Sunday, June 07, 2015

Kolyma Tales

~ Through The Snow ~

"How is a road beaten down through the virgin snow? One person walks ahead, sweating, swearing, and barely moving his feet. He keeps getting stuck in the loose, deep snow. He goes far ahead, marking his path with uneven black pits. When he tires, he lies down on the snow, lights a home-made cigarette, and the tobacco smoke hangs suspended above the white, gleaming snow like a blue cloud. The man moves on, but the cloud remains hovering above the spot where he rested, for the air is motionless. Roads are always beaten down on days like these - so that the wind won't sweep away this labor of man. The man himself selects points in the snow's infinity to orient himself - a cliff, a tall tree. He steers his body through the snow in the same fashion that a helmsman steers a riverboat from one cape to another.

"Five or six persons follow shoulder-to-shoulder along the narrow, wavering track of the first man. They walk beside his path but not along it. When they reach a predetermined spot, they turn back and tramp down the clean virgin snow which has not yet felt the foot of man. The road is tramped down. It can be used by the people, sleighs, tractors. If they were to walk directly behind the first man, the second group would make a clearly defined but barely passable narrow path, and not a road. The first man has the hardest task, and when he is exhausted, another man from the group of five takes his place. Each of them - even the smallest and weakest - must beat down a section of virgin snow, and not simply follow another's footsteps. Later will come tractors and horses driven by readers, instead of authors and poets."

 ~ Varlam Shalamov

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Character Designs and Sketch Pages

Not even halfway through the season yet. Anyhow, making the effort every day to step away from storyboarding and doing some kind of illustration, design, or color work. Even if it sits in a folder for the better part of a year.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Athena's Owl and Hydra, plus preview

...reduxed and finally completed after only, what, several months of sitting on the backburner.
Given that there are 13 more of these as sequential panels (see below), not to mention several more that were stand alone illos, it goes to show: Haste makes waste when you're trying to sprint a marathon with a full pack. 

That is to say, quality control suffers when more is added to your plate at any one time.

Also, being awake when you're drawing tends to help.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Kaiju Redux

Goes without saying, another retake on an older piece from... I don't even remember anymore. Originally did these as an ode to Mr. Tom Perkins' art book. (Scroll down to about the 9th selection.)

(One of several digital drawovers on the original Colerase sketches.)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fraulein Redux

...For the umpteenth time. Besides the drawing that's done at work and the two or three sketches or comic panels in the evening, these redux pieces are my final winding down for the day. Out with the old, in with the new - or at the least, the settling of old drawing debts and sweeping out the cobwebs.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Viking Onderzoek Redux, plus sketch studies

Alright, let's try this one more time: 

Whether weeks, months, or years have passed, this constant need to go back and redux older work, it's making me realize how important focus is, that it's not enough to just plug away at something and hope that some sort of osmotic improvement will be had via the lone act of pencil to paper (or stylus to Cintiq, for all you hardcore industry folks out there); but rather making a concerted effort to note mistakes and weaknesses, to learn and practice correct understructure, understanding in real time the principles of dynamics, clarity and balance... Just generally being aware of not only what you're doing, but what you're going for.

Most importantly, to have a set of technical drawing principles to abide by, a checklist of "Alright, hit that first; now onto this." I know I do, it's just a matter of formalizing it and "doing it to such a degree... that you're eventually not even aware of it." (The Book of Five Animation Discs.)

(The drawing of the sculpture's been floating around since November. Added the girl over the weekend.)

Am thinking one of the overarching first principles is: Sit on your work. Come back and look at it with fresh eyes.

And not to demotivate the Inktober crowd, but: Never ink or commit to your first pass. At least, not until you've practiced the former. The old sketchbooks are a testimony to this.

Anyhow, I think stepping away from the main piece and doing studies helped, whether in the margins or on a completely separate file. Given that Photoshop allows dragging and dropping between files, why stick yourself to one cramped canvas to figure something out:

(Still a bit too literal.)

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Nordic vs Hellenic

Slightly reworked color panel from the Viking Fraulein Onderzoek series some months back. More over at the Tumblr:

(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Full color panel)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Scum and Villainy

...Rounding out the Boba Fett Youth post from a few weeks ago. Plus, work's been an interest place this past month.

And, a preview for the next set of illustrations:

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Boba Fett Youth

In honor of the long anticipated - by me - re-release of a favorite band from my misspent youth, Boba Fett...Youth.

Was listening to these guys well before the CalArts days, well before the animation hellhole days at Allan Hancock College... well before the internet. In short, these guys played, toured, recorded, and disbanded before art became my fulltime occupation, when "1337" still meant one thousand three hundred and thirty seven. And before corporate copyrights were as monolithic as they are now.

Anyhow, interesting punk band that had as many memorable progressive technical chops as they did endearing f*ck ups. And great album artwork to boot. Here's the link:

Boba Fett Youth - Punks In Vegas archive.

Highly recommend the full length LP, though the Rare and Unreleased has some notable tracks. Favorites include Crush Kill Destroy, Dress the Part, Big City Soup, Compromise, Shrug/Scumrider (treated as one song in my mind), and Everything's Fine, anthem for our group's countless nights on hilltops launching water balloons - or most anything else, not excluding fishing weights - at suburban housing tracts.

Indeed, Mr. Lucas and Williams, they do play the Imperial March in one of their songs. You're welcome.

Speaking of music and art, a work-in-progress that's been tooled with for the past few months. Inspired by several Rush songs (and yes, am going to list them now): Analog Kid, Red Barchetta, and The Body Electric.