WHATWHYWHENHOW: Artwork Analysis 15


manga.happy, mixed media, 2013-2014



What: This is a graphite (pencil) drawing of a manga character which I conceptualized. While anime is Japanese animation, manga (漫画) is Japanese comics and cartoons. Through reading about manga, I learned that a mangaka (漫画家) is translated as a comic artist or cartoonist and also refers to the manga author whom is often Japanese. I guess because I am getting more into this art form, then I am a wannabe mangaka!

Why: I am in my 30s and yes…I am a “girl gamer” or more correctly “WOMAN gamer”. Or how about “lady gamer?” Not ashamed! Nope! Video games have come a long way from Mario and Duckhunt (although I did play those & I respect early games for being foundations of the gaming we have now). Games are very visually and technically sophisticated now. Also being that I am an artist, the visuals appeal to me very much (there is a debate on whether video games, visually, can be art and I say “yes”). So I have a PS3 and have gotten quite serious about gaming (I do not destroy TVs or spend every waking hour playing games, though, so not THAT serious). The characters from the Persona games inspired me to get more interested in manga and anime. I’ve had an interest in that already and did a couple of earlier art pieces (which I’ll do posts on eventually), but my interest became more concrete around 5 years ago. Manga’s outlandishly fun and highly creative appearance fascinates me. By the way, I’ve never finished a Persona game! The battles get super hard as you progress! I am currently playing “Mass Effect 3” (the imaginary characters, the missions and exploring so much in the games is fun and challenging), have played many Call of Duty games, Assassin’s Creed games (started 2 or 3 of them, but not finished them…those are unbelievably long games, amirite!?), Remember Me, Shadow of the Colossus (gorgeous game), some of Mirror’s Edge (which simply pissed me off, but it’s still a very cool game), Heavy Rain (which has to be the MOST EPICALLY depressing game of ALL TIME) and others. My favorite is the Uncharted series. The adventure! The interesting characters! The dynamic scenery! I’ve played the 1st three. When the 4th was introduced in PS4, I became sad because I don’t have a PS4!! Cruelty! One day, PS4, one day… I will get it just to be able to play Uncharted 4. By the way, I am glad Mark Wahlberg (whom was to play main character Nathan) dropped out of the Uncharted film production. Mark is a very neat actor and all, but, no…….  Just NO. Mark playing Nate Drake? No all day. Amirite??


When: This drawing was started in 2013 and finished in 2014. So sometimes I’ll date any posting about it as 2014, even though I wrote 2013 on the drawing. 


How: This drawing was achieved using graphite and colored pencil on paper. The drawing is very linear, the main element focus being the line-work (in the contours and detailing). I wanted to base the character on something in order to build. I built upon the emotion of happiness. To relate the work even more to the Asian culture, I used other Asian elements: the Japanese characters (in glowing orange) translate as “happy” (kofuku 幸福) and on her clothing there are clouds; in Chinese culture clouds symbolize happiness. I even used the traditional style these is seen in Chinese drawings and paintings of clouds. The color blue is a calming color, calmness being as emotionally positive as happiness. In the background is, of course, the familiar and bold Japanese representation of the sun and its rays. The sun is also very often representative of happiness, joy, life. All in all, this character is an imaginary figure conveying happy vibes! I plan on doing more manga characters representing other emotions.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I actually published an earlier post while on the early stages of the drawing. You can read that HERE.

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MANGA MANIA: manga may take over my drawing pad from time to time!


animehappy preliminary  (2) - Copy - Copy - Copy

“mangahappy” (pending title), graphite on paper, 2013.

MANGA!!!!   漫画 !

I sound just as hyper as manga characters usually appear, huh? You can probably picture vocal lines coming out of my mouth or stars exploding from my head as I say that, huh?! Now I really DO sound hyper…

There are actually a variety of stylistic approaches to manga and the word “manga” refers to comics and cartoons (as an extra note: while manga is printed, anime is the Japanese version of animation). Now the story of how this drawing came about below:

I’ve tried my hand at manga and elements from manga before (I will feature images of those soon, along with this one, in another post about my foray into manga), but a couple nights ago I developed a renewed spark for creating it. I was reading an art book about the art of Persona 3 FES (if you are a gamer or into anime, you know what Persona is). The art is extraordinary and the costuming the artists create are daring and full of the creativity and imagination I love! So, with this refreshed inspiration, I started drawing at 12 or 1am into 5am…I had so much fun with this and, of course, it still isn’t finished. I have to finish her face, hair, create a background and may add some color. This is also a partial image, it is not the full-length image.

This is a happy gal and I wanted to further that by drawing clouds on her top or blouse (aren’t those two words confusing?…top or blouse…meh). You can see one a little bit of one of the puffy clouds. In Chinese culture, clouds represent happiness. I also realized the clouds also relate to the wings I drew spanning from her top…..or blouse. And interesting fact: “mangaka (漫画家) is the Japanese word for a comic artist or cartoonist and mangaka refers to the author of the manga, who is usually Japanese.” (from wikipedia.com).

Update: I started adding color!

What do you think of this, so far? I will post the final image when I am done! 

I finally did finish the drawing in 2014 and just published a post about it on November 3, 2016. You can read it HERE!!!! Thanks!!

  • A little bit about manga from wikipedia.com: CLICK
  • And some more manga art: CLICK

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P.S. I now have 54 Followers, so thank you to all my Followers and also thanks to everyone who reads my blog!

ETCH ABOUT A SKETCH: my sketches 2


Hi, all! Every now and again, I will post sketches I’ve done. Since they are my sketches and not my fine art pieces, they do not see a whole lot of light of day as they are holed up in a notebook, computer/laptop or flashdrive. These are some examples of the bare bones of my art. Some are quick sketches, others look more complete. Please enjoy! Thanks!

Unfinished drawing of toilet paper. Graphite on paper. 2011.

Unfinished drawing of toilet paper. Graphite on paper. 2011.

Technically, this is not a sketch, but an unfinished drawing  (technically it is a still life) instead. As you can see it is dated 2011. I never got back to it, but I still have it. I hope I can finish one day. This was me trying to stay fresh as far as rendering on-point line work, delicate details and textures, tones/tints; delicate shading. A study of an object and a self-test of my handling. An artist should always stay fresh in their skills.

Somebody may be looking at this & reading this while thinking: “It’s just toilet paper…so how come she can’t just finish?? That should be SO EASY!!” You would think so, but since I am not taking a simplified or minimalistic approach here, but instead I am going very detailed, then it has resulted in me seeing every subtle wrinkle in the tissue. Well, I don’t see EVERY (I am not God after all), but I do see many details. I have always been extremely detailed in my realism and naturalism (yes, they are two different styles of art) works. Because of this, my eyes can see the crisp wrinkles in the lighter parts to the smallest dents in the darker areas. And because of my penchant for near torturous detail, I take a while with my work (but I’m not as bad at timeliness as I used to be). Essentially, I have magnifying glasses for eyes. I love the beauty in details! My Mom has said: “You see EVERYthing!” So if I ever draw or paint a portrait of you, reader (I do produce many portraits), and if you have wrinkles and other areas that are not exactly smooth anymore, I will make my pencil tell the truth…….so be mindful. But since I am an artist, I can bulls*** and cover stuff up if you ask me to. Not being rude, just being honest! Artists are creatives & we can manipulate things!

Anyhow, I do hope to draw my way through all of the tiny spots of wrinkles, creases and dents in the  toilet paper to finally have a finished piece! Of course, since that particular piece of toilet paper in the drawing is long gone (from a bathroom visit-yeah, I am being gross on purpose by saying that-or from a cleaning up of oil paint, I will have to fashion the same positioning out of a new piece of paperMolding & arranging a shape out of thin, wispy toilet paper and then trying to draw it is not too easy. This is because  while near it, I have to try not to breath in & out a whole lot or make sudden movements, otherwise it will flutter this way and that. So I am essentially drawing it with a stifled respiration or calm breathing and restricted movement. Which kind of sucks. Because I kind of really like to breath and move around and all that. By the way, just to throw in some douchebag sarcasm here: be mindful that the toilet paper in the drawing was NOT used. It was clean and fresh like cotton. No worries about me being gross! I only use the CLEANEST, most pristine, most freshy-freshy toilet papers in my works, madams and gents.

I hope you enjoyed reading this and hopefuly I will one day be writing about the finished piece in one of my growing art analyses of completed works. Meanwhile, search in Categories drop down box for “Analyzing My Own Artworks (with Images)” category to find a plethora of my studies on my own completed artworks. Thank you! Now I am going to go to SLEEP for a few hours because I have literally been up all night (must be an artist thing) messing around and working on both my blogs (the other is at Tumblr) while eating cookies & listening to Daft Punk, J Dilla, Flying Lotus, Chromatics, deadmau5, Talib Kweli, M83, Martina Topley-Bird, Kris Kross (nostalgia…RIP to Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly…he will be missed) and all manner of music. I am feeling temporarily unhealthy, slightly braindead and profoundly blitzed. ‘Til later!

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ETCH ABOUT A SKETCH: my sketches 1


Hi, all! Every now and again, I will post sketches I’ve done. Since they are my sketches and not my fine art pieces, they do not see a whole lot of light of day as they are holed up in a notebook, computer/laptop or flashdrive. These are some examples of the bare bones of my art. Some are quick sketches, others look more complete. Please enjoy! Thanks!

Sketch of woman with headscarf

Sketch of woman wearing a headscarf. Charcoal, 2001.

I was in my 3rd year of college when I sketched this. As you can tell from my writing, this was done with a charcoal pencil. I think the “24” I wrote at the bottom means the page number as I was numbering my sketch book pages. At the top, you can see writing about 2 projects: 1) finding images to do with clocks (we had to draw 5 fairly large pieces, each week, using key words/a theme in order to challenge our capacity to be creative and 2) I had to soon do a report on two draughtsmen/women. I obviously had a habit of scribbling stuff all around a sketch. That’s the artist way…

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WHATWHYWHENHOW: Artwork Analysis 6


“grimy self portrait”, charcoal, 2010.

Another in a series of analyses on my art. This one is that requisite artist’s show of silent narcissism…the self-portrait.

Feel free to comment with questions you may still have.

grimy self portrait

WHAT: It’s me. Really, that is all I need to say, here. It’s me in one of those artist silently and serenely posing in order to render a silent and serene portrait. It’s me looking all artist-like. But I actually AM an artist…not like one. AND that’s me. Up there. In that square…I mean, rectangle. I did that. That’s me.

WHY: Why? Why do artists create artworks featuring themselves? That would be a good way to put it, too. Lots of artists create self-portraits to try their hand at drawing, painting, etc. themselves. Lots of artists render themselves to leave visual evidence of their artistic existance. Lots of artists create portraits of themselves because they figure if they can draw houses, OTHER people, grass, animals, squares n circles, why not draw their own dang self? Lots of artists render themselves so that they can look at it and be like, “I look so cool! Much cooler than I do in life!” Imagine Albrecht Durer, for example, looking at his self-portrait (below) & in 1498 saying in modern American English slang, “@%**%!! I look AWESOME! Germany, give it up for ya boy! My a** can PAINT!”

Self portrait. Oil on canvas. Albrecht Durer. 1497 (some say 1498). He was only 26 when he painted this.

MY reason, however, for doing my self-portrait was one of the reasons above actually. I wanted to do a cool drawing of myself. I wanted to do a cool portrait of myself with nice, dynamic black charcoal. If you have never tried charcoal (whether you’re an artist or not) TRY it. It is like black gold it’s so RICH! It is a dramatic medium. I also did the portrait because I like to add to my portfolio and also to continue creating or else I could risk falling off the artist boat and watch my desire for it or practice of it float away and crash down a sad waterfall. wow…

WHEN: I created this last year. 2010. The year I had a new spurt to draw! I need to steal last year’s urge to hit the pencil n paper and drag it to this year. Like a productive rollover.

HOW: Charcoal was utilized for this piece. Also a bit of graphite (pencil). I used graphite mainly for layout work (like a framework, scaffolding on paper if you will) and some finer details. Then I went nuts with the charcoal. This psycho burst of energy especially evidenced where my fingerprint spots are involved. I didn’t want to do the rest of the figure in completion. I wanted to fade it off (as in my Obama also on this site) for a funky effect and because if I continued it with my shoulders and a partial chest, it would probably not look as great with such a straight, realistic & boring look. In my art, I like to mix it up. I am a Sagittarius and those horoscopes say we get bored quick. Horoscopes I do not follow, but this is an interesting truth with me. I enjoyed creating this portrait, which is why I finished it so quickly. Unless it has a deadline, if I am bored to my skull with a piece it will get done when “The Bad Girls Club” chics develop a habit of wearing more clothes. And since that will never happen…

Thank you for reading my NEW POST! Be sure to check out caloniedoesart often!

view more art at: http://paintingsilove.com/artist/caloniejohnson THANKS!

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WHATWHYWHENHOW: Artwork Analysis 3


“burst”. Charcoal on paper. 2007.

Another in a series of analyses on my art.

Feel free to comment with questions you may still have.

“burst”, 2007

WHAT: One of my favorite works! Well…it’s not a dude, so it is obviously a woman! A young woman in profile, noone in particular. Not a bad-looking lady, huh? And I’m not even into girls and I can say that!! Only beef for me…

WHY: I have a great affinity for rendering faces, especially profiles and quarter views-that’s when one side of the face is fully visible while the other side is partially visible. And I felt I could do something very interesting with a profile by including something extra…so I threw in the radiating (love that word…it’s so………radiant) lines, hence the title. Like a burst of light, if you can use your imagination & translate charcoal lines into glorious rays of light. Then you have a good head on your shoulders! But this would be called “representation”-using those lines to represent rays of light.

WHEN: I created this in the year of the pig or boar-2007. What a lovely animal………

HOW: I meditated over this piece. I knew I wanted it to become one of the most delightful and visually harmonious artworks I’d ever done. I caressed my charcoal pencils and spoke to them in a light whisper, telling them what work must commence and to guide me. HELL NO! I didn’t do all that…that would be weird. I had to break in so that you readers will not think I am psycho and send me to a Jonas Brothers WITH Justin Bieber concert as punishment. How I REALLY created this piece was, yes, with charcoal and with great technical care. Tonal work and tricks fascinate me & that is what I utilized, here. Darkened tones alongside tints produce very dramatic effects! Chiaroscuro is like a delicacy that artists use. Yum.

Chiaroscuro (English pronunciation: /kiˌɑrəˈskjʊər/, Italian: [kjarosˈkuːro] “light-dark”) in art is characterized by strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition. It is also a technical term used by artists and art historians for using contrasts of light to achieve a sense of volume in modelling three-dimensional objects such as the human body. (wikipedia.com)

The last visual I added were the rays. Meat before potatos is my method; major areas before the minor parts, the main before the filler, Anthony Bourdain before I watch that Andrew Zimmern guy (gaaaaack…he eats alot of cojones).

That was, as usual, alot of fun to explain! Hope you had fun reading. Come back for another analysis installment in a few days! In the meantime, read any of my other posts and also the pages, here. THANKS!

View more art: http://paintingsilove.com/artist/caloniejohnson  Thanks!

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