Monday, September 28, 2009

100 Figures Assignment (college days)

I checked in over at Graphic Tales late last week and was immediately transported back to my junior year of college—back to the beginning of 2001. My former professor, DB Dowd (though we knew him as Douglas or "Doobie"), has just unleashed on his Seniors the 100 Figures Assignment---> read about it here.

The gist:

You are to produce exactly 100 figure drawings/pictures of humans between 1:00 today, Friday, and Monday morning at 9:00 am, when your new week begins. These drawings should be at least 11” x 14”. The figure must dominate the picture–no “scenes” with teeny figures. And 100 drawings means 100 drawings.

This is the exact assignment as I remember it. Drop the bomb on your students on a Friday afternoon; due first thing Monday morning.

Cue panic.

DB spells out the objective in his post, but essentially, you start drawing (on 11 x 14 sheets of paper mind you...not small) only to realize around #20 that you've used up your bag of tricks. It's designed to bring you to the brink of insanity. I drew a cluster of faces a year ago in one sitting (an hour?)—and heck, I was ready to put the pen down at a dozen.

100 unique figure drawings in less than 3 days. Go!

After reading his post, I went straight to the studio and began digging through my college portfolios. I finally came across the mass of 100 drawings. Here are some of them spread out haphazardly:

It turns out I only counted around 85, so I'm either missing some or they've been misplaced. As unfair as it is to pick out favorites, here are the dozen or so images that I deem "interesting" today. But that's kind of the point. You create a lot in a short amount of time, hoping to make some discoveries.

I look at these, and while I can see the cartoon themes poking through, it strikes me how far in the direction of cartoony imagery I've gone today. This was definitely before I dipped into Fleischer and classic animation. Probably before I discovered Gary Baseman...maybe even before I started watching SpongeBob.

Not to mention that a lot of these are either gouache or watercolor paintings (nothing is digital). I remember distinctly during the critique people mentioning that I draw big heads (I still do). But I now notice how small most of the eyes are—eyes have now all but taken over my characters' faces.

A did a dozen or so like this—brush and ink...flicking the brush at the page to inspire fun ideas. That was key throughout this—keeping yourself in good spirits. I remember having fun with this set.

Here are a few more of varying styles and media.

I doubt I'll ever create so much work in such a short period of time. And it's hard to imagine a more practical exercise. We could all benefit from doing this at least once a year to work out the kinks in our style and explore new approaches of drawing. I like to think that's what a sketchbook is for, but this was much more intense by comparison.

I may do another college-related post, but until then, back to 2009.

Friday, September 18, 2009


This week's "What the Doodle?" on Creative Juices was TRACE. I drew this guy with a brush pen in my sketchbook and added some color in Photoshop. Check out what the rest of the FableVision crew came up with here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


The October 2009 issue of Nick Magazine is about to hit newsstands (if you're lucky, it may have already!). When you pick it up, the first thing you'll notice is that this is practically an ALL COMICS ISSUE. I only noticed one ad, that's how full it is. I'm told that in these remaining months the magazine will be jammed full of comics, so that's at least something to look forward to. There is a ton of talent and cartooning on display in this issue, including comics by Corey Barba, Dan Moynihan, Gahan Wilson and Graham Annable. You would be a fool not to snatch it up, so be on the look-out.

Now, if you turn to page 3 you'll see my third published SpongeBob comic, "SpongeClops!"

I wrote this comic almost a year ago, so I've been sitting on it for some time. Of the bunch I've worked on so far, it's probably my favorite. Mainly because it features Plankton and one of his evil schemes to get at the krabby patty formula. Plus it's one of the few I penned myself—it has a good amount of dialogue. I scanned it directly from the magazine because I don't have a digital copy with the speech balloons. It's 4 pages in 3 images (below), as it appears in the magazine.

(note: Blogger has a tendency to overcrunch jpegs, so hop over to my Flickr page if you want to see them sharper.)

I have to admit, when I pitched the idea I wasn't sure if I was even allowed to monkey with the features of the characters. But they went for it! By the time I had finished the comic, they were actually beginning to look normal this way.

Below are my pencils:

And here are my inks
(this is the final stage before I hand it off to Wes Dzioba to color)

I hope kids especially get a kick out of this comic (and of course, you too!)

I'm working on what will undoubtedly be my last comic for Nick Mag right now. So, one more to go!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Serpents on the brain

One more from the sketchbook...

Below is a loose page. I think I have a story spinning for this fellow.

In non-serpent related news, the long-awaited update to the FableVision website went live on Friday. WOOOOOO! It features a new interface, with plenty of recent projects (some of them may look familiar if you frequent my blog)—a mix of animation, games, websites, apps, and print work.

The direct link to FableVision Studios is now: