My Work in Progress

A sketchblog where I post a few of my scribbles from a variety of works-in-progress, usually from my rather random personal creativity outside of the daily grind. I occasionally, but not always, post the final artwork.


Feeling Blue

Actually, I usually sketch on sheets of laser computer print paper with a blue pencil at work. The paper has a better grab for the pencil than the marker sketch pads that a couple of the artists use...and I happen to like the feel and results I get with this technique rather than going right to marker or ink. At home, like in the above sketch, I'll usually do one of my evening sketches in one of my Strathmore Medium Drawing pads. Sometimes with the Prismacolor Col-erase dark blue pencil, sometimes with the 2H pencil for detailed scribbling. Ah, sketchpads - I have several in various states of being all over my apartment. :)


Feeling Ugly

Actually, I think the new haircut may work out ok. I'll make a decision after a few days. Then, next Thursday, it's back to more pink! weeeee!!!

There's a nice little article in the latest
Giant Robot about the two creators of the Ugly Dolls (winners of the 2006 Toy of the Year, don't ya know!). Makes me want to try out licensing some of my own stuff...may have to wait on that, tho, till after I have a new job. ;)

Inspirational Character Animator Demo Reel

Had to share this one...I was so inspired. ;)

From YouTube: W. Abee's Demo reel - "Character animation demo reel made by experienced Maya animator Wan Abee. Entirely self-taught, available immediately for work at any major feature film studio."


Bremen Town

One of my favorite old stories, the Bremen Town Musicians.



Wasn't entirely happy with the 10 min. sketch I did of the cow yesterday, so I figured I needed the practice. Here's another cow:


Odds and Ends

I got a Pasta Machine to give my poor hands a break from squashing Sculpey. I don't milk cows for a living, so my hands were getting a bit sore from the exercise. I've been wanting one for awhile, saw this one in the store yesterday when I was picking up some supplies, so I went ahead and got it. I was doing a quick google to find a reference of milking a cow and found this old reminds me of my mom milking the Jersey cow in the backshed at my grandma's house (my dad's mom) in Louisiana. My mom liked to give the barn cats a treat now and then just like in the below photo. :)

A friend of mine that used to work with me in toy development and is now an animator for an online children's educational site, is also a professional maquette artist and has offered to mentor me as I continue to practice my sculpting skills. Yay! Those kinds of friends are the best. :)

I've been collecting the McFarlane Dragons since they started showing up in toy stores just over a year ago. The other day while I was visiting, I discovered that one of the designers for the Series 3 dragons, Jin Han, has a website with some of the concept art he developed. Really nice to see another artist's process. The above dragon is one of the two that I like in Series 3...while I bought the others, too, to have a full set, I didn't take them out of their cartons just yet.

I just saw a new post on for a toy designer at Disney in my daily Monster email this morning. While a tempting way to get over to the L.A. area (and believe me, I'm considering it) and get involved in the L.A. animation creative community, toy design is really not the career direction I want to continue pursuing...but, DAMN, it's tempting. Especially since I seem to be making no headway at all in my current pursuit as visual development artist/concept artist/character designer at an animation studio.

I need to think about it.

New Book! Drawing for Animation Production

I ordered a couple of books this past week from my favorite store in the whole world, Amazon. ;) And so my library continues to grow...

If I recall correctly, I spotted this book, All About Techniques in Drawing for Animation Production by Sergi Camara, in a brief review on one of those random drawing/animation websites I like to check out at home after work just before seemed like a worthwhile addition to my animation library so I ordered it along with The Art of Cars.

Like I wasn't going to order that one, ha!


To NYC and Back

Well, I'm back from another trip to NYC. This time I went on a company trip to the 2006 Licensing Show to check out the properties available that my employer might want to consider for future product development. Alot of interesting stuff to check out although most of the major players and their offerings were already familiar to me from a variety of other resources (animation, tv, games, upcoming movies, etc.).

The toy company I work for also had some products on display for one of the companies we hold a development license for. Along with the life-sized Leatherface and Freddy that we'd developed in the "House of Horrors" section of the booth, New Line Cinema also had a life-size version of the armored polar bear from one of their current projects in development, The Golden Compass. My boss took a picture of me standing next to one of the bears. Can't show the whole bear image, sorry. Once I see an official posting on the 'net, I'll be happy to post more. ;)

I'm really looking forward to the series (it's the first in a trilogy). Hopefully, they'll do a great job on the movie adaption of the book. Well, I know I'll go see it at least once in any case - it has Polar Bears! :)

Edit: Ha! I thought might have a picture, and they did! Here's a full image of the Polar Bear. As you can see, I wasn't even up to the bear's shoulder in the above photo. It's pretty tall!


Recycling Creative Ideas

This is some artwork I created for a student animation short I did a few years ago. The assignment was to create a small animation and then complete the composition in Combustion. It was a fun project and I really enjoyed working with the software to make my little story come to life.

Well, I decided to revisit the project (I liked the idea that much) and flesh it out a bit more. So, for the last week, I've been polishing the storyboard and updating the character designs and the overall visual development. I needed to add some fresh work to my portfolio and this little project seemed like a nice one to add.

All of the elements were sketched out first on cold press paper and then colored with watercolors. Then I scanned the images and did a wee bit of manipulation in Photoshop. All of the elements - trees, house, moon, some clouds, and other building elements you don't see here; were pulled into Combustion as individual pieces so that when the camera moved around the scene, the effect was quite dimensional. In a way like the multi-plane camera effect used in the old Disney animation. But only in a small way, heh.

I'll post some of the other artwork related to that at another time. ;)


Wyvern Concept

A quick concept to break up my Sunday routine of cleaning, working on the website, and feeding my snakes. I also included the initial coloring for the wyvern. I'll post some more when I'm a bit further along.

I don't enjoy feeding my snakes. At least it's only about once a month. I always feel sorry for the mice. sigh. Just to help offset the fact that, hey, my snakes exist in order to keep down the rodent population (one is a rat snake and the other is a corn snake)...I rescue a mouse from the batch now and then. Actually, at the moment I have two white mice that I rescued about a year ago.

Mouse One and Mouse Two.


Beautiful Women

While I do my daily random toy research, I'm also looking for those toys or collectibles that I wouldn't mind adding to my toy display shelf, at work or at home. One of the items I definitely keep an eye out for: female characters. There just aren't that many of them...that are done well. Particularly in the case of action figures. So, when I find a good one, I try and get it.

Today's Toy Pick: Marvel's The Dark Phoenix Saga -
Storm Maquette.

What a lovely sculpt! The artist who created that one has some other excellent work as well - Jeff Feligno. Go
here to check some of his other work out.


Animal Anatomy for Artists

I love getting a new book! Today I got a really good one that I'd ordered from Amazon: Animal Anatomy for Artists by Eliot Goldfinger. I do have other anatomy reference books that I appreciate, but what makes this new one (well, new for me) stand out is the examples of Proportions as well as the Variety of animals shown and examples of Axes and Volume with skeletal flex and reflex. Not only is this book a good reference for drawing studies or variations of animal or creature poses, the examples provided are also excellent references for sculpting...which is actually the reason I ordered the book.

I give this book 5 Stars! :)

It's a Munster!

This maquette is soo on target for
Herman Munster! I love it. So, that's my pick for Today's Toy. Click on the above image and you'll see a bigger version. Sideshow Collectables is distributing it and Electric Tiki is producing it.

I usually spend about 30 minutes first thing in the morning visiting various toy sites in order to see what's out there. It's research for my job that's fun to do and helps me get a list going of things I want to buy...ha! But, it also gives me a good idea of what other toy companies think is the latest cool license, toy trend or character that the consumer market will want to buy or potentially collect. This is definitely something we toy designers will want to keep in mind as we're concepting new products for our own company lines. Research is good.

It's actually one of the reasons why my license Product Manager wants me to check out the exhibit floor the two days we're at the
NYC 2006 License show in a couple of weeks. I've been given complete freedom to wander around (the others will mostly be attending scheduled meetings with our licensors), so I'm planning on bringing a camera and visiting lots of booths. There's also a couple of panels I read about that might be interesting, so I'll try and check those out. NYC is a fun place to visit. I'm just not thrilled about the 6 am flight we'll be taking. Good golly...everyone who knows me knows how much I like to sleep in.

Yup, I'll be there. I wonder if they will be giving out any swag....

Well, I have a three-day weekend from my job starting today, which mean more time to work on my comic...oh, and the portfolio, too, of course! Print and Online. I'll be shipping out a couple more portfolio samples on Saturday. No other nibbles just yet other than the toy company in Seattle (which I didn't even apply to), but why should I be surprised. I have a lot of competition.

Wish me luck!


Show Your Love: Give a Bug

For those times when you just can't find a better way to show someone how much you care...give them a gift of Cooties. Or a Stomach Ache. The Flu? How 'bout a Pimple? That and so much more...!

Today's Toy:
Giant Microbes!