Tuesday, December 16, 2008

20th Post Extravaganza!!!

Well, not really. I'm just a-postin' my final for Intro to Animation. It's still really rough (to say nothing of the obvious faceless golfer metaphor), but I'm happy with it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mr. Peanut

So I am loving my animation class... it has totally consumed my life away from home (and a lot of it there, too). I haven't gone to my gen ed health class in like a month. That's how bad (or good) this obsession has become.
And to prove it, here is my second flour sack drop animation for the class (the first one was up to nearly 400 frames--and looking decent-- before I scrapped it for something simpler). This one got mostly good reviews, except I guess he's too rubbery. Oh, and Kelly said that he looks more like a peanut than a sack of flour (which is true. My bad!). Hopefully I can go back and fix it up, but I kinda like what I've got. Let me know what you think (oh, and sorry if it's too dark)!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gorilla On My Back

For some strange reason, the past couple of weeks I have seen a sharp decline in my figure drawing abilities, especially during class. I've hit some kind of slump (which is sad considering I wasn't great to begin with), and I'm currently researching preferred methods of major league baseball players for getting out of said slump.
Today was particularly frustrating in figure drawing class, until we got to do caricatures of each other! What fun that was! I was quite happy with how mine turned out, and since there is no more room on my mom's fridge, I decided I'd post them here! I hope you enjoy these vague resemblances of people you probably don't know...

This is Elle (she has a super-cool blog here). Her jaw is not nearly this square and masculine...

This is Garrett (he does not have a super-cool blog here). One time in class he had the hiccups for like two hours straight. Now that you know a little bit about him, doesn't this caricature look just like him?

This is Allen (he has a super-cool blog with an infinitely better portrait of Elle here). He has some cool hair (I'm jealous). He's not really this blurry in real life.

This is Claire (not to be confused with the Claire who has a super-cool blog here). Yes, that moustache was really there. No, it is not a real moustache.

And this was my favorite of the night, the legendary Johnathan Whiting. He's been caricature-ing me left and right in goblin poses all semester, and I am glad to say I got him back. I got him back good. (He has a super cool blog here and here.)

Anyways, thanks for the indulge!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"It's Better than 'Barf Bag'..."

I was assigned to whip up a poster for my job, encouraging patrons to copyright their work (and to respect everything else that has been copyrighted).

I didn't always feel so strongly about this kinda stuff (copyrights, not cavemen)... but then my wife started recording music (check it out here) and now I realize how important it is to respect someone else's livelihood. Lots of people hearken to "thou shalt not steal," right? Well, taking something that isn't meant to be free is stealing.

Sorry to get all preachy on you. To make up for it, here's a picture of what I would look like if I were a rodeo princess (which I'm not).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Midterms and Lost in Translation...

Midterms! Midterms! Midterms!
My figure drawing class is going fairly well (I'm learning a lot, but still have a long way to go!). The teacher, Scott T. Petersen, is great at getting us to put some life and personality into our work. We've focused a ton on story, setting and motivation (quite a bit more than anatomy or technique), and I must say it's been a blast. Here are some of the better pieces that have come out of whatever instrument happens to be in my hand...

On a somewhat related note, I have officially begun my first Animation class at the Y (and, yes, "Animation" should always be capitalized!). Kelly Loosli is my instructor there, and he is hilarious. This is the legendary bouncing ball... Prepare to yawn:

And, on a final (and altogether unrelated) note, my wife dropped everything and went to China for six months (before we met, surprisingly enough) to teach English to some youngsters over there (she had the time of her life--or so I'm told). Anyway, she brought back a ton of Chinese-crafted stuff, most of which features some sort of poor translation into English. The prize of her collection is this lovely jacket.
Take a look-see (be sure to read slowly!):
I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. We have, however, agreed to name our firstborn "Sinrill" (boy or girl-- it's all good).
The front of it reads:
Is that not the funniest thing you've ever seen? If not, I shall eat my hat! (Let me know-- I'll get the ketchup ready)
Anyway, just want to put that out there. Thanks to all you who stop by to read my blog. It's been fun to see this little creation of mine increase in poipularity. Hopefully this blog is constantly directing you to higher fhings!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Comics Are Fun, Five Times Fast!

This really happened to me (or at least most of it).

P.S. It's funny how poorly drawn the "super-sketchable" part is.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hold on Tight

Here's a little doodle from the other day. I have nothing interesting to say about it.

But blogger does have a handy new "following" feature. Basically it lets you list yourself as an official fan of a blog, and they'll send updates to your dashboard. I think it will also help strengthen the community aspect of the blogosphere (which is one of my favorite parts about blogging).
So if you'd like to become a follower of the greatest blog ever, all you have to do is click "Become a Follower" on the Avalanche Software blog. But you can follow mine too, if you want! Tips are appreciated.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fall is Here... Hear the Yell...

Wow! Fall semester has begun, and it seems like I'm in way over my head. The days are long (get up at 5, get home at 11), so I miss my wife terribly. But things are going well art-wise, so this temporary toughness is doing some good (and my wife is amazingly supportive). Mary, I love you!!!

Here's a couple of gestures that I liked from the open drawing session on Friday. They're not perfect, but I'm getting better bit by bit (or line upon line).

More importantly, my wife and I have been married for one year! Wahoo! It's been great. Married life takes some adjusting (especially if your prior existence was rather Ptolemic like mine) but there's nothing better in the world. Here's a little doodle of the two of us I did before we got married. My wife decided it should go on our wedding invitations (especially when she learned how photogenic I'm not).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wish Upon a Whale!

One of my favorite collaborative blogs is the Toon Club. I've been wishing on a star that they would invite me to join....and they even received a stirring endorsement of my work from none other than... myself (my mom wasn't home). Haven't heard back yet, but the wishing continues (and the wondering if Jiminy Cricket was full of hooey); and in the meantime I decided to work on my own rendition of their newest topic (simply called "beach"). This is a rough draft of an idea that will be a bit bigger and feature more characters (and, I promise, it'll be less depressing!). Anyway, let me know what you think (and find out how you can help save the whales!). But I sure appreciate all the recent comments from y'all (and yes, mom, I'm wearing clean underwear every day).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sketches are EASY!

I've been trying really hard lately to take my sketchbook everywhere I go (like the "My Buddy" doll that everyone else had when I was a kid...sob....) and doodle my noodles out. It's been a lot of fun (when I'm not getting too stressed out about it... sometimes I see something and my brain goes, "Whoa! Look! It's a [object/person/animal/flying buttress]! It's got [complex anatomical structure/expressive personality/super powers]! You should sketch that!" and then I get all stressed because I can't find my sketchbook and I need to be somewhere and my pens are running low and meanwhile the [object] is [walking away/flying away/being transmogrified]...I was lucky to get a good sketch of the wisk-handed she-pirate just before she shivered her timbers). Like I said, a lot of fun...

Gestures are HARD!

So since I'm immersing myself in every possible effort to get ready for the Animation program, I have been introduced to the lovely concept of gesture drawing. In case you don't know, it's basically trying to capture an expressive movement or action in a figure while maintaining a correct (albeit concise) anatomical structure in the drawing....and all that is done during a pose that lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to three or four minutes. So here are a few of the ones I've done lately that have shown glimmers of hope.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy August!

Holy canoli, the weeks just fly by. Summer term is almost gone, and Fall semester is just an Education Week behind. Things are going really well - I'm still learning a lot in my drawing class; but I'm learning much much more by viewing the work of so many talented artists (check the sidebar and browse their work! You may never come back to my blog again!). All in all, this translates into a couple of things for me: a) I'm drawing more, and b) those drawings are less and less resembling the section of the Friend magazine where the readers send in their own art.

Anyway, just to attach a visual to this post, here is something I made for an assignment in my Masterpieces of British Literature class. We got to kind of "translate" (in this case illustrate) the main theme of a poem. I chose Coleridge's "This Lime Tree Bower My Prison". Basically I used a tag cloud to find the most common words and transposed them over a portrait of the poet (that I did not draw), to give the sense that the work of any artist serves to shape who they really are (at least to the reader). It was hastily done (then done even more hastily after the original was lost), but I kinda like it. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My First Ever Figure Drawing

Isn't it great?

The following are my second and third figure drawings, respectively. I've been taking a beginning Figure Drawing class at the Y this summer, and it's been really great. I know the shading and proportions need a little work (and I need a bigger scanner I guess), but I'll get better. Let me know what you think (especially if you're an artist yourself -- constructive criticism please!).


It's been a month, and the wait is over. I've finally gotten my lazy derrier out of my chair-ier to post something.

This is an extremely rough character design for another personal project of mine that's been in the works for a few years now, actually (although it's only now starting to make its way to paper). Her name is Joss; she's an apprentice to a wizard of sorts (and she has a very big hat). Anyway, I'm still just a beginner on so many fronts (proportions, line quality, different styles, etc etc etc), but I'm sure I'll improve with time (oh, yeah, and hard work too). Let me know what you think!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wall·E Revisited

Okay, so after seeing Wall·E again, I would like to take back everything negative I said previously (except for the real/CG humans thing). It was much more enjoyable for me the second time. Good job, Pixar!

Grandpa and Wall·E

I was asked to throw together a design for a t-shirt for our family reunion coming up... and I thought of all the cheesy (and poorly designed) reunion t-shirts I've seen in the past. Does anybody wear those in public after the reunion? I wanted to make something that would be a little goofy but still funny enough to wear in public. Mission accomplished? We'll see how the family reacts...

(That fine looking gentleman is my grandpa circa 1970. The quote is an old Coca-Cola slogan from the early 1900's.)

On a completely unrelated note, my wife and I saw Pixar's "Wall·E" yesterday (and are going again today). I went in with high hopes...and left kind of discouraged. Pixar did an absolutely masterful job with the main character--who knew that a robot could be so expressive? The visuals were amazing as well. I just have a few beefs:

  1. I found myself getting extremely bored whenever Wall·E wasn't on screen-- I didn't think the other characters were quite as engaging.
  2. The mixture of real humans with CG just didn't work for me. To me, the goal of film (and especially animation) is to transport the viewer from their theater seat into a totally different world. But the illusion of life just wasn't there -- the CG humans and the real humans didn't look like they belonged in the same world (I guess 700 years will not only lower your bone mass but also make you look more like a cartoon).
  3. I read that the premise of the film wasn't too preachy, but I kinda thought otherwise...

Again, Pixar does absolutely incredible work (Ratatouille changed the direction of my life) and who am I to question them? This film is getting rave reviews, so what do I know? I think I just went in with too high hopes...I'm seeing the film again today, so maybe I'll have a totally different experience.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sketchbook Sampling

Here are a few of my favorite selections from a recently completed sketchbook. The first is a caricature of one of my wife's teachers (done while I was visiting the class). The second was for a personal project of mine (that is still "in the oven" of my mind). The third was more of a random doodle that seemed to come out pretty well.

I've just begun my trek back into the world of art school, so all my insecurities are coming back to haunt me. My work needs more polishing, my figures need more volume, I need to improve on shading, and on and on... but I'll get better (the only way is up!).

Friday, June 6, 2008

#614: Salad-Fork Ron

This is my own rendition of one of e-Hobo.com's legends of the boxcars, Salad-Fork Ron.

Special thanks to Campbell's for lending some inspiration (and delicious tomato soup!).