Justin Cheung
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Justin Cheung

by bustincrafts on 1 Jun 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

This was the final painting in my high school portfolio, which was based on Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. In this instance the painting depicts the "Return With the Elixir stage" of the journey where the cat having faced many ordeals has returned with a new heart to repair the broken woman.

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The Elixir Watercolour A1 

This was the final painting in my high school portfolio, which was based on Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. In this instance the painting depicts the "Return With the Elixir stage" of the journey where the cat having faced many ordeals has returned with a new heart to repair the broken woman. I was inspired by the brass and iron aesthetic of steampunk and sought to incorporate it into my work, as seen in the bones and organs which i tried to maintain anatomically accurate in terms of structure and placement.

Well Earned Rest A4 Watercolour

from the same painting portfolio although not directly based on any stage of the Hero's Journey, depicts the cats well earned rest after seizing the prized heart from a monster, leaving him injured. This painting is inspired from a frame from The Life of Pi as I loved the warm colour and serenity of the sky reflected in the stillness of the water. The boat and the cat himself are covered in nick nacks gained from his previous trials and quests such as, meditation beads from the mentor character, schematics for the woman and heart, snail shell backpack, gourd water bottle and flute. The cat character had asian influences, being Chinese myself i wanted to introduce elements from my culture to create a more diverse appearance.

Watchtower Assembly A3, Acrylic

 A page concept from my high school design portfolio. This scene depicts massive cityscape structures beginning to assemble into a massive watchtower off in the distance. I was largely inspired by painter John Harris with his use of colour and distinctive silhouettes through form and value, something i wanted to emphasize through the time setting and simplistic silhouette. The idea behind the shape language is that the AI that created these buildings attempt to conceal some of their more primitive tech by creating massive facades, with cylindrical shapes representing the more low tech and functional aspects whilst the clean blocky covers represent the facade

Spidery Boi A5 Watercolour

I wanted to experiment combining different creatures together. For this Design I combined a tarantula, Snail and human eyes which were a challenge to render in only water colour but i did learn alot from the process such as dealing with granulation and dry brushing.

The Squid Ship A3 Acrylic on Canvas paper

A painting done recently depicting me moving to Wellington for uni through a more surrealistic fashion. This painting incorporates elements of Wellington that being the war memorial on the left as incorporated as a mysterious temple built into a butte in the distance. The ship represents a taxi like craft, based on the Te Papa museum, with its shape based on the colossal squid in its exhibit along with textures of the ship representing various elements of the buildings facade. The two suitcases are based directly off the two suitcases i used to move to Wellington. This painting was a challenge in terms of depicting the copper surfaces of the ship, I had some struggles capturing the reflected light of the environment along with the local colour of the surface.

The Hatchling A5 Acrylic

I wanted to experiment painting a night time scene. I wanted to paint an abomination of the natural world, the bird was based off of a photo of a dead baby pigeon with its large eyes and almost lack of a beak. I decided to cover it in patches of cysts and liquid to convey a diseased appearance. The Egg was inspired by a dragon fruit i peeled revealing long lengthwise strands before reaching the flesh, this later translated into the pipes on the egg, which were designed as if they fed genetic and life sustaining material to the hatchling inside. the brass lattice work is based on a rib cage and pelvis in order to add to its biomechanical appearance.   

Friendship 7 Roughly A5 Acrylic on Canvas paper 


Quick painting of John Glenn's Friendship 7 Mercury Capsule in Orbit. I wanted to paint this as there really aren't many paintings depicting real space events (maybe I should be the Ken Marshall of Space art instead lmao) This was mostly painted to show the capsule in full detail, thus the background is simple allowing the dark silhouette of ship to stand out amongst the sea of blue. The lighting isn't dramatic, done to show the basic form and detailing of the ship, especially the shingling and rivets, which were all counted and mapped out in order to maintain accuracy to the real capsule.


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