Art Blog


Art Blog

Stories about making things out of nothing.

Sketching Dancers

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Sketching Dancers

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.

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Sketch: Swing Dancers

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Sketch: Swing Dancers

These poses were a lot of fun to draw. I think I'll sketch more dancers. Dancing is a great subject for practicing human figure stylization. This one has been added to my digital sketchbook.

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Another Vintage Woman Sketch

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Another Vintage Woman Sketch

I simply enjoy drawing people from another era. You'll see the evidence in my sketchbook.

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Sketch: Girl on Vintage Motorcycle

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Sketch: Girl on Vintage Motorcycle

What started as a little warmup sketch became a more involved drawing that took about a half hour. Note to self: don't choose to draw a motorcycle with detail when you just want to draw something quick.

This drawing has been added to my digital sketchbook.

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New: We Bare Bears Backgrounds

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New: We Bare Bears Backgrounds

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.

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Development Art for Virtual Reality Animation

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Development Art for Virtual Reality Animation

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.

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Drawing: Woman, Man, Dog

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Drawing: Woman, Man, Dog

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.

The rough sketch.

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Jafar as Michael Jackson in Thriller

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Jafar as Michael Jackson in Thriller

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.

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Sketch: Couple Walking Away

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Sketch: Couple Walking Away

I've been sketching a lot of people lately but most have been of a single person not doing much. I want to step it up a notch with more than one person. Character interaction means at least something is going on... like, say, walking arm in arm.

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Web Illustration: Interactive House

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Web Illustration: Interactive House

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.

The details up close. Click to enlarge.

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Cybill Shepherd Drawing

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Cybill Shepherd Drawing

Someone I follow on Twitter posted a clip of the 1980s hit show, Moonlighting. The nostalgia hit me! I watched the show as a young teen but didn't remember just how striking Cybill Shepherd was. Enter inspiration. This was drawn in Photoshop and is posted in my sketchbook.

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Summer Drink Girl

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Summer Drink Girl

Here's another figure sketch done for practice and fun. I'm quite happy with the digital pencil work on this one. It's got a good balance of outline and shading. More pencil drawings can be found in my sketchbook.

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