Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

I figure the many Crash Bandicoot fans who frequent my blog would appreciate this. I hope everyone has a special Christmas spent with those you love...

Friday, December 12, 2014

Three Crash drawings disappeared through the US Mail

Hello everyone. Thanks as always for frequenting my blog. I really appreciate the healthy traffic it gets even though I haven't posted in a while. Here's the latest.

On November 6, 2014 I mailed three Crash Bandicoot drawings that I created in 2012. These drawings were original art. I posted them a couple years ago and archived them afterwards. A regular visitor to my blog and a devoted Crash fan, I made arrangements with Matt in the UK to conduct a second Ebay auction. Last year Matt auctioned a set of Crash and Spyro prints for the benefit of the Worthing Boys Club in West Sussex. It was very successful. Since then plans were made to hold another auction and that's what these drawings were to be used for. Only this time it was going to be an auction for the benefit of both the Worthing Boys Club and also The Animation Academy in Burbank California.

I sent the package with these drawings to the UK through the main post office in Burbank. Priority Mail International. The last tracking entry date listed by the US Postal Service was November 7 2014 from the main terminal in LA bound for England. Since then it's gone off the radar. 

I contacted the USPS and an investigation was initiated. I don't have much faith in it as this is the second time in about a year that something of value I sent through them disappeared. I've learned my lesson and will never use them again for anything like this. The US Postal Service used to be the gold standard in mail delivery. Not any more as far as I'm concerned. 

This has been a troubling experience for me. Not only in losing three valuable original works of art, but also as far as my feelings about what's happening in America. 

Fortunately I made digital copies of the drawings at a resolution high enough for printing. They don't replace the originals but at least there's a record of the images. Here they are below without my personal signature which was on the originals...

The drawings were on 12 field Ingram animation paper. The paper that the major studios use. They were quality sketches but alas, what can I say other than I'm bummed about it.

I'd like to know if there's an interest in conducting an auction with these prints instead. I can sign a copy of each and use them in place of the originals. Just one copy of each signed by yours truly.

Your comments are welcome.

Charles Zembillas


PS - Edited on March 7 2015 - The drawings finally made it to the UK after spending 6 months in Brazil. The first of 3 auctions of the original drawings has started on eBay and will continue through March 15 2015. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Werewolf boy - Class doodle

Sometimes a sketch takes a direction of its own. While meandering an idea for a werewolf type creature the initial doodle wound up as an exploration of patterns and texture as well as design. This is from a session of drawing with my class the other night.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cute girl - Class demo

Hi everyone! Yes I'm still kicking. Hope you're doing well. Got a chance to create the other night. Came up with this while drawing with students in class.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Another quick demo

I've been using SketchbookPro as a teaching tool. In a class environment it works great for lessons and getting basic concepts across. Here's what I came up with this evening.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Strange Alien

Having fun with SketchBook Pro. Excellent software for drawing on a computer. Using a Cintiq monitor enhances the creative experience and the results as well. I came up with the image you see here while class was in progress this past evening. Kind of Avatar inspired but that's okay. Looking for something unique none the less. Hope you enjoy it.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Another lesson from sketch to color

As with my previous post this demo was created the same evening as the preceding composition. This time using a Cintiq and SketchBook Pro to illustrate a concept sketch in black line and rendering the image with gray scale tinting over color instead of the other way around. You can follow the process in reverse by scrolling down...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sharing a lesson - From sketch to color

I gave a demonstration earlier this week in the Visual Development class at my school. I used a Cintiq (a specialized monitor for direct digital drawing} and Sketchbook Pro to create the image below. Something promotional as well as educational as you can follow the reverse history of the composition by scrolling down below.


Saturday, October 11, 2014


It's been a busy time the past few months. Finally things are lightening up enough to have some fun with art. I thank you very much for the continued solid traffic that's been coming to my blog during this phase. I'm glad that many people seem to enjoy looking at the images that are here.

I have a lot more to share folks. There's still a huge inventory of all kinds of interesting things. Some of the projects I've been working on lately has necessitated going into my archives for extra goodies. Plus I've had the chance to start drawing once more. 

I'll be back very soon to ramp it up. Thank you again!  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Joe Pearson's Crash Bandicoot - "Crash Gordon"

Busy isn't the word for it friends. That's the reason why I haven't been able to attend to my blog. I offer my sincerest apologies and pledge to get back to featuring art and the creative projects I'm involved with as soon as I can.

Meanwhile my buddy Joe Pearson has come to the rescue by providing me the opportunity of showcasing some original Crash artwork he came up with recently. This was done for one of Matt's auctions for the Worthing Boys Club in the UK. Joe calls it "Crash Gordon" playing off of the venerable Flash Gordon sci-fi hero. 

As I'm sure many of you Crash fans know Joe Pearson was a major force in the development of the project. He was the creative epicenter of it all. I'm expecting Joe to stop by my school for a visit later today. It'll be great hooking up with him once again.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Indiana - A view from the tracks

Hello friends. Sometimes I find myself in unusual places. A few days ago I decided to explore a train track I had been aware of for a while. It's in the state of Indiana which is part of the heartland of the US. The tracks are elevated on a hill of gravel and stone. Each side of the track is lined by a marsh but I was told by a local of a spot where I could climb up to the top. So I grabbed my cheap little camera and went on a hike of a couple of miles along the track to see what I could see.

Below are a few photos of the Indiana countryside from a perspective that only a train's engineer can appreciate. I know these aren't drawings but photos can still be art of course. 

America is a beautiful country...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Checking in to say hello

Hey there everybody. Want to say hi and thank you for continuing to visit my blog. I've been away for a couple of weeks on an emergency and am back in the saddle in Burbank as of this writing. Really surprised to see the steady traffic the blog gets even after a long pause. Guess there's so much content up now that it kind of has a life of its own.

I've dug up lots of old vintage stuff. A large amount of original never been seen He-Man and She-Ra images from the development of the series in the 1980s and more. Plus I'm set up with some new equipment that will let me scan this art more efficiently. I'm generating new work all the time and am still tracking down Thump to see if he's found the animated video from the 1990s if you're following the project so far.

There's a big cache of images from Crash Nitro Kart on deck as well.

Back soon with more art to share. Thanks again and wishing you the best.

Charles Zembillas 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Thor and more...

Hello everybody and thanks for checking in. Busy busy busy and in a good way. Have not had the blog out of mind as I get a chance to do some drawing.

I was thinking about Thor and how I liked to draw him as a kid so I thought I'd sketch a version of him in the He-Man style...

Then I said to myself why not draw He-Man in the He-Man style of the original show of the 1980s of which I was a part of...

Then I visited a character I'm developing for another project...

This too...

Prepping lots of special stuff which I'll be following up with soon. Thanks for stopping. Wishing you the best!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Looking for Mona Lisa

At times I search for an enigmatic image in my mind of somebody that would fit the bill. It's fun for me to explore Mona Lisa. This is what I came up with tonight.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Character design studies - Female form

I've been practicing drawing the female form and adapting it to design concept. It's a good exercise as well as a lot of fun of course. Here's some of what I've come up with recently.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Best friends

 It's just one of those days where I felt like doing something cute. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Madonna and child

I was doodling the other day and came up with this. Not so much a depiction of Mary and the baby Jesus as it is an allegorical representation of the sacredness of motherhood. I've always been interested in Byzantine art and imagery of the eastern church and I let some of that influence come through in this drawing. Thanks for checking in.  

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Recent stuff - Head concept designs

The past few days I've had a chance to take a break from what I've been doing and get into some random concept sketching. Some of these drawings I did with my students and some during private time. Blue pencil with black line in a few of them. Good practice delving into a variety of ideas. Enjoyed myself and I hope you find these images appealing.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cubby bear night

The other evening sitting in on the Character Design class at my school I used the opportunity to teach multiple lessons. Among them a head rotation and also some basics in tonal rendering and texture.

I asked my students how long they thought it would take me to do a simple head rotation for the design I had in mind. I did this in 15 minutes while interrupted twice.

Here are a couple more concepts for the character I was developing. I have an idea emerging as to who he could be. The drawings are in blue pencil and I plan to finalize them with black line at some point.