Saturday, April 5, 2014

Happy Birthday Chuck

Last week was our beloved Illustration Director Chuck Pyle's 60th's Birthday! His wife gave him the best surprise gift ever and asked all his friends and faculty to create personal cards for him.

Heres Chuck with the collections of personalized cards. Yes, he is a popular director indeed!

Heres what I created for him ;)

Friday, March 28, 2014

What's Up Lately

Just busy teaching and working on my own book, taking a writing class with Elissa Guest and learning a lot! You already saw me post the main character designs,  sorry can't show you anything more. Hopefully I can get the dummy and some sample art done by Fall, maybe I'll post a sneak peak. ;)

Anyways, below is a few of my demos for my watercolor class.

This is a plein air painting I did when I visited the Mary Blair Exhibit over at the Walt Disney Family Museum here at SF. You should check it out! An breathtaking show! Heres the link:

 Last but not least, Promo time! Happy International Children's Book Day to you all!!

Friday, February 7, 2014

My main characters for my story

So I've been working on my story again FINALLY. 

I've had this concept in mind since the beginning of 2013! I was full of hope and excitement, eager to get my ideas down on paper. As an illustrator, I was quick to jump to the layout first, immediately trying to visualize my story. Once I got a rough draft of my layout and the overall story arc., I had to work on the real writing...... I was stuck, I've never considered myself as a writer and the best I could do was writing descriptive paragraphs, rather than a proper manuscript.

Very soon, I was busy again teaching or doing other projects and I started setting my story aside. This lasted for about a year. SHAME! I KNOW! Lesson learned: NEVER set aside a difficult personal project. The fact that there isn't a concrete deadline makes it that much harder to pick it back up again

So during the break from teaching last month, I finally got around to designing my main characters. Bubo the owl and Bella the Racoon. (And yes, those are also names of my cats!) I did a lot of doodles everywhere and those painted designs are what i'm going to settle with. Still debating whether I should stick to the top left feather pattern or the top right for Bubo. Bella is all set.

For your amusement, here's Bella DANCING!

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Finally I got this outta my brain! Early last year, I was commissioned to do this poster to promote reading. Sadly, it got killed. I really liked these thumbnails I've created (of course those weren't chosen by the clients), and has wanted to finish the piece off ever since. Finally got around to paint it the last few days, the result:

Yes, I combined the two since I couldn't decide which one.

Thanks for stopping by! If you like to get more updates of sketches, preliminary work and cats.
 Follow me on instagram: (username ISABELLAKUNGILL)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Happy Holidays!!

This is a winter Promo I did for my art rep.  I did this in watercolor and a bit of digital. Ordered the postcards early last week, should be getting it in the mail soon! If you want a free postcard of this illustration, please like my facebook page at
 and email me your address to

Thank you for following and a HAPPY HOLIDAY to you!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Sneeze is a......

A new illustration of a poem! The target audience is 2 months to 2 years, so I decided to keep it really really simple. The trickiest part is trying to depict a sneeze without it looking too violent or gross, since the poem described a sneeze as a breeze. Heres the color comps I tried out, with votes from my friends and critique group, the one of the right was chosen.


Heres a iphone pic of  it close up,
 Below is the color accurate scanned version :)
ahhhhhHHHH CHOO!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Hello Autumn

Last week, I went on an interview With William Sonoma, knowing that they probably like some seasonal or pattern work, I created these 2 sample pieces to show them along with my regular portfolio.

Don't you just love the colors of Autumn?

On top of that I also reworked the background on my Fruit Tart painting.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Demo for my watercolor class, showing them examples of how to use collage in their artwork.

Top: Work in Progress and sketch
Bottom : Finished fresh today!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Rich Piggy

Last week I painted this pig as a demo for my watercolor class:

I loved how smug he turned out! So I decided to make a character out of him......lil suit, smoking a pipe and glasses, did the trick! Here he is now:

I used watercolor, color pencil and digitally collaged them together as they were done on separate pieces of paper. When trying out different fonts and phrases, I realized no one I knew know the word "BOSH"! It means nonsense or foolish or unacceptable behavior.

I debated about changing it to something like "Don't be Ridiculous" or "Poppycock", but the tone and feel of "BOSH" just sounds so perfect to me. I think it suits that reaction of total disregard, annoyance and arrogance. My husband just convinced me that I don't need to change or dumb down for the audience, they should get that tone. Plus, it does make the piggy sound more like of a selfish elitist. So I kept it.

Wonder why that word came so naturally to me, is it a british thing? Maybe I still gotz some good old hong kong british chingurish in me :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Birthday big brother!

This is dedicated to my big brother Jimmy, it's his birthday this upcoming Friday!
We have a 7 year age difference and we sort of grew apart when he left to study abroad in America when he was 17 years old (and I was only 10). It wasn't until my wedding when he flew all the way from Austin to SF, that we became reacquainted. We actually have a lot more similarities than I once thought. Unfortunately I don't remember much from my childhood, we had the standard older/younger sibling teasing and fighting relationship. But one thing I remember most is that I used to sit on his lap and watch him play PC games all the time. Diablo was one of them.

Even though we aren't the closest sibling in the world, I'm still very proud and glad to have him as my big brother. Happy Birthday Jimmy!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sammy Book #2

After another 4 months, Sammy book #2 is finally completed!
While I'm not particularly religious, I have nothing against religion. Sammy is a curious and dedicated little boy that tries every which way to truly understand God, Jesus and his believe. It was a delight to work with B&H publishing, thanks to Dan Lynch, Diana, Tom Blackaby and Rick Osborne.
Here is a sneak peak!

Book 1 and book 2 side by side

Monday, September 2, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Vanished but back again!

Yikes it's been a bit more than a month since I last posted. Sorry about that. Whenever I get busy I just drop everything else. I'm very grateful for a patient husband and friends that are willing to bare with me for periods of time where I don't do anything but work and sleep/eat.

These last 2.5 months has been the most intense work schedule I've ever experienced! I was averaging about 10 hours of work a day (no weekends!) while dealing with an insane sleep schedule.

I am accustomed to the night owl lifestyle since I work with so much focus at night. With a pressing freelance deadline and teaching a full part time hours, it was no time for me to adjust to an earlier sleeping habit. One of my class on Monday and Thursday required me to get up at 7 am, so sometimes if I worked on my freelance till 6am I just ended up staying up and head to class. On top of that I was having my first experience teaching online, and that took up sooooo much of my time! Long story short, it is simply not for me, I do not have the ability to let go and devote less time and energy to my online class. Plus I really enjoy the connection I have with onsite student, as well as chatting and catching up with other faculties.

Usually I work on teaching and emailing during the day, at night I focus on my freelance work. I made much progress on the Sammy book #2: Finished all the line drawings, made the revisions and have completed 1/3 of the color so far. Unfortunately can't post any of that yet, but here is an ink demo of an Owl I did for my AE: Intro to Illustration students. I made copies and gave them out at the end of the semester. They were a great group of kids, some are so talented and hardworking! They gave me the sweetest Birthday card, orchestrated by the sweetest coworker Yuka.

Right now i'm wrapping up the semester, one more day left, after I submit the final grade then I'm done with teaching for the Summer. All I have planned for the next 3 weeks is just finish the rest of my freelance project and finally, FINALLY, catch up on some sleep and social life. :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Brief Update and a few Plein Air

Boy! Its been a while since I last posted! I am so bad blogging...
Life have been so hectic lately, many new changes and opportunities!

I'm teaching more at Academy of Art University this summer semester. So I have been very busy preparing for my classes. On top of that I am working on my second Sammy book. This time it is titled "Sammy Experiences Jesus". Speak of which, I just noticed the first book is published!! I can't wait to get my copy. 

Unfortunately, with my new work load, I had to hand in my 2 weeks notice at the Art studio (for kids/teens). I'm going to miss those kids.

In other news, The illustration Directory of 3X3 magazine is online now! So honored to be selected. I'm waiting for my copy in the mail. Please go to this link and check out the other artists!

Sadly I don't have much new work to show, most of my freelance work is still under NDA and I haven't got much spare time to do any personal work.... I miss that, can't wait to work on some of my own stuff once the I finish up some of my projects. For now, here are some Plein Air studies. I definitely need more practice!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Painting models and student work

It's been awhile since I painted live models. I forgot how much fun it is!! You can see so much details and so many variety of color when painting live, especially in the shadows. All of that information gets lost in photos. The other thing thats great about painting live is that you get to train yourself to make quick decisions. Most of my work is done in my studio, and every illustration I've painted had a value or color study done ahead of time, solving all the issues I may have before starting my final piece.

Here is a photo of me painting next the THE Bill Sanchez!

That was probably workshop was probably the highlight of these last few weeks. (Thanks George!)
Other than that I've been busy teaching and working on a flyer for the Institute of Reading Development. I can't post anything about the flyer just yet due to NDA. Though I can show you some of my student's work. They just completed their animal project. I'm very proud! Some of them have no previous experience in painting at all.

This week project is an simple environment project using watercolor and collage. Can't wait to see their final results. :)