Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Halloween SelfieX3


It's almost October and that means my favorite holiday is approaching! I LOVE Halloween! Every year, I hand out the candy wearing my bat headband, my red scarf with black sweater and my jack-o-lantern earrings! When the kids were younger, I used to host a Halloween party every year because I love to make Halloween treats. I still make a few now, but it's not quite the same anymore.

The portrait above was done by a talented artist, Jenny Kroik, who was featured on the blog Doodlewash (if you are not following this blog, you definitely should!) Jenny does amazing selfie and portraits in watercolor. You can follow her on Instagram here,

I was inspired by Jenny, so I decided to try it myself...a bit more ghoulish version..

And here is the original.

I will be posting decorations and treats in a future post! 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up...

I had some time last night after we came home from our amazing weekend to summarize the trip in my Fauxbonichi.

Las Vegas used to be a playground for adults and it still is. But there are so many things appropriate for kids, especially for teens. We have taken the kids to Vegas a few times and they love it there. We've probably have seen all the magic shows there! This time, we got to see Mat Franco, who won Season 9 of America's Got Talent. He is an amazing showman. The magic is not glitzy like illusionist, Chris Angel, but Mat's interaction with the audience makes him more fun.

We've done the CSI Experience at MGM before and this time, my older two did the Slotzilla (zip line) in downtown LV. There is also Circus Circus for rides and games. 

There are lots of shows appropriate for families with older children. We saw Jeff Dunham (lots of f-bomb and some sexual references), but only a couple of cringe-worthy moments. And if you don't mind the hefty prices, there are Curque shoes. We have now seen Mystere and O.

Here are pages from my Fauxbonichi about this weekend!

It was hard to get the kids up for school this morning after a mini-vacation. But for me, it was great to get back into my daily routine. The first picture you see above is part of my daily page from today. Have a great Monday!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Vegas, Part 2

We had a great first day yesterday. We had lunch at a Japanese Shabu Shabu restaurant that we discovered the last time we came here.

I love sukiyaki! We do this at home sometimes but the sukiyaki sauce has lots of sugar so it's a once-in-awhile meal for us!

We are staying at Harrah's. I'm not sure what's happening in Vegas this weekend but most hotels were booked or too pricey. It's not too bad, we got a suite so plenty of room for us.

We went to the Linq to ride the High Roller and to have a snack.. The Jeff Dunham show was really fun, though it was R-rated rather than PG-13.. It was fun.

Today, we are going to see Matt Franco and then "O"! We saw Mystere the last time we were here so I'm really excited to see it! Another adventure awaits!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Heaven or Las Vegas

We are on our way to Vegas! The kids had a mini vacation and we got a much welcomed good news so we are celebrating! Tonight, we are going to see Jeff Dunham, who Ken and I have seen years ago in Midland, Michigan. My favorite Dunham character is Walter, who is portrayed above. I painted this while in the car so my lines are wobbly but I'm happy with it.

We are also going to see Matt Franco who won last season's America's Got Talent.

Kids are really excited to see him as we are huge magic fans. I did this drawing  yesterday when we decided to go to Vegas.

Ken is taking me to see Cirque D'Soleil show, "O"! I'm so excited! We've been to Vegas several times and have seen other Cirque show but O is the one I've always wanted to see.

It's a 5 hour drive from Phoenix to Vegas. Kids are watching movies, Ken is listening to XM, and I'm drawing (though drawing while the car is going up and down the mountains was not fun). And I'm writing this blog post on my phone before I lose cell service. Isn't technology wonderful!

This morning, I saw one of my art friends participating in a challenge  to draw your selfie.. Do here is mine. I'm about to lose my cell service.. Will let you know about our trip! Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Tonight at sundown is the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement. It is the holiest Jewish day when as a community you ask for forgiveness for sins committed against G-d. It is said that on Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year), G-d determines your fate the year and writes in the Book of Life. And on Yom Kippur, the book is sealed. So for 10 days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, you are asked to ask for irgiveness from the people for whom you have wronged. It means you can't pray all your sins away, at least those committed against people.

For me, giving forgiveness is easy but asking for it is difficult. Is it pride? Is it self-righteousness? Is it fear? I'm not sure. So I post the graphic above to ask for forgiveness from my friends on social media and hope that I'm forgiven. It is also said that if you are not given forgiveness, you should ask twice more. After the third attempt, G-D will grant you forgiveness. 

But for me, the most difficult thing is to forgive myself. And to give myself the permission to be imperfect. So to all that I have wronged, I ask for forgiveness, and that includes me. 

G'mar Hatimah Tovah!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Have A Great Weekend!

As I have mentioned, I've been taking classes online and it felt that all I created were for my classes. I love learning but I wanted to create some pieces that are just for fun. 

The piece you see above is how I want to create art. Just have fun imagining, laughing, and dreaming. 

I have started following several artists and one posted about transferring an image by rubbing a pencil drawing on tracing paper. She created a fun graphic so I wanted to use the same technique. I drew the lollipop on tracing paper and rubbed the image on watercolor paper. Once I colored each lollipop, I added the quote.

I hope I get to do more this weekend, just create for fun! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

While Waiting 2...

Déjà vous.. I'm back at the orthodontist office, this time with my son. Another hour to kill. So I drew the picture above. Today's drawing prompt was sunglasses so I found a quote I like and off I went. I used Audrey Hepburn reference photo and used a water soluble Japanese brush pen. I started with the hair so you can see that the blackest part is there. I wasn't quite used to drawing with it yet. But once I got the hang of it, I really enjoyed shading with it. 

It took a bit longer for my son so I had time to draw something else from the waiting room. As I said yesterday, the office is very upscale looking. The duct work is exposed and part of the decor. So I drew a part of it.

Yesterday when I got home, I tried to draw my daughter without her braces. I can't ever seem to get her quite right.

And of course I had to do my son..

Here is the actual picture..

Two down, one more to go.. Did I mention that kids are expensive? 😊

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

While Waiting...

This morning, My daughter had her braces removed! While waiting, I decided to doodle.

The orthodontist office looks more like a trendy bar than an orthodontist office. At least it is a pleasant place to wait complete with comfy chairs and a Keurig machine. 

She was thrilled to get her braces off but even more thrilled that she got a gift from the office.. I know she's looking forward to the popcorn! I just love her smile! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Adventures in Watercolor

L'Shana Tova! It's the Jewish New Year! Pictured above is a painting of the round challah for the new year that I baked. It's quite tasty but nothing compared to the white chocolate challah or the apple pie challah that I had last night at our friends' Rosh Hashana dinner! 

As I mentioned in my last post, I haven't blogged in awhile, not because I hadn't created but because I am learning. I've been somewhat obsessed with learning to be looser in drawing and painting because I love the look! I'm taking three classes (I told you I'm obsessive), two by Marc Taro Holmes and one by Liz Steel. Both are known for urban sketching, where they go out and sketch and paint live. And though I may not be interested in sitting in the hot Arizona sun just so I can create art, I'm really interested in the process of creating loose, interpretive art that capture the essence of my subject. And I can tell you that this is going to be tough for me. For one, I'm a control freak. It's tough letting go the notion of controlling my medium because watercolors have a mind of its own. I'm also still learning about color and you either need a good understanding of manipulating colors or you have to have an intuitive sense of using colors to add depth. Yeah, neither describes me. 

I drew this from a reference photo I found online and worked from gesture lines I created.

This helped me to place the kids and also helped me to see them in action. The rest of the drawing was done quickly, marking areas of shadows. The watercolor wash was done quickly too, focusing on light and shadows. 

Next, I tried drawing a structure.. My house! This was tough! I know a bit about perspective but trying to get angles correct drove me nuts!
This was my first attempt.. It's difficult to tell what's in foreground and what's in background because my color values are all the same.

With my second attempt, I think I did a better job with the house, but the landscaping still needs work. And part of my problem is that I'm too worried about the microscopic details and totally missing the macroscopic feel.

Here are few more pictures of my class submissions. I get frustrated, I see glimpse of hope, and I'm learning. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

August Daily Art Video

It's been a little while since I've blogged. It's not that I haven't created, it's that I've been learning! I will be blogging more about this next week!

So here's my August daily art while you listen to Liebestrum by Liszt! I hope you enjoy it and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Happy Release Day, Mia Kerick!

If you are a regular follower of this blog (thank you!), you know that I've been working with Mia Kerick, an LGBT YA author on some promotions for her books. She has a new title, A Hard Day's Night which releases today. So I wanted to share the promos I created for this book.

The two main characters are Lennon (with the glasses, who is obsessed with the Beatles) and Fin. They are best friends, about to graduate high school and both are discovering they have deep feelings for each other. They embark on a day journey to discover if their feelings are more than that of friends. The journey is filled with laughter, self-realizations, and they even experience some backlash.  For the two character promos about, I drew them from reference photos Mia gave me and used pastel to color. I use an app called Enlight to create the background and use PowerPoint or Over to add text. I do also use PS Touch, a photoshop app for the iPhone and iPad. Yes, I do all my graphics creation on my phone or iPad.

Mia gives me quotes from the book and I try to create a graphic that capture the words. For example, Lennon and Fin attend a Zumba class because all gay guys like do dance, don't they? Lol.

For the next one, I found a cute storefront  that I liked and photoshopped the name onto it.

This one was easy.

The painted boy is from my earlier piece that I cropped and darkened the hair. Poor Lennon. You'll have to read the book to find out what happens!

Finally, Mia decided to have a little fun!

I'm going to be working with Mia again for her next book. She wanted me draw the characters in manga style and what Japanese girl wouldn't want to draw manga?! I've been practicing my manga drawing so I created Lennon and Fin in manga style! 

You can check out the previous set of promos I did for Love Spell here!

A Hard Day's Night can be found here!

Here is a little blurb about the book.

High school senior Kalin (Lennon) Macready knows several facts for certain: John Lennon is his hero. Beaumont Finley Danforth II (Fin) is his best friend. And—this is the complicated one—he feels more for Fin than mere friendship.
For weeks, Lennon pesters Fin, who like Lennon admits to questioning his sexual orientation, for a commitment to spend twenty-four hours together exploring “the gay side of life.” Fin reluctantly agrees. Each boy will seek to answer the daunting question, Am I gay? Lennon pre-plans the day, filling the hours with what he assumes “gay life” is all about: shopping for fashionable clothing, indulging in lavish dessert crepes, boogying to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off”, and yes, listening to show tunes.
However, Lennon quickly realizes that in creating his plan he has succumbed to the most common and distorted of gay stereotypes. Can he be gay and not fit them? And more importantly, is it possible that spending one very hard day and night together will help Fin accept that he’s gay, too? If so, maybe Lennon has a shot at winning the heart of the boy of his dreams.
“A Hard Day’s Night” is an amusing young adult contemporary romance about two boys who seek to discover if they must fulfill stereotypes to be together. 
In the end, maybe all you need is love.
About Mia Kerick

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.
Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
Mia has published four works of adult contemporary gay romantic fiction with Dreamspinner Press and four novels of contemporary LGBT fiction with Harmony Ink Press. Mia Kerick's books are recommended reads in the LGBT blogging/reading community, have spent many weeks on Amazon Hot New Releases and LGBT Best Sellers lists, as well as other notable bestseller lists, and have won awards for excellence in YA literature. 

Website (& Blog):