Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas

All dressed up for the holiday season.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


At FableVision, I often get to work with museums, which is the best! Even better, when I'm given the chance to work with museums directly engaged in teaching the public about Science. We were recently approached by our friends across the channel, the New England Aquarium, to help develop an app on Biomimicry. The project is part of a larger initiative on Global Climate Change and Ocean Education.

The New England Aquarium, collaborating with other aquariums across the country, is leading a national effort to enable aquariums to effectively communicate the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on marine animals, habitats and ecosystems. Our goal is to build on visitors’ emotional connection with ocean animals, connect to their deeply held values, help them understand causes and effects of climate change and motivate them to embrace effective solutions.

What is biomimicry, you ask? It's when we look to nature for inspiration, examining systems and organisms to find ways to solve challenges and improve technology. An example you've probably heard of is Velcro, the hook-and-loop fastener system inspired by the tiny hooks on sticky burrs.

The app in development will be used by staff interpeters to get people thinking about the importance of our relationship with nature. We're still doing early testing, but in this post I've included a series of illustrations I created to introduce each topic on biomimicry (in a fun way). The above image of the whale shows how wind technology is looking to the contour of humpback whale flippers to improve the energy effiency of wind turbines. Seriously, look it up!

Below are other examples...

involving solar technology inspired by trees (this one is a mangrove),

fuel efficient cars inspired by the design of the boxfish,

cement production mimicking the way coral uses CO2 to create their skeletons,

and a coating for ships which prevents barnacles from attaching—inspired by sharks!

Like I said, we're still in the testing phase, but you'll soon be able to see this activity playing on iPads on one of your upcoming visits to the aquarium. Cool, right?

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Memory Donk

Okay, as promised, here are the remaining designs I created for the latest episode of Bravest Warriors, "Memory Donk", which you can watch over here. Fair warning, possible spoilers ahead. This is the hulking form of the Memory Donk. Below is the 2-step turn I designed (click on the smaller images to view large).

One of the things I like about drawing for the show is that it's forced me to really consider that back-3/4 view. When's the last time you drew the back of one of your characters when you were doodling it? In practice (say in comics), I bet you draw it all the time without even thinking. It's a pretty common angle for showing a character looking at something. I use back-3/4 way more than profile, which is probably my least favorite angle because you only get one eye and it can flatten a drawing.

But, I ramble. Below are various other memory donks that appeared at the Memory Donk Convention.

Next up, the old lady on the bus. Appearing with her purse.

We eventually gave her a floral pattern. Below is a 3-step turn. You can obtain most of what you need to know about a character from these three views. I mentioned profile, before. A proper front-view can also be hard to nail, in terms of flattening features (foreshortening) and avoiding the human tendency to get all symmetrical.

Finally, the ship's Pilot. Three eyes, three collars. Seen below, frozen. 

More drawings.

I'm realizing my blog is beginning to look like a coloring book. The colorist on the episode is normally the one responsible for adding color to the designs before they get sent off to be animated. I promise more color (and images with backgrounds!) again, soon. —Thanks!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Jelly Kid and Ballerina Man

I have a bunch of designs to share with you from Episode 4 of Bravest Warriors, "Memory Donk", which you can watch on YouTube as of this afternoon (right here!). I've been the lead character designer on a number of episodes...this was a big one, requiring a bunch of little dudes, and a bunch of big dudes. It's one of my favorites, too.

We'll start little. Above is probably the cutest of the bunch, Jelly Kid.

And this little guy is Ballerina Man.

To help the animators, I roughed out a set of poses that I referenced from actions in the storyboards—to demonstrate how he'd move around and dance from various angles.

He's a lot of fun to draw.

Here's a Hobo alien that plays the accordian (which props made high tech).

And then there were a bunch of passengers on the ship. I created some, and I believe Phil Rynda designed the rest. You can click this one to view larger.

Okay, I'll post more designs from this episode another time. Again, if you haven't already, watch and subscribe to Bravest Warriors on Cartoon Hangover. There are already 4 episodes free for you to watch. GO!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Early Color Memory

I just remembered something incredibly specific, and thought it was worth writing down. When I was a kid, maybe 5 years old, I recall waking up too early—likely when the sun was just about to rise (5 am?)—and being rather surprised by the visual appearance of my riding fire engine toy. I wish I could find a real picture of the thing, but I don't have it handy at the moment, and the internet isn't turning up the exact toy.

Regardless, the fire engine would've been mostly primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. The early morning light in the dark room shifted the way my eyes (and brain) perceived the colors in a way that I'm not sure I could ever experience again. Because I believe it was the first time I consciously recognized that the colors of my toy (and the world) could change. It seemed unreal, almost shocking—so much that I remember waking my tired brother to show him.

I can almost visualize it now, but I have a biased brain that knows that lighting changes colors. The image above is my best guess. At the time, I was surprised to see what was normally yellow become something closer to white. Also, that the blue seemed brighter than usual, and the red... very very dark. All my stuffed animals looked different too. I'm probably not exaggerating it enough to match the impact of my experience.

Whenever I woke up too early like this, I would bolt up excited to see all the weird colors. Over time, the effect wore off. I'm guessing my brain (as all of our brains do) has caught on to the fact and understands that the color RED changes in different colors of light—that I can still see RED as RED no matter what light I'm in, for the most part.

Odd post, but I'm wondering if anyone else has a memory like this. Color continues to be very important to me, so it's funny that the memory has stayed with me.

Friday, November 09, 2012

The Professor and Gayle

The first episode of Bravest Warriors premiered today (as I'm posting, yesterday) on Frederator's Cartoon Hangover channel. That's right! These are the first two characters I helped design on the show: Professor Fartsparkles and Gayle the Glendalien. I happened to help color them, too. I've been working on the show since April, so it's pretty exciting to finally see the animation go live. Massive congratulations and thank you's are due to show creators and friends Pendleton Ward and Breehn Burns. And to everyone on the crew! These shows don't happen without a TON of effort.

But wait, you haven't seen the first episode "Time Slime" yet? Then hop on over to YouTube and subscribe here. New episodes on Thursdays! For free! On the internet! Crazy, right?

I've posted before about Bravest Warriors here and here.

// redheadtwirl //

I'd drawn this little floating guy and decided to bring him (her?) into Toon Boom Animate. I did most of the work there, then I imported the file into Flash to convert it to a gif. There you go!

Here's a computer still for the non-twirl inclined:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

// hide //

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bravest Warriors at NYCC 2012

It's already well underway, but for those of you heading to New York Comic Con this weekend, I’ll be part of the official Bravest Warriors launch, signing the NYCC exclusive issue of BOOM! Studios Bravest Warriors #1 with Breehn Burns (series writer/producer) at Jim Hanley’s Universe in Manhattan from 6pm - 9pm, Friday night. Open to the public! No pass or badge required.

I drew the limited edition cover (above) specifically for this event, so it'll be your only chance to get your hands on a copy. There will be a sneak peek screening of an animated episode of Bravest Warriors as well. So, come say hello!

More information here and here.

In other news.... 

.... THIS happened.  (braaaiiiiiiinnnnnnn ... )

Friday, August 24, 2012

slumberland ...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cute and cuddly

I mentioned in a previous post that I'd been drawing a bunch of cute little characters lately, and they come in sets. Here's the first, the product of a morning of doodling at FableVision. You'll have to click on these buggers to view the larger image.

The prompt: Draw a bunch of friendly characters for kids! --OK!
Here's a closer shot of my personal favorite of the set.

I had a similar prompt for the next set of characters—a group I designed in collaboration with animator Bob Boyle, for preschoolers. He drew a little, I drew a little, and we landed on these critters. Almost huggable, right? It was a fun change to bounce around ideas with another Bob. (Again, click to view large.)

In even larger furry orange territory, I made this picture for my great friends Renee & Keith, who are soon to be married—in just a couple weeks! (WOOOOOOOO!) It also features their cat, Timmy. Congrats, you guys. Adventure cat balloon!

That about wraps up all things cute. In other news, I recently acquired a Cintiq! So far I'm really digging the combination of inking on it with Manga Studio, where I drew my tired and exhausted little friend, the brain. Kind of how I've been feeling lately—lots to do, getting it done. (Phew!)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Blue and yellow

I've been drawing a lot of cute little furry critters lately, so here's a return to some of my more organic, blobby, lumpier tendencies. The same framework goes into a drawing for me, whether or not I add lumps or fur. It's like applying a texture. They have the same rubber-hose cartoon underpinning.

// dripper //

// shooting hoops //

I drew these guys in Flash. Maybe I'll do a red one to finish off the primary color set. These images (and more) arrive first over on tumblr, so follow me over there if you like.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Monster Tattoos

Jess Smart Smiley and Julia Green just launched a new project called Tattoo Club, which is a group that publishes limited-edition packs of temporary tattoos. For their first release, MONSTER PACK, they invited a number of their favorite illustrators and artists to design monster-themed tattoos—and I'm one of them! These are my designs: the blue guy is new, and you may recognize the durquil.

What really makes this edition awesome is everyone else who's in the pack: Ghostshrimp, Meg Hunt, Chris 'Elio', Jeffrey Lamm, Drew Millward, Sam Alden, and Jess and Julia as well. Look at some of the samples below—imagine them on your flexed bicep! (and elsewhere!) How many monsters could you fit on yourself at once?

MONSTER PACK is being funded via Kickstarter ---> over here!
So now's your chance to snatch up a pack (or multiple packs) of temporary tattoos! Each pack includes 16 original designs (about 2 by each artist). You can see them by scrolling down the preview site. This Kickstarter goes for a month, but it could use your support right now to reach the fund-raising goal. Thanks!

Friday, July 06, 2012

Bravest Warriors

(click to view larger)

I took some time on the 4th to draw off-model versions of the team of warriors that I've been drawing on-model for the past couple months now: Chris, Danny, Beth, and Wallow. If you haven't heard already, Frederator Studios has a new cartoon series in production called Bravest Warriors. You can read all about it, here. It's based on the original short by Pen Ward (creator of Adventure Time).

art by Natasha Allegri

I was brought on in April to help with character design, pre-storyboarding development, and key poses to aid in animation. Which means I've been doing a lot of drawing. Once in awhile the production blog posts images to the public—below are a few.

As the weeks go on, I'm sure they'll be sharing more of the work I've been doing. It's been a great experience; I get early scripts and I've been working directly with Breehn Burns (executive producer along with Fred Seibert) to develop new characters for each episode and work out any requirements for the main characters.

The series of shorts is due to air this fall on the YouTube Channel, Cartoon HangoverYou may have also read that like Adventure Time, a comic book series is arriving in October by Boom! Studios' KaBOOM! imprint (cover art previews and more info on that via Comics Alliance --> here.)

Finally, here's one of my favorite characters so far that came out of a collaborative effort with Breehn. A little dude named Impossibear (an early concept color sketch).

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Comic for Root Rot

This is a 2-pager I did for a forest themed anthology co-edited by Michael DeForge and Annie Koyama, from 2011. You may recall this earlier post when the book debuted at TCAF, but I never shared the full comic until now. Look for Root Rot in comics shops, though they may be hard to come by—Annie tells me more distribution is in the works.

(click image above to view comic much larger)

/ update /  Root Rot is newly available through the Secret Acres Emporium, here!

Friday, June 22, 2012

weirdo plop walk

I messed around in Toon Boom Animate again last night before I went to bed. Drew this. Some sort of improvised cycle that I figured out as I went along. I'm remembering how much I like animating. I added the strobe to cheat some energy into it, but if it's messing messing with your eyes, here's a separated version:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

all ones and zeros

meeting doodles 06/21/12

(click to view large)

There were ideal conditions today for filling some pages with doodles.

Lately I've been thinking tumblr is better for this sort of thing, where the images can be nice and big, too. But I haven't here posted in a while, so there you go. Hop over there if you like, where I update more frequently -->