Tag: process lab

Mermaid, Witch, & Cosmonaut Walk Into a Bar...

Mermaid, Witch, Cosmonaut Image Trio by Johnny Perez - Watercolor Paintings
Mermaid, Witch, Cosmonaut Image Trio - Watercolor - 6" x 9" respectively

Ok so maybe the mermaid doesn't walk.  But they each have a vodka tonic and exchange advice on world domination. 


This is a special trio of women that I created for a giveaway on Instagram, the likes of which you should not miss!  I worked very long hours to bring out the best of each.  I'll be doing these regularly until I'm satisfied that my work has circulated!  If you want to be in on the next giveaway, subscribe here.  Chances are I will draw my next winner from my email list.  But more on that later...


In this post I'm gonna show you some progress pictures of these works.  I'll tell you what I used and creative problems I had along the way.  I call this a "Process Lab" and you can find more posts like this, some with video, here.  Let's get started with my first giveaway prize, Mermaid!

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Sketchbooking Demo: Blue Alien Female in Watercolor

Watch me draw, paint, and ink this colorful blue alien female portrait in my sketchbook!  Blue is my favorite color that's why you may see me use it a lot.  FOR EVERYTHING!  Seriously thinking I'll have myself a Blue Period like Picasso.  I mean why not?! 


Also, I don't always draw girls with short hair, but when I do, they have mohawks!  Haha!  Very inspired by Storm from X-Men's punk era. 


Anyway I have plenty of ideas to hash out for my cosmonaut series of illustrations, and I have yet to do an official cool-skinned alien!   So that may be coming up on the horizon.  I have yet another studio move to make in a few months.  Thankfully its a short distance to another apartment in my complex!  In the meantime I have started my  urban sketches of Mexico project, and I stay working in the sketchbook on the next big thing.  So here's a piece of that book of ideas, enjoy!

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Sketchbooking Demo: Young Female

Have you been waiting for another long form video of art making?  The process can be mysterious for many, and for creators, it can go by quickly.  Thirty minutes later something is there that wasn't there before.  Mistakes and all! Sketchbooking with Johnny takes you on one such journey.  There is no plan when sketching, just choices made along the way.  I find it interesting to be able to look back on those choices and see where alternate routes could've taken, or see how unknowingly the product can come together despite seemingly random paths.   It can be meditative at times.  If you're looking to see how my process looks while I'm in the throws of creativity, then check this video out! Its about 25 minutes and features some of my Garage Band music mixing. 


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Time-Lapse of No. 8 Inktober Drawing

Ok, so I know the picture says No. 7, and thats because I'm playing catch up on my daily drawings and I lost count!  Artists make mistakes! And its ok, they will happen, and you have to roll with it. I did.  Watch me turn that bad ass 7 into an 8. 


No. 8 is a beautiful succubus contemplating her life choices.  Or maybe she's deeply pondering the next evil deed.  I'll let you decide!  Hey I'm just the messenger, not the interpreter.  I'm just the riverbed by which the creative river flows. 

I've been watching a lot of Inktober videos by some of my favorite illustration artists, Jacqueline DeLeon, Aurdra Auclair, and Bao Pahm, on YouTube.  I spend a lot of time there watching funny videos, and art videos.  The learning never stops! Nor does the admiration for that matter.  Anyway, I wanted to create an inktober video for you to see my process in motion.

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Ink Drawing: Witch of the Wood

When my friends first asked if I wanted to play D&D I looked at them crazy and said, "Do I look like THAT much of a nerd?"  I mean sure I liked video games, and fantasy stories, and I was very familiar with how the game worked, but when I thought of the level of geekdom it took to play this game, I was sure it wasn't for me.  How wrong I was.  Later on I discovered just how connected I was.  More about that in a bit.  I chose to play the Druid, because the story was something like this:  Its a cool day in the forest, and the sounds of rustling wind seem to act as the voice of the trees.  After wandering for hours in the deep wood a green witch, also known as a druid, stops for rest on a fallen tree.  She is nature's advocate, and radiates with earth energy.  The animals sense her nature and often are attracted to her aura's light.  Some are her friends that she's spent personal time getting to know.  Druids can also shape-shift and often run with the pack of wolves to howl at the moon, or soar the skies with eagles.  They are solitary but by no means lonely.  They may prefer the company of animals and plants to that of humans (a sentiment I definitely relate to). 

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New Cosmonaut Work in Progress

Here's one of my latest works in progress!  This will be a new addition to my cosmonaut series, and a curvaceous cosmonaut jumping through a time traveling portal!  I think I'll call it "Cruising Through the Space/Time Continuum"  That may be kind of long, but until then its a working title!  Enjoy this short video and progress pics below!


I've been steady creating diversity in the world of space because I don't see enough of it.  I've been inspired by the Afrofuturism movement to portray more people of color in the sci-fi realm as well as the fantasy one.  This is going to be a colorful work that blends the aformentioned movement with elements of anime.  You could say its a blend of Steven Universe's Garnet, and Afro Samurai!  I'm a slight anime geek. And I'll never give up watching amazing cartoons!  Animation has been a big inspiration for me, but especially anime because it doesn't talk down to its audience, and so many stories are made of adults.  I believe some of it truly uses animation to advance itself as an art form.  But enough of that!  Check out the progress pics below and the preview video I posted at the end to promote the piece on YouTube.

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How I Paint in Watercolor | Face Study Part Two

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Mystikal Song Inspired Comic Art Commission

Mystikal lyrics are NSFW!


It's been a while since I've tackled a comic project of this size, and even longer since I've done a fully realized page!  I usually do the pin-ups and character profiles. 


I was a fan of Mystikal's song, Shake It Fast (Clean Version), and I loved his unique gritty way of rapping.  Years have passed since I even remember seeing a music video or picture of the rapper, so I did some research on his pictures and facial expressions.


Of course this piece is for a much bigger fan than me.   So I had to make sure his essence was captured, and that I did justice to the spirit of the lyrics.   I had an outline prepared for me by the commissioner of this project, a good friend of mine.  We laughed together about the roughness of the sketches, but they were more than enough for what I needed.  The placement was there, the angles and desired images all set.  All I had to do was fill in my work, which saved a lot of time.  See it below!

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Awakening Watercolor Painting Process

In my most current painting, "Awakening" I explore the concept of spring as an awakened entity.   As many of you know, I love nature,  as evidenced by much of my work lately!  I love fantasy and mythology, in particular the study of deities.  Naturally the idea of a spring spirit resonates with me as a sort of Gaia.


I imagine the spirit just wakening in a lush area of the forest to a sweet fragrant breeze.  Today she appears as the center of a large flower (also seen here), her favorite of many disguises.   It opens to reveal her face, like a Venetian mask, alluding to her secret identity.   This also shows the idea that deities appear as close to what a human might perceive as a fully realized form.  Even so,  they have secrets and elements that just cannot be translated. 


This painting took about 4 hours, it is on 140lb Cold Press watercolor paper and measures 9 inches x 12 inches.   I used my trusty travel paint palette (pictured above), and two of my travel Pentel Aquabrushes in large and small tips.  Check out my progress pictures below!

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How I Paint in Watercolor | Female Face Study

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Sketchbook Entry: Prince

I was recently commissioned to do a thumbnail (preliminary work) for a Prince painting!  I love Prince so this was a no-brainer!  Purple Rain is my absolute favorite, then maybe  Darling Nikki,  or When Doves Cry.  And of course no playlist should be without Kiss, Lets Go Crazy, and I Would Die 4 U.

That's just my opinion!


His artistry is an inspiration to me and the only man I'd ever refer to as a Diva with the utmost respect.  Check out the progress below, reference from Prince's 2nd studio album and the one that began his legend!


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Will-O'-the-Wisp Painting Process

Progress photo of Will-o'-the-Wisp Painting fantasy watercolor by Johnny Perez
Progress photo of Will-o'-the-Wisp Painting

In folklore, an enchanted forest would easily prey on wanderers through its dark midst.  There would be no reason other than malicious intent.  Neighbors to the dark trees would warn travelers, but some wouldn't listen.  Such a traveler would end up lost and soon abandon hope when the path only led in a circle and the sky was nothing but branches. The growing darkness causes despair and fear to creep in.  


Suddenly a light gives way to hope.  Is it divine intervention, or a malicious trick the fairies play?  Either way, the lights are comforting and hypnotize the wanderer into drifting further.   It is the will-o'-the-wisp,  and it cares not to help.


These "fire-lights" are some of my favorite to illustrate and see in media.  They are mysterious, yet dreamlike.  Haunting, while comforting in the piercing darkness.  A flickering lamp that is said to recede if approached, drawing travelers from the safe paths.

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Illustrating Sugar Plump Fairy

This idea began after purchasing my long awaited copy of Faeries illustrated by Brian Froud.  Ever since I was a child I have regarded his work as true fantasy masterpieces.  Sugar Plump Fairy is a small tribute to his influence and inspiration.


I didn't shy away from making my fairy in a less common image.  She's round, and plump, yet sexy and mysterious!  Froud was a fan of diverse forms, and so I decided to stray from my usual thin fairy.  I love the results!  She is a colorful girl with supernatural beauty to spare.  This work measures 9 inches x 12 inches, and is done on Cold Press 140lb paper.  You can see some progress pictures below, and the final work at the bottom! 

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La Elvira Darks Animation Commission

Recently I was commissioned to do opening animation for the one and only, Veronica Rodriguez de la Luz del Topo, also known as "La Elvira."  She is a comedy/horror/critic/commentator on YouTube that rose to fame with a video satirizing the "hardcore" or elitist goth culture.  Her image is an inspired mix of Vampira, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, and Amy Winehouse.  She promotes freedom of expression in the subculture and acceptance of every person's right to be and identify as they please.  If you are goth, with pink hair and dark skin, then you are goth.  Easy and simple.  She has many other characters poking fun at other subcultures and celebrities.  Her audience is mainly based in Mexico, where she is from.  Because of her, and the viral video she made in her bedroom, the term "Darks" to describe a goth person with attitude has been recognized across Mexico and even other Spanish-speaking countries like Spain, Brazil, and more.  Her image and moniker "Tu no eres Darks," can be seen on advertising by major brands within the nation, and she's been interviewed by Time Out Mexico.   Naturally, I'm excited to work with her, but it's not the first time, and it won't be the last! 

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Draw & Paint Colorful Eyes & Lips

Have you been putting off your creativity?  Have you always wanted to draw or paint, but thought that you're not "a real artist" so why bother?  Do you want to learn a tip or two and express the ideas you've been longing to get out of you?   This should be fun.  Art is for everyone.   Even small children know that they don't need a degree to color their world and express themselves.  Now you can find "adults only" classes where you can have fun while having a few drinks and making art!   I want to empower you to draw and paint like you've always wanted.   For fun as a hobbyist,  or if you're looking to sharpen some skills that have been long neglected, I think this series will help get the ball rolling.  I have simple demonstrations, and will later add more detailed tutorials if you happen to like it, and want to see more!  Welcome to  the Quick & Dirty Artist Series!  Video demos on the basics: eyes, lips, hands, and whatever else you might need, all in a quick format that encourages messiness.  In my opinion, getting messy encourages quick decisions that lead to happy accidents, expressiveness, and inventiveness.   This is your invitation to make art with me and be free.  So lets get to it.

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Voluptuous Mermaids

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Cosmonaut Demo

Cosmonaut I - Artist Trading Card
Cosmonaut I - Artist Trading Card
Letter B

elow is a video from my YouTube channel. I have captured my process in painting Cosmonaut I on an Artist Trading Card made of Bristol paper.  This card is a part of a series I have available on HotPressed - my Etsy site.   Artist Trading Cards (ATC), also known as Art Card  Editions & Originals (ACEOs) are small baseball card-size original works of art, that can be traded, exchanged, or sold by the creator/owner.  These aren't your average trading cards! These are one-of-a-kind small works of art that you can collect as you would any other type of art, but also can be traded as a fun way of discovering new work.  But I'll leave the collecting and trading up to you! Check out the video below for a speed video of this work coming to life.

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Process Lab

If you love making art, as much as I do, then you know what a struggle it can be.  It is revealing, and frightening.  Sitting in your studio you may wonder why fight or flight is kicking in when there's nothing but a blank sheet of paper in front of you!  Maybe you feel your art isn't good enough? Maybe you think you're not good enough?  And what is good anyway? 


Even though I've sold works and exhibited in galleries, I get page fright.  How does this happen?!  In this series of posts I'll call "Process Lab" I'll show you how I get started and step by step my process for you. It is my hope that you will see what I go through each step of the way and see that starting is the hardest part.  Then actually continuing is the next hardest.  Your talent is not a big factor, and it certainly isn't what makes you "worthy" to create art.  Look at what I've outlined for you here, and then I'll tell you what I've learned about worthiness.

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