16 August 2010

Some sketches

There are some fish with really great faces at the Bronx Zoo.

Two fish kind of struck a pose for an instant, and all I could do was throw down a quick sketch in watercolor. I tried to elaborate on it a little later, but part of me likes the initial one better.

These are all taken from my sketchbook.

Snuffy's body is much shorter proportioned than you'd think.

Some diner stuff...

The late, great Empire Diner.

There is an old sign that I really like that can be seen from the window of a train I ride. Maybe I see it for a total of 10 seconds each day as we speed by. My goal was to memorize a different part of the sign each day and try to record it. Eventually, I'd get the whole sign. Here are some of the early drawings:

Here is a link to a photo of the sign: http://www.agilitynut.com/07/5/starrs.jpg

Still working on my final drawing.

Banjo gator, just for fun.

More of an inside joke--my friends either love or hate Gustav.

09 August 2010

Where's the time go?

Hoo-boy. You step out of the Diner for a little bit and a ton of things happen at once. Where to start?

The Diner’s going to be serving up some vintage yearbook scans, photographs of the forgotten roadside, drawings of mid-century architecture, zoo sketches from a few months back, and some work updates! There’s probably even more that I wanted to mention, but I just can’t think of it right now.

So stay tuned—the longer I’m on hiatus, the more updates there will be! 

13 February 2010

Valentine's Day and the Year of the Tiger

To celebrate both occasions, here's a heart-shaped tiger:

Look out world, it’s my year!

02 February 2010

Old Things

So I’m a little late, but happy 2010!

Maybe it’s obvious from reading this blog that I am fascinated by roadside architecture, but what’s less obvious is that I’ve actually had an eye for these things since I was little.

Chalk it up to environment, I ate in some pretty cool diners as a kid. The old Menlo Park Diner on Route 1 (it’s since been completely destroyed renovated) was formerly known as “my favorite diner,” and meals eaten there make up some of the earliest memories I have. I distinctly remember there being two rooms to eat in—the original diner with its counter, booths, and tabletop jukeboxes, and the add-on room with fake plants, stone walls, and Greek statues. I hated the statue room, and we usually got sat there.

Then there was the annual trip down the shore. We spent time in the Wildwoods, home to the largest collection of mid-century architecture anywhere (crazy cheesy motels). At night, we would drive around just to see all the neon lit up. As a kid, I remember thinking that the beach was my favorite place in the world, but as I got older I realized what I really liked were all the neon and motels. Check out some vacation photos I dug up from that time! We were staying in the Cavalier Motel that year, probably 1991.

Yes, that’s me with my boardwalk loot, but check out that sweet 70’s stove behind me!

I probably took this photo myself. Would my mom really have wanted to take a picture of those awesome curtains?

This photo is from 2001 (maybe 2002?). Never mind the dolphins in the photo, look at the beachfront motels at the top (that's the Singapore Motel on the extreme right). The shoreline’s changed dramatically since this photo was taken. That following winter, the condo boom hit the island and motels fell to the wrecking ball left and right. Though at the present time there are many, many motels left, so much of the character has been lost. Large stretches of cookie-cutter condos and McMansions separate the motels.

When I was in 4th grade, I began making up my own motels. Here’s a surviving drawing, the Cactus Hotel:

I even had a master plan checklist of silly motels. (And some of them are really really stupid.)

Going back a few more years, right before my 4th birthday, my family visited Disney World. There was a ride at Epcot called Horizons. It had a whole bunch of parts to it, but one part stood out to me, a whole metropolis, freeways, and futuristic cars outlined in neon in nothing more than a dark room—with cool music. It stuck in my mind so well because it was neon, but also we have a clip of it in our home movies. I tried to draw that scene from my head so many times as a kid. You can watch the ride yourself through the magic of the internet! 1:26-1:50 is the part I’m referring to.

It’s funny because I just watched that clip, and I remember that neon city much more vividly than that video shows it as.

The ultimate kicker is this drawing I dug up. Honest to God, I drew this in 1st grade, so I was either 6 or 7. This was my attempt at an architectural plan, and I called it Duck Pond Park. I imagined the whole thing, right down to the streetlamps. Those numbers are measurements I was trying to estimate, which is why I wrote "Ax." before them--I was trying to abbreviate "approximately". Unfortunately I had no concept of size and space...

09 August 2009

Demo Reel

Shot Breakdown

0:04-0:45- Trade Winds, senior thesis film. All character animation completed in Flash and composited with watercolor backgrounds in After Effects. 2009.

All Superjail! clips are used with permission © Augenblick Studios/Adult Swim 2008.
All animation for the series was completed in house with interns doing the bulk of the cleanup and inbetweening. All work was done using Flash. Made in 2008.

0:49-0:53- Completed extensive inbetweening and cleanup on the inmates and the frog
0:53-0:56- Inbetweened people on escalator before Jacknife hits them, keyed and inbetweened them between before Jailbot knocks them all off
0:56-0:58- Inbetweened and cleaned up Specimen 7 (the large, ugly character) as it lifts off the ground to when it lands again
0:58-1:00- Cleaned up, added tattoos, and colored the first character on screen, Jacknife
1:00-1:04- Inbetweened and colored the groom
1:05-1:11- Extensive inbetweening and cleanup on D.L. Diamond
1:11-1:17- Inbetweened, cleaned up, and colored the Warden
1:17-1:18- Inbetweened, cleaned up, and colored Jacknife dressed as Santa
1:18-1:21- Inbetweened, cleand up, and colored D.L. Diamond (center character). Cleaned up and colored the Warden and Alice (characters on the left and right).
1:21-1:24- Inbetweened, cleaned up, and colored the Warden
1:24-1:25- Inbetweened, cleaned up, and colored the person Jacknife throws

1:27-1:34- Green: A Chameleon’s Tale, second year film. Completed all backgrounds, animation, compositing, and coloring. Animated on paper, colored in Photoshop, composited in After Effects. 2007.
1:34-1:37- Eagle animated on paper, colored in Photoshop. Backgrounds are stock photography, composited in After Effects. 2007
1:37-1:42, 1:42-1:45- Green: A Chameleon’s Tale, second year film. Animated on paper, colored in Photoshop, composited in After Effects. 2007.
1:45-1:48- Horse walk. Animated on paper, colored in Photoshop. 2008.
1:48-1:55- Green: A Chameleon’s Tale, second year film. Animated on paper, colored in Photoshop, composited in After Effects. 2007.


A fair sampling of life drawings, wildlife paintings, and layout work. Some goodies at the end!

31 July 2009

Making Watercolor Paint Itself

Before I went away with my family, I had picked up a book on watercolor technique. It's called How to Make a Watercolor Paint Itself by
Nita Engle

Though I'm not anywhere near capable of painting what this woman can, I can't say I'm completely enamored with all her paintings, just some of them. The ones with striking contrast and beautiful gradations look nicest to me.

But it's her technique that made me buy the book. Rather than using brushes to make the paint go where she wants it to be, she uses water. Through spraying or using a fine-tipped squirt bottle, she somehow gets these amazing results. And it looked like a lot of fun to try, so try it I did.

What I learned really fast is you go through a lot of paint, and you need to have thought ahead and designated a container for all the runoff from your paintings.

Here are my first attempts at it. It's easy to overspray and end up with really washed out (yet salvageable) paintings, like this:

But if you luck out, sometimes you get nicer things like this:

There was this one, which wasn’t too bad until I ruined it:

I started with wave exercises because they seemed like the easiest to do, but threw in a foliage and pouring experiment later.

If I can better understand the way the water reacts when all these different variables come into play, it’ll make this less trial-and-error and slightly more predictable. But that’s easier said than done. I think a lot would be demystified if I could see a video of Ms. Engle painting, but to do that I'd have to buy her DVD.

Still, I like trying to paint this. The next good rainy day I get I’m pulling the paints out again.