Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Breaking Bad

So basically, Breaking Bad is one of the best shows on TV right now. With it and Mad Men, AMC is getting to be some serious competition with HBO in terms of drama programming. The performances, writing, cinematography of Breaking Bad-all fantastic across the board.
With the sketches, I wanted to really portray Walt's double life and the precarious balance between his role as a crystal meth "manufacturer" and a father and husband. So I chose the smoke to the kind of envelope parts of his life, maybe taking them away from him.I went with the bottom sketch, but decided to make his expression reflect his exasperation about this choice he's made. I also needed to liven up the emptier spaces, so I threw some of the beakers he uses to cook with in the foreground and some small birds, most likely vultures, in the upper left corner. I wanted a nice, sort of creepy color palette that would be reminiscent of the style of the show, heavy on greens and yellows.I kept the darkest line on wall to draw all of the focus to Walt and his kind of amazing face, wrinkled and cracked, but still really expressive. I moved the birds around a bit from the final drawing and added another.I'm very pleased with how it turned out. And if you've never watched Breaking Bad, I highly recommend it.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Jim Cookie!

"The Continuing Adventures of Jim Cookie: Space Explorer" is my brand new space adventure animation. Check it out below or go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9CPeA4FJP8 to watch it large:

Essentially, "Jim Cookie" is a bit of a love letter to Star Wars and Spielberg, two things I could not possibly live without. I love movies the way I do because of them both.
The idea for the story came to me rather quickly and the whole thing proceeded to move pretty fast from there. I looked at a lot of reference for all of the characters to compile a lot of ideas as well as make homages, i.e. the orange flight suit Jim wears.With some rough storyboards, I began making the final images in Photoshop, a process which took about 3 weeks and resulted in over 1300 jpegs. Each shot is a psd with each element isolated to it's own layer. Each layer is individually moved before its saved as a new frame.
While I voiced Jim myself, I brought in two actors to provided voices for the other characters: my roommate and editing assistant Bryan Dechart as Admiral Kane and Leah Johnston as Annie.
Editing was completed over two days, during which stupid amounts of coffee were consumed while the John Williams soundtrack for Hook constantly provided inspiration.
Well, I hope you enjoy the animation as much as I do. I think this represents a promising start to a new facet of my career in art as well as only the beginning of Jim Cookie's grand adventures across the cosmos.


Monday, April 19, 2010


New week, new piece!
This one was originally a leftover sketch from a previous piece about a homeless man and his dog. So now it's a companion piece to that one.
This time, I wanted to really zoom in and show other people's expressions and how they may affect the main character and his dog. Also, the main character is based on a guy I've seen once or twice down on the subway carrying his dog in a backpack. I just remember thinking that was amazing.With such a strong mental image, sketching was fairly easy. I just wanted to try out the different compositions I had in mind.I went with the first sketch, which I think was the most dynamic composition and most focused. Going into a revised sketch with some great reference photos in tow, I toned down the size of the background and re-ordered the other figures. Next, I blew up the drawing 200% and transferred it over to the watercolor paper. The paper, Arches 140 lb. cold press, was one I hadn't used before. I loved the weight and tooth of the paper and the texture it creates with ink. However, that makes for some potential serious smudging.
The inking took a bit longer than normal, but mostly because I wanted to get all of the details right, from the zipper on the jacket to the bricks in the background. I had a pretty solid idea of the color palette from the beginning, so coloring was fairly easy. Although, the secondary characters were originally going to be a blue-green until I realized how monochromatic the piece would be. Red looked great against the greens and browns and I'm very, very happy with how the piece turned out.

In other news, The Continuing Adventures of Jim Cookie: Space Explorer is wrapping up. Look for the premiere on Friday! In the meantime, watch the teaser trailer:


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Strand Totebag

I had heard about the Strand Tote Bag contest, but didn't really consider entering. The next time I was in the city, I kept seeing people carrying Strand bags and realized what a great opportunity it potentially was. However, the deadline was a mere 3 days away.
Luckily, an idea popped up almost instantly: a young man reading alone on a rooftop amidst a sea of buildings. A big red thought bubble would create the STRAND logo above his head.
After roughly sorting it out for myself, I realized the main character was too lonely and needed a companion to share his book with. Naturally, I chose a pigeon.
I then launched into a whirlwind couple of hours of perspective drawing until about 3 or 4 am. Luckily, the digital color the next day was quick and easy.
I was extremely pleased with how the piece turned out and summed up the intimate bond one can form when they find the right book.I was informed the other day that I was a finalist in the contest.All of the finalists' images will be exhibited in the School of Visual Arts West Side Building Lobby (133 West 21st Street) from June 22 to July 5.
In other news, The Continuing Adventures of Jim Cookie: Space Explorer is flying along and will be ready in about 2 or so weeks. I'm very excited for people to see this animation and my progress since Success.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

First Post

Hello and welcome to my new sketchblog! 140 characters on my Twitter just isn't enough to say what I would like to say about the process of each one of my illustrations.
So, I'll start this thing off with a new personal piece I just completed. On my lunch break while storyboarding at AKQA, I whipped up some quick sketches about a homeless man and his dog. I wanted to depict the incredible bond that can form between someone and their pet, despite any unfortunate circumstances.
I settled on the first sketch, but decided to expand the image to place the man and dog on a subway platform.
While I found that I liked the idea, this composition was simply too wide and drew too much focus away from the crux of the image: the man and his dog. So I decided to crop in, move the subway car over a bit to the right and develop the people inside more.
Moving onto the final, I tried to use the sort of ugly colors that could only really occur underground. I'm extremely pleased with the way it turned out.
I just started working on a companion piece to this one, based on a real guy I've seen around the subway who carries his dog around in a backpack. I'll post it when it's all done.
Well, that about wraps it up. Stick around to see more.
Peace and love.