Monday, September 14, 2009

Watercolor landscape practice

Did a few watercolor sketches tonight. I've got a long way to go, but they turned out better than I expected. Both are, um, about 4" x 7" I think.

Inspired by a photo I saw, modified a bit.

Looked up some reference photos for the bridge itself, otherwise from imagination. Need to get out and do some real plein air location painting. Um, so yeah, the truck is there to cover up a "slip" of the brush.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back to it

Ok, so, I've been doing other things lately but it's time to focus on teh artz again.


I'm sure I've seen something like this before so nothing original. I was going to have her hold a teddy bear in her left hand but I decided it would be too cheesy and cliche so the Thermos instead. Hey, a girl's gotta have her coffee. The gun was originally going to be an M-16 but then I realized it would look too obvious that I did it from memory and screwed it up, so I just sort of made something up. I used my Space Pen, my favorite pen that I lost and just found. I've since lost it again.


I keep calling myself a "painter" but I never get around to it, so there, a watercolor sketch in the Moleskin. Probably should have used some of the proper 140 lbs. paper I had with me considering how much I layered and worked it, but hey whatever.


Some disembodied heads, digital. Haven't sat down with the tablet and sketched while watching TV in a while, should do that again soon.


More disembodied heads, from the sketch group that meets bi-weekly at CiCi's.

So, near as I can tell it, there are two types of "professional" or semi-pro photographers that I've run across. The first are people who think they're artistic but are too lazy to learn to properly draw or paint, so they take a bunch of photos and run some Photoshop filters on them. The second are people who truly understand the strengths of photography vs. other media like painting and choose it because of, not despite, the differences. If you want an example of these guys, try Joe McNally. Since I don't want to be like the former and I don't care enough to put in the incredible time and effort to be like the latter, I think I'll give up on doing "serious" photography as an art itself, and just be content taking above-average snapshots and using it as a tool for other media.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another sketch dump

It's been too long— almost two weeks! Here are some of the better recent sketches:


More concepts for my vaporware graphic novel when I was at Coffee N Cream in Allen, TX. The girl on the left is the main protagonist; she is roughly 16 years old and (at the risk of giving too much away or making it sound a little cheesy) is being trained as an assassin by a small group of rebel freedom fighters. This costume needs a little lot more work, though I liked the vest I sketched a while back so I went with it. But her look overall is probably the closest I've gotten yet to where I want to go. The story is set on another world, with two very different cultures, so I have a LONG way to go.


I like the woman on the left— one of the few times I've pictured something in my head and it turned out almost exactly the same way on paper ;) Ignore the little girl, I can't draw children to save my life. Check out the mullet on the guy in the middle, some sort of artsy nerd guy. He was with the 40-ish guy on the right— it must take literally decades of practice to slouch as much as he was, my sketch doesn't even do it justice.


More sketches, some from real people, some made up. The shirt on the girl on the left sort of confused me; it was longer in real life and I drew it (somewhat) properly, but then I made her hips too low below the hem of the shirt, so her torso is too long. Oh well. I covered it in a bunch of shading and tone to hide it.

Both the previous two were done also at Coffee N Cream, but this time at their downtown McKinney branch. They call the Allen one their "flagship" store but I like the one in McKinney better, it's a little more quaint and quirky. Here are a couple photos:

Coffee N Cream (exterior), McKinney, TX

Coffee N Cream, McKinney, TX

And one last one from Lucas' sketch group at CiCi's last Wednesday:


Playing around with some shapes and design in tiny thumbnails. I like the tall round guy in the middle with the ranger hat, kinda reminds me of Bill Plympton for some reason.

As usual, I need to push myself and do more finished pieces instead of these rough sketches. I got a bunch of new watercolors, maybe I'll get off my duff and do some paintings. I've been amazed recently at the watercolors of Keiko Tanabe, check it out!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"Up" mini-review (and more sketches)

I finally got around to seeing Disney/Pixar's Up in Disney Digital 3D and enjoyed it thoroughly. I didn't think it was necessarily their best work-- I thought a few others such as The Incredibles and Wall-E were better, and Toy Story 2 still tops my list-- but still a must-see. I was pleased to see that the 3D effect, which was almost painful to watch in the previews, was more subtle and convincing in Pixar's short and the feature. Unlike some naysayers, I believe that whatever is lost in 3D viewing is more than made up for by the sheer "cool" factor, and I don't feel that being in 3D distracted at all from the story. The brilliance of the colors does suffer with the glasses, and during fast movement the image still flickers a lot while your eyes and brain adjust. The story was good; very moving and touching, but still just "good". It's ironic that their most successful characters to date (in my opinion) have been the most unlike their primary audience, namely a robot (Wall-E) and a grumpy old man (Carl).

"Partly Cloudy", the short preceding the movie, was a solid B- for effort. A little too saccharine for my tastes; it lacks the bite of Geri's Game, still in my opinion their best short to date. With a short film format, they have such an opportunity to push the boundaries, but they keep making "safe" little cutesies like this. Still, it had a slightly unexpected ending-- always a plus in my book-- and the cloud effects were pretty amazing from a technical and visual standpoint.

On further thought, only the first half of Wall-E was better than Up. The second half was pretty lame and cliche.

Moar skeches! The first three are from the DFW Sketch Group today at Border's in Lewisville.


Kinda reminds me of Radical Edward. Didn't turn out too bad considering I didn't have a model to draw from. Do you know how hard it is to find a good sketchbook with toned paper? This is not one, by the way. This is kraft paper, which is basically what they make grocery bags out of. It tends to crumble and fall apart when worked or erased too much.


Some sort of cowboy demon hunter fellar. I guess I had some old manga/anime in my head when I was thinking of him.


More half-hearted concept work for my graphic novel idea. I really need to just sit down for a few days and pound these out instead of piecemeal here and there.


Tribal-inspired woman, did this at the Drink & Draw this past Wednesday. The storm chased everyone away, it was just me and Jose R., and then Jose E. showed up a little while later.


More heads while watching TV from earlier in the day before Drink & Draw... I really like the one on the top left.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Present for Mommy and Daddy

She just can't wait to show her family what she found!


The little girl didn't turn out quite as young or as stylized as I had hoped but still looks all right, I guess. I think maybe the cranium is too small (or face too big), and the neck is probably too long as well. I was going for a watercolor look but I guess to get that you need, you know, watercolors. The airbrush tool in Sketchbook Pro looks like, surprise, an airbrush.

Monday, June 8, 2009

JP's Drawing "Club"

Went to Panera Bread (Eldorado @ 75) today from 12 noon until about 2:30-ish and sketched. I'm committing to myself to do this weekly, so even if I keep being lazy or hesitant to draw, I MUST drag myself out then to do it. Panera worked ok today, though I think I may wait around until closer to 1 P.M. to avoid the lunch rush. Actually I'll probably head to the Cafe Brazil next door next Monday, I love bottomless cups of coffee. Figuratively, not literally.

Would love to have some company too when I draw so if that time's not good for you drop me a line and we can get together sometime. I'll probably keep doing the Monday 1 to 3-4-ish thing since it works well for me, but I don't draw enough, so more is good!


Playing around with some character ideas for a graphic novel idea I've had kicking around for years. Decades, really, I was thinking about it in high school. And how much have I done on it in all that time? This page...seriously. Anyway, since I have nothing else inspiring me at the moment, I'm going to actually put my nose to the grindstone and get it done. Obviously from the drawings I have forgotten nearly everything I ever knew about anatomy.


Some stuff I was warming up with. I was trying to get something Michel Gagne-esque. I failed epicly. Is epicly a word? Well, this certainly is failing epicly.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Animation Reel

I took down my professional site a few months ago (when I was doing some part-time photography) and I don't have my demo reel publicly available so I thought I'd post it here.

I'm experimenting with a new Flash video player, please give me any comments you have on using it. The display of the videos has been reduced to fit the page but they are streaming at a higher resolution; I recommend clicking the full-screen button in the player.

Full Reel, 1'30", 12.1 MB. Click here to download the movie if the Flash viewer does not work with your browser.

Short Reel, 0'30", 12.1 MB. Click here to download the movie if the Flash viewer does not work with your browser.

Shot lists for each reel and what I did on each:

a. 0:05” (3D) “Camelidoo”
b. 0:07” (3D) “TAGG the Dog” spot 1 (1)
c. 0:12” (3D) AAFES “Terminator” (1) (3 shots, rigged/animated robot dog)
d. 0:19” (2D) AAFES “Western” (1) (2 shots, rigged/animated cowboy)
e. 0:23” (3D) “TAGG the Dog” spot 2 (1)
f. 0:27” (3D) “Dollar Bill”
g. 0:29” (3D) AAFES “Western” (cont.) (1)
h. 0:30“ (3D) “Camelidoo” (cont.)
i. 0:45” (2D) Walk cycle, polar bear
j. 0:47” (2D) Run cycle, ostrich
k. 0:48” (3D) HD Greetings “Lightning Bug” (animated bug) (1)
l. 0:51” (2D) “Old Growth”, entry in 24-hour “Savanijam 2006” competition
m. 0:58” (2D) “Here’s Mud in Your Eye”, animation with existing characters (2)
n. 1:05” (3D) “Lightning Bug” (cont.) (1)
o. 1:12” (3D) “Dollar Bill” (cont.)
p. 1:17” (3D) “Camelidoo” (cont.)

a. 0:02” Excerpts from student film, “Camelidoo”
b. 0:12” AAFES “Terminator” — rigged (custom) and animated robot dog (1)
c. 0:14” AAFES “TAGG the Dog” Christmas spot 1 — rigged (using Setup Machine) and animated dog (1)
d. 0:17” AAFES “Western” — custom rigged and animated cowboy (1)
e. 0:22” HD Greetings “Lightning Bug” — animated main bug (1)
f. 0:24” AAFES “Western” (cont.) — rigged (custom) and animated cowboy (1)
g. 0:25“ “Dollar Bill” — animated with pre-rigged “Lo-Man”

(1) prop. of Corgan Media Lab, LLC
(2) Timon and Pumba characters © Disney

Many thanks to the other talented individuals who also contributed to the parts of the shots I didn't work on (modeling, lighting, rendering, and the like)!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Industry Giants 2009 with Dr. Sketchy

Yes, I know it's been a while. I won't even bother to "catch up". Always look forward, right?

Lots of life drawing this week at a Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School "mini" drawing session at The Soda Gallery in the Bishop Arts District and then a full session with the same model (burlesque dancer Ginger Valentine) at the Industry Giants 2009 CG developer's conference the next day. Industry Giants also sponsored a drawing class with the Society for Figurative Arts' Michael Mentler which was good since I have been meaning to go to some of his classes for a very long time and this gave me a taste of what I've been missing.


I love drawing with my Sakura Pigma brush pen! My only complaint is that the ink always looks very washed-out. Would also be kinda nice if you could wash the ink like watercolor, but waterproof has its pluses too. The yellow is the natural paper color of the Moleskin sketchbook I'm trying out. That's a circular saw sitting on the table; they were running a contest for "best incorporation of 'hardware'" in our drawings. I loves me some non sequitur!


Playing with a mix of my Lamy Safari fountain pen and watercolor.

Michel Gagne (one of my favorite artists), Jason Manley (Massive Black,, and Jay Hawkins (Senior Concept Artist for Gears of War at Epic Games) were there at Industry Giants, as well as several other very talented CG artists. Very inspiring, gotta hit the drawing pads!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

DFW Sketch Club Meetup 2009-02-14

Had fun meeting some other artists at the Borders in Lewisville. Ended up chatting almost as much as drawing, but here are a few I did. Will I ever draw anything again besides disembodied heads? Hmmm...


That red I used looked like ColErase red on my tablet but looks almost DayGlow pink here. Maybe a color calibration is out of date or something, need to look into that.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Doctor

Some sketches while I watched a marathon of Doctor Who that's been accumulating on my DVR for weeks...



This guy started as an "experiment" in inking (to say I suck at inking is one of the understatements of the year) and I ended up shading in some too. The beauty (and curse) of tone and color is that it helps cover a multitude of drawing sins...Also, some sketches of my son, and some girl sketches from a couple days ago.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Working on it...

Yes, I know, nothing for a few days...I've done a few pages of sketches (not enough, certainly, but some) but nothing worth showing. Working on setting aside blocks of time for focus on drawing rather than just squeezing it in whenever I have time and/or "feel like it" (which is rarely, to be honest).

They're not drawings, but I do have some photos of our trip down to meet my parents in Austin and San Antonio. Some turned out nice:

One of the great things about photography is the really extreme ways that the camera sees that the eye doesn't -- I just love wide angle and telephoto shots (you'll see few examples of a "normal" focal length in my photographs). Just so you know, it's a complete myth that you can point a camera at something and capture it the way you saw it ;)

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I ran across an amazing collection of vintage photos from Japan and decided to sketch one of them. I think maybe I'll use them as inspiration for some Jedi character designs; who can ever see enough different Jedi? I know I can't...


My samurai has clearly been eating too much sushi and sake and stopped working out since the original photo was taken.

I'm trying to work "al prima" and put down opaque colors directly, particularly as color practice for when I ever get my lazy rear end around to doing some pastels again.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Coffee Shop Sketches

Visited a new coffee shop, Coffee N Cream, in Allen. Nice place...


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Random doodles last night while watching TV. Trying to work more with basic designs and reduce things down to simple line and shape.


Starting to kind of get back into the swing of things...kind of...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It's the Progressive Insurance girl!

Actually I think her real apron is white.


Random creature sketches:


Screwing around in Painter...


Sketch dump 2008

Hey folks! I'm starting up a blog to hopefully motivate me to draw and sketch more. Sadly, I did precious little in 2008, but here are a few I did in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 2009 (and maybe a little Photoshop or Corel Painter) soon after I got my TabletPC, a Lenovo X60 (a fantastic little convertible pen-abled laptop).