January 12, 2011

The Triumphant Space Chicken Queen
(and some lesser known beings)

At least that's probably how she would introduce this post. Regardless, submitted for your approval from my secret sketchbook locked away deep in the recesses of the Gecko Cave come three drawings from one of my favorite serials available on the web:

First up is the Queen of the Space Chickens herself! All hail her almighty cluckiness! Definitely the best out of the three, I'm very happy with how she turned out design-wise, other than I think I could redo her colors one more time. She ended up looking more purple than pink due to my navy background. Next time I'll make her more pink for sure! I added some embellishments with the necklace, her crown, and a cool looking royal staff. Overall I had a fun time drawing her.

Captain Sundance Starmont of S.P.A.C.E. is up next! About the only thing I didn't include is his weaponry. I wasn't too happy with this one otherwise I would have colored it to show off his trademark hot pink shorts. It's been way too long since my last life drawing class and humans are rather hard for me to draw, especially hands. I'm hoping to fix that this year. One of my goals is to get comfy drawing and designing humans. I've improved a lot on faces, as you can tell here with Sundance. I think I might do another pass of this pose and change it to the scene in the latest chapter (as of this post) where the cult maidens are anointing him and Astralyn breaks in and tries to convince him they're going to kill him.

Last up is Lieutenant Septimus "Timmy" Falken. I was focusing mainly on designing the S.P.A.C.E. uniforms here, as you can tell by the sucky posing. However for not drawing seriously in over three years, it's amazing how quickly you can bounce back. Compare Timmy to Sundance above to see what I mean. Originally I wanted to have him with some kind of device in his hand but I had hard time enough with it that I just cleaned up the hands as best I could and went on with my life.

Moving on was worth it because next I drew the Queen! So things turned out for the best. I still wanted to post all three anyway, mostly for my sake if no one else's. Also to prove that as an artist you have good drawings and bad drawings. You just have to know when to settle and walk away. If I had kept working on Timmy, I would have never gotten to the other two and they ended up being my best work from the day.

Lesson learned: A drawing is never finished until you walk away from it.

August 30, 2010

Chuckwalla Loves His Cactus!

(Otherwise known as: Joanie and her Co-workers visit the Zoo on a Lovely Sunday, but I like the shorter title better, don't you?)

So long story short, I went out with my sketchbook! Not only that, but life drawing at my local zoo, which happens to be Woodland Park Zoo. They have a new Meerkat exhibit in for the summer which was really informative and let you see the Meerkats (I think they were more interested in us!) up close.  

 The last time I had done this was in school with my classmates in Vancouver. I was very worried that I had lost so much skill from not using it that I wouldn't be able to remember everything Stephen taught us in Life Drawing class.

Let me surprise you with a cliche. It really was like getting on a bicycle again. The first few pages were a mess, and occasionally I gave up mid-sketch knowing it wasn't worth saving and to just start again and move on. But I'm telling you, every now and then, blam! It was like magic. Here's the best from my day at the zoo:

There's a lot more, but I figured I wouldn't bore you with page after page! My favorite (if you couldn't guess) was the Chuckwalla center there. This one was literally cuddling up to a cactus next to his friend and I couldn't help but squee at that, being a reptile lover. I adore lizards. No geckos this time, but they had so much. I enjoyed drawing the frogs as well (see my little poison dart friend in the corner). I also spent some time with the fish since I have that Fish Dragon story and everything going on every other week at my writing blog, Tales of a Nightcrafter. ;D

August 15, 2010

Attending a Pixar Masterclass in September!

If you want to know more about the class I'll be attending it's here:

I saw the advert in my in-box a couple of times. Classes being taught by Pixar Artists offered through my animation school. At first I just deleted the mails outright, feeling self-pity. But it wasn't until I got the third or fourth email that something caught my eye.

In Vancouver?

February 26, 2010

On King of Kong and recovering from rejection

When life throws rotten tomatoes at you...

--You'd better duck! I should have at least braced for impact, but hindsight tells me I couldn't have known.

Every artist has these days and this week is one of mine. A "blue" period, a "dry" time, a little bit of soul searching. Ask anybody who's serious about their art and they'll tell you that you go through times of self-doubt - when you feel like all of your creative juice is spent - that there's nothing good left in you - and that all the joy you once had has left. You feel bitter, angry, depressed and lonely - as if no one else has ever felt that way (a lie if I ever heard one).

This is where I stand.

January 15, 2010

Back to the Drawing Board

It's been a long time since I've honestly done anything art-related. It's been a long process for me, but I'm finally ready to get back to what I love about animation.

On New Year's Day, my sister and I went to the touring Cartoon Network "ANIMATION!" exhibit which was at the Pacific Science Center, just a few blocks from my work at Seattle Center. I had been wanting to go because it was all hands-on and made especially for the kids. I wanted to go and see them interacting and remember what it was like when I was first learning and be inspired.

I got more than I bargained for. It was so much fun and it reminded me not just about my classes but why I did what I did. Because it's fun! I even got to do this cool bullet time jump where the camera takes about 10 photos from all angles and then spins you around. There was so much to see it's hard to describe it all. Marcie was a genius at the foley station - they had a Codename: KND clip you could make SFX to and she got to be this little dancing fly. It made everyone in the booth crack up!

December 12, 2009

The Princess and the Frog --- A review

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Disney 2D Animation. When I was 10 I saw The Lion King and that was when I knew for sure I wanted to do animation. For the few minutes the drawings played alive on the screen I was captivated, completely enthralled in their world. I laughed, I cried, and I came out wanting more.

At the ripe age of 26, and after a year's worth of learning the secrets behind the magic, I didn't think I could feel that way ever again. I'm pleased to say I was very wrong.

The Princess and the Frog had a very high standard to hit. Ever since Home on the Range literally tipped over like a cow in theatres I think everyone thought the doors would close forever to the studio that reinvented 2D animation and brought heart to the genre. Imagine everyone's surprise when we heard not only were they opening again, but that there would be the studios first African-American Princess and it would be set in New Orleans at Mardi Gras. At the time with Hurricane Katrina's wrath we were all a little worried toes might get stepped on. But I feel they did the people and the place justice in the same way that Lilo & Stitch respected and highlighted the Hawaiian culture and also the surfing culture (a paper I wrote back in school, believe that if you will).

January 17, 2009

On Stephen King's writing...

I'd forgotten how nice it is to take some time off and just relax at the local public library. Two summers ago I was practically an afternoon resident at Mid-Continent. I hadn't been reading that much since I was a little kid. Rediscovering the joy of reading has been cruical in the past few years for me.

I unearthed one of my favorite books from my parent's house while visiting for Christmas: On Writing - A memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. It's one of his few non-fiction books, which is a strange hybrid of autobiography and theories on writing. It was the first thing I ever read by King, and that was back when I truly hated his guts. I was forced to read it by Dr. Egan for Expository Writing. After reading it though, my opinion completely flipped. This was before I really understood the horror genre as well, and reading his book opened a door leading to a universe that I had been so afraid to enter for nearly all of my childhood. Now as an adult, it's someplace I frequently visit.