Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry Christmas y'all!

I got to paint Santa on a window last week and it was awesome!
I'll bet you didn't know Santa sometimes rides an aerobic exercise machine and drinks tasty smoothies! Well he does. Here's some process:
Incidentally, the owners of this establishment are good friends of mine and if you live in the SCV (what what) you should check 'em out in Old Town Newhall.
They've got maniac exercise equipment and tasty/healthy smoothies and teas. (I can personally vouch for the bananna split smoothie and raspberry tea, respectively: DE-lish!)

Some pictures from a
top secret project I'm working
on with some friends:

greg smith
alden underhill
mike butler
austin underhill

more to come...

I recently had a chance to do some logo design for a good friend. Here's a basic premise for his company, "Crushed Butterfly:"

Crush an iridescent butterfly wing, and you will see a shocking blue colour turn into a dull and muddly mess. This is because iridescence, such as is found on the wing of a Morpho butterfly, relies on a finely-tuned, multi-layered physical structure to produce its otherwise impossible colours.

Crushed Butterfly operates on the belief that, similarily, hidden in the visuality of everyday things, is a physical infrastructure that can give new dimension to common ideas; a language that relies more on architecture than memory to achieve communication. Our aim is to produce graphics with 'structural colour', graphics that, like the wing of the Morpho butterfly, make intelligent use of space and structure to brilliant effect.

It's a pretty intriguing idea, and I'm looking forward to see how its implemented!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Doodle-doo Doodle-doodle-doo Doodle-doodle-doo Doodle Doo Doo Doodle-Doodle-Doo (The Office theme song)

I heart The Office.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A while back I said I'd post some process images from the Animalympics, so here's a step-by-step overview of the Falcon Sprinter.

The falcon was unique because i didn't use any reference for the body. All the bodies and poses on the sprinters, the bulldog, and the warthog were from imagination. I still used extensive photo reference on the heads and coloring. The other animals were taken from actual photos and videos of ahtletes from various books and the internet (Go YouTube "Hammer Throw" if you've never seen one before! It's bannanas!)

Steps 1-4 were the exploratory stages. I draw looser and smaller in this stage (2-3 inches) to get a better feel for the overall visual impact. At this point, I'm mainly thinking about shapes, proportions, and what I want to emphasize. He started out very muscular but after watching some of the Olympic sprints I knew he neeed to be elongated. By the last drawing I feel like I have a good feeling for the relation of the shapes and some level of appeal. It's now time to work full size:

Step 5 is my first light pass, I'm thinking about making the angle of the line of the shoulders oppose the hips to create visual interest. While I like the drawing, it's a bit too Cheeks, so I lightbox another drawing over top of it (Step 6) that feels more organic, and more alive. At this point I move to a blue Col-Erase pencil.

After flipping this drawing over on the lightbox to see my mistakes in construction and perspective, I find a different pose that I like a little better. Feels more kinetic, as if he's mid-stride. (Step 7) Step 8 cleans up and ties down the anatomy from Step 7, and Step 9 is the final cleanup, emphasizing clean, dark lines, and enclosed spaces to make the coloring process easier.

Step 10 - Adjust levels to turn the blue lead to a solid black line
Step 11 - Flat colors to give me a base to work off of
Step 12 - Rendering the basic forms, giving a sense of volume and solidity
Step 13 - Adding incidentals like feather markings and sunglass tints.

(Color decisions influenced by photo reference at far right)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Romans 1:16 "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile."

These are from the project I spent most of October on, a "Gospel Walkthrough" at my church. We built a large structure that kids could walk through consisting of six separate rooms, each one telling part of the story of the Gospel.

It was a great project to work on for a couple reasons. One, I got a chance to try my hand at environmental design and work on my compositional skills. And two, as a Christian, any chance I have to explicitly glorify God with my art is great.

These were drawn in pencil, colored in photoshop, and then printed as 8' by 15' canvas murals for four of the rooms.

The Garden of Eden: (God created us and wants a relationship with us)

The Fall of Man: (But man sinned and as a result our relationship with God was damaged)

The Person of Jesus: (In His love, God sent His Son Jesus to pay the price for our mistakes)

The Promise: (We are promised eternal life with Jesus when we believe in Him as our Savior) (Turns out heaven is eerily similar to the Lion King. You try drawing heaven! :) )

It's a very simplified version of a message that has had profound impact on me as an artist and a human being, and to try to communicate some small part of that profundity in drawings was an incredible challenge.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Animalympic Championship Results!

Final results are in!

And to those who accused me of rigging the contest by inserting the bulldog at the last second, I plead the fifth. Look, I just post stuff and let the people vote. The fact that the bulldog is my own personal favorite had nothing to do with it. At all. Yes, really.

Thanks to everyone who voted, and my apologies for taking so long for this post. I've got five blog posts lined up and ready to post in the near future to make up for my recent neglect. Thanks again for visiting and for everyone who stopped by and voted! I had a lot of fun with the project and hopefully you did too!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Here it is! The final voting event of the Animalympics!
The Cheetah made a big enough deal about the unfairness of a two to one fight to the Committee and as a result was allowed to choose a partner for the final round. And change his costume color. Just for fun. His back up muscle may look familiar.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Week 5 Results!

Apparently the theme for the Final Four was the smaller the better, as both behemoths were felled handily. You'll notice the medal podiums no longer in use, replaced by more combative results. This is due in part to my friend Lawrence, who noticed back in week one that it didn't make sense to have weightlifters competing against sprinters. So I decided to make the final rounds have a more hand-to-hand (or hand-to-pole-vaulting-pole as the case may be) combat theme. Just for fun.

Here's a related video to give you an idea of what I mean.

Thanks to everyone who voted! The final results going into the championship round are the Cheetah versus the Flamingo and Fox. Though the Animalympic Committee is currently looking into more rule loopholes to try to even the fight...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Animalympics FINAL FOUR

Bracket 1:

Bracket 2:

This just in: Having shared the gold medal in week 4 and bonded over their irrational, all-encompassing love of pole-vaulting, newly consolidated "Team Pole Vault" have found an IAC loophole to leave their respective teams behind and compete together in the Final Four!

Tie! For the first time ever, two competitors received the same amount of votes. (Unfortunately the gibbon could not be located for the awards ceremony, though there's a good chance he was drowning his sorrows with the rest of the pathetic blue team at a local watering hole.)

I wonder what happens in real life if two pole vaulters clear the same height? In animalympics world they both get gold, but who moves on to the championship round? We (the International Animalympic Committee [or IAC]) are dusting off the old rulebook to find out how this affects the final four. Come back Monday to find out.

Another first this week: Monday saw 100 visitors to the site in one day - a new record! Thanks to everyone who visited and voted - we're down to the last two weeks!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Animalympics Week 4: POLE VAULT!

First off, apologies for the slightly sub-par color job this week - I've just started an exciting new project that's taking a lot of time and giving me a chance to stretch artistically. I'll be posting it soon!


Results are in: the Rhino steamrolled the competition with the largest margin of victory yet, making him an early favorite for the upcoming championship round.

After three weeks, the Orangutan, Cheetah, and Rhino stand atop the leaderboard, with one spot left to fill. The bracket as it currently stands:

Get in your votes this week, and then choose your athlete for the Final Four, beginning next Monday!

Also - big thanks to Charles Zembillas over at the Animation Nation forum for the plug. I took a character design class from Charles at his Animation Academy a while back - this guy knows his stuff, and has also just published his first book, "Controlling Illusion." It's made up of in-class demonstrations, and if the class I took was any indication, its well worth picking up. Check it out:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Animalympics Week 3: THROWING EVENTS!


Week 2 was a barnburner! Despite a commanding early lead (up 14 votes after day one!) the Cheetah nearly blew the race, and with less than ten hours to go in the voting was locked in a dead tie with the Deer. He somehow managed to cross the finish line up by two votes, allegations of late-week vote-changing notwithstanding. :)

The Falcon, despite being, according to my engineer-genius brother-in-law, "the fastest animal on the planet" with its ability to reach speeds of over 200mph, managed to finish a dismal third.

Which is all fine and good - I'd rather have visitors vote for their favorite drawing than mentally handicap the race with scientific fact. Although I am noticing an alarming trend: so far, whoever I vote for loses. (which means I either have bad taste, or I'm sweet at picking losers! Hooray, I think!)

The bracket as it currently stands:

A big thanks to all who stopped by - there were a total of 92 votes this time around, 32 more than last week! It's cool to know so many people visit and like my drawings enough to vote - what great motivation to draw more! Thanks!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Animalympics Week 2: 100M SPRINT!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


First of all a massive thanks to everyone who stopped by and voted! Round 1 was a close contest down to the wire, with the Orangutan ultimately triumphing by a mere three votes. (For the record, I voted bulldog)

Also, I've decided to change the format of the contest, at a friend's suggestion. Instead of having one winner each week to end up with four total champions in four separate events, I've decided to up the stakes a little...


As of today, the champion of each round (in this case the Orangutan) will move on to the next round to meet the champion from a different event (I know it's not very Olympic-y, go cry to your mother). Which means a Final Four, resulting in ONE CHAMPION (bwu-hahahaha) from all twelve animal participants. Sorry, Bulldog and Warthog: your journey ends here.

So choose your animal wisely, rally support and check the bracket above for matchup dates. May the best animalympian win!

Last off - a big thanks to the fine folks at the RedFence Project for the plug.
The RedFence Project is a budding collective of Los Angeles area artists whose members run the gamut from fire sculptors to film-makers and everything inbetween.

After getting their start online, they published their first ever print edition last month, a compelling mix of stories, poetry, photos, and eclectic reviews (Ever wondered what the "Best Tea for Breaking Up" is?). I bought one, read it cover to cover, and highly recommend it.