Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Yule Tidings.


Just a quick note, and again no images this time.
I just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas (to those who celebrate, and to those that don't) I hope and pray that the Lord will show you much of his love during this season and I hope you find time to rest and be merry. Sing songs! Drink Eggnog! etc!

The Muppet Christmas Carol: Best Christmas Movie of All Time?

Cheers and thanks for reading!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In which a great deal is said, and little is seen.

Just for fun, and because I can: A post!
I am home for the Holidays, and I am lagging like online Stratego circa 2001! So, it's something like 3am in the morning here, but of course I haven't bothered to set my clock back yet so I know full well that it is 9:18pm in America. I have found one of the two spots in the house where the wireless signal is functioning, and have settled in the narrow space between the couch and the TV to write a little note to the wide open web for any who care to read. Weirdly enough, I don't have any art to post or anything professionally significant to announce...I just figured, since I have a blog, I may as well post since I seem to be too tightly wedged here next to the TV to do anything else.
Actually, I've written an essay or two this semester that I thought might be worth sharing with y'all (henceforth, any reference to "you" "you guys" or "y'all" will assume I am talking to those who are actually interested in reading so far down this graphically unadorned posting. If you're one of those still reading: shame on you! don't encourage me.) This semester I took a class with an amazing professor named Dan Cavicci. The class, "Audience", was a study of the concept and idea of audiences throughout history. Sounds strange at first, but it's really rich and fascinating stuff when you get down to it. It's brought to mind a conversation I've been having a lot recently and I began to skew my essays and general focus in the way of the Internet. I actually just went out to eat with the parents of a friend at school and we had a very long and animated talk over dinner about parenting and the responsibilities of the media-maker in the post-Internet world. Fascinating stuff, almost knocked over the water.

The latest essay was meant to run in a more autobiographical bent, and so I've decided to take advantage of one of those things that the Internet is so famous for providing: putting my crap out there to see if there are likeminded people out there crossing my digital path. Hopefully someone out there might even be amused:

I edited it down and added a few things for this version, but it's most of the original essay.
There's TONS more to say, and I know I talk a lot, but given the subject matter I couldn't resist attempting to post it and see what people thought.

That's that, then. I've been spending my newfound free time surfing youtube with friends who are likewise adjusting poorly to having no immediate work to do. While doing so, I was trying to explain Europe, the Eurovision Song Contest, and why "Lordi" was such a I subjected several friends to the following two videos:
(beware: LAME!)

Also: I know my website is not properly working on Internet Explorer. I'll be getting to work fixing that in the next few weeks (allow Christmas lag :p)
I'll be working on a number of projects soon enough...I can't stay away from making artwork for very long, after all. I won't make many more of these imageless posts, so don't give up on me just yet!

I hope you are all well and continue to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Much love,


Wednesday, December 10, 2008!

Hey everyone!

That's it, as of today: finals are over! I am done and officially one semester closer to graduating from RISD in the Spring! Weird.

Also: as of right now, is live!
My last final was Web Design and the result of it is out and about on the world wide web for all to see...that's right, I now have my own official website! I'm really excited...I dunno why it seems like a big deal, but the "dot com" helps to make it feel all neat and official (so does the favicon, which is so silly as to be preposterous, but it doesn't stop me geeking out about it).
Please go and check it out and drop me a comment. Definitely update your links and bookmarks if you have em and spread the word! :D If people are interested in having a banner to link me with, then let me know and I'll make a few.

It's very new and there are doubtless some bugs to work out, so let me know how it works for you. I'm pretty pleased with the design myself, but I'd really like to hear what everyone thinks!
A large portion of the credit is due to Peter Lefferts (programmer and co-designer of Selah, incidentally) for walking me through the trickiest bits and telling me when I was being stupid. By the end now I really actually feel like I kind of understand how to do it, which is neat...especially when I decide I want to redesign it/design a new page (webcomic, anyone?)

In other news: I'm going Home on Sunday. Which is an unspeakably relieving idea at the moment...I'm really looking forward to what my be my last Christmas in Austria. And I love Christmas so much that generally I'm just looking forward to the break. I fully intend to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol until the tape breaks and I have to buy a new copy.

I'll be working a bit over the break as well...I'm actually going to be doing a 6-ish page story for an upcoming comics Anthology called Seasons. More on that, I cannot say, but it ought to be pretty exciting. It's looking to be my first published comics work, so I'm going to be kicking my butt to get it looking nice :D

Otherwise, thanks for reading and if I don't post before the bless-ed day: Merry Christmas to all, and to all a



Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Good Day.


-no text-

Hey Guys!
Here it is: the last assignment for Shanth Enjeti's 'Character Creation' class. The prompt was simple: take two characters that you've designed and rework them. Then, illustrate a scene with both characters. This is the result of all those color studies and a long battle with the idea over the week. I just couldn't bring myself to pull out the purple, being that Kojo was so engrained in my head as this misty green/blue palette. The whole idea is kind of based out of dream-imagery for me and so I've been very attached to the concept from the get-go...and it can be hard to subject those kinds of things to a classroom critique situation.

One of the things to tackle was that this illustration, just by the nature of having this big nasty monster in it, had to have that ominous feeling...had to scream "RUN!", so it couldn't get too "pretty". And overall I was realy just pursuing the vision I had for the project in the beginning.
Anyways...this felt SO GOOD to do, I can't even tell you! It's been such a long semester of single-shot character designs against plain-backgrounds that getting to sink my teeth into something with a composition and story was just so nice. Like coming home :)

I'm quite pleased with the outcome, and it went over really well in class! It's such a bittersweet thing, finishing up this class. I feel like I've learned a LOT about character design and how to approach my work in general and I love the people and the dynamic so much that I really don't want to leave, but on the other hand I can hardly wait to get home for the holidays.

In fact, I am very excited to come home to Vienna for Christmas this year! It's going to be great to go home, and I have some exciting work to be playing with over the break that will show itself around here soon enough, I'm sure! I've got a few ideas that I'm sorting through and hopefully I'll get a chance to do come comic-book work soon. I've got some killer classes coming up next semester...two with Jon Foster (I'm bracing myself for a significant workload). I'm also starting to work through the first stages of a project I'm sure I'll be talking about more here later...myself and a friend will be endeavoring to create an anthology of RISD comic work by the end of Spring semester and independently publish...could be really cool!

I just got back in from Caroling with my friends, which was an entirely pleasant experience. Any opportunity to sing in public, really. And I REALLY love Christmas :)

Also: Very soon my personal artist's website will be due, which means that very soon my site will be online. I can't show anything just yet...I'd like it to be a surprise, but I think it's looking pretty neat...I'll be interested to think what people think of it when they see it!
It is extremely late here in Providence and I think I'll head to bed. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Portent of Things to Come!

My teacher liked my least favorite and most last minute color study (purple) the best :p That happens a lot...once again, the tighter you hold something...
So I've done a few variations on that layout with some modifications from crit and some color schemes I'd be much more pleased to work out for the final piece. It's fun, doing these! Anyways, I'm posting these to show process and also because I need a link to refer my prof to so he can check up on my progress (I'm partial to the middle one, but that's because that's the palette I'm envisioning Kojo in, and it's a little hard for me to stray too far from that here)

Well, finals are upon us all over here! Things are starting to move towards completion and I'm prepping to say a tearful goodbye to Character Creation class :( For our final assignment we were charged with redesigning/tweaking two of our preexisting characters and doing a variety of color studies for a final piece in which the two (protagonist and antagonist) confront each other. SO: I'm doing a Kojo piece, since I seem to have stumbled across a new little world to develop.
It's been hard because the idea for Kojo kind of came in a bit of a dream (not to get too weird or pretentious) but It's hard to let go of that imagery and color palette even for the good of the piece. Anyways, the top study is my favorite to that end, but here were a few studies I put together for today. I also did some redesign sketches for Kojo and his foe (the big white element in all the sketches stands graphically for what will be the montser) but I'm still working on redesigning the two of them, so I won't post those just yet. It's been a rough week, but I think I'm coming out of the woods! It's been a lovely weekend thusfar, and I can hardly wait for Thanksgiving break! I am in need of a change of scenery and some serious stuffing!

Oh, and before I forget, part of this crazy week was having a portfolio review with Genndy Tartakovsky (creator of Dexter's Lab, Samurai Jack, Clone Wars etc.) which was WAY neat. Although I did leave the meeting feeling very vaguely that he disliked my work, aparently that was not the case. Still, he did mention a lack of readability in terms of value-range in my work and so I spent a good while of this week's process hitting the drawing board with a lot of simple value studies. I actually left the interview and immediately went to my room to work on little value studies. So that y'all can see how I think through this sort of stuff, here's those:

Also: I just snuck away with some friends to see Disney's 'Bolt'. Which (having no expectations to begin with) was pleasantly surprising. Really nice color and background painting, and excellent character design. Bolt himself was freakin' CUTE as crap. And the gestalt of the little group running around, chubby hamster in ball, emaciated cat, and huge-headed pup, was rally nice. Some really touching and sincere character animation as well. I do not regret seeing it, and would reccomend you not write it off completely if you're considering seeing it.

Well, I'm going to get some much-needed sleep...but be on the lookout: In the next two weeks I'll be finalizing a redesign on Kojo and the monster, putting together a full-sized finished piece based off of one of these studies, and finally putting together and launching my website! Fun!

Much Love and Enjoy!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Kojo, Monster-puncher and the Nipplebeast

Hi all!
I'm really flattered that there are actually watchers to this blog once I posted that gadget...I never knew if anyone actually read this or not, but now I feel somewhat heartened: at least 21 people plus my parents read this blog on a regular basis! :)
So, full of vim and vigor, I hasten to post!

This week's assignment was a neat one. Another good/evil pair, this time a protagonist and antagonist based out of our life experience. It's all very similar to the other assignments, but the point is essentially the critiques and improvement over the class. Each assignment could be the same each week and the variety of the work on the wall would be pretty immense, and this class would still rock.

Anyways, I started out pretty strong this week, got my sketchbook out and started doodling right out of the gate. But the middle stretch killed me. I just kept running into this wall. I wanted to deal with the idea of brotherhood in a very positive light, but all my very hairy muscle-y multiple-faced barbarian men with their beards braided together looked a little negative. I was way stuck on this Celtic thing and I couldn't get away from the bare-chested warrior motif. Not that there's anything wrong with that (I'm going to have to do one soon, just to remind myself that I CAN) but it just wasn't working for me. I also have this concurrent running design of this translucent jelly-suit with things suspended in it...but that wasn't really doing it for me either. I'll have to come back to those, but in the meantime I was just frustrated and the week was wearing on and I still didn't have a design. So I stayed up late sketching Wednesday night and ultimately decided that the best thing I could do was just sleep. I got into bed, on a whim put on the Yoshida Brothers (I had never played their stuff much before) and had some very grassy, windswept dreams ideas before I drifted off to sleep. I woke up Thursday morning, still humming the Yoshida Brothers, and went down to the library picture collection to look up Chinese costume and came back to the studio with Kojo and the Nipplebeast.

Just to lift the veil on the concepting process a little bit, with Kojo (I know he and his little brother are pretty soft and androgynous...I may tool with the design to clarify it, but they're meant to be male characters) I wanted to communicate the idea of brotherhood and protection. I used the arm shapes of my jellysuit to make the stone slabs over his arms, and reworked the idea of the inter-braided hair...the ideas of weaving and braiding were pretty important to me. I was really touched by this picture I found in the costuming file of this little Chinese boy with his hair in a long braid and his little baby brother slung over his back.
I sort of brought the Celtic vibe back in, but I found that the best way to get to the good stuff is to let go of whatever it is you're clutching tightly at the time. The principle has applied so much with God, why shouldn't it with art? (or vice versa)

Ultimately I'm pretty psyched about the design and the vague notions of the world I'm forming. The name is very silly, but I haven't started disliking it yet...and I think it's kind of silly-fun :)
In terms of the 'Nipplebeast' (a working title ;)) I think the design speaks pretty's pretty repulsive. I apologize to those with frail constitutions...but my thought is, if you're going to design a monster and talk about evil: it should look way evil. Likewise, the cute should be very cute. So: it's a nasty, blind, sunless, wretched thing with the mouth of a frill shark and caterpillar breasts all up the front. Sorry, Mom. :)

The next week's assignment will be the character final. I'm looking forward to it! We get to work up a protagonist/antagonist pair (I think I may do another pass on these two) and do a variety of color sketches for a scene with the both of them in. Ultimately, we'll be designing the scene. Fun! I really like color sketches and we saw a book of really gorgeous ones today.

I'll see y'all then, but for now: Enjoy!


P.S. my personal soundtrack for these two, and the most played track of the last two days: Frontier - Yoshida Brothers
so. good.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No DreamWorks Today

Thanks to everyone who wished me well on the DreamWorks interviews that were supposed to happen yesterday. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances on their part, they canceled their trip to RISD and there were a number of us who had rushed to put together portfolio packages to no avail. I've just sent off my cover letter, resume, and portfolio to DreamWorks since they did still ask to see our materials's possible that they'll be coming back next semester. Just thought I'd update y'all on the current circumstances. So I put together a Portfolio CD (I'd like to finesse the production more as the semester goes forward, but the above image is the little cover for that portfolio CD...kinda neat, I thought)
Anyways, to tell you the truth it's kind of a seems a bit early in the year to be rushing to apply for work. Albeit, DreamWorks is a long shot! So anyways, it's nice to have a little more time to mentally prepare to look towards the future.
Soon enough!

ALSO: I have enabled the "Followers" gadget on this if you visit regularly and read, click that little button that follows this blog and it will keep you updated when there are new posts. Neat, n'est pas?

Lastly: A friend of mine, Sindy Limin, just sent me her half of the art trade we agreed upon and I think it is, to recoin a streetsharks phrase, pretty "Jawsome". Here it is:

And you should definitely check out her work here.

More work soon,


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Yes, you can has Veggiemancer!

Hey all!
I'm back and thoroughly alive...sorry for the brief silence. I had the week off and I didn't really know what to do with myself during all the free time :( Still, finally I'm back in the saddle and character is back on. It was a relatively small load this week...just one character. We were asked to thoroughly research a culture of our choice, and then use the research to inspire a character design for the week. So I picked Russian, because I feel like I haven't done much in that way before. It was good fun. I looked into the Russian folk tales a lot and was really intrigued by the visual gestalt of Baba Yaga. So basically I set out to do a riff on that.
So here she is, basically a traveling asparagus-haired vegetable-lady with a magical swimming squash, a giant wooden spoon and, yes, tomato-bells! :) I think I could have pushed it further, but I'm pretty pleased with the result nonetheless.
It's been a crazy week.
I don't generally get too political online in any way shape or form, but I have to admit to a great sense of relief and excitement about the results of the election! I'm thrilled, actually.
On Tuesday night I walked out of studio and onto the Providence streets to be bombarded by a half-naked crowd of my friends whooping and hollering in the street. It was awesome. I ran downtown with them and eventually we joined a group of what must have been over a thousand college students to take the steps of the capitol building and show our patriotism. There was no fighting or contention...everyone in the city seemed happy to see each other. It occurred to be as I was standing with so many other college-age kids singing the national anthem that here is where the victory really is.
I think regardless of your political views you have to agree that anything that gets this apathetic generation on it's feet and passionately engaged in our country, not to mention patriotic, is HUGE. It's been a long time since I could feel unabashedly patriotic. I've always loved my country, don't get me wrong, and I am proud to be an American...but over the last eight years it's been hard (especially living overseas) to feel anything wholly positive about my country without a sense of irony. I'm not saying that's great...but it's true. And I think that's been the experience of a lot of my peers...we were predicted to be so detached and disinterested that instead of being involved with the election or voting, we'd be at home on our x-boxes. But voting was a proud and exciting thing to do...I saw many friends just standing in line waiting to cast their ballot, and the campus was abuzz with activity over the last few weeks. Rather than sitting slack-jawed before our x-boxes, Tuesday night I saw hope and excitement in the faces of an underestimated generation. That's just cool.
There's so much more to say about the whole thing, and I won't bore anyone with further blabbering, but I will give props to my Dad for writing a kickass story that's up all over the web!

Other than that, this week was RISD's famous Artists' Ball (masquerade dance extraordinaire) and I went as Buzz Lightyear with a huge group of friends all in Disney attire. It was a blast. I will leave you with these parting images:



Friday, October 24, 2008

The Hope of New-Earth

Hey All! Another week and this time around it's mid-terms and do I have a post for you! It's the big group-project character design mid-term for Shanth Enjeti's Character Design class! This week we split into three groups of six and were set to the task of recrafting the design for the principal cast of Titan A.E.
Anyone remember Titan A.E?
For those not in the know, it was an animated sci-fi cartoon in the late 90's that tanked at the box office and didn't achieve it's potential for iconic character design and epic story elements. SO...we had a go! :) It was a blast and I was truly blessed with an amazing team of cohorts. We each split the workload for the week and tackled 1 character each, all of us meeting up regularly, collaborating and tweaking eachother's designs. So really no individual one of us can take full credit for any one design, but we each had our "babies".
My baby was a particularly swarthy baby named Korso. He's the ex-military captain of the Valkyrie after planet earth is decimated, and at first he helps the protagonist (Cale) to help find the Titan project (a kind of 'ark' with the potential to recreate a new Earth). But ultimately he sells out Cale and the crew to the Drej (an evil alien race made of pure energy). So his character arc is one of despair, deception, and betrayal. We wanted to play with the mythic ideas present in the preexisting plot and emphasize some of the more poignant elements. With Korso (and likewise with the Drej) we thought about the conflict of material and immaterial. It seemed that if Korso was so disillusioned as to sell out the whole human race he ought to have some compelling motivation to do so. Our proposition is that of the conflict between the spiritual and material. Crippled in his escape from earth, he is shackled to a hovering machine and dependent on it to move and to survive. In all ways, Korso desires to be free of his body...he has a certain contempt for his own flesh. What the Drej offer in this way is the promise of transcendence...of freedom from the material and unlimited power.
His hover-chair runs on Drej-power and I wanted it to reflect his personal transformation, so when he turns fully to the Drej and is forced to fight Cale and crew the side compartments of his vehicle unfold to reveal a set of deadly, electrical spider-legs. We also felt that in his despair he might have taken up drinking in an attempt to 'free' himself from...well...himself. (Bradon Cebenka is due full credit for the booze-rack/tray-table arm-rest). Other little details help to play with the themes of his character...the squareish, strong design is meant to evoke the idea of masculinity and fatherhood, though (in the vest) it is unbalanced and asymmetrical) symbolizing the kind of broken father-figure he provides for Cale. His eyebrow and unbuttoned military-style jacket serve to heighten the sense of asymmetry and allude to his military past as well as his current attitude towards his past (rolled up sleeves). The blanket works as a vain attempt to conceal or familiarize his mechanical lower half...the pattern is zig-zagged to signify the idea of inner conflict. Just a peek "behind the curtain" to see some of the extent of the thought one goes through designing these sort of characters. It was LOTS of fun :D

It took a bunch of small adjustments to find the right mixture of silhouette, form and function for his hover-chair-half. It had to look right, while still maintaining a sense of function and hold the 2d-animated/cel-shaded simplicity (and look like the character was able to fit through doors). Here's a look at some of the process sketches I did in preparation:

And I'm also going to post the rest of the characters from the project with the full understanding that while I had *something* to do with the design of all of them the majority of the credit goes to each respective artist. And they all rock. I love my teammates to death and we really had a blast. Here's the rest! There's a similar amount of thought gone into all the following, but I won't write pages and pages on each. Anyways, it's more fun if y'all figure it out yourselves! :P

Cale - Brandon Cebenka

Akima - Lisa Cunha

Stith - Dan Chang

Gune - Kirsten England

The Drej - Ben Bronstein

It was a neat week! :D
And now we have some time off and I'm going to get some sleep! I hope y'all enjoyed these. I'm doing quite well here...I get to draw aliens with friends, what more can you ask for?
In closing, I'll leave you all with some of the sketches I didn't post for last week's 'Generous Bubblewhale'. I went through a few pages of sketchbook on that one, let me tell you! But these are some highlights and you can see how my thought process works if you're interested!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Characters Aplenty!

Characters for every disposition and sensibility! Characters with crinkly skin! Characters with glowing pustules! Characters with 'quatrifurcated' beaks!
Another week, another set of characters for your viewing pleasure. Pretty excited about this week's set! It was a very open assignment...all we are asked to do was to design a positive character in cool colors, and a negative character in warm colors! It was particularly fun because I was able to just let go and play...which I definitely how I do my best work. I tend to choke up when I'm intellectualizing the process too much. It's funny how easy it is to silence your imagination when doing these sorts of exercises and stress overly on how the characters will be received. I just tried to envision these more intuitively and less analytically...think about context and story and mood. I went through a TON of pages in my sketchbook really quickly on these...something my Pen & Ink teacher said about loosening up and letting your own idiosyncrasies really enter into the work helped me to approach this week fresh. Anyways, I had a blast (but not much sleep!) And I really hope y'all like them.

Below are some sketches from the previous week (I know, I never posted them). It's funny...for all the past alumni of this class online, I don't think I've ever seen anyone post the results of this particular assignment. It was surprisingly challenging. We had to design an appealing angular, asymmetrical character and an unappealing round, symmetrical character. So there were my solutions. They're pretty "meh" but they worked for the assignment alright...

Anyways, that's all for this week. Hope you're enjoying these! I'm definitely enjoying the work. This week is going to be a doozy! We're teaming up into groups and tackling a complete redesign of the main cast of Titan A.E. ! I'm so pumped for it!
See you next week!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Mercy and Apathy



Another week is over and with it arrive two more characters from Shanth Enjeti's Character Creation class! This week we did a slightly modified version of our last assignment...we were asked to design two characters based respectively on traits we admire and don't admire in others. So (with the full realization that I went a little off the conceptual deep end with these) here are Mercy and Apathy.
Apathy was a tricky one...I ended up with a very intense version of apathy, which belies my editorial opinion on the state of apathy. I went through a number of completely different designs on this...I covered some ridiculous territory (blind, shriveled knights in baby-harvesting machines etc). But I'm happy with this design overall.
Mercy I pretty much overshot completely, in favor of a character design I was kind of in love with. I'm pleased with the outcome, but I'm not sure it communicates the concept of mercy very accurately to a wide audience. What I was thinking was this (with the definition of mercy essentially being kindess/charity despite the right to justice): the character has set aside his natural perogative to prey upon the birds, in favor of embracing them and setting aside his "right". yeah.
Anyways, it's been a good week! Crits went pretty well on these (they were both assigned as cel-shaded, but I couldn't help going in and rendering Mercy after class on Friday was over). And life is otherwise good, and God is better. I've got more work to do, so I can't sit here and blog much more, but I hope you enjoy these!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lustful and Carefree



Psalm 126

When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion,
we were like men who dreamed.

Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."

The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like streams of the Negev.

Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.

He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.

What a passage, huh? That's pretty much my favorite verse right's been a real encouragement. And there's the second week of Character Creation! This week we had to design two embodying our best trait and one embodying our worst. So, here they are!
I felt it was an opportunity to be a little uncomfortably honest and open up the discussion. I'm convinced that (with the Lust piece), though the theme may be gross and most people would prefer to avoid it altogether, it should be openly addressed and so put more thoroughly to death!
So, I think the Psalm puts the two pieces in context. Only through Christ is there victory, and how!
I certainly didn't set out to make something gratuitously "dirty" or inappropriate...and I hope nobody's offended by this sort of thing. I just wanted to be honest, and it's really important to me not to make light of evil. To call sin "sin" is really vital! And to put that in context with Joy and freedom! (That's a whole 'nother conversation...but I feel like even in stories geared towards 'kids', evil should be honestly portrayed. The Bible doesn't skimp on it's accounts of sex, death, war and cruelty and neither should we!) Anyways, I hope you can enjoy and appreciate these as such. I can ramble on, but I'd hope these two stand on their own in tension. Hopefully it provokes some good thought and conversation.

Carefree just sort of came together this week for the assignment, but the Lust design I've been wanting to do since last year's seniors completed this same assignment! The actual design has changed drastically since it's original incarnation, and you'll remember the crotch-arm from a previous piece, perhaps?

Anyways, here are some of the recent sketches in progression to that final piece:

Also, I forgot to post one last little color study I did at the end of the's a palette I want very badly to revisit...I'll leave you with it:


Friday, September 19, 2008

Back to School

Hey all!

Sorry for the long silence...but I've been busy prepping to come back to school and now I am here and the Academic year has kicked off! I've just handed in my first assignment for the year and I thought I'd share it with everyone.
This year has started off pretty excitingly...there's a lot of neat work to do and a lot of cool things going on on campus, not only art related. I'm heading off this weekend for the RISD Christian Body retreat, so I'll be out of communication for a bit, but it should be even if you can't reach me you can be confident that I am having a good time despite it all ;)

Anyways, so far this year has begun very well. It's busy: I'm an RA, full-time senior, and President of the RISD Christian Body, but all those things are really exciting and I really wouldn't have it any other way! On September 7th I turned 21 years old and had my first legal stateside drink...I wanted to make sure that my experience was a memorable one, so rather than get smashed, I got some friends together and we all went to the local Renaissance Faire and I got Mead and poofy pants!
Also: I got to go see Sontata Arctica open for NIGHTWISH in mass two weeks ago. It was AMAZING. I'm still reconstructing my face. Man...SO cool...

So...the ART!
I'm in Character Creation this semester, which is awesome since it's with one of my absolute favorite professor's ever: Shanth Enjeti. So I've just handed in the first week's assignment. Which was, essentially, to "impress him". Yeesh.
So I took the opportunity to debut another character I've been itching to do from the Alfonse and Domingoverse. Well, three actually! Introducing: Pito, Zee'doh and Jin!

Without giving too much away: Pito's a member of a troupe of traveling performers. He lifts heavy things, lights the stage-lights, and reaches for things on the shelf that are too high up for others to grasp. He is gregarious, mute, enormous, and loyal to a fault...he is especially beloved by the troupe's pair of acrobatic twins: Zee'doh and Jin, who are often seen riding around on Pito's shoulders.
And that's all I'm sayin!
So, since this is the blog, you get some of the prep sketches! I've been tossing around the idea of Pito for a while...but these are just the recent versions. It took me FOREVER to find a face I was happy with for him!

So that's just some of the stuff I'm currently working on...Hopefully I'll get some time to show y'all the other stuff that's going on. And next week there will be two more characters to show by Friday! :) Right now, I'm off to catch a car to New Jersey!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Adventure! Mystery! Robot-Ninjas!

Alright, alright: I'm anticipating the outcry of the Piratical community: I have to admit, I had my own misgivings about the other half, but who can resist the opportunity to get paid to draw robot-ninjas facing off againts ghostly samurai? C'mon. ;)
This gig was good fun! A throwback to all the comics and movies of my pre-pubescence in a big way. This is the cover for a project I can't discuss much, but it's the job I've been hinting at for a few posts around here. Nothing HUGE, mind you, just a comic-pitch cover...but still, neat! (I think) So, I was comissioned by Paul Pierce (of Lucasarts games) to collaborate on a personal project of his and design the characters and put together a cover for this project (the name and plot details of which are strictly under-wraps at the moment). Albeit: hopefully the cover will give you a fair idea of what to expect :) And since I've resolved to show some of the process sketches on this little old blog for the people who like this sort of thing, here's some of the doodles that were tossed around before landing on some final designs and finishing the cover:

^ Just some of the character design doodles. Being unused to the Ninja aesthetic, myself, I tried to find a way to get robot-ninja without it looking too....stupid. Some ideas. I kind of wanted them to look sleek and Ipods. Deadly ninja Ipods. I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted to do with the ghostly samurai! And for the kid...well...I think "white" was the predominant thought :)

^ The actual layout sketches for the cover (with and without background ninjas). Just to show y'all just how rough I start out. Hey, as long as it works, right?

Still in Michigan at the mo'...soon to be in California (LA) for a week of seeing the sights! And then...the school year! Can't wait. More work before that, though...maybe some stuff I can post, some that I can't. Keeping occupied, nonetheless!



Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Big Ol' Post.

Hey everyone!
I am back stateside and posting this from my Aunt's home in Michigan (one of my favoritest places to Aunt's house that is...not necessarily Michigan in general: we have a love/hate relationship, MI and I...). I am glad to be back "home" (one of them, anyways) and I'm slowly getting excited to kick this school year off! Anyways...I figured it was time for a proper piece...enough of this smudgy crap, eh? Well, I'm not sure if this qualifies as "proper"'s more just a glorified doodle/game with my friend Lia.

Well, as some of you may have heard...I've been introduced to Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long blog and it's all Lia's fault. I love it. If you're reading this and you don't know what I'm talking about, then get y'self an education here. And if you like it, the whole thing's 4 bucks on Itunes!

It's a supervillain musical by Joss Whedon (creator of FIREFLY!!!) and it has reminded me why I love superheroes and comics in a big way. Good fun. Not because it's shiny or particularly well-produced...he made it all out-of-pocket during the writers' strike. I love it because it's sincere...because it has heart...because it's freakin' adoreable and I love musicals. I also love superheroes and this summer has been a good one for those of us that do...more on that later.

SO...we both got buzzed about Dr. Horrible and Lia started doing inspired-by we challenged eachother to a superteam-off. This is the result. Her current submission to the grudge-match it a hapless team of evil-doers called the Doominati. So, since it's summer my sister and I (both Doc Horrible fans) put our heads together, setting out to create a truly lame team of heroes and...well...without further ado, I present: The Good Intentions Association!!!

They are (top-down, left to right):

GREEN T The Obeast
Salma Nella
and Flambeaux

So, since this is the blog where I can bore everyone with process sketches, here are some process sketches! I did each character seperately, after getting a basic idea of how I wanted them to fit together, which wasn't a bad call per-se but I wouldn't do it again...there's just a bunch of compositional opportunities you miss when you do that. But anyways, that means I hae individual lineart for each character...I had to kill some babies along the way (for the sake of composition, babies = parts of the drawings that are precious to me...stupid stuff like Rash's shoulder and Salma's hip) But here at Happy Rock, our babies are on display!


And, for the first time I thought I'd try something like this out...I saved a few in-process versions of the finished piece. It wound up being pretty much entirely useless tutorial-wise...since all the important parts are the parts when I get "in the zone" :p

Basically, I block in the flats as I go along...generally I like to block in the flat colors for everything first, since it's my least favorite part. I make sure the flats are deep tones, so I can work up from them (I like painting the shiny parts :)) And as I go along I do a lot of quick layer masking and tweaking in Levels and Variations. In the end hopefully you have something coherent!
If anyone is ever interested in seeing something like this, but...y'know...more helpful...let me know!

So, that's that for the G.I.A.
Also: I went and saw The Dark Knight and Wall-E (finally!) And really enjoyed both. I think Wall-E is more instantly lovable. I had mixed feelings about the Dark Knight until I saw it twice and in IMAX. my verdict: much better the second time, MUCH better in IMAX! Still a little bleak, and IMO, frequently visually underwhelming. Does anyone else feel that way? I miss wayne manor and the narrows and the oranges and seeping sewer-vents and the slightly exaggerated sense of urban decay. It all seemed a little too normal...which i understand was all done in the name of realism, but c'mon...have a little fun! Essentially I was just bummed out by the visual lack of romance to the whole thing...and too much overhead lighting! I mean, I get makes the Joker threating and spooky because he's out in daylight, but I really don't like the grim, utilitarian look. Just my opinions. Otherwise, those are really minor complaints...the film was pretty amazing. And seeing it in IMAX brought alot of the fun back into it. I recommend both...I have little to say about Wall-E besides that it was freakin' adoreable! Now I just need to see Hellboy 2....

I hope I haven't bored you to tears with this enormous post! Bless you for reading this far if you have :) Now, I still have work to do...more soon!



Thursday, July 24, 2008

Last smudgy post from Vienna!

Two last smudgy color studies from a chilly, grey Vienna!
I don't even know why I like doing these so much or why I think they're worth posting...but you get to see em anyways, because I can't yet post the piece I'm working on :)
I'm flying back stateside tomorrow. I'll finally get to see Batman and Wall-E!

(I just watched Galaxy Quest again twice in rapid succession. It may be one of the greatest movies ever. It is at least 3 times funnier than you remember. I say 3, because I want you to have low expectations, so that when it succeeds them wildly you will pee your pants.)



Thursday, July 17, 2008

And still MORE smudgy little paintings...

I'm here in Vienna, preparing to say goodbye in the next week and head back to the states. In the meantime I'm working on some comissioned work that I'd REALLY like to post, but can't quite yet :/ You'll just have to wait and see the bulk of what I've been up to! But, in its stead I have here for you more mega-quick digital color studies. The first three are just free-form color ideas, while the final two were painted from my balcony in Vienna a few nights ago...I've always wanted to paint the night sky and dim lamps tucked into inky silhouttes, so I figured I'd bookmark the idea for later and do these little things to remind me of what it looks like. I'll see some of you soon (presuming anybody actually reads this blog *waves to imaginary people*)



Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Smudgy Little Paintings

So, I know I rushed in full of spit and vinegar and brazenly declared my possible intention to do a color-study per day and thereby hone my skillz in a productive though unintimidating fashion.
Well, I fell of the wagon and didn't really do ANY.
Until yesterday.
When I did five.
These are the four presentable ones, before tightened up and squeezed out a really shoddy one at the end...lesson: don't force it or get too ambitious. Keep it loose, and keep it simple. Baby steps. Widdle ones.
So that's the way this will go, then...on a 'whenever I feel like it' basis. I actually really like doing these and have periodic longing to just sit and do color-studies! And I know, my color needs work and I need to keep on it.
Anyways, these come from old dreams and visual memories (most of which apparently tend to take place in forests) except for the last one which is the roof opposite my bedroom window yesterday afternoon, which I intend to do more studies of at different times of day..."if I feel like it" :p



Monday, July 7, 2008

Lil 'Fonse and Mingo!

Edit: Bit of color added to Sirocco sketches! (look down)

Hey anyone out there! Just a few small doodles to keep you occupied:

So I was thinking about some flashback sequences I'd like to introduce into Alfonse and Domingo, to set up the background of the three kids and their families back in better days when they were thing led to another and I wound up doodling even younger versions of my AnD characters verging on the 'chibi'. :) I couldn't help it.
So that's why you're lookin' at lil 'Fonse and Mingo. I did it. I did something purposefully cute. was fun.

And of course I did a quick doodle of 'oldfonse' which I may or may not elaborate on later. I guess this is what happens when you develop your own get these...urges. :p

Anyways, I'm still in Vienna and relaxing. Finally getting used to the idea of not really doing significant 'real' work this summer, and in the meantime finding that I like to draw for fun! So here's some quick pen sketches of Wieners on the tram. I swear that one guy looked just like can't make up hairlines like this:

I've also been sketching and exploring my bad-guy options for here are a few early ideas for Black Caesar Sirocco, the most nefarious (demon) pirate to fly the open skies:

And last, but not least, the cooky old beggarwoman...another AnD character. Her role is...mysterious...
(which is another way of saying "I haven't decided yet")