Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shall we Dance?

I made some composition/value thumbnails while watching some of my favorite Fred Astaire films. I'll definitely be doing this kind of exercise again in the near future.

And here are a few tree sketches to show shape and variety.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Full Steam Ahead! Backgrounds HO!

I have a bad habit of only wanting to show fully finished colored images. So I'm trying to let loose a bit and post more sketches.
The color study of the aerial farm came from the plane ride back from California. I'm not a big fan of planes, but the impressive scenery outweighed the terror for most of the flight this time.

I've also changed around the look of the blog to better match my portfolio, and added a gallery section. Right now the coding is a little messed up so the images have been displaying washed out, but I'll be fixing that shortly.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Back From CTN Expo 2009!

I'm back from Burbank where I attended the CTN Expo this weekend. It was easily the greatest convention I have ever attended. With industry professionals everywhere you looked, and like-minded peers passing around business cards, you couldn't ask for a more creative atmosphere! I was lucky enough to be selected for a series of private interviews, and on top of that I had several of my favorite artists give me helpful critiques on my current portfolio. I'll be posting more (with pictures) soon of some of the highlights of the event, but for now I need to kick my art making into full gear! One of the interviews I had was very promising if I can deliver some fresh sketches of backgrounds before the start of december. I'll keep you posted if this opportunity goes somewhere!

Here's a quick composition done in about 20 minutes using a similar color scheme from an N.C Wyeth painting.

Another 20 minute composition, playing with brushes and angles.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Portfolio Additions

As you may have noticed my main website is currently down for construction, so I'll be moving a small gallery right here on the blog to house the portfolio temporarily.

This was a redo of a piece from last year, where I took the time to make the character look more like the puppet I had created. In the original drawing I think I went a bit overboard on the finicky details, and I like this simple version much better.

These are the results of a trip to the zoo and some visual research. The giraffe was meant to look like a small toy or sculpture. I'm still experimenting with flat/3D elements working together.

This weekend I'm heading off to the Creative Talent Network Expo in LA to see some of the industries best character designers, and some of my childhood heros. Expect a nice big post all about it when I get back!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cooking Up Good Designs...

Inspiration can come from such unusual places! With a big recruiting opportunity coming up , I've been working on revamping my portfolio. I had to buckle down and really figure out what I want to do with my art in the future, and what I need to do to improve from where I am now. While I have found quite a few quality sources of inspiration recently, I found exactly what I was looking for.....on a cooking show.

In almost every episode Chef Gordon Ramsay turns around a failing restaurant using the same solutions. He creates dishes that are simple and honest, and buys only the freshest local ingredients. This is almost always enough to turn even the worst kitchen into a success. I started really thinking about how those solutions could apply to character design.

Simplicity: Not getting bogged down with fussy details. Everything should serve the main idea, and all the “ingredients” should come together and not fight one another. Nothing should get in the way of the overall opinion.

Honesty: The difference between a doodle and a sketch. Honesty is all about backing up your design with some form of observation and opinion.

Freshness: Always seeking out new ways to approach a project that keep you on your toes. Never getting too comfortable with the way you usually solve a design problem. You don't know when the next inspiring moment could come along, so give it every opportunity to appear.

Now I know I've been quite guilty of going against these theories in the past, but I'm hoping to approach all my new pieces with these goals in mind. Speaking of which.....I have a portfolio that needs attention right why am I on here!? More images coming soon!