Monday, October 31, 2011

Lurker at Sea

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from pug and bunny!  They decided to dress up as each other this year.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pirate Pugs

Billy and Emily are going through a big pirate phase.  They don't really understand what pirates are, other than they wear fun hats and bandannas, carry swords, wear eye patches, and shout, "Ahoy, matey!"  Oh and they look for "treasure."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hypnopug Strikes Again!

This is our routine almost every night.  My lil hypnopug always manages to make me sleepy and next thing I know I wake up and there's a warm, snoring, fat pug laying on top of me.  Sometimes I wake up and we're literally cheek to cheek.  She's so pleased with herself for managing to trick me into napping and snuggling.  Clever lil pug.

P.S. I made this one extra big so you can see the text.  I did this in one of my small moleskines and my pen wasn't that fine.  Plus, I'm a horribly messy writer.

Snow in October?!

Jeez louise - they say there's a chance of some snow today!  I think by the time this posts, it'll be downgraded to rain but just the fact that there was a chance of snow in October is flabbergasting to me.  Sunny hates the snow and ice and acts like her lil delicate paws can't tolerate any coldness or wetness.  Look at her lifting up her front paw.  I hope this doesn't mean we're in for a horrible winter this year.  Then again, I do love snow days and staying home from work!

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Torrid Relationship with Paper

Two things I dislike about working in the legal field - the copious amounts of paper I have to deal with (paper and manilla folder cuts galore!) and how I feel like I'm not actually doing anything myself, I'm just helping other people to do things.  What a turnaround with drawing and painting!  Here, the more paper the better, and I'm even becoming a bit of a paper snob!  I also love actually creating something that comes from me and is solely mine.  Art + pug = happiness.

Umbrella Assistant

My pug hates rain as much as I hate bugs.  Sometimes she won't budge and the only way I can get her to do her business is if I hold my umbrella directly over her so she doesn't get rained on.  Of course this results in me getting drenched.  Sigh, the things I do for my Sunny bunny.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Grumps

Sometimes I get a bad case of the grumps (that's my euphemism for depressed).  All of a sudden I feel like doing nothing, but at the same time I'm tired, irritable, bored, antsy, anxious and restless.  It sucks.  It eventually passes, and my lil pug does her best to cheer me up.

C is for Crocodile

C is for Carnivorous Crocodile Caterers.  Like me, they enjoy their beef grass-fed and are ensuring that these cows are getting only the best quality grass.  Poor unsuspecting cows.  They're just happy to be getting their grass served to them.  I drew this in my moleskine sketchbook but then wanted to paint it.  Unfortunately, this paper does not do well with gouache.  Oh wells.  Drawing these cows totally made me think of Gary Larson's The Far Side.  I used to love his stuff when I was a kid.  And drawing the crocodiles' outfits made me think of Top Chef.

Face Time

I hate the phrase "face time."  Hate it.  I hate the phrase, I hate what it stands for, I hate everything about it.  This reminded me of one of my favorite children's book, The Phantom Tollbooth (watchdog!).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mr. Octopus

I love/fear creatures of the sea.  Doesn't my octopus look so much nicer and cuter than in real life?  Its tentacles kinda remind me of ferns with their green leaves and (gross) spores underneath.  I wanted to try out my gouache paints without a pen or pencil outline first.  I love the pen since I hadn't used it as much in the past and it's what I started with when I began drawing again recently, but it's kinda freeing to just use the paint by itself.  I may try this out again some more.  Maybe jellyfish next?  Frightening/fascinating.

A Brief Bio

I wanted to do a brief bio of my life and how (and why) I started this blog.  I'll put this in a new about page too.  So if you've ever wondered, who is this crazy grumpy girl who is so obsessed with her pug and has poor perspective/spatial concepts and inability to draw hands properly, and why is she posting such sloppy drawings on her blog?  Well, here's why...

Growing up, I loved to draw.  I was fascinated by all art forms and obsessively drew horses like any typical little girl.  My pug obsession was undiscovered at this point.
Seeing my compulsive drawing, my parents decided to enroll me in art classes where I drew and painted with watercolors boring still life.  Over and over again.  I found the classes super boring but it did help me to develop some general drawing and painting skills.  But, I started to resent my art classes and quit when I was in junior high.  In high school I wanted to start up my art classes again and I enjoyed them a lot more because this time I was going to them because I wanted to, not because I felt like I was being forced to by my parents.  I continued my focus on pencil sketches and watercolor.  Mainly still life, but I found it less dull and tried to focus on developing my pencil and watercolor skills.
I also pursued my love for animation and went to summer school at CalArts to study animation.  It was an awesome summer and I learned a lot.  But I realized that while I still love animation, I don't have the patience to do it full time.  I was also dissuaded from pursuing art any further as my parents repeatedly told me, "It's a good hobby, but you can't make any money or have a career with that.  Go to college and be a doctor or lawyer."  It was also around this time I had my first pug, Cookie.  I miss my lil Cookie monster.
Sad to say I stopped drawing and painting and went to college where I had a great time and tried to figure out what to do with my life.  I graduated, optimistic about the future and thinking of going into editing, getting a pug, and living a fabulous life.
But the job market sucked at that time and I decided to go to law school instead.  There I studied furiously and had a sinking feeling I'd made a big mistake but was already getting further and further into student debt.  
I then entered into Big Law in New York.  Nuff said.  You can see some of my "office" labeled posts if you want to see more about how it was for me.  I was pug-less and didn't have the time or space (crazy tiny apartment) for a pug.  I was very sad.
The financial crisis happened and I was stuck at a job that was slowly killing and prematurely aging me (I swear it was!).  Eventually I managed to escape into a better legal job in a different city, closer to my family.  First thing I did was get my pug Sunny :) and I was slowly getting happier.  But I also felt like something was missing.  I tried a variety of hobbies with the free time I now had (nights and weekends free?!  Woohoo!) and eventually found my way back to drawing and painting.
I decided to start this blog to post my quick drawings and paintings.  I've lost a lot of my past training from years of disuse and I'm super impatient in getting out my ideas and so my drawings are really quick.  I also decided to keep this fun for me - if I don't enjoy doing this, then it's not worth spending so much of my free time on it.  So that means no more still life.  I started just doodling and have kept my style casual and sometimes sloppy.  Maybe one day in the future I'll go back and redo and clean up some of these, but for now I am just enjoying putting pen and brush to paper, with my pug in my lap.

Scary Bathroom Late in the Office

As if working in the office late at night and on weekends isn't bad enough, at my old office they'd turn off some of the lights, sometimes in the bathroom!  Having grown up with an intense fear of Bloody Mary (the scary urban legend, not the drink) and finding bathrooms in general kinda scary places where people (or monsters or bugs) can hide in stalls waiting for the perfect moment to attack, I really did not like this.  Sometimes if my coworkers and I got desperate, we'd use those light wands they pack in our emergency kits.  You know those things you have to snap to light up.  I went back and forth whether to do this in a thicker paint style or a more traditional watercolor style, so that explains some of the splotches.  Also please disregard the errant lines in the door - I have perspective/spatial issues.

Monday, October 24, 2011

October - That's a leaf, not a carrot

Pug and bunny are not the brightest bulbs on the tree and are reaching for the orange leaf, thinking it's a carrot.  First, that's not a carrot.  Second, they're not even close to reaching it!  Sheesh!  It seems like with the warm and rainy fall the leaves have stayed green for longer than usual, but recently we've started to see some foliage finally.  I am testing out some different methods of using the gouache and had fun with this one, using lots of layers and dripping paint.

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Sunday, October 23, 2011

We Made Our Beds... we're laying on them.  For some reason I'm on an old office kick.  I guess with one drawing it just kick started some memories and old jokes.  One of my former coworkers and I were so sad and tired one day in the office we rested our heads on our binders.  The binders that took so much of our time, sweat and tears.  We started to crack up at the idea that we were laying our heads on our instruments of torture.  Yes, humor gets twisted in a twisted work environment.

Don't Push Us

Cause we're close to the edge...My friend/former coworker (let's just call her Fritillaria) and I would make ourselves feel better during really bad times at the office by thinking up the most horrid and creative ways of exacting revenge.  My preference would be to leave a slightly open jar of kimchi in the deserving person's office, maybe hidden in a vent or somewhere where they wouldn't be able to find it.  I grew up with and love kimchi, but even I will admit that it smells bad when you open up that jar.  Fritillaria's preference would be to eat a bunch of asparagus, collect her pee in a spray bottle, and then spray it on the deserving person's desk and chair.  Like so...
Don't worry, we never actually did any of this.  Well, I can at least vouch for myself.  As for what Fritillaria may, or may not have done, I cannot say with certainty.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fuel - Running on Empty

Caffeine and greasy food are not enough to fuel an all nighter in the cold dark office.  I'm speaking from past experience (fox in socks).  Not even large coffees and sodas throughout the night were enough to keep me awake after numerous late and difficult nights in the office.  Sometimes you just end up running on empty and your body shuts down for you because clearly you do not know what's best for it.  Don't worry, you can just tell people the drool stains on the paper are actually plain old water stains.

Who's there?!

Friendly neighbor or sinister stranger?  Either way, Sunny and bunny are scared.  One of the houses I grew up in as a kid was a huge ranch-style house that was beautiful, but totally haunted and gave all of us the heebie jeebies.  My sister had recurring nightmares while we lived there, and one nightmare involved seeing a blurry and vaguely familiar, but menacing, figure standing outside the yellow obscuring glass next to the doors.  For some reason that image has stuck in my head longer than any of my own nightmares!

I painted this with my new gouache paints (I totally butchered that word at the art store).  At first I was in love with it, but as the paints started to dry I found it a bit harder to mix enough of my colors to last before they dried out.  It's not a problem if I'm going for a more sheer traditional watercolor look, but for a more opaque look it was harder to achieve using less water.  I think it'll get easier with time and practice.  And next time I go for a more opaque look, I'm going to do my initial drawing in pencil first and then ink after painting.  I'm horrible at drawing straight and even lines, but I also hate using a ruler, so I embrace my wavy lines.

Oh and here's a picture of my painting before I inked in the final lines.  When I first started I wasn't sure what look I was going to go for but my skills are still sloppy and so I needed the tightening of the ink line at the end.    Except around the shadowy figure.  I thought it best to leave that loose and undefined.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Rainbow Bridge

Sad to say that one of Sunny's cousins will be leaving us soon to join our other old dogs at the Rainbow Bridge.  She'll be with our much beloved first pug, chi-pom mix and chocolate lab from our collective family (sisters and myself).  My niece and nephew still talk about how much they miss their chocolate lab since that only happened within the past year.  We tell them that she's now happy in the old dog farm where she's no longer stiff and tired and can play with her friends and doggy family.  There oldness fades away, sight and hearing comes back, and arthritis is blissfully absent.  I also added some dog biscuit flowers, toys, and favorite beds of course.  The only thing missing from this perfect place is a familiar lap and petting hands.  But in the end we'll join them and be happy to shuffle off our old aches and pains as well by then.  We'll miss you Butter!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

B is for Blue-Footed Booby

Her milkshake brings all the boys to the yard...I think I should get bonus points for this alphabet animal the Blue-footed Booby.  This blue-footed booby is showing off her Bowling skills with the Billiard Balls.  Look at those male boobies dancing around and trying to woo this female booby with mad Billiard Ball Bowling skills.

I enjoyed doing this alphabet animal but I think my excitement over the watercolor pencils is wearing out and I'm ready for my new gouache paints that I've been waiting to arrive in the mail!  In the meantime, I'll start thinking of my C animal.  Hmm....chicken?  cheetah?  chimp?  So many options!

Under the Desk Days

At my old job there were times when things got so bad my coworker/friend and I would get fresh cookies from Pret A Manger at the first floor of our office building and then sit under my desk as we ate them.  When life fox in sucks, warm cookies make everything better.  But I don't know why we felt better sitting under my desk.  Maybe it's something about being in a cocoon environment or close to the ground.  It also helped that no one walking by could tell I was in my office.  To this day we call bad days at work "under the desk" days. Although now if we do it it's alone since we no longer work together.  So sad - misery loves company.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Human Billy and Emily with Sunny

This is an old one I did when I was first starting to draw again.  My niece and nephew (human versions of Billy and Emily) wanted to watch me a draw a picture and directed me to draw them with Sunny in rain boots.  And so I did.  It's a bit sloppy because I did it real quickly.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Carrot Love (not me)

It's a total coincidence that I call my pug Sunny Bunny, her favorite toy is a bunny, and she loves baby carrots.  Seriously, she really really loves them.  So much.  Sometimes I have to do grocery store trips just to pick up more of her fancy organic baby carrots.  I work to feed her carrot addiction.  Sometimes I think it would be better if I had invested in a huge carrot farm.  I'm such an enabler.

Sunny and Bunny in Color!

So I already posted this drawing before to celebrate Sunny's birthday but I got a set of watercolor pencils recently and wanted to test them out quickly without having to start a new drawing.  So I bring to you Sunny and bunny in living color!  I bet you didn't suspect bunny was orange with blue accents.

While I mostly used normal watercolors back in the days, it was with an easel, palette, a bucket of water, rag, and varying sized brushes.  But, I'm not ready to jump back into all that again (and don't know where that would fit in my small apartment), and I'm doing more cartoony drawings now.  I've tried using the travel palette kits and waterbrushes but for some reason I don't enjoy it as much as I used to.  I'm also really out of practice.  And I think I'm just not a waterbrush kind of person, which sucks since they're nicely portable and easy to use.  So these watercolor pencils are better for me.  I enjoy the feel of holding a pencil/pen and can blend on the paper and then just use the water brush to swipe over the colors.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dancing Pugs (Billy & Emily)

Billy and Emily started ballet classes recently.  They LOVE it.  Although most of it is just dancing around with streamers, hopping around with bunny ears, and waving fake flowers in the air.  I fully support that.  Lessons for young pups should be all about fun!  Here's Billy and Emily preparing for their dance class.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Scattered Thunderstorms

This is for this week's Illustration Friday theme - scattered.

It's been raining cats and pugs recently with lots of scattered thunderstorms.  What do you mean the phrase is raining cats and dogs?  I don't think so.  In my world it was raining cats and pugs.  They were causing a ruckus - throwing down lightning bolts, making loud thunder with their cymbals, and plopping down on us.  Sheesh.  

A is for Armadillo

So in an effort to push myself to draw more than just Sunny and bunny, I've decided to do an animal alphabet.  No set time period but I'll aim to do at least one a week.

So for A I don't know why but I immediately thought of armadillo.  An animal that both disgusts and fascinates me.  There was one that used to walk around my backyard at night when I grew up in southern CA.  This lil Armadillo is working on his Abacus in Asia.  Don't know why but those were the A words that popped into my head first.

Happy 7th Birthday Sunny!

So I decided to disclose both my pug's name and her age (gasp!  how rude of me!) so that way I can keep her pug and bunny drawings separate from Billy and Emily going forward.  So my lil pug is named Sunny (she came pre-named when I got her) and I often refer to her as my Sunny bunny, which is perfect since her best friend and nemesis is her toy bunny.  Anyways, my lil Sunny bunny turned a geriatric 7 today.  Happy birthday!  She doesn't look a day older than 5.  Even with her new wrinkle.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

City Slickers Gone Apple Picking

Buzzing, bustling, big bumblebee,
Please do not think of stinging me.
Filthy, flitting, frustrating fly,
Please do not try to come buzz by.
I thought I'd try apple picking,
Instead arms and legs were kicking.
It's not like Blueberries for Sal,
I'm not a bug and nature gal.
I'll wait until it's time to go,
Now get this beetle off my toe!

I went apple picking with my niece and nephew this past long weekend and it started off great but quickly devolved as they started to get anxious over the bees, flies, and gnats. They were also getting tired from trekking up and down the hills.  So my sister sped through and gathered a huge bag while I stayed by the road with my niece and nephew, and guarded them from the flying bugs.  I just did a quick and silly rhyme and drawing for fun.  I also wanted to try out some markers.  They're fine for small stuff but for the background I should've left it white or painted it with watercolors.  And my new pen's ink totally smudges and bleeds.  Argh.

Introducing Billy & Emily

I wanted to have a series of illustrations about my niece and nephew and since I know pugs best, I decided to make them lil baby pugs.  Names were also changed for privacy.
I'll be posting about their mischief and adventures in the form of Billy and Emily.  I'll try to remember to do something to distinguish between these and my usual drawings about my pug and her bunny.  So many pugs, so little time...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rain + pug = frustration

Trying to take my pug out on a walk to do her business on a rainy day is torturous for both of us.  Not even treats can lure her out into the rain.  I totally hate rainy days now as a dog owner.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ode to Pug Mug

Some days are suck, full of bad luck.
Some days are long, where all goes wrong.
My pick me up is my fat pug,
Who cheers me with her little mug.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Columbus Day

It's interesting that Columbus Day is still considered a federal holiday although I think in California at least, it's not widely celebrated.  I am grateful for the day off from work of course.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


This week's Illustration Friday theme is "contraption."  I'm not good with inventing fancy and intricate contraptions so here's a simple yet effective one.  Pug and bunny are conspiring to open the fridge while I'm out.  Poor lil pug definitely has the worse part in this but she does have the heft to open the door.  I wish I had done the past couple Illustration Friday themes which would be perfect for some pug and bunny drawings, but work has been crazy recently and so I haven't had the time or been in the mood for drawing.  Sadness, maybe I will still do drawings on those themes later on my own.