Tag Archives: traditional art

It’s Raining Frogs In Taiwan

What made this oil-acrylic painting unique isn’t just the blend of mediums, but the wood panel I chose to make this illustration on. It isn’t a large composition (8 in X 10 in), but does not lack immense details.

Reference photo for main detail: the backdrop
I painted the backdrop with some specific colors like radiant pink medium and ochre.


adding smaller details:the umbrella, temple, etc.


grouped version of the process pix
Completed version of the oil-acrylic painting.

Thanks for viewing; may all be well with thee.

~Xi Wen Chen

‘Six-Tailed Kitsune’

This is the first time I chose to create a self portrait; this wasn’t any sort of assignment for a studio class or even a prompt for an art contest.

Sketchbook composition done in charcoal pencil and photographed with my lucky charm: a Chinese macrame necklace with a moonstone locket box.
Sloppy underpainting: neat borders made with blue painter’s tape covering the edges.

I believe that the most difficult aspect of this original painting was the placement and structure of the foxes; in order to keep the flow of the work consistent I added another fox (lower left hand corner)

IMG_3322 (1)
vivid colors and details slowly being constructed
Since kitsunes have different powers I chose to paint them different colors and allow the viewer to guess which had which magical ability.
Tweaking the final details and placement of the eyes, lips, etc.

I have seen another contemporary artist, Kelly Denato,’s paintings which possessed a glowing effect despite no iridescent shimmer paints. In order to achieve that same effect I used a tiny brush and pastel paints to dip dots all over the backdrop, almost like fluttering flower petals and snowflakes.

Final colors/signed acrylic painting. 

This will more than likely end up in my ‘Best of 2017’ post upon January 1, 2018. Thanks as always for viewing. Merry we meet and merry we part.

~Xi Wen Chen

‘Parisian Doodle

poodle doodle

My final, finished acrylic painting, ‘Parisian Doodle,’ is the fourth entry of my collection submitted to the Westminster Kennel Club annual art contest. Fun fact: this glossy black plastic frame is $4 from the nearby Family Dollar


To be honest, I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d continue after this stage; I was uneasy over whether I should or not stereotype in an asthetically pleasing way, with the Parisian Eiffel tower and Palace of Versailles garden.


Is the ‘Parisian Doodle’ better off without the tiny delicate flecks of glossy gold Golden acrylic paint marks or not? You decide.


I always make sure to shamelessly self endorse my live painting videos on my story portion of my Instagram page, @xi_wen_c  , at least three hours ahead.


The close up are on my other ‘Parisian Doodle’ Instagram journal entry. Merry we meet, and merry, we part.

Your friend, coven sister, packmate, confident, roommate, ally, business partnery,

~Xi Wen Chen/陈睎文

‘Le Chien Qui est Coloré’


Finished & Framed Version of ‘Le Chien Qui est Coloré’

For my third art entry in the Westminster Kennel Club art contest my aunt @missmochitheyorkie (on Instagram!) texted me this gorgeous reference photo of her adorable yorkie, Mochi, for me to use as a reference photo:



Occasionally, I sketch out the figure first in either charcoal or pencil rather than figure it out with a thin layer of turpenoid:

The head is a bit too small in this initial layer

IMG_0642IMG_0678          I enjoy creating these live painting demos on Instagram because:

  1. It’s fun to answer questions from my awesome followers, shout out to friends, and share my unique melting pot of music.
  2. It reminds me that yes, I do need to add more tunes to my playlists.
  3. It’s live proof of my artistic talent/creativity.
    img_0820-e1505695916409.jpg        I had the most thrills when experimenting with the Brooklyn sunset and skyline; it’s to represent that time moves much faster than you’d like or hope.
Close up on the face:

Please don’t forget to comment/like! I will also be posting the process videos including the embellishment and varnishing portions. And if you wish to receive more speedy updates please follow me on Instagram @xi_wen_c . Blessed be your weekend!

‘Nymph of the Petal Tears’

Originally I did not have a set concept for this acrylic painting; rather it was based off several reference photos I found in a few Bazaar magazines. Although the subject matter is a made-up nymph, I chose not to paint her wings and left them up to the viewer to decide whether they were large or small, insect like or resembling leaves.

nymph painting

What I love the most about painting this besides the vintage jewelry is painting her skin tone; contrary to popular belief skin color isn’t just one color, but a mix of hues ranging from subtle green to vermillion red. It took me many layers to achieve the desired stylized blend of colors in the final layer.


I believe that while tiny details add an incredible amount of depth to any illustration or design they should be used sparingly in order to avoid clogging the message or concept. As Louisa May Alcott put it in her renowned novel, Little Women, “It is the same as wearing all your dresses, hair ribbons, and jewelry all at once, just to let people know you have them!”

sparkly hair

I enjoy painting noses and hands, but eyes are a real nightmare to me. I usually struggle with figuring out where to place the eyes and the proportions when compared to the chin, ears, and jaw.

first lay Nymph
First Layer
Final Layer










I do find it shocking that people find classic nude art ‘offensive’ when our pop media is filled with celebrities wearing scant bits of clothing and f-bombs filling rap songs. Instagram even deleted carefully composed paintings because they depicted the female body unclothed! That is the same as prohibiting leggings to be worn on school grounds but allowing spaghetti tops and short shorts.

nymph's bare breasts

It is not just in art that I have witnessed this discrimination, but in real life as well. Random creeps will preach ‘Breast is best!’ to random pregnant women, but act disgusted at the sight of a woman feeding her infant in public. What are they planning to resort to? A hamburger for a toothless child? Oh wait, with every half-truth and blatant lie that plagues the media from authority figures we shouldn’t be so surprised.


I sincerely hope that my art can reflect the thin line people tread on when it comes to denial and taking offense. We shouldn’t be focusing on whatever foolishness is being broadcasted from Twitter, but on graver concerns, including the environment, discrimination, and senseless religious fear. Remember this: a Versace purse may be someone’s first love, but it does not suit everyone. Religion is the same in that aspect. Thank you for reading, and all be well with thee.

The Classy Locket

The saying “Every woman should have a string of pearls in her jewelry box” applies to an elegant locket as well. While on my family vacation to Taiwan last month, my mom and I took the opportunity to visit the weekend Jade Market, located underneath the Jianguo Elevated Road in the Da’an District of Taipei City. What I love about shopping at open air marketplaces is that there are so many unique items for sale, such as coral necklaces and name chops versus the generic styles commonly found in malls. Many different items caught my attention such as hairsticks and ivory sculptures but the pendant that is the focal center of this post is my personal favorite find.gate door

The three pairs of silver acrylic beads I used for the ‘chain’ part of this creation aren’t from a set I purchased while in Taiwan but from Joann Fabrics and Crafts. The cord I use most often for knotting is this shiny nylon cord dubbed ‘rattail.’ It’s silky, attractive, and extremely affordable; I’ve bought them before in a bulk for about twenty bucks on Amazon. With the main rattail, a chunky dark green, I made the ‘body’ of the necklace after stringing the locket pendant through and placing it in the center.


The knot patterns I made (from bottom to top) are Ru Yi (an extension of the 3-leaf clover knot), X-knot (it holds these attractive knots in place) Round Brocade, X-knot, and 3-leaf clover.
locket.png I found that while the dark green complemented the silver of the pendant it failed to bring out the shine of the moonstone on it. I chose two different colored thinner rattail cords, a lavender and a raspberry pink, with the intention of weaving it through the center portions of the knots. The first thing I did was burn two of the ends together at the stove, it forms a solid glue with minimal risk.

I then used a needle (with the sharp part covered in masking tape) to weave the cord in and out around the centers of the knots, it was a bit difficult yet fun at the same time. I decided to end it with a half-cobra knot pattern on the ‘chain’ portion and strung the acrylic beads on. The ‘clasp’ is actually a cobra knot bead that slides up and down.locket1.png