Flashback Friday on Tuesday tips – character design

Character design is a very unique and very hard department to get into.  Cause it’s all about design, there’s no fancy painting technique to cover it up.  Most of the best Character Designer knows how to animate and a great observer of people and personality.  

I’m very lucky to have been given character design assignment at DWA.  I learned everything I know from Tony Siruno.  He is one of the best character designer I know.  His design is cool, refreshing, and effortless; which is a really hard thing to master.  And he is also a really good teacher, very patient and very generous with his knowledge. 

This is one of the way Tony taught me to approach character.  I’m using Grug as an example, (a character from the Croods). 1.  Start with reference/inspiration page – look for something unique, ie: mask, sculpture, costumes, … etc. 2.  Do shillouette, as many as you can and different from one to another. 3.  Pick one (or two) and paint them up. -Griz

“Hi….!!!” is my happy Toothless piece for the Children Hospital, and it’s finally being auction on eBay for a limited time.  

It’s an original gouache painting on paper with the final image of 5"x7".  I attached some of my sketches and color comp.  I did both drawings and color comp on CS.  Then painted the final piece with Winsor&Newton gouache – titanium white, ivory black, spectrum yellow, flame red, and permanent green medium; on sage Tiziano paper.   

The inspirations for Toothless personality on this painting is my cat, Junior. The first sketch is Jr being sweet like an angel, and so I added angel wings around him.  Second sketch is Jr playing catch with butterflies.  The third one, is Jr having a hard time to clean himself, hehe.  The last one is him being super sweet whenever I come home and always greeting me happily.  I pick the last one, because that’s one of my favorite moment of coming home everyday.  Then I changed the writing to “Hi” instead of “hello”, because I like things better when it’s a simpler design.

For the color, I have 3 Tiziano paper that I was considering; blue-gray, sage, or cream.  I know I want to use black and white, with yellow and red.  So, I need another color to complement them.  I like both blue and green bg; but I like the green more, because the palette is more controlled and limited.  The cream bg is nice, because the palette is very limited, so it’s super stylized; However, it is to light for the white bubble.  So, I choose the green one.

Hope you like my happy little Toothless.  And if you’d like to place a bid, please click on this eBay link.


Happy Ganesha Chaturthi

I had the pleasure of getting to know Satish Ruia when we went to India.  He is the most graceful host.  And Ganesha is his favorite god.  He is the elephant-headed, remover of obstacles and the god of beginnings and wisdom.  

There are some important symbolism in Ganesha stature.  His large head symbolize thinking big, while his small eyes symbolize concentration.  The rope on his left hand removes obstacle.  The sweets on his lower left hand is the reward of a wise life.  His large ears means he listen more.  The ax on his right hand cut unhealthy attachments.  He only have one tusk, because he sacrifice one for a good cause.  And he bless those in the right path with his lower right hand.  His large belly means contentement, for the good and the bad.  The banana symbolize material wealth when you pursue the right path and the whole world is at your feet for your asking.  The mouse symbolize desire that can cause havoc if you don’t keep it under control.

Hope your having a great Ganesha Chaturthi!


I love my Junior so much.  I know you’re not supposed to have favorites when you have multiple cats, but he is definitely my favorite cat of all time. He works very hard to get my attention and I’m pretty sure that he loves me the most.  This cat have so much attitude, super funny, kinda gross and grumpy.  He is also super fluffy and a good kitty to snuggle with.  He is also a medical marvel in my book, cause even though he only has 3 teeth and on the obese side, his blood work shows that he is in perfect health.  :)  Long live Junior!!!!!  Love you baby Juni!!!!!  You’re a curmudgeon old cat but you will always be my little big baby and an endless source of inspiration! 


Getting in the mood for Halloween.  Time to make a costume!  Every year I fantasize about making a costume for Junior and Snoopy.  Maybe this year I will, most likely not, so we will see.  But, one thing that I’m going to do for sure is “7 days of Spooktober”.  

7 days of Spooktober are paintings inspired by spooky or horror movies that I love (some terrifying, some silly).  Cause this is the week where I LOVE to watch them.  Please join me if you’d like.

These are the rules:
1.  Create a drawing or a painting based on a horror/spooky movie that I selected.  I will post the movie on the day before on tumblr.
2.  B&W or color, in any media — traditional or digital.  but definitely NO PHOTO COLLAGE!!!!!
3.  Add #spooktoberart and/or #7daysofspooktober on your tumblr and/or instagram posting, so we can check out your spooky creation.

The first painting will be on the most terrifying doll of all time, Chucky from Child’s play series.  

Have fun, can’t wait to see your creation tomorrow.