Carlos Felipe Leon

Lunch sketches

Working in downtown SF was so inspiring to me, I love urban environments, so I made it a habit to go out and sketch during my lunch break. Here are some of those sketches:

Downtown view


The view from our office at Oculus Story Studio, painted from life, right in front of my desk! I am going to miss this studio so much!

VR painting

For the past year I have been working in VR projects, and it has opened a wide range of new possibilities for artistic expression. Aside for some projects which I unfortunately can’t share yet, here are some VR paintings that I have made using “Quill”, a wonderful painting tool created at Oculus story studio.


Trolls was the last project I worked on at the wonderful DreamWorks/PDI studio. It was an extremely challenging project (it was so difficult to reinterpret the vintage dolls the movie is inspired from), the art team headed by our production designer Kendal Cronkhite and art director Tim Lamb did such an amazing job! Overall it was a super fun project full of saturated color, dance and directors with the best sense of humor. Seriously they should make a comedy special out of our art reviews.

All images  ©DreamWorks Animation



The new Sang Chong Market

Hey everyone, here is the piece I made for Oculus and the Quill Launch, you can see it in Quill by going under settings and checking the box “show high quality content” and then checking out the gallery again, it will be there! I made some new shots of it.
Check out the comments below, I am attaching all the WIP steps that went into making it. The whole piece took about a week and a half of very intense painting. Hope you enjoy it! Let me know if you have any questions about it. Great to see everybody adopting VR painting, super fun, huh? If you want to see more stuff, here’s my artist page:

Happy painting!

Posted by Carlos Felipe León on Tuesday, December 20, 2016

This is a piece commissioned by Oculus Story Studio for the launch of Quill, the VR painting tool the studio has created.
I gave it my all, and in the end I feel really happy with it. It’s part of a painting series I have been working on, portraying people in their working environment and showing what happens behind the counter. It is based on the chinatown neighborhood in Oakland, where I enjoy going for a walk every now and then. The difference in culture and language turn the whole environment into an abstract space where there is little I understand. I like being able to appreciate things without attaching too much meaning or judgement to them, this ambiguousness extends to the character herself.

This piece can be seen with any copy of Quill, make sure you have the “show high quality content” feature active in the settings.

Here are a couple of more snapshots of the piece:

The Bergen World

OK I have to come out clean. What I enjoyed the most on this project was to work on the world of the Bergens. It turned out to be the strangest mix of a medieval theme with 70s disco party and tacky orange and avocado colors. Super weird. Super strange. Super Kitsch. Super interesting. Here are some visual development pieces I did early on:



Prince Gristle tries on a very special bib for his date at the roller disco pizza place.



Bridget is an ugly bergen cinderella. Poor bridget, too many dishes to wash…



In her tiny room beneath the castle, Bridget loves in silence and tears.



…Bridget’s heart is aching



Roller. Disco. Pizza.




First place

First place

More Quill!! Here's "First place", another sketch I had started a while ago and just finished last night. I am so happy Quill is out now and we can share all this stuff we have been working on!! #VR #quillart #Dogs #illustration

Posted by Carlos Felipe León – Artist on Tuesday, December 13, 2016

I love how painting in Quill, color becomes something volumetric, a substance you can manipulate just like in traditional painting. Here I am exploring what it would feel like to move through transparent layers of paint.

Bergen style!

Here are some pieces I did to help determine how the bergen world would look. We wanted a very raw look, a lot of the inspiration came from the paintings of Philip Guston:


Analyzing how different materials could be rendered



Studying shapes and materials.



Crazy town

A portrait

Portrait sketch

Portrait sketch done in Quill. I love how it's halfway in between painting and sculpting.
#VR #Oculus #quillart #portrait #sketch

Posted by Carlos Felipe León – Artist on Wednesday, December 14, 2016

This was my first attempt at doing a portrait, based on someone I saw on the bus. This is when it became clear to me that I wanted to use Quill as something that is halfway between painting and sculpture.

Prince Gristle


This is an oil painting I made as a gift for our amazing production designer Kendal Cronkhite.

The troll world

Cracking this one was super difficult. The troll world is full of rainbows, cupcakes, glitter and scrapbooking, and all that saturated color is hard to keep under control! Having Lisa Frank as a reference for color was hard to stomach, but in the end it just goes to show how crazy and unlikely creative decisions are the answer under the right circumstances!


Concept for Poppy’s house. We also wanted to play with traditional scandinavian decorative design, huge scale, very shallow focus, and felt everywhere!









Here I was exploring how the characters could look both fuzzy and translucent

30 minutes!?

My buddy Goro Fujita and I sometimes have a 30 minute VR sketching session, it’s super intense. Here are some of the results based on imposed subject matter:

30 minute VR sketch using Quill for our daily spitpaint group! Today's theme: "boar hunt"
#quill #quillart #vr #sketch

Posted by Carlos Felipe León – Artist on Friday, April 28, 2017


Another 30 min. Quill sketch from this morning! The theme was "verdant valley" #quill #sketch #vr #quillustration

Posted by Carlos Felipe León – Artist on Thursday, March 23, 2017


Here's another 30 min. VR sketch from this morning, the subject was "Toxic air". #quill #sketch

Posted by Carlos Felipe León – Artist on Monday, March 6, 2017


This morning my buddy Goro Fujita Art and I did a 30 Minute sketch challenge in VR. The theme was "Fuel", this is my take on it. 30 minutes is very little time for a VR piece, super stressful! #quill #quillart

Posted by Carlos Felipe León – Artist on Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Declaration of women’s rights


Last year I had the immense pleasure and honor to work on a collective illustrated book of the declaration of WOMEN’s rights.
It collects the articles in the 1791 declaration by Olympe de Gouges, as well as the 1967 United Nations declaration on the elimination of discrimination against women.

Thank you so much Gérald Guerlais for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful project, and congratulations to all fellow artists who did such gorgeous work on it. This feels particularly relevant in today’s insane political climate, but misogyny has been around forever and needs to be fought fiercely.

This is my illustration of the UN declaration’s article 8: “All appropriate measures, including legislation, shall be taken to combat all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women”


Declaration of human rights


Hi there! This is my contribution for the book “Nothing to declare? Yes, human rights!” published by editions du chêne in France. A collective of artists from all over have illustrated the articles of the declaration of human rights. A wonderful project in which I was very honored to work on article 2:

“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.”

Thank you Gerald Guerlais for putting together the project, and congratulations to all the amazing contributing artists. The publication will be available in January from Amazon France, shipping everywhere:

Back to top