17 Feb 2015

Pastel Close Up

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Marks!  I like me some marks!  One of the really enjoyable things about working with pastel sticks is the big chunky marks you can make…and for me, mark making is a skill set I really want to keep exploring.  Here are a few close up shots of some landscapes that I worked on last semester…and as much as I enjoy the color in the pieces it made me realize that I need to continue to work on my marks.  Edges, Marks, Edges, Marks…

31 Jan 2015

More Pastels!

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On this project we had a model come sit for our class…this was about a 2 hour pose (with breaks) and then I did more work at home from a photo I took in class.  I found this project difficult for a few reasons…  #1-flesh tones:  while the starter set of pastels I bought have a great many colors, there wasn’t a lot to chose from in the “flesh family”…so her skin tone felt a bit too yellow to me.  And #2: the size of the sticks made it difficult to craft small shapes in her face.  I ended up buying a couple pastel pencils to help with this problem but all in all I thought this was one of the more difficult projects because of the two above issues.  Anyway, it was a very fun class and it taught me a ton about temperature and color relationships!

27 Jan 2015


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So last semester I took a pastel class and I thought I might share some of the work we did in class.  This first piece was a two hour study I did during “Animal Week” (we did animals, landscapes, objects and the human form) so it’s super fun to see how some subjects really pop with this media.  I like the loose/energetic mark making you can achieve with pastels but I’m still having a hard time creating a multitude of marks that I think are important to establish a hierarchy in a piece.  So yea, not great but I thought it was time to get some more art up on the site!




03 Jun 2014


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So I was cleaning up one of my drives and I ran across some old board-game illustrations I did for HH some years ago.  After looking them over I decided to do a quick concept of one to see the differences between how I solved problems “then” and how I’m solving them “now”.  This is a quick rough I did of a demon…nothing finished but it’s fun to work on those cool to warm hue transitions!

24 Mar 2014

New Madison College Rig (WIP)

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Been too long but in an odd way, it’s a good thing. :)  In this case, “quite” equals busy and busy means I’ve been head down working on multiple projects.  Some I can share and others will have to wait but in this post I wanted to share some work from a project I’m working on here at school.  One of the challenges of teaching 3D animation at a smaller institution is a general lack of resources…and in this case that means rigs.  In my An2 class (a general body mechanics class for character animation) I find myself combing the net for good character rigs that can support strong athletic movements with a decent feature set (IK/FK snapping, IK/IF switching, stretching, good hands and feet controls and so on).  While there are a few solid rigs out there for public use (Morpheus, Goon and Ultimate to name a few) what I find is a general lack of support when new software versions inevitably break features.  Because of this my colleague, Nathaniel Albright, and I have decided to jump in and develop a rig for the students at Madison College.  We’re still planning the rigs features (some basic and some not) and generally locking down the overall look but I think we’re off to a good start.  Here’s what we have so far:

1-We have the overall look of the model with a few shoulder variations we thought might be worth exploring.  After examining the options we went with a simple ball and socket structure which allows for easier deformation in this area.  In this pic we’re also starting to set up our feature goals for the rig…


2-In this image I’ve been working out color roughs for the look of “Binks” (that’s what we’ve decided to name the rig…after Ed Binkley who founded Madison College’s Animation Program).  There’s still some discussion between Bink and Binks but I like Binks so, since this is my blog…I’m calling him Binks! :)  All in all I tried to say with a blue color scheme to represent the schools colors.  I was also trying, on a few, to incorporate a wave shape as a nod to the schools new logo.


3-In color roughs version 2 we’re narrowing down the look of the skins and playing with ideas for spec maps to help give the model a little texture (we’ll see if it makes it through to final).


What I’m not showing you is the tons of drawings to find a general shape that we were looking for (seriously, tons).  Starting with a blank piece of paper and a general idea can be difficult but also a great deal of fun.  What we knew we wanted was something athletic, somewhat superheroish and a little stylized but beyond those simple ideas we had zip.  SO, to get started in this direction I referenced Sean Galloway and Phil Bourassa’s art as well as Christopher Wright’s models…and that really helped keep us on track during this process.  Overall I think we’re going in the right direction and I’ll be posting more on this topic as the rig comes on-line.