30 January, 2010

I reworked a couple sequences of "Calico."

Remember, when in disputed territory or otherwise uncertain
circumstances, just repeat this mantra: "don't be scared; stay with the group."

--Peter X.

28 January, 2010

It takes a nation of millions to...

One last note on my earlier Blog Odyssey:

Worst art on my tour (worst by a Lao-Tzu mile) was painfully incompetent pencil copies of some Manga characters (and I'm talking pages of these things). As if these weren't tortuous enough, they were juxtaposed with a blog header that carried quotes by Mark Levin, (just kinda typical straw-man hater), and a Tweet column that carried author's multiple entreaties for the "MSM" to realize Harry Reid is a racist. All while the automated music from some Elf-World MMO Anthem played.


The world's angriest Manga copyiest? Just a funny juxtaposition. Most surprisingly, most of the pro Manga posted wasn't remotely violent--it was all cute-cuddly stuff, and young, young chicks. Thank gawd nothing porn-ish.

Very funny to read posts on "Statists" and the need for a coup (here, in America, in case you were confused) interrupted by long meditations on Shiori of Kanon and how cute Kairyiu is. And posts of "Can I Has Cheezburgr Pleez"-type rabbits (??).

Sorry, this blog was so vile, I'm gonna have to post some of their art. Does that make me a bully?

Their faves:

Their own work:

Coming to take over America.

We report, you decide.

--Stephen Crane

27 January, 2010

For the first time in years, I clicked the "VIEW NEXT BLOG" button on the top of this page. I was engrossed. For two hours. Work not getting done. But couldn't look away.

What did I learn?

Number one, we are all not so very different! Life struggles, life joys, all fighting our own self-consciousness about presenting ourselves "publicly." Trying to tell our story. It's like having to package yourself, (and it's surprising how good most people are at it).

But pretty much people just want to talk about their kids, their happy, happy marriage (guilty), their wider family and friends, their loneliness, and their need to be "creative." And God. Actually, not much on God, except for lots of divine name-dropping (at least on the blogs I read--but most often handled in a sincere-seeming, comfortable way).

Number two, absent nearly all pages were political screeds or hate of much intensity. Thank God.

Number three, there are a lot of Mormons on Blogger. I report this based only on their own claimed/advertised religious affiliation. They didn't have to say they were Mormon. We're talking WELL more than half of 50 random blogs I checked out (has Blogger tagged me with a Mormon-preference logarithm?). Somewhere the angel Moroni is smiling.

And finally, number four, (and trailing the Mormon population closely), there are a lot of mediocre-to-bad-to-sinister-bad art blogs out there.

Seeing these, BPB felt diminished.

How apropos this should happen after yesterday's confession that I really like to post--and really like to see my own posts. Art superstar (seriously) Chloe Cummings had very kind words for this blog yesterday (and I do truly appreciate them), but you look at enough plodding pictures and you lose the ability to see anything but the worst in your own work.

Here's to my worst.

Sometimes a mackerel is just a mackerel.

--Ernest Hemingway

26 January, 2010

I've got to admit, despite the fact that I am not a very good blogger, and despite the fact that I certainly am not, under almost any definition conceivable, a successful blogger, I still get an immense kick out of seeing my own drawings smeared all down the face of a relatively professional-looking site. I mean, I type in the http, and viol√°, there they are.

"Hey, I drew that!"

The management of fame is very much like the management of self, but writ large, and subject to constant critique by an army of ill-mannered strangers.

--Ted Williams

25 January, 2010

OK, I'm going out on a limb, both content-wise and technically, (but hopefully not legally), and posting a version of a recent project I did with Mass Animation. Check out the Mass Animation page on FaceBook (http://www.facebook.com/massanimation). Our goal with this was to provide a strict template for the animators participating in the current Mass Animation/Sony/DC Trailer Animation contest. Basically, it's your chance to animate Batman.

I was responsible for the Batman and Wonder Woman sections of the boards; another artist, the fabulous Marty Kline, did the rest. It was fun, (tho' I sure as heck wish I could go back and massage some of that Batman/Joker fight--oy!). I tried mainly to come up with dramatic poses and some dynamic staging/action that an animator could really sink his teeth into. Because all the animation will be 3D, and all takes place in an already constructed 3D world, I didn't bother as much with drawing in the background. Maybe I should have been.

What is this thing, "the animatic," you may be asking. The animatic, in it's most basic usage, is meant to be a tool for the directors and animators. Individual storyboard drawings are linked up in order (or "in continuity" the film-types would say) and put up on the screen, with music and dialogue added on top of the drawings. You time out each shot, and you wind up with a rough edit of your movie--all without having to commit to any actual animation or live-action filming. Very useful. And when you watch one of these animatics, it shows you how much of a movie you can get done just via the drawing and editing process. You can make something nearly as good as this with something as basic as iMovie.

So whatcha' waitin' for? Get on it!

I'm not trying to be mean--just funny truthful.

"The artist's role is to see--just to see, without judgment--and record his findings appropriately for the rest of mankind."

--Albert Camus

24 January, 2010

My father-in-law is a nautical sort.

(sketch for his Xmas gift)

23 January, 2010

I love the word "sanguine," and for my money it should be defined as describing just this sort of look.

But it doesn't.

Strangely, many people seem to agree with me, and you often hear it used in the way of "confident," or more specifically, as an undeterred or otherwise unflustered confidence. But really it describes a more animated, cheery, outwardly optimistic kind of confidence--happy confidence. Which is lame.

To me that is "chipper," not "sanguine."
(spotted in airport, like previous post of DS-playin' kids)

22 January, 2010

Jeez, I missed yesterday. Just forgot.

This drawing should make you feel better. It did me.

20 January, 2010


(I'm up watching The Mountain Goats on Jimmy Fallon.)

19 January, 2010

Gracie running through sand.

18 January, 2010

Is this sour-puss questioning my choice of media?
OK, no more lead sketches after today. The pencil is preferred on the beach--otherwise my beloved brush pens will dry out in the sun. I thank you for your indulgence.

17 January, 2010

I like trying to capture not only the faces, but the vibe between two people.

Especially if they are...lovers.

(And nothing better than lovers on a beach vacation.)

16 January, 2010

From a beach Xmas. I'm going to be posting a few pencil-y sketches here over the next couple days--don't be discouraged.

15 January, 2010

This is from a while back--when Blair and I were a-courtin'--but I just found it on our external drive and thought it would be good to share. It's felt-tip marker, inspired by a lovely day at the Huntington Museum.

I like seeing some color around here!

I mean, besides Ellis's comments.

14 January, 2010

My new passion is painting ceramic plates. This is the only one I've done so far, and I'm itching to do more. My cousins, collectively caricatured for Xmas. I took this shot before handing it over for firing. Haven't got a shot of it finished yet, but I learned you can't just over-paint mistakes with impunity--the color underneath will leach through in the firing process. No major harm done to this one. I'll try to share a pic of the final...I know you're trembling in anticipation.

13 January, 2010

Izzit too late for Xmas?

This was my brother's Xmas card from me. He's in an "old bike" phase. Sadly, this pic is much better than the one I did for our Xmas card. My apologies!

It was too good not to share, especially as we're romping through Epiphany (a church season that really resonated for me as a kid).

12 January, 2010

Every Jedi needs a master. After last drawing punk kids challenged me with, "Oh yeah? You think you can draw so good? Do YODA!"

(Luckily I'd caught a bit of "Empire Strikes Back" the night before--never would have remembered those forehead lumps without it)

(BTW, is it me, or is the puppet Yoda of Frank Oz/Kasdan et al a better "actor"--and therefore more convincing--than ANY of the CG Yodas?)

11 January, 2010

A drawing of my nephew as nascent Jedi. His name is Alden, not Alderaan.

10 January, 2010

I like how she looks like Ann Margaret.

09 January, 2010

I ate two pieces of chocolate cake for dinner last night.

08 January, 2010

From my recent stint storyboarding for the new DC Universe Online game trailer. Not brush pen.

07 January, 2010

Dr. Who-sie-Whats-it from "Frog Princess."


I'm only so-so at recollecting character designs. Hey, check out the new Disneyland commercial--the one with the family climbing up into their attic to find it transformed into Andy's Room by the Toy Story characters--Mike D. and Ed did all the animation!! It's awesome.

"So link it already!"

I'm linkin', I'm linkin'!

(DISCLOSURE: first link is Wii game intro movie, also done by Ed & Mike [& J.Q.], second is to Mike's blog--I can't find the new commercial on the web! Look for it on TV)

06 January, 2010

In today's hi-concept world, a page of three random heads just isn't gonna cut it.

Thanks for the comment yesterday, Get Zapped!

05 January, 2010

Saw the movie I keep calling "The Frog Princess" while on Xmas vacation. Saw it with 4 kids, ages 5 to (practically) 10. I'll join the general chorus and say, "It was better than I thought it would be."

But still, it could have been better.

Here's some brush pen sketches done after the screening to amuse the tykes. I'm not great at recalling specific character models, so there are many errors. But the general tone of lashed-together, half-assed fun approximates the movie very well.

Hmm, in the movie's case, maybe that should read, "lashed-together, yet over-worked and ultimately empty, formulaic fun..."

04 January, 2010

(Sort of Tim Burton as Elvis?)

New Year!