Sunday, August 30, 2009

Studio II - Helms Bakery - Figure Drawings

Didn't feel like I drew as well as last week. I felt very stiff both physically and drawing wise but at the end I think I got some o.k. drawings. I needed a lot of warm up time.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Story of the Weeping Camel

I haven't been too productive this week but I did some film studies

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Movie Suggestions for Composition

The Magnificent Ambersons
How Green was My Valley
Birth of a Nation
The Cameraman
The Crowd
Ben Hur - 1926
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
The Last Laugh
Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde
The Cocoanuts
Gold Diggers of 1933
What Price Hollywood
The Sea Hawk
Possessed - 1931
Red Dust
Queen Cristina
The Long Voyage Home
Grapes of Wrath
Citizen Kane
Out of the Past
Mildred Pierce
Big Combo
Touch of Evil
Wizard of Oz
The Red Spectre
Mystery of the Wax Museum
Becky Charp
Adventures of Robinhood
Gone with the Wind
Meet me in St. Louis
Night of the Hunter
Sweet Smell of Success
Picnic (1956)
Lawrence of Arabia
Jules & Jim
The Graduate
The Conformist
Easy Rider
Fat City
Day of the Locaust
In Cold Blood
Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf
McCabe and Mrs. Miller
Rosemary's Baby
Young Man with a Horn
Naked City
On the Waterfront
Midnight Cowboy
Dog Day Afternoon
Taxi Driver
The French Connection
Annie Hall
The Godfather
Days of Heaven
Raging Bull
Apocalypse Now
All possibilities of Light
The Last Emperor
The Last Temptation of Christ
Blue Velvet
Do the Right Thing
Blade Runner
Unbearable Lightness of Being

Color Workshop - Nathan Fowkes - Concept Design Academy

I went to a color workshop with one of my idols - Nathan Fowkes. I love his landsketch blog. His paintings are amazing - they about the most beautiful paintings I've ever seen.

So what did he say? Here we go .......................

Color can be used to reach people at a gut emotional level.

He suggested looking at Paul Lasaine. He said he is painterly with good drawing and good structure.

NF's (Nathan Fowkes) first job in Animation was on the Prince of Egypt. He thinks he was hired for his painterly style. He was assigned early on the color keys for the Royal Banquet Sequence.

(color keys are small loose paintings w/ info for the final frame)

NF said what he had to offer was his understanding of "Unity with Variety"

UNITY (stable, predictable, repetitious, boring)
VARIETY (surprise, out of the ordinary, unpredictable, uncomfortable)

NF said "Variety is the spice of life but Monotony provides the groceries)

Unity are colors that are closest together on the color wheel.

Most colors in nature or neutralized.

If something is boring then add contrast.

Sometimes triads, complements that have too much variety can become garrish.

The definition of garrish is too many things that don't relate to each other.

He said he grew as an artist by copying James Reynolds everday. You have to be commited.

NF talked about getting so familiar with something.

NF talked about cools and warms placed against each other.

He talked about El Dorado and Spirit.

He talked about Sinbad where a green interior contrasted Sinbad's red costume. How Sinbad was in red but the city people were in blues and made from straights and curves. Sinbad had many sharp angles.

NF talked about in Shark's Tale that the main character is golden orange because he is in water and water is blue thus he stands out by being the complement.


A color harmony needs a story point

How do we push harmonies towards emotions?

- I was feeling blue
- Green with envy
- A white lie
- A black mood

A single color can hit us at a gut emotional level. Colors can be likened to music with major and minor keys.

A color was
1. hue
2. saturation
3. value
4. temperature

These four things are used to create contrast.

As artists we need to get competent in using colling to pull out emotional beats.

There is shape language and color language.

He talked about how color can have different meanings. For Example, green can be a color of nature but can also me poision or unearthly.

An ashen/gray can be lifeless or sterile.

He talked about how blues and greens together can make a contempletive space.

Every time we make artwork we should ask ourself "What emotional response do I want people to have?"

NF talked about lighting and light on form. Need to study how colored light refects on surfaces.

He suggested looking at

He said you can't understand color until you get outside and landscape paint.

NF mentioned Ron Lucas he said look at

NF talked about an animated version of Moby Dick that he did development on but didn't go.

He talked about color scripts and beatboards.

He mentioned people either do characters or environments you need to push your book towards one or the other.

He said he basically uses Photoshop but at Lucas Film they use painter.

He says we have a tendency as humans to notice details - but an artist has to give that up and learn how to make big simple statements.

And he said a lot more . . .

Artist Mentioned by Nathan Fowkes

Paul Lasaine -
James Reynolds
Susan Lyon
Craig Mulline
Scott Wills (Samurai Jack)
Ron Lucas
Feng Ju
Stephan Martiniere
Ron Lucas -
David James
Scott Wills

Film Studies/Reverse Storyboarding.

Film Studies are a way to learn film composition by freezing frames on movies and drawing very simply the composition of the shot. I learned about this in Will Weston's drawing and composition class the fall of 2008 at the Animation Union. He started us with black sharpie/tombo/marker and then eventually let us use 2 grays and a white out pen/white pencil/gel pen. I like the technique. He suggested that I do film studies from all the movies that relate to my graphic novel (Hymn of the Pearl) and then use the shots as inspiration when I draw out the panels. I thought it was a good idea but I got away from it with everything else I've been doing but now I'm back trying it again. I'm going to use it as an exercise in the Pre-Production Class I'm team teaching at LMU.

Film Studies of Siddhartha (1972). I chose to do this because the Hymn of the Pearl is sort of a Siddhartha type story.

The Horseman (1972). Chose to do this one because part of the Hymn of the Pearl takes place in Afghanistan.

Ben Hur. Decided it to do it because it's a masterpiece and also a period drame like Hymn of the Pearl. Part of the Hymn of the Pearl takes place in Israel.

Studio II - Helms Bakery

Since Kevin Chen's class doesn't start again until October I decided to start taking an uninstructed workshop on Sunday morning led by Chris Hero. The poses were 3 minutes to 20 minutes.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Looking Back to Spring - Rendering

I took a rendering class with Glenn Vilppu in the Spring which focused on hour poses. I wanted to remind myself what I did and compare it to last night at Teale Street. I like my line quality in these drawings but I think my proportions are really hit or miss. I think Kevin Chen has really helped me get my proportions together. The trick is measuring - last night at Teale Street someone was talking to me about just drawing not measuring - but I don't agree - I think measuring is important. I think I didn't like to measure before because I really didn't know how to measure. I hope when I work with Kevin again I will get better at it than I am now/

Teale Street - 45 minute poses

Here are (3) 45' poses I did last night at Teale Street. I had problems with the shoulder blades on the standing pose. It was just hard for me to understanding what's really happening there. The seated pose feels a little stiff and I wonder if the heads too small. The reclining pose I had difficulty with the foreshortening. But I did get there!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Every continent has its own great spirit of place . . .Different places on the face of the earth have different vital effluence, different vibration, different chemical exhalation, different polarity with different stars; call it what you like. But the spirit of a place is a great reality.

- D.H. Lawrence, from Studies in Classic American Literature

The dignity of the artist lies in his duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world. In this long vigil he often has to vary his methods of stimulation; but in his long vigil he is also himself striving against a continual tendency to sleep.

- Marc Chagall

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Get the Lead Out - Kline Academy - Gladiator

I did these drawings at the "Get The Lead Out" session hosted by the Kline Academy. I thought about the Anatomy Class I took at Gnomon with Charles Hu a bunch tonight. I thought I wish I could remember what he said about the flow of curves down the arms, and the abdominal muscles being like Chevrons. I had a hard time making the arms and legs curves vs. straights (like Kevin suggests) because the model was so muscular - it seemed like both sides of his arms especially were curves. Any way - I don't think they look that bad. I'm going to look back over my drawings with Charles. I did so much homework in that class but it just didn't seem like anything stuck in my brain. I just wish I knew why - I wasn't tired - the class was during the day. Maybe I just wasn't ready for what he was talking about.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Union Station - Quick Sketches

These are some quick sketches from Union Station field trip last week.

Analytical Figure Drawing

I'm a little confused about how the shoulder blade and arm work on the drawing on the left on the model's left arm.

All in all, my drawing today seemed to be a little better than last week. Last week I felt very stiff because I had taken 2 weeks off for vacation. It seemed to really show. This week I wasn't as rusty.


We worked on drawing hands and feet today in Analytical Figure Drawing Class at the Concept Design Academy. Kevin said feet and hands basically have the same structure. He said the big toe points up while the lesser toes point down. He said we should treat the foot as a box. He also went through some proportions.

Here's Kevin Chen's drawing of the foot put next to my drawing in the same position. I clearly have a lot to learn. I'm missing the weight on the toes as well as the clean geometry of the foot. Kevins attachment between the leg and the foot is very clear while mine is messy. I'm also still drawing too dark.


Kevin stressed today that we treat the hand like we treat the face because they are both very expressive. He said the pinky, thumb and index fingers have a lot of character but the two middle fingers can often be treated as one because they usually work together. When the fist is closed the palm is smaller than when the fist is open.

He also reiterated the use of straights vs. curves. On the hand there is always a straight side and a curved side. The fingers are straight in the middle and curved on the outside. The palm is not flat but has a slight arc. The arc is only gotten rid of by external force - which pushes a fat pocket on the side. On the hand and fingers the bottom is fleshy and the top is boney. He quoted Glenn Vilppu stating there is a flow from the arm to the middle fingers - if you don't draw it the arm will seem broken.

When drawing the hand it's not that important to have a lot of information on the inside it's important to have good design on the outside. Kevin said to study animation drawing to understand the hand. Kevin also told us to be aware of making the fingers too sausagey. He said to think of the finger as a box.

I've never really heard anything that I can remember about the proportions of arm and hand. Today, Kevin divided the lower arm into thirds. And then the 1/3 measurement could be used as the measurement of the palm and that measurement again with the same distance from the palm to the top of the figures. He also talked about the thumb coming out a 45 degree angle.

Arm Studies

Felt really lost with these arm studies. I need to work on this a lot more.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Final Color Studies - Hymn of the Pearl

I always imagined this story sepia toned. But it was interesting playing with color.

Tonal Studies - Hymn of the Pearl

Here on the tonal studies I did for the Sketching for the Environment Class based on the line drawing from the scene from Hymn of the Pearl.

Hymn of the Pearl

Thumbnail of the kennels
First Layout

Perspective Overlay
Detailed Line Drawing

I've been working on a graphic novel called the Hymn of the Pearl for several years. The middle of the story is partially inspired by the biblical Joseph story in Egypt. The hero, Gaspar, once a prince is now a slave in the Royal Kennels in Alexandria. At a certain point during his stay in the kennels, Odjit, the kennelmaster's wife, seduces Gaspar which leads to Gaspar's imminent downfall at the hands of Remmao, the kennel master. Before Gaspar is punished by Remmao, a shapeshifter, Neshera - part woman, part eagle rescues Gaspar from the kennels and his enslavement in Egypt.

These sketches are of Neshera, in Eagle form flying into the Kennelmaster's estate. The building in the foreground is the kennels. To the right is the family temple (chapel) The building behind the kennels with the awnings in the kennelmaster's mansion and the building in the top left is the workshops and servants quarters.

I did this as part of the work for Ed Li's Sketching the Environment Class at the Concept Design Academy