Friday, December 31, 2010

It's been a while since i've digitally colored my drawings, it's a looooooooot faster than painting, but it's almost a bit too slick. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

As the year comes to an end...

...I'm grateful for the great friends I have, the new friends I've made, my mother,  my brother, my father, and the close to this long but eventful year.

Merry Holidays!

And a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

"Smell me now? I'm Helen Chau!"

The plethora of things i've been doing the past week or so: dooding, sketching, drawing, painting, and trying to have fun all the while. Semi-egged on by Kevin Wada to do holiday cards. Happy holidays everyone! Keep warm!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Reading on a Comfy couch

The funny thing is, after sketching the man in this picture, I've spotted him around the neighborhood several other times. I would never have recognized him otherwise. Makes me wonder about the people I pass by everyday and just don't notice.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chatter Amongst Other Things

 I realized that if I didn't start painting again, I'd forget how to do it altogether. And that more than anything scared the bejeezus out of me. There was this pressure of course; the pressure to succeed, the pressure of failure, and the pressure of others. But when it comes down to it, you've got to get started, (and fail a few dozen times if you have to). Do whatever you can to get started, get inspiration, eat something delicious, go out for a walk, have coffee in a cafe, make out with a lovely person, whatever it takes to get your juices going.

(original photograph by the satorialist)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The End of an Era (or my sketchbook)

We met near the end of August, and parted ways on November 21st. 2010.

I always feel a little sad when I reach the last pages of a sketchbook. Something that's been with me nearly every day for the last 3 months will soon be replaced by another book. And the cycle will once more start again, filling in pages, writing down thoughts, recording life down one page at a time. It's a little blue, like saying goodbye to a friend.

Au revoir, until we meet again.  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Political Incorrectness Day

A little bit o' afternoon tea and caffeine with my mate Antoine. Talks of Curries and China plates abounded, and life changing decisions were announced. Presents and taro cakes were exchanged, and another afternoon passed by way too quickly. As always though, (to borrow a phrase) it's a pleasure..

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Expensive Coffee

Busy day today! Went sketching this time at a fancy schmancy French Cafe/restaurant, they had delicious macaroons but alas, burnt coffee! Large and spacious, Chris and I were surrounded by mostly old people, and the two older gentlemen sitting next to us were talking about Target, and whether or not there were any Targets in San Francisco for about half the time we were there. 

Then it was back to work again, but at least I got to cut the cake with my mom. Happy Birthday Mama!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Good Times

A sunny Sunday at Delores park, with hoola hoopers gathered together and people dressed as superheroes climbing hills in their rollerblades. It's a good time to be alive, a good time to reconnect with friends. After sitting on the grass for a while, we retreated back to Sissi's little garden, a cozy outdoor place that feels secluded from the world. And we ate our ice cream as night fell and candlelight illuminated our faces.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Beautiful Day For Bananafish and Ramen

A wonderful day in the Richmond District with my new friend David. We had a sketch session at the Velo Rogue, and then we sketched outside while listening to an impromptu drum concert on Hippy Hill. That spontaneous, feel good energy, gotta love ya San Francisco.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Power of Illustration...

can make you a new acquaintance...

 can make you more observant...

can give you super powers...

What It Is at APE (aka alternative press expo)

Saw a smorgasbord of fresh talent and old friends at APE. I had the amazing Marian Dilan with me braving the rain and crowd. And what's more, I saw my hero(ine) Lynda Barry, who in real life, is one of sweetest, funniest, and most talented artists around. I'm always apprehensive meeting one of my heroes, in fear that meeting them will ruin the image I have of them in my head, or that it'll distort the way I feel about their work. But I only felt the love grow as I shook hands with Lynda and spilled my heart out to her.


And guess what, Lynda Barr(y) digs me too!

Monday, October 11, 2010


Sketches and coffee, coffee and sketches, and then sushi and dessert. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Illustrations from years past


Illustrations for a short illustrated book.
 Cover for a childrens book about a boy and his robot.

An inside spread

Visual journalism piece documenting the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

A portrait of the late Michael Jackson

An illustration depicting the emotion, "surprise"

Personal commission

Illustrations from classes I took a year or two ago, from the top: Survival, Visual Journalism, Childrens book illustration, Illustration 5, and a personal commission. Figured this would be a good place to post up some older work. It was a hectic 4 years, but those were good times.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A la portrait

Sometimes, what makes a great portrait is the expression on a person's face, something in their eye that just grabs your attention and holds you there. The challenge in painting from a photo reference is capturing that spark and perhaps even enhancing it in the illustration. 

Original photograph taken by the Satorialist.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

At the Velo Rouge Café

 It's perfect symmetry when you find a nice cafe to draw in and plenty of people to draw.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The fleeting days of summer

It was a scorching 85 degree day out here in San Francisco, the second hottest day the year, so of course it was time to hit the beach. We spent about 5 minutes out on the actual beach before retreating into the shade of Simple Pleasures Cafe. Afterward we went back to the beach to watch the sun disappear into the ocean.  Ah, the simple pleasures of life..