Sunday, November 30, 2014

Father Christmas

So this is an old drawing that I decided to add some color too.  The drawing turned out looking very much like a 19th Century illustration, so I decided to go with it on the color.  I call him a "Father Christmas" rather than Santa because I always thing of Santa as being all red with a short coat... if St. Nick has a longer coat and there's some green involved then to me it's a Father Christmas.  Does anyone else have those sorts of associations? 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Apologies for being a politically marginalized retard

I didn't have to feel baited by being classified aggressive.

I didn't have to go on a long winded,  multi-thread blah blah about global warming.

I will never again use the TAG blog to talk politics.

I'm taking the Blue pill. That's the right color isn't it?

Duotone effects painted in with alpha mask channels

One vertical. One horizontal. 3 pixel thickness line. I need to make a 2 and 1 pixel line.
Really like the effect from brushing the "duotone" in with a chalk brush.
Kinda self explanatory, right? You can see what I did.
I built 1 and 2 pixel lines. I could cause some moire by blending different weights together.
So I won't do that.
Pretty happy with the experiment. This will be the ventriloquist story tones.
Update. No fake duotone for a couple of reasons.
Moire gets too ugly and the translattion from psd to jpg isn't reliably registered for the art. Making it moire - more ugly and uncontrolled.
Might still do the idea of prepared textures I paint into it with the alpha channel That's a basic game art idea.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Able to melt 200 Billion tons of Ice in 3 years

Or the equivalent 1 million aircraft carriers of ice.

Commission pencils done. Now I'll do the color.
 Cleaned up

Tom sez:
Bringin' it back to comics 'cause all roads lead to Kirby.
Kinda like this Ellis?
A world naval force made entirely of ice, ready to fight Klagg!
Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Colors. WIP

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

CTN EXPO 2014 Recap

You can call me recovered from this weekend's CTN (aka "Cartoon Talent Network") Expo. What was it like? You can get a little flavor from the artist exhibitors pages. Here is mine, and here is the whole roster of artist exhibitors--including one Jefferson Resolme Ranjo, who was an inexcusable no-show (tho' he kindly meet me and Joe for a great dinner at Don Cuco's after a long Saturday of overtime sketching at the Diz Studio).

The show was like a version of Comic Con that catered almost exclusively to those either working in, or wishing to work in the animation industry. Which felt like waltzing into a buzz saw... lots and lots of talented people, most of whom sat behind their table with a great deal more reason to be there than me....

Y'all remember my pal Joe Sanabria? With his great website of paintings and portfoliation? Well, Joe got a table and asked me along. I'd never been to CTN and for some reason (probably long-ago photos spied on Facebook of what looked like a chill Burbank street-fair), I thought the event would be a fairly low-key hangout.

First indication of the error of this perception should've come when I got the bill for our table: a nose-bleeding $755 dollars. Gulp.

It's a three day affair that takes up every inch of the Burbank Convention Center and will cost you something like $150 simply to attend--and reservations were required (tho' not extra $$?) for many of the talks/seminars (Glen Keane, fer instance...). But there were lots of gratis entertainments to be had, particularly in our neck of the woods, which was adjacent to both the old-fashioned 2D animation demo station (where major living masters of the artform like Eric Goldberg and Andreas Deja did live animation demos), the 3D modeling/painting/animating demo stage, and the live model sketching stage. Not far from us were the Copic marker folk with their own demos, too--tho' I missed seeing a single one, including one by one of the famous female art designer from Star Wars, Terryl Whitlatch....

 Our booth presentation looked a little flimsy compared to those tables surrounding us, tables staffed by either A. ambitious young recent graduates or near-graduates from prestigious animation/illustration programs, or B. famous-ass animation people. But I hoisted my FUME banner and let my Teen Ellis fly....

In the end we did OK--but nowhere near recouping our cost. I get the idea at a show like this is to NETWORK, and thereby garner new work...fingers crossed. We did have lots of people come by and stop and look at the work, a fair portion of whom plunked down cash to take a book home with them. Maybe I'm naive--no, I am naive--but that remains the essential test to me, the whole point of the excercise of unfurling yr rug in the bazaar and bartering with the public--you are hoping to get people to desire your stuff enuff to pay money for it. And whenever that bar is passed, no matter how small the stakes, I feel grateful and a little ecstatic.

Some of the drawings I did over the three days, many shared on Facebook (and Instagram!) already:
Michael asked me to draw him with Woody Guthrie--but when it turned out he was a big fan of my pal Peet's band "The Mountain Goats," I forced him to accept this. He was OK with it.

Sara wanted Beethoven! At top is Xavier, or "The X-Man" as we called him--a former co-worker who is, among other things, French.

This young lady was so very very, very nice. And I drew her about to be devoured by Evil Adele. It wasn't even s'posed to be a fat joke! Apologies to Adele, and Vivian (who was so horrified to see this perversion of her innocent request that I did a make-up drawing...and critiqued her storyboards).

Josh was a super-cool guy who eschewed my offer of drawing him with a favorite musician and instead requested...Wally Wood! I instantly thought of Ellis's pic posted here a while back, with machine gun. I tried to draw Josh in a spacesuit, but it came out looking like a deck hand in Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Josh has great taste in comics and exhorted me to do more with the Black Flag stuff...the only person this whole show (and all the others except ONE guy at APE) who responded to my Black Flag art! (and I forgot his glasses--same with Vivian above).

Speaking of Ellis and guns...this young chap's name in Ellis...Ellis Lu. Sweetheart of a guy who went to Stuart Ng's to buy my sketchbook on credit when he learned I couldn't take plastic...brought the book back (which already had a Chubby Cheeker vs. Frankenstein drawing in back) so I could do a sketch of him. One of the few where I remembered to put the glasses on a bespectacled subject. I always try to draw a person sans eyewear first, THEN add it on.... but I usually forget. Proof that I look past the superficial....

These were the two funniest guys of the whole weekend. Bought their books with the very last of their cash at the closing bell--paid full price, too, God bless 'em. Did Benny's on top in about 90 seconds as the security guards were trying to usher people out of the hall. And Daniel...this photo doesn't do the resemblance justice, but DANG he looked like a young J.R. Ranjo--with a Beatles haircut!!
(paging the Teen Ellis...!)  Told us his girlfriend had just done the cut. He CRACKED UP at both the drawings. They're pals.
Oh, one other cool thing that the organizers set-up but that didn't really fly: a pre-printed convention sketchbook filled with ads for each artist/company exhibiting. It was a nice 8.5" x 11" spiral bound thing. Most pages were just ads, but some of us did a clever thing and designed our ad with a pre-arranged empty spot where we could either sign or sketch a little personalization in for any fan willing to take the thing around and gather autographs...a great idea, except A. they ran out the first morning, so few people got them, and B. most were handed out to those who showed up Thursday to get their badges, and few bothered to haul it back.

We had a fun ad, designed by Joe--whose brilliant idea it was to not only so a comic strip, but to leave an entirely blank frame, and to set out heroes in space....

Three people had the books, but had no intention of having artists sign or otherwise deface the material...I had to demand they take the book out of their freebie CTN EXPO bookbag and let me draw in it. This one was typical...who doesn't love a space monster caricature?

Overall a good time. Met some real nice folk. I might just bite the bullet and sign up for next year...who's with me?

Monday, November 24, 2014


Stuff I did for work this weekend.  Cute farm animal concepts.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Trying to paint with oil when I haven't been set up for it in years. 
Very tiresome.
Tore into it without much of a plan.
Did get the big shapes.

The fellow I'm doing the commission for has given me permission to do digital color and a print. That's what it will be.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

They insist

Unlike Ellis's life drawing class, the North Park Drawing Group models insist on nudifying themselves. Pencil, white pencil on gray paper, 20 minute pose. The head may be too small, but if you turn the head to face forward in your mind the shoulder to butt is about 4 head lengths. The model was 6 feet tall.

Weekly figure drawing is about all the drawing I've done lately. No mood for self-deprecating caricatures. Lay-off identity crisis and such.

Here's a Thanksgiving themed sports page illustration I did for the North County Times in 2007. Happy Thanksgiving!

Going with the hovering 2 figures

Straight up rip of a Shane Glines pose for the hovering figure.
That's alright.
I may do the faint print out idea for this.

It has to be right in the sweet spot on the page. 
That would be easier if I'm working directly over the top of established images.
I have some old air brush color laying around. It's still good, and one bottle is magenta. It will make a good pink.
 Niblets, the familiar.
Something else I dabbled together today.
Need to get back to ventriloquism.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The New Me

I've been futzing with my website in prep for this weekend's CTN Expo in Burbank (the event is s'posed to be some kind of networking/skills-building/job-finding bonanza for animation industry types). In lieu of something more original, here is my "portrait" image for the CONTACT ME page.
Another thing I've been working on is finishing these "How To Draw The Head" videos for Carlo's CG Circuit website. There are lots of similar videos out there, so I'm putting a twist on mine: I'm doing them in color, via felt-tip marker (same way Ive been doing all these illustrations the last few years).

I know my previous exhortations at y'all to take a look at creating some classes for this site have been met with a collective yawn...BUT, you guys should check it out. Especially those of us with (*ahem*) some extra time on our hands.... One of us might unlock a profitable sideline in making useful instruction videos (my drawing lessons aren't the sort that make much $$, but they do help add content to the site, which I'm happy to do for my good pal "Carls").

One of the guys using the site made some very good Maya API (I think?) videos--and over the course of last year he earned $35,000 from downloads of his lesson! (I know, my little rant is veering into click-bait spam territory, apologies).

But if you have a minute, maybe check out his site. I KNOW everyone here could do a fun, interesting video teaching the world SOMETHING useful/amusing (Ellis on thumbnailing and executing a comic book story, or video game storyboarding; Tom Moon on Maya S/FX, or his process in creating a page from one of his gorgeous graphic novels, or Jimmy on technical PhoSho stuff, or making his marbleized backdrops, or creating game assets, etc.).

Carlo's even got me to agree to do a class on sculpting a portrait bust. I'll keep you updated....

Sunday, November 16, 2014

My Monday Evening-Digital Painting with Tim Jessell

It's free. 
May learn something.
I like his work.

Commission rough. Going to stylize it along the lines of Shane Glines style.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Up next- The first frame

Lobby art poster of the act.
Crowd- stage.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Remember These?!

Come to think of it EVERYBODY does my characters better than I do my characters. Remember these two drawings by Ellis and Rick way back when? In retrospect, it's easy to see that these were early versions of Raymond and Ivan!
Oh, and I added better photos of the cutouts to Marty's post below, plus the one of Stardust.

99 more frames to go

This will be the look of the ventriloquist script.
Pencils, leveled darker with tone added.
 Mit Balloons!
I lied about not wasting any more bandwidth with the same art. 
Discovered the "warp text" function. 
I'll stick with the same font- but warp the Dummy dialogue.


Check out this super-cool artwork I had done for Tom Moon's b-day:
Tom, you will have to post a proper close-up of the piece.

It is a large semi-dimensional cut-out of Tom's Raymond and the Giant Robot characters. The artist  even added two extra vignette portraits that can be attached to the larger piece!
Tom sez:
Here are some close-ups of the pieces.
This guy does my characters better than I do my characters!
Have to hire him for future issues.

There's so much amazing going on here, let me try to run thru it all....

First off--how wild that the artist, Nat Goldblatt, created a Raymond THAT LOOKS LIKE TOM?! Tom and Patty remarked on this first thing, and asked if I'd deliberately set the artist out to do this--I hadn't! I don't even know if Nat knows Tom is of Korean heritage--I will be emailing him to find out. But I'm glad that #1 I'm not the only one who sees a resemblance, #2 the Moons weren't offended!

But more than the scintillating resemblance, you might be wondering how all this came about?

Remember those Inhumans drawings I'd been posting over the last year or so? Not the most recent one, but the others? I'd also posted them to the mighty Tumblr, where they were picked up by a terrific page called "The Inhumans Forever" (check it out--the proprietor Nat simply posts all kinds of great Inhumans art--including some from yrs truly). When I saw that I'd been "re-blogged," I emailed the proprietor of the site to thank him. He said he dug my work, and pointed me to another site of his where he posts his own artwork. He added that if I ever wanted to swap some art, he'd love to oblige.

So I checked his site out. It's HERE. I particularly love his recent Adam West Batman--you will laff, laff, laff!

Turns out he does amazing cut-out art. Mainly of recognizable characters from comic books and pop culture. Well, I loved his stuff. And looking at his work, (boy, is he prolific!!), an idea formed--wouldn't it be cool to see his take on some of Tom Moon's incredible characters?

But I was hesitant--maybe he wouldn't be too jazzed about the effort required to research unfamiliar characters--and then, what if he did a bad job, (didn't seem possible, but you never know...)??  And then again, however well they turned out, Tom might be mortified to see his special creations defiled by the hand of an unknown artist--and before he'd even had a chance to publish a single comic! Or maybe he'd just be annoyed that I had arrogantly taken it upon myself to share his own characters with someone outside the TAG circle--without his permission??

So I chickened out and asked Nat for a small cut-out of Stardust, the strange Golden Age hero by idiot savant artist Fletcher Hanks (a character and artist who I knew Tom loved).

(Tom, go ahead and post a photo of the great Fletcher Hanks cut-out Nat did right HERE)

Tom sez: Done!

But even after I'd sent the email request to Nat for this safe choice (wonderful as I knew it would turn out--and I wasn't disappointed, as you will see once Tom posts a pic), I kept thinking how great Tom's own characters would look in this cut-out format.

So I broke down and asked Nat if he could do this one, too--just a little something, nothing too elaborate. Maybe 9" x 12", tops (I figured much smallerl might be more difficult when it came to manipulating the scissors?). Just whatever the characters and story inspired in him--but preferably the two of them fighting. And I insisted that I pay. But Nat refused payment, and asked that instead of paying him, I make a donation to Chicago's Cancer Research Foundation. How's that for an amazingly selfless referral??

Well, it only took Nat a few days to do BOTH cut-outs--this in addition to his full-time job (!) as a psychologist (!). But it took the package well over a week to get here...I was on pins and needles. When it arrived, what I found on our doorstep was a HUGE dbl-reinforced cardboard flat. I was shocked. When I opened it I was thrilled--thrilled to see how fantastically well Nat had rendered everyone--and shocked to see how elaborate and large it all was.

He emailed and said, yeah, he got a little carried away, don't sweat it.

(And not only did Nat go above and beyond with his quite brilliant rendition of Tom's characters, and the brilliant Stardust, but he also included three ADDITIONAL cut-outs that he said he had laying around the studio and that he thought I would like--one of 'em was a sexy Vampirella that I sent to Jimmy for Halloween. Amazing!)

So in the spirit of reciprocity, I inked an Inhumans drawing for Nat (the one from a few weeks ago) and mailed it off. But it wasn't until last night that Tom and I were able to get together (he was out of town for a while). NOW that we've finally gotten the art into Tom's hands, I can finally post these images and tell the tale.

And thankfully, not only did Tom like the cut-outs, but so did his wife Patty--she said they have to go up on the wall. Phew!

You know, one of the few truths I've learned in this life is, it's always worth it to commission a piece of artwork. If it's at all possible financially, you'll never regret it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday "Worricker"

Blair and I spent the last two nights watching the first two "Worricker" films from PBS. All-star cast headed by Bill Nighy. Tonight was "Turks and Caicos," the second film. The first one was called "Page Eight" and Blair calls it her favorite film of the year.

Third and final one airs the 16th on yr local PBS affiliate. Highly reccommended.