Seeing and Drawing

Alan Quinonez - Journal & Porfolio

Category: Character Design

Character Gesture Drawing with Stephen Silver

This past 03/04/15 we wrapped up 8 weeks of the Character Gesture Drawing with Stephen Silver.  My highlights from this class are:

  • The personalized attention and feedback from Stephen.
  • The great group of talented artists that were my classmates.
  • Being able to practice drawing gesture both nude and in full costume, from a different model every week .

This class is certainly worth repeating, and I’ll be back into it next fall!


Caricature with Jason Seiler – Week 5

Week 5 at “The Art of Caricature with Jason Seiler” introduces us to color. To keep the color harmony, we use of a split-complementary color palette, which quickly simplifies the colors to choose from. Jason offers 2 methods of painting:

  • a) Colorizing a value based underpainting
  • b) Painting in color from the get go

Below is my process from sketch to painting for a caricature of Robin Williams.

Caricature with Jason Seiler – Week 4

On week 4, Seiler encourages us to continue practicing value-based painting.
Our assignment is to pick any person we’d like to paint, gather reference, do sketches and proceed to do the value painting.
For this assignment I chose to do Mexico’s president: Enrique Peña Nieto, along with his always fashionable hairstyle.

Caricature with Jason Seiler – Week 3

On week 3, we focus entirely on values. Jason provided us with a sketch and photo of his friend Gary. After watching Jason doing a value painting in Photoshop, it was our turn do our version.

Key steps to consider:

  • Define a value scale with Dark, mid-tone, light tone and white
  • At the beginning, apply a mid-tone (close to the skin of the character) to the overall painting
  • Do no get caught up in a specific facial feature. Instead look at the shape and determine the most appropriate value, given the surroundings.
  • In a way, your job as a painter is similar to the job of a reporter: You observe and report what you see, now back in your canvas.

Below is the process for my week 3 assignment:

Caricature with Jason Seiler – Week 2

On week 2, Jason stresses the importance of  shapes and their relationships in the face, by observing:

  • What comes out, and what is indented.
  • What is the longest, and what is the most narrow.
  • Where is the widest part in the face
  • How much character comes out from the flawed symmetry of the face

On our assignment, we explored the head shapes of the 3 citizens and we developed a final drawing of Nancy Pelosi.

Caricature with Jason Seiler – Week 1

This past Tuesday June 24, I started my online class The Art of Caricature with Jason Seiler at Schoolism.
Jason is a fantastic teacher whose illustrations and paintings have been featured as covers and interiors of  Rolling Stone, TIME, The New York Times, etc. and over the course of 9 weeks, Jason will teach his principles and techniques when doing caricature.

Week 1 focuses on basic concepts like:

  • Inner and outer head
  • Defining where do we want to put the “weight” in the face.
  • Looking for simple shapes
  • The importance of the relationship of the features in the face

Our first assignment was to do about 15 caricatures of the citizens photographed by our teacher, as well as final pencil rendering of Tom Hanks. I have to confess that I had a very hard time trying to capture the likeness of the subjects! My plan is to use this week’s piece about Tom Hanks as a reference of my skill level, and to redo it once the class is over in order to compare the improvement.
Below are my assignments for week 1… now unto week 2! 🙂

Highlights from Character Design with Stephen Silver

From March to May 2014, I took the 8-week class Character Design with Stephen Silver. After having taken a series of online classes, this was my first “in-person” class, and I could not be happier about it.


The dedication and camaraderie of my classmates, along the unparalleled passion and sense of community that Stephen infuses in each lesson,  make of this class a remarkable experience.
Below are some highlights from each week.

Week 1: Keys to successful drawing

  • S – Story
  • G – Gesture
  • D – Design
  • F – Form
  • D – Detail

Assignment w1: Design “Mr. Boldwig” who is a stout, pink-faced, gingery man with boyish eyes, fat, jovial, kind hearted old man in his fifties.


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