Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Spyro Portrait - I'm going to paint this

There's a local painting group that meets at my school a couple times a month. When they come in I usually paint with them. This is what I'll be working on. A portrait of Spyro the Dragon. The sketch is graphite on heavy weight illustration board. The kind that's used for painting backgrounds in animation production. Measures  11 x 8.5 inches  (28 x 21.6 centimeters). I'll be paiting this in acrylics. We'll see how it turns out.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Jak and Daxter at Universal Studios - 2008

I've been looking through some archived files and found this photo from January 9 2008. I remember meeting a friend for lunch at Universal Studios Hollywood on that day. When I was there I saw this big banner showcasing Jak and Daxter. I think it was over the entrance to a video game shop. I was happy and proud since I did the bulk of the character design work on that game. So of course I took a picture to remember the moment.

Here it is 11 years and 7 months later and I have a chance to feature it!

Monday, July 22, 2019

Crash and Spyro at Sony / MGM Studios in LA

There's a gift shop on the Sony MGM studio lot in Los Angeles. Actually it's the Culver City area to be exact. The studio has been around for many years going way back to the silent movie days. Many great movies were filmed there along with the many years of their cartoon studio producing Tom and Jerry and other animated shows over the decades.

A student of mine was touring the studio recently and when he visited their gift shop he saw some Spyro dolls and Crash toys on display. Their gift shop is not open to the public. It's a treat to find out they carry the characters there. He took this photo and shared it with me. Thought fans out there would enjoy seeing something unique and special.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Crash Bandicoot - New Color Markers

Howdy folks !! I recently purchased a new set of color markers so I could give demos at my school. I really needed them as my old set had worn out. I found a great deal on a set of 120 markers through a company called Arteza. They're similar to Copics in quality but at a much lower price. 

Anyway here's my first attempt at trying out the new markers...

Friday, July 12, 2019

More Coco Bandicoot - 20+ Years later

Last time I posted some sketches of Coco Bandicoot but I wasn't comfortable with straying off model from what she would normally look like. So I've created a few more drawings where I tried to get her appearance to be more on target. Blue pencil and black line ball point pen.



Saturday, June 29, 2019

Drawing Coco Bandicoot After 20+ Years

A couple of months ago someone in the comments of one of my posts I was asked if I'd draw Coco Bandicoot. Recently I had a chance to try. It's been more than 20 years since I drew the character. In fact I haven't dawn anything with Coco since the time I designed the character.

Once I started drawing I found that she had changed. I was drawing her as an older more mature character it seemed. When I realized this I tried to get back to what she was like originally and I ended up the session with a look that was more on model.

I really enjoyed this and I hope you like the sketches. Black line ball point pen on blue pencil.







Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Analog Painting Demo Lesson - Finished from before

Greetings !!

You may recall this past April 10 when I posted a drawing that I intended to paint. Here's the link to the topic. This turned into a class demonstration on the basics of color and in painting the old fashioned way which helps in better understating of digital processes. On June 23 after several weeks of short work sessions I finished it. 

The backstory...

Late last year at our old location I sketched a composition on punched illustration board used for painting backgrounds for animation production. I wasn't happy with what I did so I set it aside to work on it at another time. After the move I attempted to revive the work and see if I could salvage it. My intention was to render a pencil drawing of a character inspired somewhat by the silent movie star Clara Bow. 

Here's what I came up with...


I was facing a problem as I embarked upon the first step of coloring this. The image was drawn in soft graphite pencil. If I were to lay down my underpainting in the manner I usually do which is to use sweeps from a broad brush I'd lose the image. The watered down pigment would wash it away. I solved the problem by making a pad of tissues and then lightly dabbing the board with color. Here's the result...


Once acrylic paints dry they create a plastic seal over the image. So no matter how many layers I applied on the board's surface the drawing would not be affected by the subsequent brushwork. Now I could get busy bringing the painting along to completion by first laying in some darks by using transparent washes.


Once that step was done I began to lay a foundation for her flesh tone with a suggestion of a light source. By mixing white into the pigment the color becomes opaque and we start to get some coverage to block out the background texture. 


Next I spent a little time blocking in the whites of her eyes.


With that done we get a feel for the balance between the light tones and the dark. Also we get a sense of the character coming to life. This was followed by more modeling of her flesh tones. This step involved adding some blush to her face and slightly accentuating shadows. 


I went on to add the subtle red tints in her face to her upper torso.


Now it's time to go back into the darks and really bring them out. Contrast between tonal values is a very important aspect of working in color. Healthy contrast between tonal values really brings a composition to life and is necessary in giving the work a sense of completion. 




Adding highlights to the hair and a finishing touch to the eyes and lips finally brings the painting home. So after nearly 12 weeks of short work sessions the last 2 of which were with a small group of painting enthusiasts meeting at the Academy on Sundays here's the result...


Now I can share the painting online and at local art shows here in Burbank once it's framed. Also since I kept a record of the progress of the work I can use it for educational purposes and in publishing as is the case here.

The painting measures 10 1/2 x 7 7/8 inches (about 26.7 x 19.7 centimeters). My original intent was to give the image a feel of a silent movie film with slight tints of color. Hopefully I've achieved that goal through the impression it gives you.

Thank you for checking in and following along. I'll be back soon with more creative fun!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Crash and Spyro sketches from school event

I was invited by a local school just down the block from my own school to participate in an event where several different organizations would set up a booth and interact with their students. Brighton Hall in Burbank is famous for nurturing up and coming acting talent. Janet Jackson attended the school at one time along with many other celebrities when they were kids.

I participated for a while on May 18 2019 and had the chance to draw a few pictures of a couple of the video game characters I'm known for. Primarily Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon.

This is the first sketch I came up with. Crash is kind of asking himself what he's doing here. The line next to his ear is from the wind blowing the paper while I was drawing.


This next image I'm not too keen about as I've done better drawings of Spyro. It was my way of greeting visitors as they came by the booth.


As I was getting more comfortable I started having a little more fun with Crash.


I drew a few quick sketches of Crash for some of the kids there. This was done on May 21 to give my own students an idea as to what I was doing at the Brighton Hall event.


I started this sketch of Spyro at the May 18 event but didn't finish. I took the momentum back to class and completed the drawing as a demo for my own students.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Let It Shine ArtShark !!

I had a chance to come up with some new ArtShark art. It's been a long time since I've had fun with the character that's the official mascot for my school. So for educational purposes here's some images that show the process.

This is the original sketch...


Next I darkened the image in Photoshop to isolate the line. Looks strange but it's a necessary step... 


Afterwards I cleaned up the line so there's a pristine image to work with...


Next I added basic color to the composition...


Continuing on to the phase where I color the line to soften things up... 


Then I added a light source and shadows...


Here comes a few finishing touches...


Finally I added text and the school's brand to give the image a theme... and there we have the finished image ready to go!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Fan letter from an art club

Hello folks how are you doing? Yes I'm still here! Been extremely busy as that's pretty much the way things are as of late. No complaints as it's all positive and I have been creatively active. Yet I'm afraid that the overall activity is hampering my ability to stay on top of things communication wise.

That said let's get on to some fun!

This past January while embarking upon the task of moving my school to a new location I received a very nice letter from a group of students in an art club in Richmond Virginia. Here's the letter and the context of what they wrote...

"We are an art club of students from 2 schools covering your work and respect you greatly. We have tried to collect all you have done and admire you most for your versatility and imagination. 

Could you autograph this card for inspiration and others to come? Thanks for teaching us what others have not."


Included was a stamped self addressed envelop with two 5 inch by 3 inch (12.7 x 7.7 centimeters) tabs of paper. So instead of just mailing back my autograph I decided to send a couple of little sketches of Crash and Spyro.


I hope this got to the art club while school is still in session. Thank you guys for your great letter and also for your patience with my reply. Cheers!