Thursday, June 18, 2009


I read David Colman's book on the art of animal character design. Of the things he talks about, one of the most prominent is drawing from memory and using your imagination to fill in the gaps. Yesterday I did all horrible drawings of Molek the male orangutan at the TO zoo. I did a quick sketch in pen today, and coloured it with the random poor quality pencil crayons laying around my house. It's taken some effort but my orangutans are getting pretty good, and Molek is just so badass. Everytime he gets up, it draws a crowd. (He's got a 3m arm span, just wow!!!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I've started going to the zoo

I've decided that I need to learn more animal anatomy, and do more than just creative drawing. So I bought a zoo membership. Now whenever I got time I go down and draw orangutans. They are like impossible to draw, lol. There is so much variation between each one in the small group at the zoo.

Their lips just stretch into weird poses (left). And I hope everyone knows, loves, and respects Charlie (Right)
More gorillas. Apparently toronto has another male still. Sebera, I think was his name.
Orangutans. I forgot to include any drawings of Molek, the giant dreadlocks sporting male one.
The tigers are extremely active when it rains. I got a whole bunch of videos of them doing 'walk cycles' Actually all the animals are great when it rains, and no one else is in the zoo, so they all walk up to say hello.
While I was practising drawing animals from my 'weatherly' book, myth busters came on and they were testing horseback archery. girl drawn in 2 minutes from memory, horse drawn in what felt like 10 minutes,with book, cause I'm awful.

Oh, and I have to say, there was one school of french 3rd graders today. They are so polite. I've been swarmed twice this week by school children, but it was just too cute today all these little kids with their french accents, it made me giggle.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A quick story

So today I went on a mini adventure with my parents. We drove out to Paris, ON, to pick up some rare plant from a nursery out there. And then I went to the Labyrinth to buy some books.

On the way there we had passed by an accident, where an 18 wheeler had slipped off the road and was on its side. Well my dad is a very camera-happy person, and had been taking pictures of all the landscapes and buildings on the way there, so why not this accident. The people in front of us had slowed down to look, and my mom whom was driving slowed down for them. So I started quoting off, the reason why accidents cause so many delays is because of people stopping to look.
We're passed the accident now, and I'm about to say, besides there's nothing really to look at, and there, all these people were out of their cars waiting for this accident to clear up. There was a guy out on a lawnchair with a guitar, to play for a small audience he'd acquired, and a guy feeding his show horse, and people just playing about. I guess I was wrong, there was something interesting to look at after all.

In other news, I'm off for another week, so instead of being sad and lazy at home, I'm gonna go buy a membership to the zoo and draw my butt off. Hopefully something good comes of that.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Another pose for Mesmer, and a small sample of hand drawings. Each of them taking somewhere between 2 and 5 minutes. The one in graphite is actually only about 2 inches in real life to give you an idea.
So I went to the Bloor theatre last night to watch the sample of grad films. I took my parents with, and for 5 bucks a pop it was a steal.  My dad loved Electropolis, he can't stop talking about it.
There were only a few ones I hadn't seen. 'Tang' a movie about a baboon and his hotspring oasis, was one of the best animations I've ever seen, and it had such great story pacing, and the animation and effects were really professional. Me and my Mom also thought the story behind 'Smores' was incredibly clever, and such an interesting way to display global warming.

I'm of course still working on my own story. I'm going to go for another complete rewrite after having watched all those grad films, looking at what I liked about them that worked. I know I've got 3 years to change ideas, but creative writing is an exercise that has to be thoroughly explored like the rest of animation. If only doing layouts was so fun.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More practice.

Just more practice drawing while I'm at home.

Faces; That lower beak is causing so many issues for me.
I got bored of drawing the dragon side to mesmer, especially since that design is only used for like 20 seconds tops for what I finally want. Did a little more work on myself as a 6 year old. it's going ok... facial tissue is so hard to map out drawing without making something look old and gross.

The body I drew on the last picture in the previous post looked so nice. I've been trying to duplicate it in various poses. The only drawing of these I like is the rocking horse.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


I'll start off by saying, hurray I did more drawing. In other news, I've hurt my back, and am really not sure if it's just cramped up to tell me to leave it alone, or if I actually hurt it badly. Regardless I've had to sleep mattressless on my hard floor to help remedy the problem. It also means I have time off work, which I'm filling the boredom with drawing and writing, and watching 'Up' again, lol.

So for good news I amazingly found out how to finish up 'Mesmer', from start to end. I have a rough beat script, I think it's awesome, but it is unusably long. At least I think. I have to start story boarding. So I've pressed on trying to make my designs work, cause I'm having some trouble with maneuvering the face into poses that still look childish. Back to my old cell-camera uploads, sorry! (It means I can do this post in 10 minutes, instead of forever.)

This is one of the last sets of drawings, nice angry face, cute pudgy body, and him going 'oooooo'
An earlier set, first try with body and figuring out the beak/muzzle movement and teeth.
First try at a head turn, and drawing a bone under-structure. Better design for muzzle movement seen in bottom right.
Part of the story involves him growing up, I can say that much, so I quickly drew an older version which came out well on the first try :D. so handsome.
Practice pays off.  Nice pose, with the opening idea for the story. Basically the main idea is that he's a dragon in a medieval society. He's considered a monster but he wants to be a knight (you know the people that hunt dragons). So he's playing with his knight toys, unknowingly looking really menacing over that tiny town.

now to draw a little more, then go to bed and do it all over again.
Also if anyone knows how, I can never post more than 5 pictures at a time in these blog posts. 

Friday, June 5, 2009

Another kind of art

Apparently I have a knack for model painting. My friend collects a whole bunch of warhammer figurines to use for playing various games, and wants to start putting a dent into the unpainted portion of his collection, so he's asked me for help.

Today I painted a Carnifax (I think that is what it's called lol.) He had already done some of the smaller ones in this red/green colour scheme so I just modified what I could to add more detail. so instead of having a plain green back I painted it as a turtle shell in browns and then did the appropriate green wash overtop. And painted him with these glowing exhaust ports all aliens have and such. I really didn't think ahead to bring a good camera so I used my cellphone. It's kinda blurry which sucks cause I spent hours on this, but the video at the end might give a clearer idea of it all.

Anyways, that's how I used my first day off for the summer. I plan to do a lot more of this so you should see some interesting stuff by the end of summer. Btw, that's the third one of these I've ever done, so I'm pretty proud.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Out with the old

So I took the time to dig up some things to post from the end of the school year. I couldn't get all of it, one because it is just too much uploading time for me to care, and some of it because my Mac won't let me use the filetypes or convert them in order to access the stuff.

This is my flipbook page i submitted, i believe all of the drawings from it have been up here at some point.

The steps of my 'Chameleon's Christmas Card'. hand draw, to digital clean up, to gray tones on top of the background.

Final painting for painting class, done digitally. With ares shouting up at another mysterious statue of a ram god.

The pose sheet for Ares to compliment the facial expressions I posted earlier.

I'm also posting 2 videos on my youtube account. I was hoping to upload all my animations but they are the wrong filetype and I can't convert them from my filetype.

Anyways, enjoy. That means you Noam and Nicole, since you're the only ones that will probably read this.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Write, and rewrite, until it's right

Basically I want to write something great for down the road when I have the time and ability to create something good. So I come up with all these short stories, and just write, and rework them in my head all day until I get fed up with them, and then I just let them sit around for a while. As soon as I'm happy with one enough that I want to board it out, I will /promise.

Anyways, I decided that while I work out the stories, I could still play with character designs. Here's a few drawings before I go to sleep.
Oh look it's Djonar. Ok I didn't change his design really, I just needed to practice drawing.

The rest are for Mesmer. So far what I got is a little dragon, is trying to figure out if he's a monster or not (Monster as in the villainous way medieval dragons are portrayed). And he get's turned into a boy. I've written out the story almost completely in about 5 or so completely different ways. Like COMPLETELY different. But I keep making each version too long. I'm sort of getting fed up with it. But I love his design, cause it's me when I was 6, lol (I think I talked about that in an older post).

Ok and for anyone dedicated enough to keep reading. I saw UP, and I loved it. Especially the short 'Partly Cloudy'. I think the best part about Pixar's approach to story is the way they repeat elements throughout a story. They'll introduce something in the beginning, that really is small, but you know it's important, because they make it important. And I'm always impressed by how they reintroduce things. Like the grape soda pin in UP, and the football helmet in Partly Cloudy. You just have to watch the movies to get what I'm talking about.

I also have to say, 3D animation is too impressive. As a student I understand traditional is the best way to go, to learn about good design, and posing, and shot composition, but making a feature film, 3D is just amazing. You could literally see all the threads in Russel's clothes. Like no one doing it traditionally can do that. At the beginning of the year I didn't feel that way, but now I don't know where I stand on the debate between traditional and 3D.

Oh, and Jon and Kate plus 8 is too interesting. Blogging complete.