Wednesday, February 24, 2010

For Sean's 28th birthday

Happy birthday, buddy.

"Sean," Digital Painting, 2010

Stats: 6 1/2 hours, 4 layers, 2 brushes, and 3 tools in all, aka "6.5/4/2/3." Used only one layer for the character strokes and used plenty of smudge tool to clean as I went. I'm getting more comfortable with relying on the smudging method, but my hand still isn't very graceful as I draw on the tablet, so I find myself eating up a lot of time with redrawing lines. I used the source photo to help save time with nailing down the proportions, which I would normally do 100% by hand. I gotta keep life drawing to maintain that skill, though.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlavi

"Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlavi," Digital Painting, 2010

More tablet practice. I wanted to step up the difficulty this time with some details and a specific likeness to recreate. The subject is the former Shah of Iran, which I chose for a very early Norooz gift for my father-in-law. The first layer in Photoshop was all lines, then I made a smudge tool pass, then came a light layer of tighter lines. It's still too blurry for my taste, but I didn't want to dwell on it too long. I signed my name in Farsi along the bottom (while I remember how).

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Insomniac Blogging

Julian Field, Digital Painting, 2010 

I'm back late from a comedy show in LA so I wanted to close the night off with a soothing session of painting. This one is of the landscapes I'd pass on my way to Julian, a small rural town less than two hours away from San Diego that I go to every now and then. One of the things I realize about digital painting is that I need guidance with choosing and creating the right brushes in Photoshop. I've been using the smear tool after doing the initial painting and I feel like there's a much better method that's escaping me. Any recommendations?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New RDR2 Video: "The Law"

Today a new Red Dead Redemption video was released online. It showcases some of the lawmen you encounter throughout the game, set to a nice track from the score. I like the stormy scenes that made it in there, too .

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New "Gamestop Outfit" Contest Video for Red Dead Redemption

Voting has started to determine what special outfit your character John Marston will have unlocked if you preorder your copy of Red Dead Redemption from Game Stop. Watch this video to learn more:

Thumbnails: Breakdancers from "B-Boy"

Back in film school, I wanted to do a demo reel that showcased motion that not only was difficult to animate with a computer, but was visually interesting and exciting to watch. Breakdancing was the perfect choice. To do this, I had to pick up every video I could find (this was before YouTube, and most breakdancing videos were shot on tape at that point), and go through them frame-by-frame to find out what the key poses and breakdowns looked like. It was a lot of work, but as any animator will tell you, there's no other way to pull off complex animations. In my student film B-Boy, the moves I had my character do included a 6 step, Swipes, Turtle, Headspin, and Windmill (the 6 step and Turtle were the only two I was ever able to do in real life). Here are some of the thumbnail drawings I did to get the poses and timing down (30 frames per second):

The 6 step:
This 6 step is similar to the style of the one I did in my reel. He does it all at once in the last 3rd of the video.

And here are the thumbnails. The order of the pages goes from left to right on the top, then left to right on the bottom. The three number columns represent the frame # on the video, the # of my scene in Softimage 3.7, and the overall # it would be if it were on its own:

These thumbnails go in order from top to bottom, left page to right page:

And finally, the famous Windmills:

Sketchbook: Clothed Pictures of Famous People

Here are some more selections from old sketchbooks that I scanned recently. The first is the author Zadie Smith from her great novel White Teeth:
After looking through some old sketchbooks, it turns out I've drawn Edward Norton twice:
Key facial features of 4 famous women (2 singers, 2 actresses). Can you recognize them all?
Clockwise from the top left: Angelina Jolie, Fiona Apple, Natalie Portman, Bjork.

Stylized portrait of Terrence Stamp from one of my favorite movies, The Limey:

Quick sketch of the godfather of noise, Rahzel:

Sketchbook: Classical Art Studies

This assortment is from a range of books from different years, but are pretty good examples of when I would try to focus on classical art through line drawing. The first page was done in 2002 at the Art Institute of Chicago. The top figures are from Cezanne's The Bathers, Hopper's Nighthawks is cropped on the left side (I believe it was temporarily at the Art Institute at the time), and the bottom right quarter is a portrait of Vincent Van Gogh:

Speaking of Van Gogh, I drew a sliced mango in the way I imagined he would in the top right of this page (circa1998). The left side is a line-by-line recration of a drawing by Picasso (whose title and internet link escape me) that I did in 1999. The woman's profile in the bottom right was taken from an art school flyer I had handy at the time (2000).

Rounding out this post are two more artist's portraits. On the is a portrait of the young artist prodigy Amedeo Modigliani (2000). On the right is a quickly-drafted Wasily Kandinsky below a recreation of his signature, both done by brush pen in 2000. I take Kandinsky's philosophies on painting to heart each time I try to work on something abstract.

Unfinished Blue Line Pro pages

This pair of unfinished drawings were done on Blue Line Pro pages. I had high hopes for this rendition of the Drew Struzan poster for The Phantom Menace, but never finished inking it.

This comic book splash cover was done a year earlier, if memory serves. It's of Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon comic, which my friend Sean got me hooked on when I was a teenager.

Sketchbook: Preparing for Film School

I've been meaning to get the better drawings scanned from my old sketchbooks, and I think I'm all caught up. For my first post in this series, these are some pages from 2000, when I was still a student at the Evergreen State College. I knew I wanted to become an animator, but I first had to flesh out my sketchbook to apply to film schools. The Vancouver Film School ended up being my next destination.

This first page has drawings of a dancer from a magazine ad, along with some Matrix poses:
The dancers on this page were "x-rayed" from a cigarette ad, followed by a more healthy yoga couple:
 And this page contains my arm without its skin, and some life-drawings from a Pinoy Eskrima (Philipino Stick Fighting) session held at the college. The man with the short ponytail is the sensei. I took his Ninpo Taijutsu class the term before.
The first page in this pair is from a book by the famous photographer Eadweard Muybridge. The second is from an animation book, if I remember correctly. Nothing is traced, just drawn to start becoming familiar with the subtleties of how animals move:
More animal drawings. Trying to guess what muscles are under the fur: