Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Studio...

After taking a break from the light box, I decided to take some shots of the good ole home studio so you can see where the revolution currently goes down.

Above you can see the hole punch, the sequence organizers and a bit of the lunch box and copy stand where everything is shot in pencil test or in final. You might also note all my father's books lining the basement walls, in all we have about 10,000 now lining every inch ong the little house.

Here is the "Cock pit" where I draw everything. Currently I'm working on a WS sequence, so i have the bulky light box in place. I have a table top wheel I use for my regular sequences. All my x-sheets are lined up on the music stand and my character prop charts are on the left. My storyboards are printed out in a little booklet that I keep on a clipboard that I move around the studio. There is not one single wall in my house big enough to pin up all the boards.

Upstairs we have the comfy computer room where the Cintiq lives for all the touch ups. This is also my main editing machine, thus the mixer and monitors.

Here's a closer view of the machine with the wheel in the background being prepped for some ink transfer to pass the time away.

The Revolution goes on comrades!

The Party's Over

(messing with Wacom a la prima)

OK, the Glog has been drunk, the presents opened, the candles blown out, the candy boxes half emptied and the hangover is fading away.

I have a week before I have to be back in the office, but I have to spend as much of it animating my sequences as possible. Soon I'll be heading another production workshop at VCU and I've got a lot of sequences to prep and lesson plans to write.

So back to work...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The White Out...

I still have memories about the blizzard of '96 which buried this area in almost 5 feet of snow and closed the schools for a week and a half. Those were some golden childhood memories...

But now I am a man... and these memories will not sit well.

I went to Richmond yesterday to take care of some business and last night enjoyed a fine snowy evening with my friends. This morning the snow had tapered off a little and I prepare for the long drive back to NOVA. I was very foolish not to check the weather news for after trudging along an un-plowed interstate 95, it began to snow again around Fredricksburg. The roads turned into anarchy with many cars and trucks suddenly stopping or swirling out of control. I wanted to pull off and pull into a hotel a couple times but to my horror the unploughed exit ramps were blocked by accidents or trapped cars. I finally found a clear exit in Stafford VA and after narrowly escaping the parking lot of one fully booked hotel, I got my car somewhat parked into a parking lot of the Wingate which had a substantial amount of rooms.

I'm still in a bit of shock, but that was undoubtedly the most dangerous drive I've ever taken so far.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December Sketchbook Round Up

Messing with the mythological.

Stupid Mistletoe

And finally

Christmas 2009, The Escape

The Reality
2009 has not been a kind year, but for all my petty problems, I know there are people out there living in a nightmare this Christmas.

Here's to hoping we can pull ourselves together in 2010 and learn to live with less.
Otherwise by 2012 we may all be forced to live on nothing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

El Zorro...

Found some pics from our 2006 production of Zorro.

The trippy colors really pop out when I put the black lights on .

Happier days back then.

Jerry Budwig and me.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Starshine Theater Posters

"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn"
Per my last entry, here are a few posters I managed to document before sale of the originals.

"The Van Gogh Cafe"

"The Honorable History Society Mystery"

"The Odyssey"

All the originals were put up for silent auction during the nights of their show and 90% were purchased by one bidder.
The sales helped prevent me from starving during my college years.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Show Business..

Before I broke up with her in pursuit of my current love, I used to be infatuated with lighting design for plays. I joined the theater tech crew in High School and in 1997 I picked up a side job being a light technician for a children's theater company called.

Starshine Theater.

Aside from many adventures in home made lighting design with home made lights, my artistic talent began to bleed through. I started making (and selling) posters for all the shows and then one became emboldened to design and paint the backdrops for the various productions. During a musical version of "Lord of The Rings" I even made a set of backdrops with a white space in the middle where I rear projected some animated sequences to advance the long and winding plot.

My greatest achievement in backdropdom was during the production of "Hang-Gliding Through the Sky of Mind" which was a musical about the life and times of Leonardo DaVinci.

The Physical backdrops still exist, but tragically I did not take photos of them at the time and the musical has yet to be preformed a second time, but I did find my original concept art for the 3 drops.

This was a picture that was taken during the show.

With yours truly manning his light board...

I've since moved on to animation as my love obsession, but the theater and I parted on good terms and still can be found behind a lighting console or two now and then.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Carbon Copies?

In 2003 I started my education at VCU School of the Arts and started to dabble in Charcoal and Pastels.
I'd go out on the net to photography sites and select a photo portrait to try an render with charcoal or pastels.

I enjoyed having high contrast figures in really dark settings.

At one point I took a class in Illustration, and showed my portfolio of portraits to my teacher.

She said all it meant was that I was a very talented copy machine...

I wonder how much money I paid just to have someone tell me that?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Old Politics...

"Brave New World" (2003)

Growing up in the Murder capital of the world had an impact on most of my early work.
Around 1999 I ran into "God's Man" and "Wild Pilgrimage" by Lynn Ward, I was so fascinated by his technique and dark messages, I began to develop a similar style using pen and ink.

"Madonna and Child" 1999

Also around 99' I was more religious. I noted that many of the people in my community claimed to be Christian, but lead lives that went against much of what Jesus said in the gospels.

"The Passion of North Virginia" -2000

During the Internet boom years, many of the forests and parks I loved as a child were torn down to forge landscapes of condos, strip malls and over priced restaurants. McMansions mushroomed in every spare patch of green and covered the body of North Virginia like festering blisters during a terrible disease. The prices of everything went up, everyone had to pile up massive debt and many children were left alone at home, or with shifty babysitters as both parents had to work full time jobs in order to afford to live in the area.

"9-11-2001" -2001

Then came 9-11. The pentagon is in the edge of North VA so everyone took the attacks very seriously. Almost overnight, the old office buildings for all the defunct Internet companies turned into Northrop Grumman, or Lockheed Martin. Every U.S. Weapons Manufacturer or Defense contractor had at least one building in NOVA. Security was upgraded everywhere and the Neocons began to move into the area to take up all the contract jobs that would be needed for the inevitable war in Iraq that the administration kept harping on.

"WWJK" -2003

I made this in April of 2003 shortly before the last time I went to church.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The "Read" poster

In 2003 I decided to make a "read" poster and donate it to my old Elementary School in Herndon. When I was growing up, the library and classrooms always had these posters of sports and movie stars with a book in their hands and the word "Read" at the top. I decided to make one of my own, only mine would be a complex mashing of different book characters in a 18 X 24 pen/color pencil hybrid. The piece hangs in the Hutchison Elementary School Library (as far as I know) to this day. Unfortunately I did not take very good pictures of it before giving it away.
The above is a close up on some of the detail, the characters are actually from a book I illustrated that was distributed locally called "Smart Alex"

Here is the full picture.
I've always been a big fan of reading and have always wanted to work on cartoons that promoted it. I fear the art of transforming symbols on paper into fantastic adventures you take in your mind is slowly being lost.
"Butterfly in the sky... I can go twice as high!"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Creative Burst

Got home and colored it...

"Moony Mountains"

Rodger L. Perry

Pen ink and Photoshop.

Before it's lost forever...

"Portrait of a Boy"
Upon dusting off the old portfolio to prepare for yet another career jump, I realized that there is a massive amount of material that I have done over the years that is just not in it, some of it pretty good stuff.

My personal view on the value of my own art was very existential in that when it outlived its usefulness, I gave it away, tossed it in the garbage or just plain lost track of where it went. In the past few years I’ve been working hard to keep high quality copies of everything I do on commission.

In next few posts I plan to show some art that was sold, lost or is somewhere out there.
"Portrait of Morgan"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sketchbook November Sum up

This is the "Dragon Boy" character I'm working on, I leaning toward calling him Toby...
If I wasn't so scared of poisonous water snakes, I'd totally love to do this on a nice summer day.

And finally to mis-quote deven james langston (who will never capitalize on his name)

"I can't think about anything more interesting than 'Anything' that came from my mind"

He came up with something like that a couple weeks ago during our Sat. night jam session, been on my mind ever since... may turn into something.

It that time again

Taking antibiotics to combat the usual holiday bronchitis...
Got the last turkey sandwich in my lunch bag today...

Well I guess that means it's Christmas!

From one out of work animator to the rest and everyone else...

Happy Holidays!
From The Hand Drawn Revolution