Inspirations, Process & Final


A portrait of myself. Just like the Chili Padi (Small Chili) I’m small and I look harmless but if you irritate me.. i’ll BITE!

Style & Composition: This was a nickname my dad gave me when he disturbed me when I was younger and I snapped back. First Impressions of me are always “A small harmless girl” but the truth is I’m really fierce. So this painting plays along with the to different sides of me. To convey that, I painted myself with a peaceful expression, used calmed colours and a hint of bright red to represent the other side of me, the chili padi.












I was really excited to start this project. I am more familiar with vectors and using illustrator for my illustrations! This time I wanted to try something new! I wanted to paint! It has been awhile and I wasn’t sure if i remembered how.


Coming Up with the Concept

To start I needed a concept. It has always been difficult answering questions like ” Who are you? What makes you.. you!”.  I just don’t really know what make me.. me!. I started with a list of things I enjoy, my favourite artist and styles I love. I knew my hair was something unique about me and one of my nickname is LION HAIR!

So my first concept is about the things I love and my Hair being the main object that holds everything together. However it wasn’t very interesting to me.

Which brings me to my second concept, Chili Padi Girl. My family and friends have been giving me lots of nicknames ( cake, lion hair, Jia MOON, Chili Padi, sunflower, potato girl and xiao man tou/ dumpling). I really used to having nicknames and I reply to ALL of them! So it’s something really dear to me and each nickname has a story behind it. I decided to work on one nickname instead. Chili Padi. It’s a nickname that only those who are close to me will understand and agree.



For my initial composition I wanted it to be simple with one element of myself, mixed with a patterned background, very similar to Hulya Ozdemir’s compositions. The style of painting is slightly similar to “Soeymilk” and “Shannavan” works. It’s quite patchy with a slight coloured outlined.


Hulya Ozdemir Painting

The trademark of her paintings is her exaggerated hair and patterned background and clothes. I really love the simplicity of her works and how it seems to convey a certain character and movement.



She’s one of my favourite artist. Really like the tones and colour choices in her paintings. I also love how her characters have a very peaceful expression and the colours she uses are very calm but with a touch of bright red or blue!  Although her’s is traditional paint and brush, I want to try this style on digital. It will be hard to create the textures.




I love her colour mixtures and the patchy style of painting. Her characters look sleepy and disinterested giving a very bitter mood, in contrast to the vibrant background and elements around them. The subtle contrast makes it an interesting and very teen.



Sparrows has really amazing digital works and they are GIFS! Its amazing and so detailed! I can just stare at her work the whole day, looking at the tiny egg spin or a cake appearing!




Honestly, I didn’t watch the videos before I started! I was too excited to try digital painting! I just started sketching and painting and when I was stuck, I referred to youtube tutorials for help! Here are some I found useful!


I really wanted to try painting my hair like this… but I failed really badly 🙁 Next time then!




First few sketches on Paper. I started sketching on photoshop instead.



Portrait sketches and development. I really wanted to paint my full body. Mainly because I had fun trying out digital painting. I had to adjust my brushes so it will give me this traditional painting feel. I played around with many styles till I’m happy with what I had, I wanted to create a style that is really ME!

I had trouble with the hair, it was the hardest part for me as I wanted to paint it with lines but it was too messy and it overpowered my face. I settled with a gradient and some soft lines. I also changed my clothes. I really liked Japanese graphics and styles so I painted a kimono top. It was too heavy so I switched to something I wear, a white strapped top and blue wide pants! My favourite!




Background and compositions.


Final composition. After presenting to the class I made some improvements. I added supporting flowers to bring out the spicy taste of the Chili Padi. They float around me as if they poop out little spicy favours and fade away.  I’ve also added more red into my hair to bring out the spiciness.



Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar