November 30, 2010

Small self portrait with hair

As I'm sitting here preparing for tomorrows lecture on squash and stretch, I pick up a small mirror and my trusty Bic mechanical pencil and do this little self portrait. I really am in the awkward stage of getting hairy.   I thought growing a beard was a good idea, but I'm definitely doubting it right now. I am one hairy man.

November 29, 2010

Blackfoot Crossing

Took the Aboriginal Youth Animation participants to Blackfoot Crossing for an off site field trip.

I have always loved the smell of sweet grass (Sipaattsimaan -Blackfoot). I'd like to be able to go out and gather it myself in the respect of tradition. On of my participants is a member of the secret buffalo horn society and gave me some to smudge with. While in the Blackfoot crossing museum I had the chance to study how sweet grass looks before it is harvested. Maybe I'll find it on my own while in the wild sometime. Here is how it looks, I haven't colored the drawings yet, and I only had the one pencil while at the museum.

The eagle fan is a sacred/ritual object of beauty.
I'd like to make one, but it's use in my reality is very limited.

November 23, 2010

More heads are better

I took a few books out of the library in order to polish up some sketching skills.  I realize that on some level I have a really difficult time drawing heads and bodies entirely from memory. Even more difficult is drawing beautiful women. I do a lot better looking at references. I need some models to come over;P

I am going to keep on my path to improvement, as much as it changes every day in terms of subject matter that interests me.... I'm still moving my pencil across the sheet.

Here are some examples from a book on the head and figure.

In contrast, here are some deer drawn from a reference photo. The blue pencil shows my construction method.  These are loose but feel complete.

November 22, 2010

Question and answer

What a treat to be asked by a former participant of a program we run at the Quickdraw Animation Society for some help on improving his work. respect.

Q: I was wondering if you could help me not be so picky about the quality of my drawings. I have alot of ideas for animations, but I lack the confidence in my own drawing to actually make them.

A: The Best advice I can give is: Draw. Draw. Draw.

There is a drawing teacher I think has a lot to offer to the animator. I think you can find videos for FREE on You tube. His name is Mark Kistler and he had this show called "the imagination station" It is a great teaching aid, I am currently using his lessons in my AYAP class. I bought some books for really cheap on Amazon.

I find remembering this one thing helps in not being too picky about drawings is this FACT: It takes 24 frames per second = 24 drawings per second, as far as I'm concerned that means every drawing is only on the screen for 1/24th of a second and should not be regarded as TOO precious, as long as the movement looks good. This can be seen in Disney works in the past, you'd be surprised what they got away with in terms of sloppy sketchy line work. But it does work.

And don't forget about Don Hertzfield an Bill Plympton, look at their work.
Good luck and keep on rocking!

November 19, 2010

Good News + 24 More drawings, this time from 2000

I just got confirmation that I have a Calgary Allied Arts Foundation St[art] 4Five Residency!

I applied to work full time in the studio on completion of works for my upcoming solo exhibition "Sacred Images" at the Untitled Arts Society in June 2011.
This will be in for a 3 month residency from April 1 - June 30, 2011.

I uploaded about 24 more drawings to my website today from a sketchbook I made back in 2000.

Here is just one example. The rest can be found HERE on my website- under the Portfolio/past > drawings >2000.

November 18, 2010

Sketchbook uploads

I just uploaded two sketchbook collections to my website under the Portfolio/drawings tab.
The two sketch book examples are from  2003 - Isatanrabbit (17 images) below and.....

1999 - The A/B mini sketchbook.(40 images)

In the past, I tended to have more writing or titling on each drawing. This really helps to categorize and list pictures. The dates on the other hand are a little more elusive.

NOTE TO SELF and note to others out there making drawings. It may not seem important, but now that I look back on over 2 dozen sketchbooks I'm wishing I had done this tiny little thing more often.

November 17, 2010


Here is a sketch I did while my class was working away, I found it in an old National Geographic. I love drawing boats, there is something about the power of the ocean that is a big draw as well.  Look at the mighty waves crash and how they are harnessed by man an his need to explore and discover new places.

In Greek Mythology, the Argo was the ship on which Jason and the Argonauts sailed from Iolcos to retrieve the Golden Fleece. It was named the Ἀργώ after its builder, Argus.[1]

November 14, 2010

Blind Contour

I almost forgot about the fun of blind contour warm ups. I have been teaching drawing to my new AYAP class this week.  For warm up I had them take their sketchbooks, place  them out of sight but still within reach so that they are able to draw while looking at another participant. Here are 2 pages of blind contours I did while explaining the exercises.


I always like how these turn out. The line work seems so sincere and is one with confidence I rarely find I can maintain when drawing regularly. In this case we were drawing portraits but still life, family pets and crazy people on the bus all make for great subject matter.

I love this drawing tool. Great ideas can arise from these exercises.

November 13, 2010

Botero Show at the Glenbow.

Went to the Glenbow my AYAP class on a field trip this Friday. The museum really did a good job this time. There was a Fernando Botero show and the collection of grand scale baroque paintings and stellar bronze pieces was amazing.  I had been looking forward to seeing his work in person and I was impressed to say the least. They were so simple in their majesty, soft rotund characters in bold colors on a grand scale. This exhibition inspired me to work on larger scale pieces in the upcoming spring.

 Here are a few quick sketches I made while in the show. It was busy and I was running around supervising my students so I didn't really get a chance to draw as much as I would have liked.  My pens all ran out, so I had to work in ball point. C'est la vie. My Faber Castells have been retired.

I got the last copy of the BOTERO book sold at the show, it was damaged so I got 10% off. Not a great deal, but it was the last one and if I hadn't picked it up then I probably never would.  All the works in the show are in the book, including his masterful sketches on paper specially made for him by hand.

Ran into an old friend John Will, who also had an exhibition there, did a little catching up. It turns out he has a studio by my place in Ramsay, I'd like to go over and visit him sometime soon;)

November 12, 2010

Dr. Phil(McCRACKen)

This guy is a total crackpot, I can't believe he has a television show.
His quips of wisdom in that southern accent are truly inspirational!

November 11, 2010

Remembrance day - 21 Sketch salute

Here is a blast from the past. In no particular order.

This is my ode to Remembrance day - A 21 Sketch salute of sketches one when I was 21;)
These were made when I was in a period of HB mechanical pencil, free flow surrealistic ideas an straight ahead with ink drawings (no pre-sketch or erasing permitted).



November 5, 2010

doodling my noodle

This is what my brain feels like inside right now. Too much work to do before our Aboriginal Youth Animation project launches on Monday. I picked up most of the art supplies for the 14 participants to start out with.
I saw some amazing Giant Incandescent Resonating Animation Festival Screenings check them out. The amazing Mr. Bickford is here tonight. Spike and Mike have a screening too.

November 4, 2010

Busy bees

I started a new contract with the Quickdraw Animation Society teaching animation for the Aboriginal Youth Animation program.   I have been swamped.  Building the calendar and courses for the next 5 months. Creating posters, advertising and doing outreach. It has been a very positive learning experience and quite the challenges. fortunately, it has given me some insight into budgeting and how to market a program in order to intake participants and the surprising costs related to it. I didn't know a small classified in the Sunday newspapers would be over $70. Plus, I used an entire tank of gas over the four days delivering intake posters to various organizations around town. You don't know it until you have to do it.

Here is one poster I designed, 300 copies were put up.

This is probably only the second time I have use Illustrator, it's an amazing program. The image use on top was by my past student Jesse Gouchey, his works can be seen on his website HERE.

I also got up at 4:30 in the morning to be on Breakfast Television on Tuesday of this week. I don't have cable an I  haven't seen it myself yet. I have to get a copy of it to watch. `When I do, I'll probably post it.  In the meantime we shot a quick video around the office leading up to the GIRAF Festival.(see below. or click HERE to go to my you tube page.)

GIRAF opened last night and Waking Sleeping Beauty had a packed house. I have never seen in my past 10+ years of working in film festivals, an audience all stay to the very end credit. That spells success.