Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Another character concept

I think this guy would've worked out okay for the He-Man series or something along those lines. Another idea that can be worked up.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Marker board notes - 2013

Periodically I take photos of some of the marker board notes I make in class from my lectures in Character Design 1at my school The Animation Academy in Burbank California. Last year in December 2012 I posted some pictures in a blog entry. This year I thought I'd do the same thing from a few notes ranging through 2013.
Here's what I've learned while reviewing my notations. I like to use the image of a teddy bear to get basic concepts across. I place an emphasis on the importance of drawings hands convincingly. Sometimes I'll write down things that have something and nothing to do with the subject at hand.
Maybe some artists out there might pick something up of benefit from these notes. It was a good year at my school and I had enjoyed teaching some talented individuals who were a lot of fun to be around.



Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thinking about characters

Now that it's the season I have a little more time to get into a creative mindset. I've been imagining different characters and sketching them out. Here's some drawings I came up with a couple of days ago. Not sure who he is or what he's about but the initial concept process may lead to an interesting personality down the line...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Exploring a character

I had an image forming in my mind so I thought I'd get it on paper. Turned out different than what I initially envisioned but it's a good result none the less. Blue pencil on 12 field animation paper. This is the composition as you see it starting with the large rendered image then to the bottom right then the two small studies on the left. He looks like an alien humanoid. I'll work on this further in the future.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Jesus concept - Christmas 2013

Well here it is another Christmas Day. I was thinking of creative ways to celebrate and since I had my acrylic paints out and some illustration board I acquired earlier in the year I though I'd have fun painting a picture of Jesus the Holy Man. My painting skills are a little rusty as I haven't done much of it in a long time. But I'm resolved to get back into the swing of tossing around pigments once again and this kind of study makes for good practice.

This is a pencil sketch that I painted over. I was striving to give him a mystic feel like he could look right through you. When the painting was scanned the colors were off so I had to do some adjusting in Photoshop to get the right effect plus I did a little extra tinting to push the contrast between the figure and the background. Analog with some digital touch ups. Turned out okay for a three hour sitting.

Happy Birthday Jesus and Merry Christmas to all the great folks I'm blessed to have visiting my blog. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Christmas from ArtShark

For a long time ever since 1998 I was having fun with ArtShark. He's the character I created as a mascot for my school The Animation Academy in Burbank and has become a brand of the company. A few years ago in 2006 and 2007 I came up with versions of him to illustrate a Christmas greeting from the Academy. One was ArtShark as Santa and the other as a snowman.

Here's the color version of him as Santa Claus...

Before that here's what he looked like in final line...

And before that he looked like this in rough sketch concept form...

   And the following year this is how he looked in concept as a snowman...

And from that I went straight to color on Photoshop...

I always enjoy myself when working on ArtShark. Maybe we'll be seeing more of him in the New Year.

In the meantime...

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Birthday Matt

This is for long time member of my blog Matt from the Worthing Boys Club in the UK. Thanks for hanging out and for being a part of the creative experience here. Your birthday is December 21 as I understand so please excuse the day late entry. Hope you had a fun celebration!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hello again

Hey everyone! Hope I haven't lost too many of you. It's been a crazy crazy month so far. Capped off by a major ceiling leak in one of my classrooms that caused a lot of water damage to some very important and expensive equipment. Only one cure for a bummer like this and that is getting back in a creative groove.

I hope you're doing well. Happy to be back and sharing some artwork. lately I've been inspired by some research I've been doing into the Impressionists and also art I've been seeing from fellow colleagues at the Burbank Art Association of which I'm happy to say I'm president. So I thought I'd treat myself to an evening of painting in the Visual Development class. It's been a long time since I got my acrylics and brushes out. I used a piece of illustration board and slapped some color around. This is the result after about an hour and a half or so. Maybe going on two hours. I'm a bit out of practice but it was good fun none the less. Will be doing this more often on a regular basis if I can. Depends if the ceiling panels cave in again or not.

Friday, December 06, 2013

At Walt Disney's grave on his birthday - December 5 2013

Howdy everyone!

Yesterday I took a trip to Walt Disney's grave on the occasion of his 112th birthday. Here's what it looks like...

I do this every year since 2008. I shot video of my visit as I did last year and wanted to share it with you. Unfortunately the video hasn't showed up on Blogger's YouTube search yet so I can't embed it at this moment but I will later when it becomes available and I'll edit the post.

Meanwhile you can take a look at how things went by watching the video below. I had a mishap with the flowers but everything turned out alright. I get a little emotional when I'm at his grave as it's an intense personal experience for me being that close to him. What can I say! I'm a man of passion. :) Plus I have a great affection for Walt Disney.

Hope you enjoy this and hope it helps you keep him in memory. Thanks for participating in the moment...

There are many people of fame and notoriety that are buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California. If you'd like to see photos of some of the graves of a few famous people, I posted them at this link on the AnimationNation Forums...


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Checking in...

Hello everyone and thanks for continuing to visit my blog. I've been meaning to keep on my schedule of daily posting or as close to daily posting as I can. Things have been getting progressively busier and the demands on my time are at the point where something has to give. I really enjoy posting art and interacting with you good folks and am actively working towards clearing away things so I can get back to it. Shouldn't be too much longer. 

Meanwhile let me say how much I appreciate the attention and the input you've given the blog in the year and a half that I've been maintaining it. This has been a great experience and a lot of fun. Something I fully intend to continue. Thanks very much and I'll be back soon. Thanks again.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

It's the Thanksgiving Holiday here in the USA and I'd like to pass along a greeting to everyone who frequents my blog. Thank you for visiting and participating! It's been a year and a half since I started posting and it's been a great experience. I appreciate all the new friends and interesting people I've met. Thanks again, God bless, keep the faith, and let's be grateful for all the good things we have in our lives. Especially wonderful people. :)

And speaking of wonderful people, here's something I came up with in 2008 for the dedication page of my book Controlling Illusion. I dedicated it to my mother and father and honored them with this humble pen sketch which I colored in Photoshop...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Crash Bandicoot 1 - Crocodile and Shark

You may recall sometime last year when I posted some images of characters developed for Willy the Wombat / Crash that were never used. One of them being a crocodile. Here's the design I'm referring to followed by the revised version based upon Naughty Dog's input. The later drawing is dated April 1995.

Also there was a shark I created for the first Crash game. This is what I posted last year followed by a design for a hammerhead shark of sorts dated March 1995. I don't know if the hammerhead design or if the second crocodile design has been published before but I'm sure I'll find out soon thanks to the Crash experts on the blog.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The value of Free Form sketching

The day before at my school in the Visual Development class I created a demonstration for a student who was struggling with the concept or free form drawing. That's the term I use for sketching with a non-erasable medium such as black line pen of marker. This is what I drew for her and then rendered in blue afterwards.

Today I finished an image that was related to the idea of free form drawing. Instead of drawing in black line first I instead sketched the concept in blue pencil and followed up with line.

One of the advantages of working in a permanent medium such as black line is that it takes away the option of erasing and thus develops a greater confidence in your ability to commit to the emerging composition. It's a great exercise for any artist who's looking to reach higher levels in the creation of their art.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Crash Bandicoot 1 - Monkey and Gorilla

You may remember last year when I posted a design for a character from the original Crash / Willy the Wombat that was a thug kind of monkey. I found the revised version and would like to include that as well. I also found a design for a gorilla character. These are all from March 1995.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A lesson in color and tone

In the early days of my school back in 1998 I gave a demonstration in the Visual Development class about how color and grayscale tone are related to each other. It was a fun experience. For my current students and others who may be engaged in developing this aspect of their skills here's the demo that I created at that time. Starting at the end of the process with color and going in reverse...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Crash Bandicoot 1 - Possum and Koala

Hello there everybody! Sorry for the delay in posting new content. Things have been really busy lately and sometimes it gets to the point where I have to deal with what's in front of me at any given moment. Let's get back on track with the latest in never before seen art from the development of the original Crash Bandicoot game in the days when it was Willy the Wombat.

Here's a couple more incidental characters I came up with in March 1995. One is an opossum and  the other a koala bear. My first attempt gave them some fairly nondescript eyes and upon Naughty Dog's feedback I revised the designs accordingly.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pencil to color concept sketch

Around 2002 at my school I engaged in a demonstration for the Visual Development class. I looked to communicate how simple it was to create with watercolor. Starting from a blue pencil thumbnail sketch I proceeded to redraw the concept in graphite on paper suitable for pigments. Next I mixed some basic colors for the composition in a direct but controlled manner and painted right on top of the pencil line. The result of which you see below. This was a quick and fun demo that helped get a message across as to how efficient and effective some traditional analog mediums can be. Color studies make a great portfolio filler plus they're an excellent exercise in prepping for more ambitious works.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Crash Bandicoot 1 - Running Lizard

Looking through the archives I found another obscure character from the development of the original Crash game when it was Willy the Wombat. I posted the first image last year when I was featuring characters that never made it into the game. At the time I was asked to design a running lizard so this is what I came up with. The running lizard Naughty Dog wanted was one with a hood that would expand and give a menacing appearance as one would expect to see in nature. The revised design is dated March 1995 as is the lizard in the track suit. The reason why the second lizard is simple and angular is due to the requirements of the original PlayStation console. There were a limited number of polygons that each character was comprised of so I adapted and kept that in mind when I worked the revised concept.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Drawing Jesus - Lesson in grayscale and color

I've been experimenting with Saturday sessions at my school. A student at that time is taking Visual Development and he's at the point of moving into the use of tonal rendering in preparation for color. One of the things I impress upon my students is the importance of the relationship between tonal grayscale values and color. I got the message across yesterday through the use of a demo.

I started by drawing a stylized image of Jesus or a Jesus like character. I felt like this would be a good subject to work on. Here's the initial blue line drawing...

When I was comfortable moving forward I got my gray markers out and made three photocopies of the original. The first was rendered in a range of light tones with a degree of contrast within that aspect of the grayscale spectrum.

The second one was rendered using the mid-value range of grays...

The thirds was approached using the far end of the value spectrum which is the range of darks...

After class I spent some more time rendering the light value image in Photoshop using several layers of transparent tones of  color with a few opaque highlights. This is the result...

To prove my point about how important tonal values are I converted the color image to grayscale. Take a look at how the color translates to a full range of tones. Lights to middle tones to darks...

And that's the lesson for the day my friends. If you're an artist looking to improve upon your fundamentals keep in mind an example such as this one. It will help to make you more effective when creating in a visual development capacity.