A small update

Oh man, so much has happened over the past two years. After having my son Bobby, I no longer have time to sit down and paint my usual acrylic paintings. I have crossed over to digital painting because I can work in short spurts after putting my boy down to sleep. There is also no paint to mix and no drying time needed.

Having a kid takes up so much time that it makes clear what you really want to do with your free time. After much soul searching, I decided to put Panda on hiatus and focus on small, intimate paintings that are inspired by my childhood. "Panda" expressed the side of me that wanted to be cool, but now I want to dive deeper.

Here are a collection of tiny water color sketches to get the creative juices flowing:

Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel spending their first week of fall together.

Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel spending their first week of fall together.

"Elvis Panda and the Mermaid" Chalk Painting at the Sylmar Olive Festival

Here are the step by step photos of how Tom Fremgen and I created this 10' x 10' giant piece in two days! It was a lot of fun, even in 96 degree weather. We got to hang out with other chalk artists and chat with the public.

I created this painting as a concept for the chalk piece. I ran out of time and thus, half of this painting is digitally done on top of traditional paint.

Day 1: After riding around in a golf cart with the organizer, I found my pavement spot at the festival. The first thing I did was prime the ground with white tempera as a base. This helps the chalk adhere to the surface. Then I created a grid so I can transfer my drawing accurately

I laid down a simple background and stared working on the mermaid's hair. Yellow and orange chalks are vibrant!

While I am working on the hair, Tom Fremgen is rendering Elvis Panda

After the hair, I work my butt off on the face. I draw reference lines to guide the placement of the eyes, mouth and nose. When working on such a large scale so closely, it's easy to get thrown off.

The end of day 1

For day 2, Tom Fremgen and I filled in the rest of the background and added in details. Even though I laid down a base coat, there are still areas where the chalk doesn't stick to the ground

I take multiple photographs of the finished piece because it's hard to capture a 10'x 10' art on the pavement. The camera distorts the proportions. I wish I had a tall ladder.

Here I am putting finish touches. Hopefully this shows the scale of the piece.

Tom Fremgen and I finished just in time for judging. We are gross and exhausted. If we do another chalk piece together, I promised that he can pick the subject. — with Tom Fremgen at Sylmar Olive Festival.