Monday, December 28, 2009

UNC: Minds on a Mission

So this is the spot that the globe was created for as well as various other props.
UNC: Minds on a Mission.
I also helped the animator out by being his hand model and all I learned from being animated myself was amazing. I had doped that this year I'd have some of my animation on this blog ready for you all to see, but alas that has not come to pass. I have a week off, so that i may animate, and i will be posting an "End of the Year" post soon, with a lot of interesting insights into this past year in art.
For now, enjoy some animation.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Creation of the World

So the title should speak for itself.

This was one of the first projects that I had to do for Dancing Diablo, based off of my boss's design of how to create a globe out of cardboard. The animation is complete and it is currently in post. The color was continually tweaked until animation day so the final will probably not look like this, but it is still one of my favorite projects. I was very happy that I was aware enough to take these pictures after every stage. It looks cool to see it come together. Hopefully before the new year I'll be able to show you the spot. For scale look at those tape dispensers on the bottom holding the globe up. Nice, no?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Some "behind the scenes" for PNC:

Minature town set for Act 3.

Green screen shooting of kids.

Goose costume before added feathers and sewing on head.

Drummer's drum set with cymbal.

Pogo stick for the leaping Lord. Un-used because the Lord was the same size as the pogo.

Drumsticks and feet for the leaping Lord Pogo stick trick.

Working twisted lamppost.

Head to the calling bird, as worn by it's maker: Jason Villegas.

Partridge head/body , made by me.

Swan wings as worn by it's maker: Kara.

One of my spots has gone LIVE

So I've been working on various spots for Dancing Diablo as of late, as you may know from my DNA (more to come soon).
One of the first to be completed that I helped on from start to finish has finally gone live. It is the PNC Winter Numberland in which PNC Bank calculates the price of christmas based on the song of "the 12 days of christmas" (which happens to be my favorite xmas song). It was a really fun, cool, interesting piece with great Art Design. The shoot (which happened the day after halloween) ended up being just as much fun as creating all the great pieces. Notice the purple lamppost on the right, that was life size and it really took a lamp in it. Too bad it died on the trip to the shoot and back to the studio... I wanted to keep it and take it home with me. Next time.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What I've been up to: Evolution of DNA

I've been working at an animation studio that has a client that asked for a model of DNA. We thought first to make it out of paper as such:

But i don't think it really worked. Didn't say DNA. So we went another route, cutting out small slivers into each strip of paper before folding it, so it looked as such:

But the client didn't like that one. They wanted it to look more realistic (if a model of DNA can ever truly be realistic). And so after thinking it over much I remembered how cutting cardboard on a diagonal and twisting it, it would stay twisted, I made this:

I think it is the best one... and so did the client.

This is what I have been up to lately. Working with a studio that allows me to make things, build things and paint things. I haven't really been drawing much, but I've been a whole lot more creative than I have been in a while. I did have to do a series of basic illustrations as a child, and construction of a man running (this I will be throwing into iMovie? or Final Cut Express? later and making an animatic of).

I so much more to show, but this is a teaser for now. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Found Art

I was on my way home late last night and as I was exiting my local
subway station I found this. 2 young girls looked at it, laughed and
said diresively "someone was really bored" and walked out without
another glance. My instict as you could tell was to capture it, since
I was fairly certain that this morning it would not be there. Either
through "vandalism" or through an MTA "cleanning" crew.
This brought a smile to my face after a long day, and I was saddened
at the young girls' indefference.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Color Gestures

Here are some of the color sketches from that same drawing night, with the same model. The reddish one I put up because I liked the way the hips came out.
Tomorrow more class, so this friday more drawings.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

2 In 1 week, WOW!

So Life drawing started up again this week, and I got some interesting poses done. Our model was a flamboyant dancer with an awesome kimono and a hot pink jacket. His poses switched from overly pretzely to static and simple. The first 2 are during the one minute poses and I made myself draw in pen so that I couldn't cheat: just draw what you see quickly. The pencil ones are from the 2 minutes, when I felt I had warmed up some. Later I may post up some color sketches from the longer 3-5 minute poses, but for now enjoy these.

Its been interesting to see how I develop as an artist lately. Trying my hand back at painting, seeing the things I make by hand come to life and actually taking time to develop stories that occur to me as I go about my day. I've also begun to notice age playing a part in it. It's sad to say that though I may have lost some of my youthful vigor, I feel the final outcome of the few pieces that I do produce are of a much better quality than before. Besides, I am no longer obsessed with this hollywood/stylized ideal of what it is to be an artist. Most of my pretensions, I am happy to say, have been lost along with my youth. I sound like I think I'm and old hag, but I definitely don't feel like a kid anymore. What can you do? Your only as old as you think you are...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's been a while, but welcome to October!

So I never meant to ignore the Blog for so long, but a lot has happened in these past weeks. I won't bore you with the details, just give a small glimpse of one of the last actually scannable images I did in my sketchbook. 

I sat outside in the large patio of a german style beer hall drinking oktoberfest, and chatting with friends. All artists of course so after about a third of the way through out first mug (litre sized mugs at that), we all whipped them out and started sketching. Its amazing how we can't seem to go more than a couple of minutes before someone starts drawing. 

I'm getting to like the thinness of my sketchbook pages. There is something nice about the ghost images that drawings on the other side of the page leave. I think it's freeing me to do looser drawings... since they won't look great anyway with random lines/colors running through them, that it doesn't matter how nice/well placed my drawings are. And the yellow color of the pages lets me believe that this can be some exotic travel journal from a bygone era. Or I'm just feeling a bit fanciful today. Who knows?
Enjoy. More to come as always.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Grafton St and a Small Self-Portrait

Here are 2 quick sketches. One is on Grafton street looking down from the second floor balcony of Beweley's and watching the people go by. And above is a quick sketch of a self portrait that I did and then colored in Photoshop. Yes Photoshop. I'm trying to get back to actually looking, because I had drawn so many self portrait in HS that I was able to draw my face without actually looking at it anymore. Getting past the natural tendency of the brain to simplify what you see into symbols, and actually SEE what is in front of me has been actually tougher than it seems. So I hope you all enjoy, and I WILL be posting up a series of self portraits so that hopefully you'll be able to see the progression of my skills.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Devil... no God... is in the Details

So on my second day in Dublin (but my third.. fourth time there) I FINALLY got to see the book of Kells. After much drama to get there and waiting in a longer line than I expected, I was finally led into the exhibit that houses the book. Since photography was not allowed I pulled out my sketchbook and start drawing. I guess most tourist don't expect anyone to record memories/sights in such a manor anymore, because I drew a small crowd. In my uncomfortable limelight I drew as quickly as possible. I was though unable to actually draw from the book of kells... to many people crowding around and trying to see. I was able to sketch another illuminated manuscript from Ethiopia. Still amazing to see, and I wished I could have a small moment (even if it meant wearing a bio suit, to not damage it) and hold both books in my hand and replicate what I saw myself. The detailed masterpieces that was in each square inch of illustration was amazing. I was unable to keep from wishing (slightly) that I could have been one of those monks, sitting and drawing such wonderous things. It almost makes me jealous.

I've always admired artist ability to render and create details in their art. Every time I try, I end up losing out on the big picture and the overall piece ends up laking something. But I can't ignore that some of the best work... the work that I want to put up on my walls... are the ones in which the artist thought hard and diligently on each pencil mark/brush stroke/ square inch of that piece. And I'll just keep plugging away at my attempts to not be ADHD like and move on to the next piece, just because this one has gotten tedious while trying to make it match as closely as possible to my mind.

The Devil IS in the details... because that is where he tries to make you loose focus and not finish your next greatest masterpiece. And God is there when you do.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Abbey Street: Sketch vs Snap.

When I go to Ireland I usually stay near a small village called Crusheen. The nearest actual town is Ennis. In Ennis they have a street aptly named Abbey Street, which always feels to me as the actual entrance to the town. Now the reason that it's called abbey St, is because at its base there is a ruined abbey that is... oh I don't know.... more than a couple hundred years old. Every other time i had gone there it was under "construction", making a welcome center to the ruins and such, so i could only see it through tall fences. This time i was finally able to walk the grounds (for a price of course!)

The funny thing was that for all my huff and puff of making sure I brought the camera from NY and got it a new awesome HUGE memory card, on this particular day I forgot it at home (back in Crusheen), and so I HAD to sketch.

Now I've read other sketch journals in which the artists say its better to draw the location they're at, to get a better feel/idea/memory of the place. And i've always thought that was a romantic way of looking at travel... You know back when going anyway required at least 2 weeks travel time on boat or train. when you went away it was usually for at least 2 months, and your family and friends had to cope with the very real possibility that you may never return, having caught some exotic illness.

But with my love of photography and all those new nifty digital cameras, I never really did. I lamented my camera's inability to shoot proper macro, as i fell in love with the intricacies of how the moss grows over the stone and the shadow the overlooking tree is making it pop. I would see my trips as a series of compositions with light, color and dimension/focus being played with, and "natural" posing with my friends and family.

All that being said.... I forgot the simple pleasure of perching myself up on a raggedy old rock (that should by modern logic just tumble off with the slightest pressure put on it), and trying to figure out how the place was constructed. Actually LOOK at the location, and not just its compositional elements, but see the overall shape, size, texture of the place. Really think about how time changed the color of the stones, wore away old inscriptions, and let nature reclaim most of it back.

I don't think I could ever be rid of my camera while traveling. But taking small moments and drawing what I see (usually in an uncomfortable position) and getting down a feel for the place (that try as i might i can't get with photographs), i think i have just discovered in myself. Viva the ability to draw!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Emerald Isle Bookends

So i'm bookending my trip in images. The first is the sunset as seen from above the clouds in the plane ride over there.

The second is the day of my birthday sitting outside enjoy some sun and sketching what i see.

I did some really great sketches while over there. Maybe not super detailed, but enjoyable to do, see, and show. I met really great artist also and had an over all good time.

Tomorrow images drawn quickly from Trinity college and the Book of Kells. Enjoy as always.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

60th Post Spectacular!

Here are some quick sketches of the last figure drawing class i went to, before going on vacation.

I was able to go see the ACTUAL Book of Kells and i must say it was amazing. Those drawings will be scanned and posted in a couple of days, with better commentary.

These though are some of the best from that particular class. i don't know if i was tired or the model didn't click with me, but i have about 10 pages of no goods in my sketch book. I did my best. Enjoy anyway.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

On Art, Zen, and Silence

My Husband left to visit the in-laws a couple of weeks ago and I've been noticing a couple of things about myself in his absence. I want to say that I've re-found my inner-voice, but actually quite the opposite. I'm beginning to realize the pleasure I receive from silence. I spend most of my day to day work life talking and being social (it actually is part of my duties), that finding small moments of silence is a relief. I don't mean silence as in switching off the TV, radio, and closing the windows. I mean just not talking for the sake of talking and not listening just because there is noise. I find the silence of doing the dishes in an empty house enjoyable (and i hate doing dishes!).

Maybe this is a form of "moving meditation", because even though i think, i think of nothing. Thoughts wander in and out and i feel contented that i can be silent. After such moments it makes me think of those articles about "finding time for silence", where you have to practice it. You know, tell your friends and family that for 24 hours you will refrain from talking. It becomes a big deal and an inconvenience to everyone involved. Talk if you must, but when alone just stop.

Now what does this have to do with art?

You can take the same approach to art. Listen tot the inner critic, but don't necessarily respond to it. Be silent and just let the line work. let the drawing happen, and if the image isn't right, try again. I've gotten my most profound leaps of skill with this method. It's like when astrophysicists say they spend days/weeks/months/years trying to solve a problem, but the day they decide to give up, that night their dreams figure it out for them. and thus they can continue in the process. That's how it can be with the pencil/pen/brush.

So this is how it goes:
You listen to the critiques (wether your own, or other peoples); You think it over (trying to process all this new information); You shut up (stop thinking about it, don't listen to the same critiques over and over again); Then just do (just do it, like the Nike ad!)

And what does this have to do with Zen?
Well by accepting (and this is going to sound new age-y and cliched) the noise around you but not necessarily contributing to it, you end up striking a balance. Like the reed in the water (one of my favorite metaphors). The noise bends you one way or the other, but never breaks you. and for not straining to remove yourself from the noise, not make more noise yourself, you don't rip your own roots out! Does that make sense? Zen is about learning to be present in every single moment. and in this day and age and culture of city life, it's hard to find silence. But even if i lived in the country I'd still hear: winds, animals, plants, rain, etc. and those noises can be just as distracting. So learning to allow the noise to be around you, but not necessarily affect you... learning to shut up every so often both internally and externally, without the need to lock yourself up in a padded room or box, will, I think, make you calmer and thus happier. And who doesn't want to be happy?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Late night doodlings

So I've taken some advice, and started drawing from the TV. Pausing it when necessary to get the face down right and practicing faces. But also just drawing for the sake of drawing. Whatever i see in front of me (like my tiny plush Mayor from Halloween-town). I feel like I'm getting more confident with them since the ones in pen came out great (at least in my opinion). I'm mostly watching the Daily Show, and the History channel, so if some faces look familiar, you know why (and if I did catch their names i wrote them down next to the heads).

I must say though, that its becoming fun. I think i fall into the trap of most artists after they leave school and that's they get stale, and start comparing themselves to professionals with decades in the field. Now I'm not saying there is anything necessarily wrong with that (it can motivate you to become better), but depending on your composition, it can also become discouraging. And though doing the blog rounds CAN be inspiring, depending on the day, you may just want to throw up the pencil/pen/brush/wacom and call it quits. I know i have.

By the by, These 2 pages are from this nice square sketchpad from NY Central. It's the perfect size for right next to the bed and late night doodling, sketching. I need a bulldog clip to keep it closed, and since no spiral no back of page drawings, but i'm enjoying the challenge. No need to feel like you need to fill up every bit of space. and it has a nice tooth in case you want to add more shading/texture.

Either way, enjoy the pictures, and I'll have more for you in a couple of days.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Another Full Sketch Page

I saw "Brendan and the Secret of Kells" a couple of weeks ago and did these drawings in the pub while we discussed the movie. I liked to composition of the entire page and the color came out nice in the scan. If you get an opportunity to see said movie, i highly recommend it, as it is visually stunning!

I also sat in Borders the other day looking through some graphic novels (mostly Hellboy) and realized that though i am a BatFreak, i never draw him. I guess I'm usually too scared that i'll draw him stupid or messed up. So I said "f"it to the wind, and did a couple of quick pure ink drawings of Batman. If you can't tell the one on the bottom is knitting (another passion of mine).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Weighty Boobs and Babes

This is some figure drawing from a couple of weeks ago. She was difficult for me, since the boobs felt like they were too weighty. And she had really wide hips but extremely long thin legs. I should have found her exciting with different proportions and all, but instead struggled to get her down right. If i spent too much time studying her, i'd screw up the whole piece, so i had to learn this almost zen like balance of quick study without thought.

I like that you can see a better version of the figure from the other page bleeding through the ink drawings. That's why no retouching. I have one more of her that i need to scan, and the finals of my 72 hr script character designs. Those'll be coming soon. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Blue Period

These are a couple of my figure drawings that are predominantly blue. Most artist go through a specific color phase and today is that day. Just realized that i have more than one drawing with that color. Doesn't help that its my favorite. 3 different models so you can see the different takes and ways i draw depending on the day. Enjoy.