Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Cards

It's been long, close to 2 months since I last posted. I am sorry, I've been busy.
Mainly because I moved to a new place in Mississippi along with my new job here. I still work in a power plant, but my role is very different. It's almost like starting a new life here, trying to furnish the apartment, buying 'toys' and getting distracted all the time, and of course 10hours of work a day. But that's okay, I think I am getting used to the schedule now, and I should have time for art from now onwards(except for Christmas and New Year Holiday ^^)

I received 2 Christmas cards from my co-workers the other day, and I felt a very warm welcome sent together with the cards, which I just have to reply. So here are 2 cards I drew and made for Jim and Sandra.
 Jim is always out working in the cold. So I thought he'd appreciate a friend to keep him company(although we don't have snow here in Mississippi yet)
Sandra has a cool car. My wife and I sat in her car once, it's very nice! =)

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who's been looking at my blog, and leaving comments. I miss Oni, I can't forget him, and I know he'll always be in my heart. I appreciate your kindness and concern, but I am moving on. I won't get another cat just yet, but someday I will.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bitter Sweet

I haven't been doing a lot of sketches lately as I've been busy packing and getting ready to move to Mississippi while celebrating my 32nd birthday last weekend and my father-in-law's 3 days later. While I've also been putting one of my projects on hold waiting for my client to provide further information and instructions, browsing through my drawing board, this one which I did months ago stuck me pretty hard.

I realized that Oni's been gone for 22 days. I know that life has to move on, my heart stays and still waiting for him, just like the teddy bear waiting for its master, time just stops. Although we've picked a new cat for adoption in the shelter, and about to bring him home next week, I know that I will love this one as much as Oni, but it will never be the same.

That aside, something wonderfully dropped in my mailbox yesterday and it came all the way from the UK.

It's a beautiful package from Lesley Purcell. And she's such a sweet person, giving us a super early Christmas card(the polar bear) which I just love! I can't see anything that I don't like about her art work, and if you haven't visited her site yet, I suggest you do HERE. Thank you Lesley!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


It's been 13 days, Oni is still not back, I miss him badly.
It was a busy week last week. I had to go to Mississippi to do a little house hunting for my new job. We found some potentials and will be working on those from now onwards.
My wife and I suffered from food poisoning on Saturday evening, the entire Sunday was ruined because of that.
I accepted 2 new illustration assignments, nothing is firm yet but I agreed to start with rough sketches. One of the pages has something to do with grandparents waiting and it goes like this:-
It reflects a lot on how I feel at the moment for my cat. Thank you all for commenting and for your wishes. I really appreciate them.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I let our cat Oni out last night at 11pm because he wanted to, he never came back. It's been 24 hours now, and all I could think about is if he's okay, has he got water and food? Chances of him going deep into the woods is pretty high, and I don't think his survival rate is that high since he's been a house cat almost all the time. My wife and I are both very depressed at present time, and we're preparing for the worst, that he's not coming back.
No matter where you are Oni, know that we will always love you, and that you have a home here. You can come home anytime you wish, our hands are always opened for you.

Thank you all for your comments and wishes. I won't be hearing anything from Texas within this couple of weeks although the interview was good, the sad news aside I actually might have a chance to work in Mississippi still. I will keep you guys updated.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cat's Eye

I am sorry for not posting last week. It had been a hectic week helping out my friend Iceman with his projects and datelines, but it was all fun =) there despite being depressed due to being rejected for the position I applied in Mississippi. I really had a lot of hopes there, but at least I was the top 3 of all candidates applying for the similar position.
I won't have a lot of time this week as well, as I'll be heading to Texas tomorrow for an interview near Waco on Thursday. It'll be an interesting 7+hour scenic drive with my wife, and we'll be back by the end of the week.
So here's a quick one which I did on my Moleskine. I am not sure what I was doing, I just wanted to draw a cat's eye(I'm always looking into my cat's eyes to see if I could find Lord Sauron there ^^) and I think they are pretty, and of course I got carried away with the colors again.
Thank you all for your comments on Hayley. I really appreciate them all, and I'll try to keep my blog theme alive... a drawing a week, and make it at least 54 a year.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I was listening to the song "Airplanes" playing on the radio, and I thought it's pretty catchy so I decided to draw some faces(which I hadn't done for a while now). I picked the subject because she's got lots of interesting expression, and her hair colors is just fun to play with =) I only used pen markers over pencil sketches this time round to save some time. The effect is some what a mixture of portrait and illustration which I kinda like ^^

Thank you all for your kind comments on my Soft Pals sketch, and for following my blog. I apologize for the error I made while setting up the blog which didn't show any updates for the longest time. But that's fixed now so I hope it works fine.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Soft Pals

I am sure everyone grew up with one of these. I had a teddy bear my dad bought from Australia when I was 8, it stayed with me until I was 11 ^^. I bought the the Beluga Whale on the left and the Sea Otter on the right for my 2 and half year old niece in Malaysia. The one in the middle is my wife's favorite frog Moko which she's been having for years now. So what is BFF? It means Best Friends Forever =)
 Water color, color pencils and pen markers On 5"x8" Moleskine Sketchpad 

And in the mail yesterday I got a major surprise from Italy! Cathy Holtom(and everyone knows she's an awesome artist, click on her site here) sent me a couple of gorgeous post cards of Sicily, 3 ultra realism work of hers printed in strips(I really like these!) and an original, the one and only hand drawn 12.5cm X 13.5cm sketch of an ancient roman ruins, AUTOGRAPHED! Yay! It seems like it's done with ink pen and color pencils, and I love it! Thank you so much Cathy!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Crawfish World

A few months back I was asked to do play around with the idea of viewing the world from the Crawfish's point of view. I didn't do much about it but I think I might get back into it some time again soon.
 Here's one Crawfish with some serious coffee addiction.
 And here's how it would look like if Leonardo DaVinci was drawing a Crawfish instead of Mona Lisa.
Will there be any cards printed out of these? I have no idea, but it sure was fun doing them =) Thank you all so much again for your comments and your card requests, I really hope you like them. I have some more requests which I'll attend to shortly, sorry for the wait.

Friday, August 27, 2010


My friend showed me a clip of a Japanese show, showing how dogs can change their expressions so rapidly, reacting towards threats or sometime even affections... I found that so intriguing! I've always liked wolves for some reason, and even when I was little, I've always like dogs that look like wolves... Husky is definitely one of the breed. So here's a sketch of the husky from that video, in pen and pencil.

Yeah I know he looks kinda mean, but Click the video here to see what I mean ^^

I am also starting to get used to drawing full-spread on my Moleskine too, after discovering something called "Fixatives".
Oh and thank you all for the comments on my library sketch, and the cards request. I've posted all those that are in the US but for those outside US I'm going to do that today. The people in the post office will have to spare me a little time considering I am sending to so many different countries ^__^

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Library & Cards

I did a little full-spread sketch on my Moleskine while I was at the library waiting for Tanna. I sat pretty far away from people to observe them, it was rather fun trying to sketch people when they move a lot. I learned one thing for sure, if you want to sketch/draw from life you better do it fast or you'll lose it ^^

And if you remember a while ago(3 months to be exact) I brought my sketches of the Breaux Bridge town and I-10 West to a local print shop in Breaux Bridge and they said they'd make prints out of them... and FINALLY they are done! =) They are placing them in their shop, and some in a tourist center on the basin too, and they gave me about 20 of each for me to give to friends and family. I am so sorry lost the list of the names of people who requested it and those I'd like to send to, so it'd be great if you could tell me again by commenting below or write to me with your full address to aleksitanninen (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Oh yeah, since they are pretty limited, you'll have to pick which one you like. It's going to be first come first serve basis and once one has ran out then you'll know when you're getting the other one instead. ^^ For those who'd like to trade, you're more than welcome to do so, just let me know through the email and I'll send you my address. For trading though, you'll have to let me know if you want me to write on the cards, or you want them wrapped in the plastic sleeves as they are. I am so excited! =)

Sunday, August 15, 2010


This is one of the latest phone from Casio, it's called the Rock. It is water and shock resistant, with all the similar features of the old well-known indestructible Casio G-Shock watches. It's passed all kinds of military test, you can drop it, toss it, throw it, abuse it, let it sit in the mud, freeze it in ice... you name it, it'll take all the beating you can throw at it. And if you fancy it, you could also make calls underwater or wash it in a washing machine/dishwasher when it's dirty =) Now that's what we all need right? That's why it totally fits the EDM # 268 Draw something you need.
Thank you all for your comments on Mario. And I am happy that most of you know who he is. I am sorry that Luigi or Yoshi are not joining the party, and I am not sure if I am going to continue with Video Games Heroes theme. For now I'm just drawing what comes to my mind, and have lots of fun while doing it. The phone was fun to do with just markers and highlighters, and it really feels like I was trying to do an advertisement on the newspaper or something

Friday, August 6, 2010


I bought a few charcoal pencils and chalk, thought that I would want to try them out. But I wanted to draw another Video Game hero, who is more recognizable, and I thought he'd look more lively with colors somehow...
So itsa Mario! =) I realize that a lot of people didn't know who Ryu was in the last post, so I think this one should have no problem. He's done with some office highlighters, and basic colored markers, and I manage to use those charcoal and chalk on his gloves, and what I discovered too is that chalk works pretty well on markers ^^ Thank you all for your comments and for visiting.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ryu Sketch

Ryu has been one of the most iconic character in video game industry. He is one of the favorites in Street Fighter series and has appeared in every Street Fighter game released since 1987. I am a big fan of video games(not addicted), and have always loved playing Street Fighter. Recently in a Video Gaming conventions, there have been promotional trailers of possible future releases of Marvel vs Capcom 3, and Street Fighter X Tekken, and Ryu of course would be part of these new games as well.
I drew this last night with a whole bunch of markers including highlighters, and I believe Ryu deserves a solid place in the podium together with the all-time video game icons such as Mario, Sonic, Donkey Kong, Link etc. =)
 Just another sketch of a girl lying on the hallway I did on my new ring-bounded Strathmore 5.5" x 8.5" 60lb sketch pad. I was trying out strokes on the paper to experiment with the texture, and to do some rough sketches for my ermm... "projects" ;)

Thank you all for your comments. I haven not been in touch with Aunt Charlene yet, so I am not sure if she has framed the portrait of the late Jonathan, of has she already given to Jonathan's mom. I'll keep you guys updated.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A short journey

I received this task from Aunt Charlene, as she explained in a solemn tone. Jonathan was one of her friend's son. He got into a car accident and taken away at a tender age of 21. It was of course very hard on the mother, and I strongly believe that no parents should bury their own child. From what I heard, he's a good kid, therefore I am sure he's in a better place and in good hands now, watching over his family. With Aunt Charlene's kind heart and initiative, and my pencil work, we are hoping that this will help to bring his smile to brighten the lives of his loved ones.

Pencil on 8" x 10" Strathmore Bristol vellum  100lb (260g/m²)
Initial Sketch

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Estela & Reese

Yet another portrait to be given away to one of the grandmothers of these two beautiful girls. I have not drawn kids for a while now, and I really like drawing kids so I was really happy when I received the project. Things have been going really slow with the publisher, but it's okay because it gives me more time to work on personal favors like this one. Next up is another portrait. Thank you all for stopping by and your kind comments and encouragements =) I am adding the steps again on this one for those who are interested in doing portraits.
(Update! They loved it! And she's making prints to those who are related^^, I am so pleased!)

Pencil on Strathmore Bristol vellum 9" x 12" 100lb(260g/m²)Detailing the hair for the face on the leftShading the face on the rightShading the face on the left and minor hair detailing Initial sketch

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Young Jesus (Published)

A few weeks ago I kept mentioning about "projects" and finally one of them that was done is published. It's a fictional tale of Young Jesus for Catechism. It was initially planned to be a 7 black and white illustrations, quick and clean. And that the publisher wanted to have someone who knows nothing about Catechism to do the illustration. So I took the job, and I made 9 draft illustrations and brought them in the following day, the publisher liked it and asked for another page with full colors. I redrew the entire illustrations in ink, and colored the one for the cover page and brought them all back 3 days later and waiting for instructions for any editing or modification(eventhough in my version, Jesus is clearly drawn in Manga style). Later I found that all 10 illustrations required no further work and ready to print. I was so excited and wanted to share this way earlier, but I am only doing this today because I just got paid for the job today. ^^ This is the first time I ever get paid for doing art, and I LOVE IT!
This is the printed cover-page.

This is a photo taken of my work before it's being submitted. You could see a wee bit of the black and white illustrations there.
This is one of the black and white illustrations inside the book. =)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ship in Fog

Moleskine 5"x8" Large Sketchbook with 2B, HB, 2H, 4H Pencils

Just a quick sketch and playing with tones on my Moleskine. I have not use some of the pencils I bought and thought that I should let them spend some of their purpose-built led of different grades. It's the scene I saw of the movie "Shutter Island" which is right in the beginning before they show Leonardo DiCaprio puking ^^
Thanks again everyone for your comments and feedback! I greatly appreciate them all, and I am not sure what was the reaction of Uncle Lee, I need to visit them soon to find out. Other projects are still put on hold, I've got so much more to post but I just can't do that yet... =) Does anyone know how that feels like?

Friday, June 18, 2010

For Aunt Charlene

(Click to Enlarge)
Strathmore Bristol Vellum 9"x12" 100lb, 260g/m²
Shading the face on the right and detailing the hair on the left
Shading the face on the left
Initial sketch and outlines

Finally I've finished one of the "projects" and had it submitted to the publisher a couple of days ago, I just got a text today saying that it's a "GO" but still requires some minor and final touch-ups, I can't wait to have that chapter closed.
Right after submitting that "project", I started sketching one of the lovely pairs of my wife's aunts and uncles. I call them Uncle Lee and Aunt Charlene, and they've been nothing but kind and warm to me as the new family member. Aunt Charlene saw some of my sketches 2 years ago, and wanted to asked me to draw something for her and she had forgotten about it ever since. So finally I asked her to pick something, and she picked the picture of her and Uncle Lee taken during my wedding reception. She's so excited when I told her that I was going to commission the drawing on Tuesday after Tanna's grandpa's funeral. I finished it today, and gave it to her today, and I believe that made her day because I lost count of the times she said "I love it!" and "Perfect!" =) And I kept telling her, I was just playing with my sketchbook and pencils. She will try to have it framed and give it to Uncle Lee as Father's Day present from their little Yorkie dog, Bandit ^^ See why I couldn't resist it when she asked me to draw her something?

Thank you all for your comments, encouragements and support on the last drawing. Printing shop is still slow on my prints, but I'll keep pushing. I hope you enjoy the steps above too.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Spirit of the Gulf

Moleskine 5"x8" Large SketchBook (Click to enlarge)

This is my contribution to the Spirit of the Gulf Challenge, a little hermit crab. I haven't lived here long enough to appreciate The Gulf, but I know what kind of impact the recent crisis is causing to the marine life there. My wife had a hermit crab once named Coconut she bought from Gulf Shores. Eventhough small, but he has helped me to relate and appreciate what's wonderful and beautiful there.
Suzanne McDermott challenged "every artist who receives this invitation to make one drawing, painting, collage — or to use whatever medium you work in — to create a piece of beauty with love and gratitude to honor some scene or living being in the Gulf. Thank you to Dan Kent for inviting me to participate in this challenge, and thank you all for your kind comments in my previous post.
Just an update from my side, I went to Atlanta for a 4-day vacation with my wife and her friend Lindsay last week. I was fortunate to be able to visit the Georgia Aquarium, the Coca-Cola Factory, the CNN Studio, and the Museum of Natural History. That's why I couldn't find the time to day because I was overly distracted and was having too much fun ^^
I know it's been long due, the Printing shop in Breaux Bridge is still "working" on getting the postcard printed. At the same time they're probably printing something else that I've been working on too. I shall reveal them soon enough when the time is right. Remember that I haven't been posting not because I haven't been drawing ;)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I-10 West

This weekend marks the end of my twice-a-week commute to Baton Rouge to pick up my wife from LSU back to Lafayette. Yes she graduated! I am so proud of her =)
One of those days of commuting, the traffic slowed down to a standstill due to an accident. I was on I-10 heading West back to Lafayette on the bridge over Atchafalaya Basin, I always thought this stretch of I-10 is very unique and pretty but never had the chance to stop and take a picture of it. So I whipped out my camera and took 1 shot, and today I transferred that to a page on my Moleskine.
Thank you all for your comments left for my take on St. John's Cathedral. I'll try to get motivated to draw on a watercolor pad with color the next time. =) For those who are asking, the Breaux Bridge Postcard hasn't been printed. The printshop's got too many in their hands at the moment. I will notify once that's ready ^^

Sunday, May 16, 2010

St. John's Cathedral

A week after drawing Breaux Bridge, Iceman thought I should draw something iconic from downtown Lafayette, the St. John's Cathedral. I took a few pictures, but I just wanted to try it out with the highest point of the building. Initially I wanted to sketch it, ink it, and color it just like how I worked with Breaux Bridge. I got carried away with the details while sketching, and ended up having a full pencil sketch instead.I must say, I love pencil sketch, but not with buildings. It's difficult to get an even tone, and straight lines, and it's a lot messier because you need to use rulers and all. It's a lot more fun with water colors IMHO, and I might try to sketch the entire building and color it when I get the time and the mood to do so =)
Thank you all for your encouragement on the Motorcycle Ice Project. A lesson learned indeed and I don't regret doing what I did ^^ It's a great experiment anyway for both Iceman and me. And the postcard thing, I'll keep you guys posted if there is any news as promised.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Motorcycle Project

Someone might remember that I mentioned something about doing motorcycles on ice sculptures about a month before. No I didn't forget to post it, because my version did NOT make it to the ice and was completely out of specification.
Here is the sketch on computer which looks very similar to Jennifer Edwards' line art, and the bikes are Suzuki Hayabusa and Suzuki Katana for those who wants to know:-
The problems were many. First, you can't have too much detail on ice, hence the lines can't be too close to each other or the bits will drill right through and creating a lot of cracks. Secondly, the size of each ice block is 40"x20", there's no room to fit both of these to show any details anyway. Thirdly, ice sculptures work best if you draw on a flat 2D view, these have a slight perspective, the effects on computer might look nice, but due to the crystal clear nature of the ice, it won't translate well and the audience would not see what they were. Simply said, I broke the rules of the game, so I lost. But I learned the limitations of the machines, and it's a mistake I will always remember ^^

Thank you all for your kind comments on my Breaux Bridge sketch. I'll be heading to the printing shop in town tomorrow to see if there's anything we could do to market it as postcards. Wish me luck =)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Breaux Bridge

I've wanted to sketch the town I live in since the beginning of this year, and it's already May o_O! Time really flies, and finally I did it, and it's my first sketch of a town with buildings and cars, with a bit of WIP and I don't think I nailed any EDM challenge, boo hoo!
Breaux Bridge is the closest town to where I live, and I love going there to shop for groceries as people are just so friendly to you. There are a few antique shops, and some really classy eating restaurants, my favorite being Cafe Des Amis where they serve really nice breakfast and awesome Cajun cuisines throughout the day. The town itself is artistic and it shows. Murals, sculptures, paintings, potteries... all of these can be seen and appreciated if you look close enough.
Thank you all so much for your comments on the ice sculptures. A lot of you asked how it's done, basically it'd done from sketching on paper, and then transfer onto computer, and let a machine with computerized drills to do the lines. A lot has to be taken into consideration while doing so, drill bit size, depth, speed, and all. And most of the time final detailing is done with a good old fashioned chainsaw. ^^
Click to Enlarge (5x8" Moleskine Sketchbook)