Art by Erika Taguchi-Newton

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mustang Sally - Pinup Girl for 24 Hour Lemons

Mustang Sally - 24hr Lemons pinup girl

Finally completed, "Mustang Sally" is ready to go for a ride!

Mustang Sally - 24hr Lemons pinup girl

The paint brushes did not like the rough texture of the hood that's been spray painted with matte black. So the details had to be done with charcoal pencils, and I really like the effect.

We did a quick test fitting on the car:
Mustang Sally - Test fitting

A progress shot in my studio:
WIP - 24hr Lemons car hood

The race will be held at Palm Beach International Raceway on December 31, 2010.

The race team's blog -
24hr Lemons site -

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Transferring Large Drawing

When I was a kid I saw a movie about Michelangelo ("Agony and Ectasy"), where Charlton Heston was transferring a large drawing onto the wall of the Sistine Chapel. He had punctured pinholes through the paper, outlining the drawing, and was rubbing chalk onto it to transfer dots onto the wall. I've never seen anybody do this in real life, probably because projectors are much easier.

Well, I didn't have a projector handy, and I didn't want make a mess on the hood by doing the grid method. I scanned in my original drawing, scaled it up in Photoshop, and printed it out in pieces. I taped the pieces together, then tediously punctured holes, following the lines of the drawing.

WIP - 24hr Lemons car hood

After taping it into position on the hood, I used a soft white chalk and traced the drawing. Then I redrew the sketch on the hood by connecting the dots.

WIP - 24hr Lemons car hood

I can't imagine doing a complicated drawing this way, but for this one it worked out great.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Work-in-progress: Pinup Girl for 24hr Lemons

There's a hood of a car on my dining table! Living with a grease-monkey husband, I got use to the dirty door knobs, transmission on the patio, and his fellow grease-monkeys working on various cars on the driveway. Well... maybe not the dirty door knobs...

WIP - 24hr Lemons car hood

Actually, the hood is there for a good reason this time. I'm painting on it! It's for my husband's latest obsession - 24hr Lemons Race. The entry cars are suppose to have a theme. Since his car is a Mustang, the theme is P-51 WWII fighter plane called the Mustang. As you know, the pilots painted pinup girls on the nose of the planes back then.

My husband is great - he's been so supportive of my goal to be a working artist. I wanted to do something for him for putting up with MY obsession last couple of years.

WIP - 24hr Lemons car hood

Normally, I would do this kind of thing out on my patio. And normally, Florida would be beautiful outside this time of year. But we are having some freakish cold weather down here, so dining table it is!

I also had some great help last night from our roomie. Thanks, Rama! If he can keep helping (hint hint) this will be done in no time!

The race team's blog -
24hr Lemons site -

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Just a quick little post to announce that I will have a table at Megacon in Orlando - Gray table #11 to be specific. It is at the Orange County Convention Center, March 25th through 27th. This will be my first non-local show and I'm scared to death! Well, I guess it's sort of local, it is still in Florida.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Little Drummer Elf

My favorite reindeer and elf are back this year for my Christmas card illustration. This time I finished it with more time for me to actually get the cards printed professionally, instead of doing it myself.

Little Drummer Elf

Oh! And tonight at Howley's, we'll be having a Mini Art Mart. Very affordable art by local artists, perfect for gift giving!

Gift it! Nov 16th @ 8pm!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Huladollsquidgirl Ukulele

Just in time for next week's Palm Beach Art & Music Festival, I finished painting my favorite tentacled cutie on the uke. Done in acrylics, she is one of a kind. I hope someone will fall in love and take her home. If not, no biggie - I'll be happy to keep her for myself. I'm still learning "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" anyways.

(UPDATE: Submitting this for Illustration Friday theme - "Spent." A bit of a stretch, but here it goes... The girl needs a break! She is "spent" from too much hula dancing.)

Huladollsquidgirl Ukelele

Huladollsquidgirl Ukelele (Close-up)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Christmas Cards

These cards are available now at my Etsy store!
Christmas Card: Reindeer & ElfChristmas Card: Christmas Sprite

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I got an opportunity to actually have my very own display wall at DEKKA, a hip fashion/art gallery on Fashion Row in Hallandale, Florida. I have original pieces and framed prints hanging there. Please stop by and check it out if you are local (closed Sundays).
Dekka SouthDekka SouthDekka SouthDekka South

View Larger Map | 954-455-2616

Friday, October 15, 2010

Our booth at Stitch Rock 2010

Lina and I had an awesome time at Stitch Rock, and can't wait til Art Rock in May, another awesome event that will be put on by Amazing Amanda (Linton).

Stitch Rock 2010 - MeStitch Rock 2010 - Lina

Stitch Rock 2010 - Our booth

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Halloween at Howley's and Water-soluble Oils

(UPDATE: Illustration Friday Submission - "Spooky")

Too busy with commissions and shows, I didn't get a chance to enter a piece for Bear & Bird's annual Halloween group art show. I got to check it out last week and it's fantastic, making me more upset at myself. But I managed to crank out some neat pieces for Howley's monthly art show.



Are these creepy girls ghosts of murdered victims? Or are they lunatics posing with their choice of deadly weapons? These 4x4 paintings are my first attempt with water-soluble oils. I think I like! Not as yummy as normal oils, they are quite fun to play with. Because they are a bit costly, I used acrylics for underpainting. It also made it faster to dry. I didn't use any medium with these, just water. I'm sure that also contributed to faster drying time. Without the medium, it had an almost matted, gouache-like look to them.

I read that I can varnish with regular varnish intended for oils, so I used Re-touchable Varnish. That did the trick of making it look like real oil painting. I made a mistake of being too impatient of the second one and varnished too early, and it started streaking. I should have let it dry overnight like the first one which took the varnish beautifully.

Next experiment I'll be using the medium - linseed oil.

Opening night for Howley's show is this Tuesday. Come by and say "Boo!"

Howley's HalloweenShow-Front

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Palm Beach Art & Music Festival

Still grinning from a great time at Stitch Rock, I'm excited to announce that I will have a booth at the 1st Annual Palm Beach Art & Music Festival.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stitch Rock 2010!

Stitch Rock is less that ONE Month AWAY!

This Saturday, yours truly will be sharing a booth with her long-time partner in crime, Little Lina, at Stitch Rock Indie Craft Fair & Bazaar in Delray Beach, Florida. I will have tons of prints and cards, and original paintings. Come out and support the local artists - we just want to be able to buy more art supplies!

Vintage Pickers Commision

Michelle - final

This is a sweet little commission for Michelle of House of Vintage and Vintage Pickers. She will be using it of her Vintage Pickers business cards. The reason the composition of this illustration is a little wonky is that I needed to be able to isolate all the elements in Photoshop. They can be moved around according to layout needs of different collateral pieces. Otherwise, I would have put the car behind her more.

I love the light gray blue and light yellow ocher together, it's probably one of my favorite color combination. My "Armadillo Dreams" is primarily blue and yellow. Michael Parkes is well known for these colors and so is Dali.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Huladollsquidgirl tattoo-ed

One of oldest and very talented friend, JR, did a tattoo of my tentacled hulagirl on one of his clients!

Erika's Hula Girl

Check out his blog for more amazing tattoo's and art - Ink and Pistons.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Little Goddesses

I had an opportunity to do a little commission piece for a bellydancing lady and her two beautiful daughters. They had lovely hair and mysterious twinkling eyes, I hope I did them justice.

Little Goddesses

WIP Little Goddesses - Pencils

Goddesses Sketches 2

Thursday, August 26, 2010


It's been busy couple of months, and I don't see it slowing down. It's a good thing - keeps me on my toes (I'm short so I'm always on my toes...). Quick little update before getting back to work. This piece is hanging at Howley's with it's sister-painting, Skyspa. More fun with kit-bashing and gold leaf.

(UPDATE: Prints available!)

Invasion - Final

WIP - Invasion sketch

"Invasion" maquette - lighting

"Invasion" maquette

Friday, July 9, 2010

Skyspa - Experiment with Gold Leaf

Skyspa - Final

Last few weeks, I've been having a ball doing this illustration. I started out with building a maquette of the flying vespa that Rocketgirl is riding. A little bit of kit-bashing and some clay, the "skyspa" is made out of a plastic Vespa die-cast and a B-25 model. The hobby shop guy was first very confused when I told him my plan, but soon got into it and gave me great model-making tips.

WIP - Skyspa Maquette

Then to make it even more hard on myself, I decided to try a new technique with gold leaf. Used through out history, from religious iconography, Klimt, to tramp art, I've always had a soft spot for gold leaf. Everything I read about it told me I should use oils, but I just didn't have the time. So I experimented with acrylics, and found a way to work with it. I hope to improve my technique in the future. Here's my test:

Rocketgirl - gold leaf test

I'm really happy with the finish product. Unfortunately it doesn't photograph or scan well, so I don't know how the prints will come out. Obviously, the prints won't have the metallic finish.

I had to do a pretty detailed final sketch before transferring to board. Since I couldn't really draw on the gold, I needed a good reference to go by.

WIP - Skyspa sketch

I also entered it in the Pinkghost's group art show - "Screw Nostalgia - I Want the Future". It should be a great show with awesome artists, so stop by if you are in town. Unfortunately I won't be able to make it for opening night (July 17th), but the exhibit is month long.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Perfume Fairy

Just finished my follow-up painting to Absinthe Fairy - Perfume Fairy. Using the classic artist trick of a mirror to show both back and front of the figure, she was really fun to paint. With this composition, I was able to really have a go at the wings.

Perfume Fairy Final

WIP Perfume Fairy sketch

WIP Perfume Fairy - pencils

WIP - Perfume Fairy Paint Step 1

I think I'll be painting a series of these naughty cuties. Maybe calling them "The Bordello Fairies" - hehe!

"I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way" - Jessica Rabbit

Friday, June 11, 2010

Blowfish Dreams - "Book It" Show

Blowfish Dreams

This is my entry for Pinkghost's Book It show. The submissions have to be painted on books. I felt really bad about destroying a book so I went to an used book store and found one that seemed to have been there awhile. Hopefully the book-gods won't punish me too much.

I really like the concept of this painting. I think I will have to do a larger, more detail piece of this idea. And the blowfish will have to be much bigger.

Is it blowfish or puffer fish? Is there a difference?

Monday, June 7, 2010

huladollsquidgirl Postcard Set

Available now in my Etsy store is a 3 postcard set of my tentacled cuties.

huladollsquidgirl Postcard Set

They are glossy with rounded corners. They will come in clear cello sleeves.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

James Gurney workshop at the Norton

Just got home from the workshop held by one of my favorite illustrators, James Gurney. I was so excited I'm surprised I didn't giggle the whole time.

James Gurney workshop at the Norton

I was too shy to take photos but I did manage to have him sign my sketchbook. The workshop was about how to sketch with watercolor pencils and a waterbrush and how it can be convenient when you are sketching on location. Last part of the workshop was sketching an object, he had various miniature animals and dinosaurs, and some vegetables. I went with a really spiky dinosaur... because it's James Gurney! I ain't sketching no onions for the creator of Dinotopia! I think I messed up on the number of spikes. But he said a paleontologist got on his case about having wrong number of spikes in his illustrations too, so I didn't feel so bad.

After the workshop, I walked around the exhibit. I was surprised at the small sizes of some of his originals. After seeing Norman Rockwell's paintings, I was expecting much bigger. Especially with the amount of detail Mr. Gurney has in his work. It made me feel better because I work in a smaller scale too.

What I learned today...? I need to sketch more, that's for sure. And James Gurney and his wife are really really nice people.

Oh and there was a N.C. Wyeth's Robin Hood at the Norton. That was a pleasant surprise.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Just completed new hula squid girl painting - huladollsquidgirlsurfs. I will be submitting it to Howley's Restaurant monthly art show. This month's theme is "Summertime Fun Time". It's acrylics and 8x8, a little bigger than the previous hula's. I hope to do some wood-mounted prints and list it on Etsy real soon. It will probably be the same size as the other prints, so it can work as a series.

The original will be for sale at the show.

Also submitting for Illustration Friday theme - Slither.

huladollsquidgirlsurfs Final

WIP - huladollsquidgirlsurfs pencils

UPDATE: Photo at the show
Artist Erika-Taguchi Newton revealed another Hula girl for the show.