Friday, December 29, 2006

Home for the Holidays

Ah, New York during the's a mob!!! Is it just me, or does NYC become more crowded during the holidays every year? It's not even New Year's Eve yet!!

Anyway, not much to babble about right now. I'm just home, getting some rest and family time in. I'll be going into the City tommorrow, and I'll bring my sketchbook, but my mom's coming with me, and God forbid she get bored because I have to sit in one place to sketch. I guess it'll have to be quick studies day.

My buddy Rob told me about the Blue Sky Challenge Blog. I gave it a look over, and decided to do their ninja challenge. It's me after all. Anyway, here it is.

It's probably a bit more violent than Blue Sky would intend. I decided that I didn't want to actually draw the ninja, but draw its presence. Ninja (or shinobi) were masters of stealth, espionage, and assassination. If you actually saw the ninja, that ninja probably needs to find another line of work. It's all about killing the target before they even realize they're being hunted.

With that in mind, I created the scene to make the viewer believe that they're are right there, watching one of their men get cut down by shuriken. Pretty scary stuff, watching men fall, and you have no idea where it's coming from. Hope you like it!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

First Day off in....Forever!

Well, just finished my final final final FINAL class at the Academy yesterday. I graduated from the Academy a while ago, but came back to take this one particular class. It was definitely worth it, but I never realized how sick I was of academia!!

So today I was invited to come along with a friend to visit the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio. For those who aren't aware, it's Industrial Light and Magic's home in San Francisco. What a place! It's truly inspiring to see the inside of a real entertainment studio. Tons of original old movie posters that were part of George Lucas's collection adorned the walls, props, vintage camera gear from the original production of movies such as Star Wars (of course), Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, etc. In fact, here's a pic of me with a familiar face.

Yes, I know how geeky! And just to ram the point home, here's my latest painting!

Those who know me will tell you that if I don't do a drawing or a painting of a dragon at least once a week, I'll probably fall over, turn blue, and go into a coma. Anyway, I was aiming with this painting to really get across to the viewer that the dragon was really trapped the army under it, so I made sure that the wings appear to surround them on both sides while the dragon rips them up with its fire breath.

This was from the book 'Here There Be Dragons' by James Owen. It's a fun read, and I really recommend it to you if you're into Harry Potter or Eregon. It's supposed to be a movie in a couple of years, so I'll probably continue to do work based on it and it'll be interesting to compare what I've envisioned and what the movie will be.

Finally just for the fun of it, I thought I'd post this little ditty I'm doing for my sensei.

The sensei wants his own personal mon (Japanese crest), one of a rampart grizzly bear. Yes, I know grizzly bears don't live in Japan, but in the illustration world, the client is God.

Well, I fly home to NY tomorrow for the holidays. It'll be nice to see snow and freeze half to death again as one should in December. Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Hello Big Wide World

Okay, I finally did it. I started a blog for my work. I've been an artist my whole life, and recently have decided to focus my efforts on drawing for cinema. I've decided this after taking a course on the subject at my alma mater, the Academy of Art University. The class, called drawing for film, was taught by art director Anthony Christov of Pixar. I found that the thinking involved in filmmaking was such an interesting challenge. It's all about making things readable on the screen and giving your drawings depth beyond just another pretty picture.

So anyway, here's my first painting to be posted.

This was inspired by a Usagi Yojimbo comic (written by Stan Sakai, comic artist extraordinare). It was I believe issue 35, were Usagi recounts how his Lord Mifune seemly came back as a ghost to save Usagi from a demon. The image of the spirit of Lord Mifune, still pierced by arrows, yet still a powerful figure stuck in my mind. I really wanted to do something with it, and this painting is a result. I usually don't work in color, but today I decided I wanted to after I saw some of late Japanese film director's Akira Kurosawa paintings for the film Kagemusha (yes, I'm interested in the saumrai culture okay?).
I usually do a lot of thumbs before commiting to one, but I did only one for this (which would probably be considered a mortal sin for some). I felt I got it right the first time, and with classes, working, moving, the holidays, I've been under considerable time constraints. But anyway, here's the thumb.

The only real change I made was to make the pile of bodies bigger to emphasize that this is a killing ground. Other than that, I tried to stay true to the thumb. I hate to say it, but I feel some parts of the thumb are more successful than the final. For example, the thumb has a better sense of atmosphere and depth than the final. Grrrrr.....I hate it when that happens!
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