Showing posts with label painting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label painting. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Girl with butterflies painting

 (The image above was rather washed out by scanning, the image below is more true to the original color.)

Girl with butterflies painting

Today I thought I'd share a painting recently completed for a friend.  It's the result of a trip.  My friend and I had gone to a butterfly conservatory - it was a first experience for the both of us, and we were duly amazed.  If you have never been to one, you must try to find a chance to go.  If you have, then hopefully you know what I mean when I say, if everyone had their own butterfly conservatory to visit whenever they desired, there would be a sharp drop in depression rates in this country!  

Anyway, my friend was looking to decorate her room so she asked me to make a painting of a girl with butterflies in honor of this experience.  

So I did, and of course I *had* to include a mild reference to Nabokov because around the same time I discovered he was an avid Lepidopterist who had made many creative illustrations of them.  

(I've posted his butterfly drawings HERE if you are curious to see!)

PS - I bumped into Bianca Casady yesterday!  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Skateboard Deck Painting : The Sylph's Domain

(HERE is a photo of what it looked like after sanding)

Hello again!  This is the finished painting.  I used the same acrylic paints that I use for painting on paper.  After it dried, it was coated with several layers of clear polyurethane gloss.  The original design from SHUT was a copy of one of their affiliated skater's martial arts certificate - lots of chinese characters and red stamps.  That was sanded off first of course.  (The intricate border was always there.  No way I could paint that!  Also the golden SHUT logo on top.) 

The illustration was inspired by the song 'Only Skin'.  Particularly the 19th-20th stanza.

Now for FOTDs!  Courtesy of Photobooth

 Here I am wearing sephora's white 'opal' glitter eyeliner.  Love the stuff.  

 I had a little too much fun here and kept ... adding.  It's one of my heavier makeup looks.  It looked fine at home but I neglected to take into account the fact that I would be spending 9 hours at work and over an hour commuting - well perhaps the thought did cross my mind but I chose to ignore it. Result?  By 11 pm - slight panda eye effect.  smudgy, messy and sweaty.  Well I have learned from my mistake and from now on, only light eye makeup for the days I need to work!

Yup those are some of my completed makeup looks.  I use every outing as a opportunity to practice.  No matter how ordinary the destination.  :)  However, tis important to have a relaxed/confident attitude above all.  Uptightness and insecurity will spoil even the most expertly applied makeup. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Colorful new paintings!

Not sure where to hang these.  Something about the color seems too 'modern' to fit in anywhere.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Eel by Eugenio Montale Illustration Contest

"The purpose of the contest is to foster interest in the relationship of literature to the visual arts through the design of a hypothetical book cover for EUGENIO MONTALE’s poem THE EEL (L’ANGUILLA). This is an ideas competition only: as of this writing there are no plans for the winner’s work to be featured on a forthcoming edition of Montale’s work."

Ta DA! Here it is! Worked on it like mad and finished it in two nights. The poem that this painting is based on can be found here. When I was working on this, I had the line "eel, torch, whiplash, arrow of love on earth" stuck in my head. Now that I'm done, I think the more applicable line is "green spirit seeking life".

John Bertram has hosted 3 contests so far, this is the 3rd. (I skipped the 2nd one because I didn't care for the story. It was like the precursor to Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons and I really dislike gory religious horror - I'll read it and be engrossed but I don't want to illustrate it.) The first one was Lolita for which I submitted this painting:

Looking at it now, I think my second attempt is a huge improvement, mainly because there's a setting and the figures aren't just floating in space... in a vacuum. I put The Eel cover as my facebook profile picture and as frustrated and upset as I got working on it (the cheap water color paper would not absorb the like-wise cheap watercolors and I had to go over everything in acrylic which was scary), one day I happened to glance at it and was stunned by how much more professional it looked. Felt proud of myself. The font also looks better this time. I got some nice comments on the Lolita painting though which sent me on what felt like a sugar/caffeine high for days.

Remember I mentioned on Twitter ages and ages ago how I got all these books from the children's section of the library that were favorites of mine??? Re-reading them made me realize how BIG a part the illustrations played in making those books have a certain mood for me which caused them to be favorites. So I'm going to post the drawings from 3 of those books as soon as blogger lets me upload them. They are AMAZING. The books are, in order of favoritism, The Wish Giver, The Phantom Tollbooth, and Bridge to Terabithia. Maybe I will post them in reverse order because that's how I like to eat certain foods. Saving the best for last. Except you can't really do that with pizza because it's awkward to hold the little tip and eat the crust first.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


My buddy and good pal John Bertrand is having another illustrating contest! This is the third contest he's hosted since the first and this time there is a twist ~ it's a POEM ... designing a book cover for a collection of poems of which The Eel by Eugenio Montale is supposed to be the main feature. This is hard - how does one illustrate something so abstract?! But I like the poem so I am going to give it a try.

The Eel

The eel, siren
of cold seas, who leaves
the Baltic for our seas,
our estuaries, rivers, rising
deep beneath the downstream flood
from branch to branch, from twig to smaller twig,
ever more inward,
bent on the heart of rock,
infiltrating muddy
rills until one day
light glancing off the chestnuts
fires her flash
in stagnant pools,
in the ravines cascading down
the Apennine escarpments to Romagna;
eel, torch, whip lash,
arrow of Love on earth,
whom only our gullies
or dessicated Pyrenean brooks lead back
to Edens of generation;
green spirit seeking life
where only drought and desolation sting;
spark that says that everything begins
when everything seems charcoal,
buried stump;
brief rainbow, iris,
twin to the one your lashes frame
and you set shining virginal among
the sons of men, sunk in your mire -
can you fail to see her as a sister?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

the Rainbow King's Daughter

the rainbow king's daughter

I painted this while my sister worked on a eye mask because even thinking about sewing things makes my mind buzz like a suffocating fly in a jar. // She had to come down to earth from her rainbow home and since it's much farther from the sun, she is not used to the cold. Her skin turned blue and ice crystals are growing out of her shoulder. In her home country, she ruled Orion's Belt and was best friends with a Red Dwarf. If you think that is a clever little story, don't tell me-tell mister L. Frank Baum who came up with the first part of the idea in The Road to Oz.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Scared to death I'd ruin it

"I always feel when sitting in company with Kikaku at the same party that he is anxious to compose a verse that will please the whole company. I have no such intention."

Running with scissors illustration by Yvonne Gao

"It's admirable to have an undistracted mind, praiseworthy to be without worldy talents and knowledge. The same can be said of a homeless wanderer, but leading a life so liberated requires an iron will."
- Basho

Lyle lyle crocodile illustration by Emy Augustus

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Alice wake up!

a painting I made for Joanne

Painting for Joanne @ BlueBirdAnne by Yvonne Gao aka Emy Augustus

I used:
  • pencil
  • pen
  • crayons
  • colored pencils
  • paint
  • sharpie
  1. It's really fun to draw something invisible with white crayon, then paint over it and watch the patterns appear. I did that a lot and it adds a nice texture too.
  2. Scribbling is fun.
  3. Splattering and dripping is fun.
  4. For the drips, I dotted on some really watery drops, then shook the sketchbook super fast like a maniac. It was pretty tiring. 

closeup of face

close up of blue dress

close up of clouds and hands

drips that look like blood

little bluebird

writing on back

Joanne is a cheerful and optimistic person who loves tea and coffee and all the sweet things that go with them.

The Song: A World of My Own

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Adolf Hitler and Charlie Chaplin and me @ Emy Augustus

This painting caused a stranger on the internet to get angry and offended a month or so ago.  (Sorry!)  I wanted to see what Hitler dressed like and found some interesting photos of him. Photos that made him look more like a regular human being (but still kind of eerie knowing what we know) instead of some demonic, crazy thing. I posted them, someone came across it, and called me an a-hole.  In the end, I wound up giving him a regular suit.

Aw. No more full length movie clips of The Great Dictator on youtube. =(

You're my boyish cherub @ Emy Augustus

Monday, October 26, 2009

3 paintings

three paintings unfinished

This one was edited on Photobucket

Working on finishing these. The red and purple ones were started way back when I was still living on Long Island and had no clue I would be getting a new job and moving. The pink one was started a few weeks ago and work was halted because I detested the Brunette's legs. Are boys with dark hair also called Brunettes? It sounds funny. In French, a dark haired boy is called 'Brun' and a dark haired girl is called 'Brune'. I think? It's been a while!

3 paintings edited on aviary
This was done on 

I like the more wholesome color that Aviary's automatic setting gave it. I don't like how it puts its stupid little watermark on all the photos you edit. I mean, on this one it's tiny so I don't care, but on another photo it was a lot bigger. The only way to not have it is if you go pro.

Like here - BIG WATERMARK!!!

twins edited using aviary

Is it horrible or not a big deal? When painting the twins above, I had this sunny song stuck in my head.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Lolita book cover contest

Lolita Lolita

Lolita Lolita Lolita

Lolita Lolita

Lolita book cover contest

I decided to give her a black mask because I remembered reading that in a certain time period and culture (Cuban, I think), only prostitutes wore them. Lolita (Dolores Haze) is a 12 year old girl who is *not* attractive by conventional standards; with a bob hairstyle.

I wanted Humbert Humbert to be faceless and headless.

I entered this contest because I love dark humor, taboo topics, childhood precociousness, and a main character who's an outcast.

It'd be great if I win.

We'll find out November October!

Edit: I didn't win, see all the entries here, and the winner here.

Monday, September 28, 2009


I did it. I now have a header drawn and thought up by ... me! Yay! I drew most of it in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet (lid down) because I woke up at 5:30, my sister and her roomy were sleeping, and I didn't realize her desk had a built in lamp until much later.

Here's the original sketch -

boy and girl with reaching arms drawing

And here's the old header -

Emy Augustus header (old)

Now would be a good time to mention please don't use any of my images/photos without asking/giving me credit. K-THANX!

I went to the DUMBO art festival on Sunday with my sister. At first it was raining, but then it stopped so my shoes dried. I saw a good amount of interesting sights. Open studios are the best. It's like visiting the bedroom of a grown up high schooler. (MY PICS)

DUMBO art festival

I now have a weekend job in addition to my full time job at the preschool. I'll be teaching a mental math class for kids 6-10 (using an abacus!). It's starting with only 2 hours a week, but the guy told me he plans on adding more classes. I also had an interview today for a week-nights job (4-6:30) as an after-school TA/teacher. I hope I get it. The guy pays CASH. Until my next paycheck on the 1st, I have $20 in the bank and $40 in cash that I borrowed from my sister. I need money like a zebra needs stripes.

Francie (THANKU!) told me about an art contest where you design a book cover for the novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Fun! I wish there'd be more contests like this! The reward if you win is $350. I don't think I'm going to win. This is one of those books I should have read a long time ago, but never got around to. I have read a few of its sister novels though, like Story of the Eye and Venus in Furs. I wish I could've read the book first but I don't have time. I only found out about this last Friday, and the deadline is this coming Friday. Aaaaaahhh! Thank goodness for Wikipedia and Yom Kippur.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

This deadline business is SO awkward for me since my painting method is very much like how this guy describes it:

F: How much time, on average, do you have to design a cover? How does that effect your brainstorming process? For that matter, what is your brainstorming process?

JG: We have about 6-8 weeks to get cover designs for around 70 books in place. Like most creatives the brainstorming process usually involves some combination of the following: avoidance, procrastination, mild sedation, cups of coffee, staring out the window, long walks on a spring morning, lack of exercise, talking to myself in a funny voice, feelings of worthlessness, turning on the music, turning off the music, kicking the dog, making lists, surfing the internet...

I don't have a dog to kick, but avoidance? Check. Staring out window? Check. Feelings of worthlessness? Check.

Anyways, time for dinner! (Potatoes, celery, corn with rice)

Thank you Charlotte and Carly for the questionnaire tag and award!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just Numbers

Cat Mime & Sad Clown
12" x 9"

Well once again, the final product came out way different from what I originally planned.

A friend's aunt read a book on analyzing peoples' personalities based on a person they draw. It said when the feet are facing opposite directions it means you lack direction and don't know what you want out of life. I find that dubious now. It sounds like newspaper horoscopes; too general and vague. At the time though (10th grade), I believed her. So for years afterwards, whenever I drew people, I tried to remember to point their feet in one direction.

Right now the clown isn't taped or glued down.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Detective Dusky Rose, or Dusty

Detective Dusky Rose by Yvonne Gao

A memory from childhood:

I was in kindergarten or first grade. My dad had received a rectangular paperweight made out of glass. My mom told me it was very important and special. It was a pretty sparkly crystal and I decided to bring it to school to show people. A classmate asked if she could borrow it to show her parents. She swore she'd bring it back the next day. I was unsure but said okay. I told my mom and she yelled at me. I never got it back; the girl said she 'lost' it.

Inspiration: Sherlock Holmes, nicknames, love, sunshine, eyes, Picasso, and monocles.

Self Portrait

My sister thinks I'm going to be one of those old people you hear about on the news who dies when it gets too hot.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Le Petit Déviant

by: Yvonne Gao (age 21)

The Little Deviant story by Yvonne Gao

The Little Deviant story by Yvonne Gao

The Little Deviant story by Yvonne Gao

The Little Deviant story by Yvonne Gao

The Little Deviant story by Yvonne Gao

The Little Deviant story by Yvonne Gao

The Little Deviant story by Yvonne Gao

The Little Deviant story by Yvonne Gao

The Little Deviant story by Yvonne Gao

The Little Deviant story by Yvonne Gao

The story behind the story:

I made this last year for my boyfriend. He loved to make up nicknames for me, and while I liked most of the 4796243876 nicknames, the one I really didn't like was 'cupcake'. So I wrote this to try and get him to stop. It worked.
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