The Drawing Board #9
YouTube Star, Disco Balls, Art Analysis: Le Cafe Van Gogh, Temporary Vegan: Killer Tofu
Welcome to my newsletter where I share my personal creative process. I hope to inspire you to pick up a pen, paint brush or spatula and create something spectacular.
Here’s this week’s lineup:
I’m a YouTube Star: Video of my Creating Visuals for Writing presentation
Disco Balls: my step-by-step process on painting these fun lil babies
Art Analysis: Le Cafe Van Gogh
Temporary Vegan: Killer Tofu (yes, tofu can taste good and not like tofu)
I’m a YouTube Star 🤩
So… remember that Creating Visuals for Writing workshop I co-hosted a couple weeks back in TDB #7?
Well… it was recorded and you can watch the whole thing on‘s YouTube Channel.
In this video, I review 3 design principles used in historic art that you can apply to your own visuals: the rule of thirds, chiaroscuro, and complementary colors.
Enjoy and let me know what you learn!
I absolutely LOVE the bright colors, dazzling glitter, and realistic quality of Sari Shryack’s disco balls. I dream of owning one of her larger disco balls, some day in the future (maybe this one because it has EVERY color).
But then one day last week, while mindlessly scrolling through Instagram reels, I watched this artist paint her own disco ball in the spirit of Sari’s. I immediately thought about the multiple Mona Lisas that greeted me outside the elevator, when I arrived at the The Forgery Show back in 2018.
I was confused at first, wondering which one was real, and felt kind of silly realizing that none of them were. But the longer I stared into all the Mona Lisas’ eyes, I noticed subtle differences between each painting, like the color of her face or the proportion of her eyes.
ArtRoster is a group of Mount Shasta based-artists who learn how to paint like historic artists by forging their masterpieces. Inspired by ArtRoster, the Instagram artist, and most importantly, Sari, I decided to learn how to paint disco balls by forging Sari’s. So I ordered some round canvases and got to work as soon as they arrived.
I studied Sari’s disco balls, discovered this time-lapse she made, and studied how light and color bounce off of disco balls I found online and in real life.
Below is a twitter thread showing my process for my first disco ball (the one that’s rolling around this newsletter).
Below is an image of the final piece. What do you think? Should I add glitter?
Want to try this out yourself?
Grab a piece of paper, your iPad or a canvas. Find an image of a disco ball.
Where could you see a disco ball in your home?
What colors would it reflect?
Where would these colors be located on the disco ball?
Now draw or paint your disco ball. Send pics if you do!
Next week, I will share my step-by-step process for my second disco ball. And it will be a disco ball in-motion. Stay tuned!
Art Analysis: Le Cafe Van Gogh
AKA: Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles at Night by Vincent Van Gogh.
I know, it’s been a while, I took a break.
I was spending too much time preparing these and perfecting them. I’d spend around 2 full days choosing the art, making the diagrams and writing the tweets. I became a little burned out. People on Twitter are probably only spending one minute (at most?) reading these. So I decided to try something new for analyzing Le Cafe Van Gogh:
Not overthink the diagrams
Introduce a time constraint
By doing these two things, I finished the thread in only a few hours and the rest of my day was free for painting and writing. And honestly, there aren’t any noticeable differences between this thread, and the previous threads I spent 2 days on.
Let me know what you think:
Temporary Vegan: Killer Tofu 🔪
Yes, it is possible for tofu to taste good. If you follow the recipe below, I promise you’ll become a believer. And honestly, I’ve had a hard time finding a recipe that can compete with this one.
For the next 40 days, I will be observing THE FAST. My husband and I are not religious, but he likes to do the fast during Christian Orthodox Lent. He sees it as an opportunity for a 40 day detox. He feels great after Easter, so I thought I’d give it a try.
The requirements? No meat, no dairy. 100% Vegan.
I’ve heard that some serious Orthodox Christians also fast from oil. If you’re feeling that extreme, or want to try something new, then this recipe is for you.
Sweet Chili Lime Tofu
(Recipe adapted from Vegan Yum Yum)
1 package of extra firm tofu, pressed (or splurge on pre-pressed tofu like this one from Whole Foods)
3 tbs soy sauce (low sodium preferred)
3 tbs coconut sugar (I prefer the nuttiness of coconut sugar, but regular will do)
3 tbs lime juice
Zest of 1 lime
1 clove garlic, minced OR 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp Chili garlic sauce (adjust to taste)
Optional: 5-6 chopped fresh mint leaves
Stir all your sauce ingredients in a little bowl or cup (preferably with a spout for easy pouring), and set it aside for later.
Get out a large non-stick sauté pan and set your cooktop burner to a low-medium heat.
Cut your tofu in exactly ¼ inch strips, then stack the strips and cut in half down the middle into squares, and cut across the diagonals to make triangular shapes. (see images below)
Once the pan is heated, place as many tofu triangles as you can on the sauté pan – no oil, no cooking spray – the tofu must make direct contact with the pan. This is called a “dry fry.”
Let the tofu “dry fry” for several minutes, until it no longer sticks and can easily slide around the pan. You can also gently press the tofu into the pan with your spatula to speed up this process. You will hear the tofu cry 🥲 but it’s really the sound of moisture steaming out of the tofu. Flip the triangles and cook the other side. You may need to cook the tofu in several batches depending on how big your pan is.
Once all your tofu is cooked, put it all back into the pan. Let it all reheat for a few minutes.
Slowly pour your sauce into the pan, covering all the tofu and filling the entire pan. WARNING: It will sizzle and may splash up a bit, so be careful not to burn yourself. Quick! Grab your spatula and make sure all the tofu is covered. Turn down the heat after a minute of sizzling. Let the sauce thicken for another two-ish minutes.
And that’s it! Serve over some freshly cooked jasmine rice and slightly steamed veggies (not too soft, still bright in color). I like broccoli 🙂 they look like little trees and have a crisp taste with crunchy texture.
What would you serve this with? And would you try this recipe out? If you do, let me know how it went.
Thanks for reading, see you next time!
Happy Creating, Elizabeth
(Special thanks to Sandra Yvonne for providing valuable feedback on this newsletter, and for reminding me of this killer song from Doug!)
Man your life is art itself!
Glitter all the way! ;P
Love your art analysis (props to Angie for uploading the vid!) and I look forward to keep learning from you about visuals. I absolutely suck at everything visual so your analysis is very enlightening <3