I'm on a kick sketching dancers. It's a tough subject because the poses can easily seem unnatural if not captured well. I strive for chemistry between the two poses, making sure movement of limbs and lines is harmonious. This isn't easy. These drawings are not perfect but they're just exercises for betterment.
See more dancers in my digital sketchbook here.
Cartoon Network's newest animated show, We Bare Bears, premiered July 27th. I was fortunate to freelance background design on several of the first episodes. The show takes place in San Francisco so it's a great fit for my love of drawing cityscapes.
I was trying to get a job on the crew but was their third choice out of two available positions. Oh well. But that made me their top freelance background designer and the work was steady for a few months.
These were designed in autumn of 2014 when We Bare Bears was early in their production. It took 10 months from when I drew some of these until they aired on TV.
Since these concept drawings were scrapped from the project, I'm going to show them off. They were part of animation storyboard for virtual reality. Y'know, the technology where you wear screens over your eyes and you feel like you're someplace else.
These location drawings are distorted with multiple perspectives to emulate the experience of looking around inside the virtual reality world. It was fun to work with the challenge of a technology I hadn't worked on before. The storyboard itself focused on the character action and not the framing of the scene, since what the viewer sees is up to them. That's why these backgrounds have no sense of cinematic composition.
I did this drawing to practice rendering more tightly with digital pencil, yet maintain a sketchy, hatched line. It took a long time to finesse the shading and I think a less polished style gets a similar look for much less work. But the point of technique experimentation is to find a mix of comfort zones and boundary pushing. I learned a lot with this one.
I'm quite happy with the final result, especially the character stylization and composition of dark and light shapes. I posted this drawing to my sketchbook gallery.
Yesterday's topic on Sketch Dailies was Jafar, who happens to be one of my favorite villains. I decided to play along and do a drawing. In looking at his design, his clothing reminded me of Michael Jackson's famous jacket from the Thriller video. An idea was born. A drawing was done.
I posted it on Twitter with this caption:
Though you fight to stay alive, Sketch Dailies starts to shiver.
For no mere mortal can resist, the evil of #Jafar.
This piece was commissioned by a company called Simple Energy that helps consumers track their home energy usage. For publication on the web, it is an interactive illustration with parts that when clicked, display more information about that element. In order to design this functionality, the illustration has 2 views: a grayscale version with the clickable parts in color, and the full color piece.
It was complex to design and took a lot of planning for the details to work right. Sections like utilities and entertainment needed to be visually grouped. Small elements had to be made big enough to be clickable. Large elements like the van and pool couldn't be too attention grabbing. I didn't want buttons or other graphics to mess with the artwork which is why color is used to signify where to click when the cursor hovers over it.
I kept the palette simple as not to overly clutter the piece and give it a modern feeling. But I also wanted it to be warm and inviting. It turned out quite slick. While I've illustrated a lot of architecture, the new challenges of this interactive piece made it an exciting project.