Chicago? Realistic Darkwing Duck or Sponge Bob redesign. Quick vote now!!

We'll be at the Chicago Wizard World Comicon this weekend so come on by our table and say hi if you're in town! Table 3500 & 3502. Imaginist; Jason Seiler will be at 3504 selling his dvd and new book!


Pooh Bear and Wizard World Chicago

Last night I had a few minutes so I decided to take suggestions on what to paint next. A 'Realistic' Winnie the Pooh won the votes so here it is! A 'realistic-ish' Pooh Bear. I hope you like it! Let me know if you have any other creative suggestions of what I should paint next!

Digital, 15 minute sketch in Photoshop.

We'll be at the Chicago Wizard World Comicon this weekend so come on by our table and say hi if you're in town! Table 3500 & 3502. Imaginist; Jason Seiler will be at 3504 selling his dvd and new book!



Back to He-Man stuff for today's post... the subject is the Viper Tower, one of the Three Towers of the Eternia Playset. This is a follow up to a post from earlier this year.

click above for larger view

I do have some fanbricated (fan + fabricated) background info for the Three Towers, but I'll save it for when I finish the third one. Also I want to sleep right now.

Also posted on the fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

fat elastics next

I got a mail order magazine in the post today. It was sent to me from a big mailordering company, but this magazine was a new one for me: "Plus size clothings" it was called. Now, I am fully aware of the fact that I am fat. However, I have not been forced to shop for plus size clothing (yet). Which made me wonder why I got that magazine?

And as I've spent the whole day sleeping and eating sugary e-numbered foods I am now sat here wondering if I've done so because of the magazine or if I got the magazine because of me doing so?

Whatever the case it's depressing...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Niko Bellic In iPod Touch

One bright young illustrator from Germany decided to use his beloved iPod Touch for something creative. After combining his artistic personality with his love of GTA IV, he came up with an incredible portrait of gagster from Serbia, Niko Bellic.

David Müller was using his iPod Touch to make art for some time now, and it’s unbelievable what can be done on a new generation mobile phones these days. I personally never thought that multimedia device could be used to make such magnificent art. I would advice everyone to check David Müller’s gallery blog to see more of his latest creations. Here are some comments from the artist himself:
A little fanart I did today, again on my iPod Touch using "brushes" and my left forefinger tip. Allow me to introduce ... Niko Bellic, an illegal immigrant and veteran. Put simply, GTA IV is still stunning! Hope you like my version of that caustic Serb - a sketch has long been overdue.

Just to complete it, here's a little description for you: I tried to capture a mood that fits to him - there's a reason for B/W (morally he's already dead - war and the mob-life ruined his humanly), his look (he's forearmed and got a freezing ice-cold intend), and for the threatening clouds and red/purple skyline (not only the sun is going down, the big city also dies with him "onboard"!).

Yesterday the Pride festival had its parade through Stockholm. Unfortunally I wasn't able to participate as I was working, but I got a glimpse of the fantastic party that was cosetting the city as I travelled through one of the main streets.

Homosexuality is nothing unnatural and certainly nothing exeptional. And as much as I love the Pride festival I despise the fact that it is still neccessary. Lily Allen says it all in the video above.