Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Little Winter Animation

I've been using Adobe Flash to create my little animations all these years. I've got a great idea for a new video I'd like to do and I'll probably use After Effects.

Either way, computers are great because with a little careful planning, you can have the machine do all the animating for you. Every once in a while though, you need to do things the old fashioned way, which I attempted to do here for Savannah's ice skating. Hardly groundbreaking, but effective!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Christmas Card Stills

Here are some stills from the animated Christmas Card I did for my family. Savannah had originally come up with and recorded her song in the summer, but with a few little tweaks, I think it works for winter. The video needed a little punch, which is why my animated self suffered to no end in true National Lampoon fashion. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Operation SUGAR

I've posted the final pieces to my portfolio. Also, I've been seeing everything so big on screen but posting only little jpgs, so here are some close-ups to show the watercolor and paper texture—Enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

World War Toothfairy

I wanted to do a little illustration for a baby-shower gift for a friend of mine. She's from Mexico and at some point we had discussed how in Mexico the tooth fairy is a mouse (!) which is cute or creepy depending on how you look at it.

Either way I thought the tooth fairy fighting Ratoncito Pérez over a tooth would do the trick. Below you'll find the final piece along with some quick process sketches.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Outdoor Mood Lighting

Again, I won't know until all the pieces are fully colored, but I'm thinking I'm going to want some dreamier, sunset tones rather than just the "true hues." Here's an unfinished example with the original:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Few More Fully Colored Pieces

These are not finished pieces... just the full scans retouched and fully colored to a "true-hue" which mostly means what's blue is blue and what's red is red. Once everything is finished to this degree, I'll go back in and re-color for style and consistency.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Digitized Watercolor

This piece will likely still change as the others get closer to complete, but here's the general direction.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Watercolor pre-retouching

Here's the same illustration as before, but fully colored. The next step is retouching, which will include extensive color correcting. I'm also going to do the line work digitally with my Wacom tablet because I don't like the line quality I'm getting on the paper I chose.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

#nofilter, #nothanks

I've decided I'm going to cheat. I started painting my drawings and while I'm getting results I like, I also keep thinking of things I can do digitally to really make these pieces special. So while I'm doing watercolor for each piece, I'm also going to be adjusting color, contrast, lighting, etc. in photoshop. Above is an in progress of the watercolor without any retouching.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


I have questions about a big reveal. Does the story need one? Would it be better to lead with an overview shot to provide context. Is this image an it-was-all-a-dream cop-out? I'm not sure, but for now, for me personally on this project, it's a helpful framing device and a nice way to provide some closure to a simple story about borrowing sugar from a neighbor.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Watercolor the Grass

Color! After so many pencil sketches, a little color is so refreshing. I wanted to break out my watercolors and do a little test before I moved onto my official illustrations. I know of things I'll do different, but I'm going to try and keep things this loose. I'll probably include more whitespace.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Suburban Lady of the Woods á la Peter Jackson

Despite Billy being straying from his purpose, his journey comes to an end when Ben's mother arrives with sugar.

I like to think that Billy's mom called Ben's mom to be on the lookout as soon as Billy left the house. It's likely Billy made it from his front door to Ben's front porch within a couple of minutes before Ben distracted him. Ben's mom knew of Billy's task though, so she arrives like a magical lady of the woods to bestow Billy with the gift of sugar. I'm hoping to light this scene extra cinematically.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Adopt a Basset Hound Sphinx!

I wanted Billy to confront a pet in his neighbor's yard, and I wanted the pet to be some sort of adversary, but I didn't want him to be scary or aggressive. I thought a sphinx could be cool and give Billy a mental challenge. A basset hound seemed perfect because it's ears could have that Egyptian headpiece look.

To ensure the scene wouldn't look too much like just a regular yard, I chose to add agave plants in bloom. Agave blossoms look straight out of Dr. Seuss or some alien planet. I'd say they're more foreign looking here than they are in real life.