Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

This piece has come a long way! In the process I made tons of changes to the tilt of the page, objects in the room, and architecture. My final drawing was not as resolved as it should have been so this took me longer than expected.

Overall, very happy with the results and looking forward to a looooong break from anything work related. So, my loyal bloggers, we see each other again in 2014!

Until then... Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Wishing you lots of joy to you and your family. And lots of presents you ACTUALLY need. Less money and resources wasted.

Friday, December 20, 2013

5 More Days 'til Christmas!

And the clock is ticking for us parents to get our children what they need.... errrrr I mean, what they want. Socks are "in" right now, right?

Anyhow, the clock is ticking for me to get this done by Christmas. Working steady. Here are some color studies and whatnot.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Spare the Air

(15 minute sketch before work.) For the first time in my life San Francisco smells better than San Jose. #Sparetheair warnings in SJ are pretty serious down there!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Nelson Mandela: The Last of HIs Kind

I've been working all week to the point were my joints hurt to pay this great man a tribute. May his legacy live on, and his strength and teachings survive through all the people he helped. Thank you Nelson Mandela, and may you watch over us.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Symbol of Human Power

I'm looking to save time in my illustration process. The most logical place to do this would be to eliminate the scanning/cleaning process. Last night I attempted to teach myself to draw digitally. This is my result for my first digital drawing.

The human fist held upright is the universal symbol for power. The rise against the struggles. For all you who follow my blog, this is a glimpse into my next piece: a tribute to Nelson Mandela.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Halloween Revisited

I've been really busy at work with finals upon my students, so I have had less creative time. I've been spending my free time tying up loose ends. With "The Evolution of Walter White"  and "Multicultural Thanksgiving"  I have found very little energy for new projects and left some unfinished line drawings. Here is the final version of "East Side Halloween." A little late, but hopefully well worth the wait :)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Embrace your traditions this Thanksgiving Day. Tamales, spaghetti, turkey, or tortillas let us give thanks to the things that bring us together despite our differences.

This is a typical Thanksgiving for me growing up Mexican in East Side San Jose. This Thanksgiving will be extremely special because it will be my family's last Thanksgiving at my mother's house. After 25 years, she is selling the house that is the setting to many of my memories. The kitchen in the back... well, its a tribute to her tiny kitchen. Some big flavors have come out of this kitchen!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Preview

Something I have been working on all week. A sneak peak for you, my loyal Subscribers!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Evolution of Walter White

The most fascinating character transformation to ever hit television. Walter White from "Breaking Bad" goes through a series of life changing events that transform his personality in a series of 5 seasons. I was so intrigued by this show that I had to create this piece. Congratulations to the writers, actors, and the crew of "Breaking Bad." You have created a timeless work of art!

The final version can be found on my website: Elba Raquel

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mother-Son Collaborative

I took out the big box of 120 Crayola Crayons. Boy they smelled good! I enjoyed watching my son color (until he got distracted). After he was done with his masterpiece, I took his paper and turned his scribbles into a MOTHER-SON collaborative project. Our first amongst many I hope!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween From East Side San Jose!

Just finished inking one of the 2 pieces I am was working on. Hope you like it. Hope to paint it by next week. But, since Halloween is today I thought it would be a great time to post it.

Happy Halloween the way I grew up... pillowcases and self made costumes!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The UGGliest Shoes Ever!

Ever wonder why only hot girls wear UGGS?

My theory: These boots were designed by the ugly people of the world to eliminate their competition.

Even the name is UGGly. And when you see those things on someone you say "UhGG." 

A quick sketch done on the train today with ball point and highlighters between railroad bumps and stops.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Current Projects

I've been cooking up some new projects since I put Abigail to rest. Here are my sketches for 2 new illustrations. Still at a very rough stage though as I work them concurrently and between students, work, and family time.

Illustration #1 is based on another book idea I plan on putting out (not ready to divulge the base of the book just yet). This illustration is Halloween themed and I will try and get it done by Oct. 31st. Keep an eye out for it.

Illustration #2 is based on the migrant worker rape cases that have been recently revealed in the news. It disturbs me greatly and hope that my piece can help bring some attention to the victims.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sketchbook Girls

I was going through my sketchbook and realized there was a moment, mid June 2012 to be exact, where my style changed. I used to draw very stiff and realistic. Shawna Chan took me to Comic Con in 2012 and one of those San Diego nights we went to draw at a workshop for Gallery Girls. (I hope this was the name of it, otherwise she'll disown me.) Anyhow, these are the pages I produced that night. Unlike anything I had ever drawn before. My style has never been the same since... What a relief! What a sense of freedom. I was drawing my vision rather than being a slave to reality.

Pismo Beach

So, I've been looking through my sketchbook and I found this image. September 2012, my family and I went to Pismo Beach. As we walked on the pier I saw this little girl in purple bathing suit. I fell in love with the narrative possibilities she possessed so I watched her walk away in order to commit her to memory. I drew her the next day and even though this was not the exact image I saw, this is the story that generated in my head. I love life's characters!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Black tights...Hot or Not?

I constantly see this scenario everywhere! As I walked to work this morning this lady in black tights rode her bike past me and I had to do some serious rubber necking. Her black tights were totally transparent! Ladies... don't you check yourselves before you leave the house? I came in an hour early to work so I had exactly enough time to commemorate her panties.

To the general public, I ask you: Hot or Not?

Please place your votes!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Last "Abigail" color comp

So this is the last Abigail color study I will be doing. I am about halfway done with all the color comps, but I need to stop here, put the book dummy together and send this project to publishers. I will keep you all posted and let you know when the book dummy is out so you all can cross your fingers and pray to the universe that the book gets picked up. Its been fun, but moving on to other projects now!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

No more crib!

Last night I decided I would put my 2 year old in his bed and see if he didn't fall off. This morning, this is what I woke up to. The image was embedded into my cerebrum all day. Since I got to work early and had about half an hour to spare, I grabbed a box of highlighters and recorded Mommy's proud moment. My little man slept in his own big boy bed all night. No more crib!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Abigail opening page dilema

HELP!!!! Can't decide on the ground. Dark or light? Anyone care to give input?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

5 year old student!!!!!!

Just thought you'd all like to see what one of my 5 year old students did last Spring at The School of Arts and Culture. If you like what you see, check out the website and look for my classes this fall. Fall session starts September 30th, so tell your children, nieces, nephews, grand kids, and neighbors to join me for an exciting new semester!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mexican Sun

Another nap time painting. I guess I was not only inspired by all the "artes plasticas" that surround me here in Mexico but I revisited some of my seed sun designs. I really enjoyed working with a saturated color palette and the Alebrije dot style that is typical of Oaxacan art. I might keep this style for future projects.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Mexican Angel

Well, I finished summer semester teaching online at Academy of Art University and I completed instructing at summer camp at the School of Arts and Culture and less than 24 hours after completing all my work, I was in another country! Home sweet home, mother land of all that inspires me to create, I am enjoying my vacation time in Mexico. Since this is my first international trip with my 2 year old, we are having to adjust to his naps. Here is a 2 hour painting done while he napped in Jalostotitlan. It wasn't planned or sketched in the usual manner that I typically do most of my work. It came about very subconsciously. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Abigail Spread Center

My life has gone haywire. I was foolish enough to think that summer would be Abigail central. I took on teaching 2 online classes at the Academy of Art AND 2 summer camp classes this summer at School of Arts and Culture. I wake up to grade assignments for AAU, go the camp for about 5 hours, pick up my son from grandma's, turn into MOMMY and WIFEY, then grade some more before bed. Abigail has taken the back burner. However, last Friday was a special day at camp and the kids watched a movie. Out comes my Abigail! I was able to do this color study during the movie. Hurray for fun day!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Abigail Page 15

It feels good to be back! I should not have disappeared for so long from my personal projects because I missed Abigail. Here she is once more, at the low point of the story.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Diego Rivera Mexican Muralist

For the last project, the class got together and created a final mural. This mural shows El Maestro Diego Rivera, taken from a self portrait he did, and recreated to fit our needs. He is blowing a dandelion and making a wish while setting us free to grow our own roots as artists. Each seed is made up of the fingerprints of each of the 23 students in my class, who have learned greatly from El Maestro  and myself and are now, after 1 month of rigorous training, being set free to master their own techniques and creativity. Gracias Maestro Rivera por darnos nuestro orgullo Mexicano.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summit Murals

Another assignment my Summit students took on was to paint a group "mini mural." Each group selected a their own community based topic and these are their extraordinary creations:
This group's focus was based on finding the voice within you to stand up for your rights and the rights of others. They show how difficult the path towards speaking out is, but how rewarding it can be.

Stereotypes affect us all. This group wanted to showcase the 3 major ethnicities in San Jose excelling regardless of their stereotypical backgrounds. Their message is clear. "Don't live up to your stereotype." 
Gang violence is a big problem in the Bay Area and this group focused on the negative effects gangs have on their city as well as the members. The people involved in gangs are never in control of their own lives, and are merely puppets in the hands of death. But the ones that are truly affected is the citizens of their cities, thus the "heart of the city" that is bleeding with crime.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Diego Rivera Timeline

So, once again, I have disappeared from Cyberworld. Not without good cause. I have been busy the last month teaching at Summit Preparatory High School. Below are some amazing dioramas done by my students depicting the life of El Maestro Diego Rivera. We all read his autobiography and recreated the entire book with scenes from his life. 
An attempted assassination on Frida Kahlo's life by SS Soldiers in an attempt to punish Diego Rivera for a controversial painting he did of the Nazis.

Diego is commissioned to paint a mural in San Francisco so him and his new wife, Frida Kahlo, go to the Golden State.

One of the saddest days in Diego Rivera's life is the death of his wife, Frida Kahlo.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Abigail Spread 7

Sorry this one took me so long, guys. I've been busy at Summit Prep again. Here is one more spread that I worked out this past week.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Abigail Page 13

The turning point in the book! Drum roll please... .... ... ... Conflict: Her favorite rock is thrown out the window because of the bullies. OK, it doesn't make sense now, but it will. Trust me, it will. As you can see, still working on my colors.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Abigail First Glimpse at Spreads

Based on the most successful thumbnails, here are 4 consecutive pages in my book. These are not the final pages, nor do they have text yet, but this is essentially what the book will look like once I get my brushes out. 2 spreads done! Only 13 more to go...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sleeping like an Angel...errrr...Pretzel

My 2 year old is getting potty trained. So now he refuses to wear diapers, or pants! After peeing on the kitchen floor, he got a time out and got sent to the play pin. After a few minutes of silence I went to see if he was ready to apologize and this is what I found. I ran to get paper and a pen because this pose was priceless. Here is a 30 minute sketch of my baby, sleeping during "time out."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Abigail Page 6

My work continues with Abigail, whose busy making friends with the forest creatures. Here are the 4 most successful color studies for a different page which goes adjacent to the last page you all saw. Suggestions are welcome!

Monday, May 13, 2013

2nd Birthday Card

It looks like I'm on a digital roll! Here is another birthday card done over the weekend. This one incorporates one of my paintings as the main element. If anyone wants invitations or cards designed, please send me an email. I will be ecstatic to create one!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ladybug Birthday Invitation

I just finished this birthday card project which took me roughly 4 days of back and forth communication with the client. It was nice to collaborate and discuss colors and composition. Let this be a testament to my love for the Illustration process!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Potty Training

Potty Training 
Digital media
8"x 10"

I woke up the other day to one of the funniest and tender things. I took a mental snapshot and decided to create an illustration. You know your 2 year old is getting old when he starts training with the big boys!

This is my FIRST digital piece since 2008, and my FIRST attempt at painting in Photoshop. It was quite a learning curve. Anyhow, it got my mind off Abigail so I could clear my head a bit, and now I'm off to work on my book.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Abigail Page 7

It took  me about 2 weeks and A LOT of color studies to finally make up my mind on this. Here is the final color study for Abigail, Page 7. Moving on to Page 20 something now... Thank you to those who gave your input and put up with my indecisiveness. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Oyate Wall Mural

This past weekend my family and I visited Oyate (The People's Land). I designed this mural for the outside of LongWalker and WarriorWoman's kitchen. My husband helped me paint it, so we could finish in a half day. The mural is based on traditional native designs. And there sits my biggest fan... my son, Yayauhqui, with a smile of approval!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Abigail's Debut

World, meet Abigail. She is a free-spirited, shy, 6 year old who enjoys exploring nature and making animal friends. She has a hard time fitting in with the kids at school and is the subject of constant teasing. For the past year I have been working on bringing to life an anti-bullying children's book I wrote titled Abigail. With work and curriculum writing, it has been a challenge to move forward. However, I am happy to finally be doing color studies! This is by far the hardest stage because I simply ADORE color! This is a page in the book and I have a few things to consider. Should I use this textured paper? Should I use safe, muted, or subtle color? Flat or dimensional? Any suggestions?!?!?

Monday, April 15, 2013


Roberto Romo and I are back at it again! This one was started prior to my Seed Suns but put on hold until today.

Oh the wonderful world of being in a relationship... Two people working together to get things done, or NOT! This one is titled "Chores."


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

smallART Group Show at Paolo Mejia's Art Gallery

Come see my "Seed Painting: Sun Series" this Sunday. Food will be provided! See you guys there.