Sunday, January 26, 2014

Disney Characters are very lively

...and quite complicated to master sketching one (or rather copy-sketch).

Now there is a little disclaimer that I should make; all the content that you are about to read is a self amazement and discovery of how lively a character can be, and all is written by a guy that got himself into engineering course by impulse only to discover that his real passion is art.

So yeah, Disney.

The magic of Disney's characters is that they are very very expressive and lively, all illustrated with a few powerful strokes of a pencil (or so I thought at first). Here you can see the grandmaster Glen Keane demonstrates:

And so I thought "hey its not that hard, lets do this. Lets draw like Glen Keane. Lets study some screenshots from the internet and start sketching like a pro".


After pages and pages and pages of full-assed sketches of seemingly, what I thought, is Rapunzel, turns out to be someone else entirely. Most of them looked like men with wig, some looked like anime+western hybrids while the rest of them are destroyed from excessive erasing/re-sketching out of frustration. And soon I realized it has been several years since I last sketch and what I am doing now is like trying to go to the moon with a potato.

So, back to ground zero and start all over again; by referencing sketches from the concept art by the great Glen Keane.

Result of continuous erasing and re-sketching. 
And constant darting back and forth between the screen and the paper.

Only when I started to copy the sketch then I realize there is something you will have to know before you can bring life to a character;

You need a basic idea of facial anatomy and how it works. How the cheek muscles work. How eyebrows can be quite flexible. How nose bridge can give the illusion of where the character is looking at. How to draw eyes, lips, nose, ears, hairs, eyebrows. How the lower part of the face is more flexible than the top. And most importantly, how you want tell your story with an expression.

And once you got all that, you will need to execute them in unison.

Take for example the side view sketch of Rapunzel with her eyes closed. Here, you can tell that she is slightly amused and annoyed at the same time. Or you could imagine her holding a cute dog and the dog is licking the tip of her nose, and now her expression will be of amused annoyance because of excessive cutesy. And also this expression can be an in-between animation still for a coming 'shock' emotion. Or she is trying really hard to close her eyes when Flynn tells her not to look at the surprise he is about to give her.

All that can be told just from the way the exaggerated reduced distance of her eyebrow to her shut eyelid, the excessive skin from her forced-shut eyebrow on top of her nose bridge, the reduced distance of her smiling lips to her nose, the slightly puffed up cheeks due to her smiling, and also notice how her lower jaw is kind of jutting out along with her nose bridge slightly curving upward, and her nose tip is slightly tilted upward. And also notice that her overall face structure did not change at all! (as you can compare with the faceless sketch on top of her).

And now if I may direct your attention the the isometric view of her doing the same expression. Now she seemed like she tasted something extremely sour, or she saw a very cute bunch of ducklings afar and cannot help but to go "shooo cuuutteee". With the same expression, you can draw her shoulder closer to her face, and notice how her neck is drawn such a way that it appear "squashed." Notice how her chest is drawn parallel to the center line of her face to give that slouched position. And also notice how her hair flows in a bell-bottom fashion that it seems like she is moving her head down towards her shoulders rapidly that her hair is sort of like "staying in place" due to inertia.

Wooooooh! Not so easy now is it! -____-"

Moving on to Frozen, and the very beautifully animated sisters Anna and Elsa, one could not help but to do a reference sketch of them, just to have that little "wow I drew this" moment with the sketch. So off to copying more sketches!

Anna looking calm and contented

Previously it took me an hour to sketch a side view of Rapunzel but now I managed to cut it down by half with Anna, as they share a lot of similar facial features. Erase Rapunzel's hair, and add braid, you will get Anna! But her jaw is a tad too long here and her hair is very static.

Elsa looking confident and playful

Confident with Anna, I tried to sketch Elsa but this time she set me back an hour. Mainly because of her hair and how she poses in the original sketch by Disney. In the original sketch, she is looking behind with her back facing the viewer, but I could not replicate the illusion due to her hair and positioning of her ear and jaw line. Her hair is also extremely static and blocky, and her bottom eyelid should still have visible skin if viewed from the side (as shown in Anna's sketch above). I left her in this state as a self reminder of how disastrous it can be if you tried to do a blatant copy from a sketch.

Elsa-ish Princess Aurora

Moving on to frontal portraits, this also is a product of excessive referencing and erasing/re-sketching. I have destroyed her lips before realizing she does not look like Elsa at all, but reminded me of Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)! Maybe due to her longer face and narrower eye sockets where Elsa's face is shorter and she has wider cheeks. But one thing I am satisfied of  is how I finish her hair, where this time I just took a glance at the original sketch and finish everything from memory. It looked much more fluid now and "livelier". One of the good reasons why you should let your judgement decide rather than making an exact copy of a sketch.

Princess Anna of Arendelle!

This is the only sketch that made me "hey! this is Princess Anna!". Although this is still a replication of the original sketch, it is way much easier to sketch without looking too much at the subject as I have a rough idea now. Drawing braids and lips are still a challenge though. Also notice how the slight line on her nose bridge follows her direction of her smilling lips (similar as Elsa's).

And so... what now?

I am still going to keep copying these sketches as they are just so fun to do, as you can learn a lot from them just by replicating. We shall continue digging further on what gives life to Disney's characters. 

Until then, keep safe and have a great February ahead!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Hello Chan

To have your superior stumbling across your blog is rather embarassing.

Please move along there is nothing to read here.


Anyways have a great 2014!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Personal Law Of Attraction Success Stories Part. 1

You probably have watched or read The Secret, where it says that you will attract anything you put your heart on.  Like attracts like, ying attracts yang, positive attracts negative, Hence they call this the law of attraction (LOA).

Honestly, I am very skeptical about this Law of Attraction thing when I first discovered it a few years ago. "Ask and ye shall receive? Free money out from nowhere? Ladies clinging onto your arms submissively? Success out from little to no effort?... Fsshsh yeah right"

But a little bit of me told myself to try it out. So I did. I've sifted through countless resources on LOA and manage to come out with my very own recipe to attract the stuff I want.

According to the law, to manifest something into your life, you must:
  1. Have a goal/desire; Well, you got to have a starting point right?
  2. Imagine yourself getting the stuff you want: And imagine it as vividly as possible. Imagine a situation where you have gotten the thing you want. Observe your emotions and try to keep it as positive as possible and enjoy every single moment of it. This is also the best part of the process as you can let your daydreaming skills do its thing.
  3. Belief that you will have it: Have a firm believe that you will have the thing you want. Do not ask how you will get it, just know that you will get it.
  4. Let the thought go/Forget about it: THIS is very counter intuitive and quite tricky to get it right. A lot of people did not do this and instead they are stuck with the first 3 steps above. When you do not let your desires go, and you keep on repeating the first 3 steps above, you will close the loop and deny the universe to work its magic. One simple way to explain this is this: Try to imagine you are calling God to order a pizza. He agrees and you hang up. As HE is trying to bake your pizza you call again; "Hello God is my pizza ready yet?" "It will be ready soon my son" He replied. Both of you hang up. And then he tries to walk into the kitchen only to have you calling Him again. And then He will tell you the same thing; "It will be ready soon my son. NOW PLEASE STOP CALLING ME AND JUST  LET ME BAKE THAT PIZZA!!!".
And like everyone else, I never got the concept straightaway and it took me few years to understand it. I've always thought that I just need to think of the stuff I want, and I will have it. As time went by, I grew desperate and restless and keep asking myself where the heck is the thing I want, without realizing that I am now releasing desperate energy, which is a negative energy, and this will further delay the manifestation process.

BUT! Only a few days ago when I am admiring my FB photo (which I will show you guys later) and I have realized that I have, in fact, already attracted and manifested a lot of things into my life! And when I went around my house and tried to connect the dots, It became event more eerie that the stuff I always wanted is already there but I forgot all about it (see my point on letting your thoughts go?)

So below are some of my personal LOA success stories to share with you guys.


This is the picture I was talking about awhile ago, and the picture that inspired today's blog entry. As you can see, it is a picture of a happy chap inside the legendary Honda NSX, a car that is developed throughout the 90's as part of Honda's effort to produce the ultimate sports car in tandem with their involvement in F1. What makes this car so special is that Honda invested a lot of money to produce, research and refine this car, even to the extend of hiring F1 drivers to develop it together, and judging from the picture above you guys will probably agree with me that Honda had did their homework properly.

The story is this, I was back at my hometown to perform my voting rights, and it was my first time voting too so it was kind of a big deal for me. After delivering the votes, my mum suddenly got a call from her friend to hang out at her house, and seeing that we have nothing else to do for the day, we went to her house after lunch. As we were approaching her house in the narrowly famous Kenyalang Park street, this car stands out from the rest of the background and my thoughts were like "Whoa an NSX, better take pictures later".

We parked the car and I stood there awhile admiring the car as my mother walked into her friends house. As I was snapping away with my phone, my mother's friend came up to me and she said this;

"Nice car huh? this is my brother's. Here take this key and drive it around for the afternoon. Be back around 6 so you can pick your mum."

Of course needless to say I agreed! NSX!!! I finally got the chance to drive an NSX!!! And that afternoon I was the prettiest boy around Kuching, and I get alot of stares from the public, and of course I did a few short drag sprints around the traffic lights and the feeling is totally indescribable.

Fast forward a few days later, as I was admiring the photos I have uploaded to FB, I goofed off and stared at my unbuild Tamiya scale model collections that I have next to my desktop. As I slowly shift my gaze around, something caught my sight.

Some scale model that is tucked below and is hidden behind bottles of paints
As I took out all the boxes that were on top of it I discovered this;

The very NSX that I had for over 4 years!

Imagine the face when I discovered this!! And then everything start to come back; 4 years ago I was really into NSXs, and It was my dream to drive one. Funny thing is, I did not have the desire to own it, just drive it. I will stare at the box art everyday before going to sleep, or waking up, and a few quick glance when I pass through my cupboard, imagining how it will feel like sitting inside and driving it. Only when I had bought new models and begin to pile it on top of this one, I had stopped thinking about this car.

Look at that face

Until the fateful day it decided to manifests itself before me, in the same color scheme and rims to boot! Holy cow that was uncannily scary!


3 of them are totally different thing altogether, but they are manifested upon me in the same conclusion. Let's start with the Avante;

One of those must have things and you dont even know why
 The Avante is an RC car produced by Tamiya, and was hailed the most sophisticated RC car of its time. Building this car is like assembling a watch, where you really need to be very fine with your movements, and tighten some of the bolts to a specific length, some up to 0.5mm of accuracy!!

Avante Kyoudai by Zaurus Tokuda
 I started to long for this car since Primary 4 or 5, Thanks to the manga featuring two brothers with their Avante. I treated that manga like a bible, and read them religiously for years, until it got destroyed by termites. And that is when I stop fantasizing about it.

The Big guy and Jr.
The Avante is also out of production for close to 20 years, until 2 years ago the good folks at Tamiya decided to re-release it again. Imagine the feeling I had when I saw the news. I MUST HAVE IT!

But then it costs a bomb. RM1500 to get one (USD 450+-). The little one in the picture is still ok, RM 50. As you've know my style, I imagine myself hugging the kit everyday, and will always do a quick Google search for the picture every time I'm on the internet. Live avante, breath avante, sleep avante.

I have contemplated for a good few months before deciding to bite the bullet. Lo and behold, bought this kit on credit.  It was a painful purchase nevertheless, or so I thought!!

Now lets keep that pregnant thought here and move on to the next item.

Le desktop PC
Desktop PC! A proper desktop PC! Always wanted one since my laptop "died" on me for a good 5 years. The laptop did help me through my college and degree years and was very grateful for that old bugger. Downside is, I cannot enjoy the latest games with that laptop as it is not powerful enough to render most of it. Have tried to ask for one from the parents for years but we could not afford it.

Similar case to the Avante, I daydream a lot on having myself a proper desktop PC. Even to the extend of buying the tools, as if I have already bought the parts to build a PC. And I even printed the "dream specs" that I want and stick it on the wall, while observing the market price constantly. My mother thought this was crazy, but hey, to me I am just entertaining myself.

When I got my first credit card, you've guessed it, got all the parts on credit. I did think that move was super risky as I just started my working life and getting myself into an early debt is not a very wise move. But somehow I have that faith that it is going to be okay.

 AGAIN, keep this thought here and lets move on to the third item(s);

If you have read this and this, and yeah, that was basically all the stuff that went into this car. And the new rims as shown on the picture.

This time, however I did not use any of those imagination trick. All I wanted to do is to get the car track day ready, and I dedicated my savings, paycheck and even bought some of the things on credit. I have nothing on my mind but to make my driving experience with the car even better.


We have been surviving on Alimony payments from dad for over 2 decade now, and as I have already entered the workforce, he have to give another final grand amount to "end it once and for all". I did not know about this until one day he called my mum and told us about this!

The amount, suffice to say, cleared all my debts!!! I was a happy goat back then but when I think back of it, I have attracted all three of these things into my life and technically, I did not pay a single cent! Now how do you explain that?

NOT. A. SINGLE. CENT. SPENT, And I got all the things I have wished for. That was another holy cow omgwtfbbq moment I had with Law Of Attraction!!

The universe works in a myriad of ways, often unthinkable and will present itself to you in the least expected time. And I strongly belief this concept of "Ask and you shall receive" as it has already proven in a lot of ancient scripts, such as the Bible and the Book of I Ching to name a few.

I will reserve more success stories for the second post, as this is as far as I can type for today!

Thank you, Stay Safe, Stay Awesome!

And take care.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy New Year!!!!

Oh wow hope Im not late for the party!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

November is coming!

..Which feels like last week when I just finished my first job interview.

On an unrelated note, I have not kart since like many moons ago. Must...kart... this... weekend

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sell experience, not product! - Michelin Pilot Experience 2012

I had a wonderful experience with Michelin a fortnight ago, and the experience they gave us is second to none.

If driving a race car is not enough, they gave you several race cars to try. This alone made me really detached for a few days. Unreal. I have always wanted to drive a race car, and become a professional racing driver since my primary years. As I grow older (especially after I got meself trapped in a rat race), I just kinda let that thought seep away, thinking it is not possible anymore.

And then comes Michelin.

Yes, getting to drive a race car is a guaranteed must-try-to-believe experience, but the service Michelin had provided us prior to the main event is just a little bit too much. In a good way.

Put it like this;few days before the main event, a Michelin personnel calls me and asked me how am I doing. I was very surprised! It has been many moons since I heard "Jeff, how are you?"

The world gets colder and colder by the day (where my social anxiety disorder just make it worse), and to have a complete stranger calls you and asked you how are you is like receiving a cookie and a kiss from spongebob's grandma. It is just so warm.

We chat a bit, and the topic is basically just a mini interview, "what are you going to do", "calm down and enjoy the coming weekend".... that kind of stuff. Hung up and I spent my remainder working days like a cheeky child who got the toy he wanted for christmas.

And to add another cherry on the icing, Michelin booked us an expensive room for the stay. This is the most expensive room I have ever stayed in my entire life so far.

This room is very erotic in nature. You can perform naughty stuff inside the bathroom for your special one to see.

Now I won't describe what we did the entire next day, as I have a video to do the explaining.

What amazes me most is their hospitality, and it really shows as they are known for their Michelin Guide, where the top hotels and restaurants are dying to be featured in their annual guide books. You can read it more here:

For the entire day you are treated like a spoilt princess. This is what they actually did to us:

1. They will put on your racing equipments for you (except the suit, because it is too awkward to strip infront of them.)

2. They will wipe your sweat off your face. You just have to stand still and close your eyes. Lols.

3. They fan you when they is no fan around the area.

4. They constantly asks you if you are comfortable.

5. They hired five star restaurant just to cook a lunch for you. Needless to say, the food was awesome! (where will you get a 4-inch tall burger that looks exactly the same as most commercial burgers that is advertised on the media).

6. They will shade you with an umbrella if they caught you wondering around under the sun.

7. The professional race car drivers were very down to earth, and willing to share and guide you. (Most race car drivers I have met have this "Don't touch me, I am a race car driver" aura around them. Interestingly, only Malaysian race car drivers. Not the foreign ones.)

8. You will get lots of photographers following you around. ( a nice way to psych you up, thinking you are famous or something)

9. Everyone is extremely friendly, as if they are your best friends from childhood.

10. And the souveniers they gave you is not those typical here-you-go types of souveniers. Check these out:

The scale model they gave is not a joke. It is very detailed, right down to the tiny words on the brake calipers. And they should cost a bomb too as this is a custom made model for Michelin, where a normal Renault model is already RM250+-!! Check it out here!: Renault Clio R.S Cup 2011 - SparkModels

10. To sum it all, they are dying to serve you, and give you the best experience you ever had for your entire life.

And they have succeeded. Even as of yesterday, my mum still said that she had the best time in her entire life during that day. Hearing this from a 54 year old is not a joke. Not even her wedding ceremony, or the birth of me can even top this. I am even thinking of selling my newly bought Bridgestones for a new set of Michelins.

This is how bloody good Michelin had did their job.

My point of all this is that if you could treat your customers as another fellow human being and not just a customer, you will have more success in business. Sell your experience and solutions to your customers, not your product!

A Million thanks to the very good people in Michelin!

Saturday, August 25, 2012