Thursday, November 24, 2011

"Head Study 4"

 6"x6", oil on gesso board

I am enjoying young people at the college. They are like humming birds in the fresh air.
I met Daniella at Pierce college art class I am taking this Fall. She is only 19 yrs old and so beautiful.
I thought I will do a quick study of her from a photo which I took.
Well! so much of quick study!
I was repainting over and over to capture my impression of her.  It is  almost impossible to capture just the essence  from the photograph without  copying the photo..
I had to stop here before I totaly scrub off  whole paiting out of  my frustration. At least I have something to revisit later to see what I was trying to achieve from this study.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Head Study 3"

Pissed Off
 6"x6", oil on gesso board

I did this painting last week, but didn't shoot till today.
This painting is done from a woman's mugshot, looking very pissed off.
I am not sure that she is a celebrity or not. Maybe she is.....

I signed up some art classes at nearby community college: Oil painting and Print Making. The Fall term  started two weeks ago, keeping  me very busy. Also signed up Boot Camp style  exercise program. Boot camp is Monday through Thursday, from 5:15 till 6:30. This program is a merciless real killer.  Through oil painting class, I am learning how to build the canvas from the scratch. Go to Home Depot, get the materials for stretcher bars, learn  how to cut the bars, stretch canvas on the frame, prepare canvas with gesso .....

I get more fit and stronger and paint till 100 years old!!
Sounds like a good plan?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"Head Study 2"

The Girl with the Flaxen Hair
 6"x6", oil on gesso board

Step 1

 The reason why I chose to paint this girl was her dazzling smile .
That dazzle impressed me didn't get capture yet.

Step 2
I worked more on the painting.
The reference  image I was using to start this painting has disappeared.
I had to work out of my memory. I was so afraid working without reference,though.
I prefer the earlier painting for it's spontaneity.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Head Study1_ Defiance"

6"x6", oil on gesso board

Here is "Head Study 1

This is from a model-mugshot. I see the defiance in her expression. I wonder any body could tell who she is.
I realized that there are endless supply of mug shots. It will be interesting to see how my way of painting evolves. I like to get much more bold and expressive.
I am thinking about to focus onto one subject matter. Maybe Head studies...... a small size painting a day, so call, Daily Painting.

So far,I couldn't  post every day.
Often I  take too long to figure out the subject and setting up and lighting.
If I eliminate those prep time to slow me down.....

I  always thought I have to paint from the real setting to do good painting: actual setup for Still life painting, outdoor trip for Pleinair painting, live models for figurative works.....
Recently, I did some head paintings from photograph. It was not that bad as I thought.
I have more fun to do human head than still life. There are emotions and expressions to pull out even from the bad photos.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Tomato and Knife II"

 "Tomato and Knife II"
7"x5", oil on Canvas board

I am trying to paint with more paint on the brush lately.
It requires a commitment. Instead of layering with thin paints or picking up the the color from here and there on the palette, I have to mix certain amount of paints to be able to load the brush.
It frees me from getting into too much details, giving the life to the painting. Also I like the interesting edges happening naturally.

This the second painting of "Tomato and Knife" for me. Since one is sold through DPW Action recently, I decided do another one.
Definitely, "Tomato and Knife" is DiebenKorn inspired subject.
His tomato paintings are looking like he just slopped down the paints in 5 minutes. But when I examined his paintings, I realized how accurate his observation is and .......his compositions!!
How could I be bold and confident as he is!
He is one of the artist I admire most. I am so amazed by all of his works!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Stock Plunge"

6"x6", oil on gesso board -NFS

This is the image of a trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the day of the stock market falling from LA Times on Aug 5.
I thought the diagonals with the expression of the shock in the image works together perfect. It is not my own shot but  I wanted to regenerated into a  painting for the sake of fun and learning.
I painted the  whole surface with red to begin with and kept red showing through to exaggerate the panic.

Monday, August 8, 2011

"Roses in My Mug"

6"x6", oil on gesso board

This week's DPW Challenge is to paint my mug.
I am surrounded by white roses in my neighborhood and I can't stay away from them. So roses in my big blue mug...

Recently, I am searching what I am inclined to paint and how I create the painting from them.
I have been painting under the art direction for 20 years in animation studios since I graduated from ACCD.
I don't have my favorite way of painting.
Each movie has a different artistic style and the artist has to paint what was required.

Now my heart is my art director.
One thing I know about my self is I like to have the spontaneity, some spirit and emotion in my painting. Also I like to go beyond just depicting how they look. 

This painting is available for purchase
Bid at DPW auction:
Or buy direct here:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"White Roses"

6"x6", oil on gesso board

This painting is available for purchase

Friday, August 5, 2011

"Peach Tree"

7"x5", oil on Canvas board

This is a peach tree in my back yard. This tree bears the most delicious peaches.
I share the peaches with birds,squirrels and my neighbors. Sometimes I have to be fast to pick them before birds put the marks on them.
All the peaches are gone now. All leaves!!
I did this painting to enter the DPW Challenge. It has rules of using limited palette (Ultra Blue, Cad Yellow Med (or Lt), Cad Rd Lt and white) and painting time to one hour. It was not easy to get subtle temperature change in Greens since UMB is warm blue.
Well painting time is limited to an hour, I couldn't be fussy much.
Photography didn't help me either to show cooler colors at the bottom part of painting. This is Early summer. Every thing in my garden has fresh greens. This palette might be very good to use for fall season even though we don't have much of fall color in Los Angeles, CA.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


6"x6", oil on gesso board

How do I make an interesting painting with just two tomatoes?
What color will be good for the wall and floor?
To go analogous, or to go complementary:
that is the question: whether they are nobler in the mind to suffer......
I am no Hamlet, but I am a serious painter.
Every beginning of painting is like I am just stepping a white room to find my way into problems. I don't yet know what I am trying to solve and how I am going to solve them.
After all, I enjoyed to paint these tomatoes and making a composition. The translucent surface of tomato is quite intriguing to paint.
The title for this painting is " Tension ". I sense the tension between two tomatoes.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

9"x12", oil on canvas board

I hesitate to post this painting because this painting is one of those quite experimental, problematic and not quite resolved yet with composition, color balance, brush me.
Seems like I am treating paintings as labor instead of free flowing creative activity lately.
In this painting, the first problem I have created was adding the reddish background behind the apple. Somehow, I like to add some geometric shapes to the still life painting. Then work with red, I used yellow green on the flowers.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

"Unfinished Symphony - Roses in B minor"

6"x6", oil on canvas board

I started this painting a week ago over the old painting mostly of BG and RV. I thought that I had to work a lot more on this painting. But I reached at the point where I was not happy about losing the beneath colors from the old painting.
So I stopped because I didn't know what to do.
Now roses are gone. Also time went by. I am getting more comfortable with this "Unfinished" painting.
I tend to over work lately, I am going to call this painting finished as "Unfinished". The title of this painting would be "Unfinished Symphony" or "Roses in B minor"?
This painting remind me of Franz Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony" (Symphony No. 8 in B minor)

It is a small painting after all. There are plenty of roses waiting to be painted.
In the future....
I might like to adopt the painting process of painting by layers .

Friday, July 22, 2011


5"x7", oil on canvas board

I did a this setup on the lawn in my back yard. I wanted to paint this under the natural lighting. Blazing afternoon sun made a poor daisy facing the sun wilt right away.
It was lot easier for me to paint outdoor. I didn't feel like going into the detail which indoor still life setting often delude me. Also with the rapid lighting changes, prevent overworking which is most beneficial for my obsessive mind.

Friday, July 8, 2011

"What I Paint With"

6"x6", oil on gesso board

I did this painting for this week's DPW challenge.
I painted over the old painting, mostly Red and Green. The handle of the knife, the shadow of the paint tube, the bright Red and dark Green areas are undisturbed from the old painting.
It has turned out to be a fun process of the making a painting.
The choice of the Green and Red handle brushes was made to work with Red and Green of the old painting. The new color added were Blue and White, which are the color of the paint tube.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Bougainvillea "

6"x6", oil on gesso board

I love beautiful hot, flaming Bougainvillea during fiery hot, dry summer days.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

"my friend, Shirley"

8"x10", oil on canvas board

 This  painting is a  portrait of Shirley, a friend of mine, who is 91 yrs of age this year.

She is such a lovely, energetic little lady. Going to concert and theater, teaching piano, entertaining friends....Hard to believe her age.
Last year for her 90th Birthday, I made a small drawing of her as a gift. It was a three quarter view from a photo I had, and she didn't like it at all. Few month later she sent me a photograph and asked me if I could paint her from it, because she likes how she looks in the photo. This is the first portrait painting I ever did by the request and I will say that it was not easy.

I  do head studies often from the model since the art school till now here and there through 20 yrs of my artist life.
Many of them are quite successful to my eye. Also I don't mind whether the model likes or not how they look in my paintings.

I couldn't be spontaneous at all while I am working on this painting. First of all, I am painting from a photograph, not from live model.  I was just so concerned about the likeness and keep worrying whether she would like it or not.

I was so relieved  and so glad that I was able to pull this painting together and finished the painting,. without giving up!

Shirley was pleased with  her portrait!. Yeah!
She is going to give this portrait to her only son for his Birthday.

With this experience, I  truly understand the hardship of the portrait painters.

 "You lose a friend whenever you paint a portrait of a friend"..... by Sargent

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Head Studies_Pirate"

Head Study I

Long Pose (2hrs)

9"x12", oil on canvas board

Head Study II

Quick Study (15min)

8"x10", oil on canvas board

These are head studies with the costumed model at the Art Center. Pasadena.
The model was "Tucker", who used be an assistant Animator at Disney. He said that he has a life-long hobby of collecting costumes, now he enjoys modeling wearing his costumes and creating characters.
I did two paintings of him.
The first painting took 2 hours.
It was almost time for the painting session to end in about 15 min. I wanted to go home.
Then I changed my mind and told my self "Let's see what I could do In 15 min".
So here is a second painting. I am so happy with the result.
No fuss ... That is FUN!
Feels like you are flying with the brush.

I have enjoyed the first painting, but with lots of efforts.
The second one was a breeze!! .........................

Tucker saw my second painting and was very happy too.

Monday, June 13, 2011


5"x7", oil on gesso board

Well...I had a luck painting fast with "Geranium".
I can't figure out why this painting took so long...many, many hours... so embarrassing to tell anyone or even myself!
It is "Irreconcilable Differences in Painting", composition, subject matter..... hard to be together.
I was not happy all the way along...up to this point.
It is all right now with me to be able to stop tackling.
From the beginning of the first completion, nothing much changed, very subtle...
Probably, others can't tell the differences.
Still wants to make the right side tomato little more saturated... I am going to leave it now, to avoid further resentment.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


5"x7", oil on gesso board

Once in a while, painting goes very well, quick and breezy. The first application of paint seems just right. This one was one of that rare occasion.
This geranium in my back porch is being neglected, regardless always have a few stunning Red blooms all through the year.
It is impossible to reproduce the natural, brilliant Red of this geranium, even with pure pigment of Winsor & Newton Oil.
Still quite happy about the result looking gorgeous in this painting.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"Bougainvillea on Blue"

8"x6", oil on canvas board

I was trying to paint a BLUE painting with ORANGE focal point. Also make more abstract rather than copy the object.
Seemingly this is my artistic quest...
It is quite challenging for me and takes a lot longer to finish a painting up to the point I could accept when I make the painting this way.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

"A Mango"

7"x5", oil on gesso board

I find it very difficult to paint a mango; it's unique shape and rich colors.
The color transits from the dark rich crimson to red, then orange to yellow, pale yellow to light green at the tip.
Such a beautiful fruit!! Looking so delicious!!
Wish that I captured that rich color variations and deliciousness of the mango in my painting.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


7"x5", oil on canvas board

I did "No, No".
I painted over on the painting below.
I usually starts with the intention to fix little tiny bits and often ends up messing up whole painting.
Hope I improved the painting this time!? Or, just a different painting!?
Many times, if I live with a painting for a while, that tiny spot doesn't bother me anymore.
When do I get wise? Instead going over the finished painting, just paint another one!!

I did this painting to enter the DWP Challenge.
DWP Challenge is quite FUN!!....
different style, different artists....
getting some comments on the painting entered ....
getting connected with other artists...

Monday, May 9, 2011

"Pink Flowers II"

5"x7", oil on canvas board

Seems like I am so obsessed to paint these pink flowers lately.
All the hillsides around my home is covered with these pink flowers. Whenever I walk my dogs, I pick handful of them. They are so beautiful....
This is my third attempt to paint them.
I wish I could get the elusiveness of these flowers in my painting....

Saturday, May 7, 2011

"Two Lemons"

7"x5", oil on canvas board

I applied thicker paint on this painting. I like how brush strokes is casting shadows.
The camera didn't catch the freshness of colors properly.
The actual painting has a lot more vibrancy.

Friday, May 6, 2011

"Another Self Portrait"

8"x10", oil on canvas board

I did another self portrait.
Same pose as the other one, but I approached lot simpler and quicker.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

"All About Me"

8"x10", oil on canvas board

This is a self portrait for the DWP Challenge,
"All about Me".
I had fun to paint my self, looking through the mirror set by the easel, depicting quite eccentric character of me.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

"NYC Girl"

8"x10", oil on canvas

This painting is done for "This Week's DPW Challenge: The NYC Lady Challenge"
A reference photo was provided by DailyPaintWorks(DWP).
My main concern for this painting was to give abstract quality to the background reflecting the shape of her jacket and long diagonals created by her leg and the white ruffles, so pulls the viewer's eye to the object which she is focusing.
I used the warm and cool grey palette.

Reference Photo

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Wild Pink Flowers "

6"x6", oil on gesso board

It is spring time in LA.
All the hills are covered with wild flowers: poppies, ice plant, daisies... I picked some pink flowers for my daily painting while I was walking dogs this morning.
For this painting, I added some graphic elements to the back ground. Also I used split complementary colors; Red Violet to BlueGreen and YellowGreen. It was quite challenge to do this painting. Subtle change of color and values in the flower, composition and design, hue and value ... evreything.

My puppies, Lucia and Sydney taking nap.
(Sydney is male, Lucia,small one, female)

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Red Roof "

10"x8", oil on canvas board
I'd like to share a painting I did on one Saturday for a month ago. This is a view from the hill at Pierce college looking down San Fernando valley toward North.
I live far at the mountain ridge on the right top corner of this painting.
I feel good with this painting, still I think I treated too literally. While I was painting this, I was thinking Cezanne. I am quite interested in Cezanne's composition. I wonder that any influence of Cezanne has reflected in this painting. Well....

I love the beginning of this painting posted below. It has spontaneity and abstracted quality I always seek. I labored hours more from this stage. On such a small size of surface. Why!?

Below is a photo I took that afternoon. My painting is done in one afternoon on the spot, not painted from the photo at all. But see how exact my painting is to this photo. It is scary!!
Only thing I did is I tried to frame the camera as same as my painting when I was taking the photo.