September 30, 2012

SARASWATI - painting some radial lines

I put a light coat of clear gesso over the painted ones to protect them in case the tape decided to lift off the pigment. I then taped all the radial lines which took a lot longer than anticipated and I had to use some clear gesso to help the tape stick. This painters tape I have is really sucky.
I decided to paint all of the inner circle lines brown and not have them alter every second one like the green and blue do. I forgot one area by the foot, have to get that later.
I painted the outer portion with a lighter more fleshy color and applied it thick. Its oil and I had some alkali to help speed up the drying time. I waited two days then peeled off the tape.
The lines were very crisp but I had to go in and do some touching up afterward.

September 28, 2012

I do it for you...

My day started out great!
After an early morning coffee and stroll thru the zoo to celebrate my past birthday with my mom, we grabbed a delicious bite of Vietnamese food in Inglewood. I had a friend stop by to share his life woes and then hopped in the shower before heading to work. I prepped my After Effects Class at Quickdraw early, since it is the first day and taught until 9:30. I realize my schedule is a bit weird from here on in. I get off at 9:30. rather than go home, or better yet, go out with friends...... 
I go paint! 
I blocked in some two toned blue radial stripes in the Saraswati background. The colors I am choosing are inspired by the peacock feather I picked up at the zoo today. Saraswati is often depicted with peacocks. I also painted around the edges so that for this exhibition I do not need to frame all the work, that would be extremely expensive and time consuming.
Since I will need to tape off the lines for crisp edges I can only paint every second one, and it's late but I need to get more done. I make a mixture of cadmium's, hookers green, yellows etc to create to green hues for the next radial lines. The implied circle around the goddess is dark going to light which is opposite from the Ganesh painting (to see click here)  which is light to dark.
It is after midnight by the time I'm done on the Saraswati piece. I am feeling dark and finally take the plunge on the Kali piece.  I have been mulling over the next step for this piece and been too timid to just put the paint to the canvas. Now that the leap has begun I am feeling good that it can go forward from here. I intend on painting red bones onto the body and maybe adding a slight highlight onto the form to make it appear less flat. Believe me it took balls to do just this, but now those balls are rolling ;P
It can be really tough keeping my priorities straight.

September 27, 2012


Beginning the creation of my Saraswati painting.
 After the photo session with Taylor, I bounced home for some dinner and a quick power nap. I loaded in the photos and did some selecting and photo-shopping. I hadn't blended the images onto one file before today. I used the quick whip tool and the magic wand and a bit of work to create this print out to work from as a reference. It has sped up my process in getting the initial drawing onto the canvas.
This is the 5' X 5' canvas it is intended for. It already has some radial lines drawn as it will be a piece that accompanies my Ganesh painting. The goddess Saraswati was measured to fit in the center of the big circle.
Here is my BLACK HAND. A drawers curse. I drew in the figure using charcoal. I always seem to wipe my face and forget about it until I'm out on the town and someone asks me why I look like a coal miner. lol.
Here is the  placement of the goddess figure on the canvas. I can take a step back and have a good look in case anything needs changing before advancing to the next step.
In order to not lift the charcoal pigment into the paint pigment when working, I need to apply a clear coat over the drawing. But there is a step not to miss first. You can see the upper left arm is darker and blurry. That is because I forgot an important step.....
Before applying the wet clear coat via thick brush, you need to spray the whole surface down with stinky poisonous workable fixative.  Its noxious and carcinogenic and that's why I selectively forgot  to do it, my bad. It helps glue down the charcoal particles before application of the protective clear coat to seal in the whole deal.

September 26, 2012

SARASWATI - Photo session

I spent the day editing videos with Mark Allard's for his upcoming book release: Regressions. They turned out fantastic and we made magic happen. Things just seem to fall into place and make themselves at times. Which is why right afterward hopping across the street to my studio was just at the right moment.....
Heres my quick set up of the studio. Hang a sheet, set up the light and camera and get something for the model to sit on comfortably,while she is getting changed.I was blessed to have the beautiful Taylor Heywood come down to the studio for a quick reference photo session tonight, as the hindu goddess Saraswati.
Lo and behold she has a tattoo of the goddess SARASWATI on her shoulder. Talk about synchronicity and magic! Out photo shoot was close to 30 min. from start to finish, that is how it is done!

Animaniacs - Fundamentals course day 1

I began teaching Animation Fundamentals at Quickdraw Animation Society again.
And it is FUN, every Tuesday night for the next dozen weeks.
There are 11 students all crammed into my class. We covered Man's history with creating sequential images and early animation inventions inspired by Roget's essay "Persistence of Vision". The first toy we made were Thaumatropes.
We watched a historical movie about Magic Lantern's and the history of Animation. We then got to making a looping animation toy, the Phenakistoscope. It is a really fun group and I can't wait to see what they make over the next semester.

September 25, 2012

The real HORROR....

I lost everything. Every file, everything thats good and holy in the digital realm ;( When I went to get the superdrive replaced in my newest laptop I didn't think it would come to this....

I had my expense repair returned on Friday. Saturday was lines up at the Apple store with people who badly wanted their iPhone 5's. Alas, I don't think Steve jobs is the devil, but his empire seems oddly hypocritical, a "cooler. more sophisticated, hipster" version of 1984. My computer would not boot up, so though repaired, I had to go back to the Genius bar to get my system to start. In order to do this, they had to wipe everything and re-install the OS. This all happened suddenly that I didn't back up my most recent and most important work. SH*T!!!

To make a the story short.....
Lost all my iPhone contacts, tons of images, documents, invoices, reference photos so on and so forth, oh and all my software. Damn. My brain is on a self inflicted soup of PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) SO for me, this is an opportunity for a new start. I have a new uncluttered computer and life, ready to start fresh, like spring ;)

Rather than mourn the loss, I got wet in the studio.
I sprayed my surfaces and allowed a variety of pigments to stain my supports.
The wet surface is highly reflective and really brings up the pigments.
After it dried I gave it a vigorous scrubbing with 80 grit sandpaper.
I think it takes not only blindness. bravery, balls and confidence and commitment.
I revisited the pieces with some black, iridescent silver and the original dark blue.
Outlined in black gesso, enhanced with the deep red in the shadow areas and outlined in black gesso loosely and allows to drip.
Highlights, shadow and drips of raw umber add more layering this studio session.
I did a raw umber drip over the entire surface. This piece gets some gold added to the highlights and a bronze is added to the eyebrows.

More to come.......

September 24, 2012

Horror faces

I am creating two 8"X8" pieces to hang on the wall of the House Gallery Horror 3 show.

The Gallery provided two pre-cut MDF boards to work on. They were not primed, so I primed one in black Gesso and the other in traditional white gesso. I drew out a basic design and rubbed the back in charcoal. I placed the image and traced over top my initial drawing to transfer it to the surface below.
Then I worked over top the charcoal with black or white gesso respectively, to lay down the line work.
I decided to block in the horror faces with silver and gold opalescent paint to give it a slight shimmering quality.
I then went in with  a dark blue onto the skull.
I used a dark red on the face on the white ground.
I followed it up with a lighter blue and red paint on each.
There is still another session in the studio to be had, to go further develop these pieces and to bring them to fruition for the show.

Come to the Horror show to see the finished pieces, to keep in touch like the gallery page on Facebook:

September 21, 2012

KALI - beginnings

For those who follow my blog, my previous work on animation was completed successfully. During the process my laptop died and is now being resuscitated at the Apple Genius Bar. So I can't update with anything on that system for a while. However I have had some photos sitting on my iPhone for about a month.

Here is my beginning process on the Kali painting.
I began by selecting which canvas I would be working on, then I did a quick jiffy marker sketch to show the model what we would be attempting to achieve. This led to this.......
I used crosshairs to centralize my image at the belly button. I gridded out some of the area to speed up the process of putting the charcoal drawing down.
Here is the full figure with all four arms drawn on the canvas in charcoal.
In the third studio visit for this piece, I locked down the image with a clear gesso and to limit the spread of charcoal in the paint.
I then blocked in a variety of dark brown tones for the background. Initially I intended on painting the character with green skin to set it off on a warm background, but then things got fun and I went a little further on the background and may be chaining my initial idea, that's what happens with inspiration in the studio.
 I rubbed in more colour, and gold and wet the surface creating a variety of drips and splashes. I am still considering how I will go about the treatment of the flesh, one idea is to paint it very dar and paint bones on top to make her even more frightening. WE will see what happens as the painting unfolds.......

September 9, 2012

Snack Time, process is like eating

I continued on with the boy piece.
I ended up changing the initial order of events and made him eat a popcorn box of characters then follow it up with drinking the soda. This will become the impetus for the internal melting to skeleton stuff which I have to now move around a realign once everything with the boy melting layer is in place.
I also made a list of all the stuff I still needed to draw for the cartoon. I went to the studio  and put a couple of hours in drawing more stuff from a ketchup character to additional movie monster silhouettes to be added to the theatre portion. I still need to go and put in some time drawing more whales so that I can go into QAS and do some scanning at the start of the week.  There are still major areas I have not quite figured out but will come together as the animation develops further.

While in the studio I also blocked in the figure for the Kali painting. Today when I go into the studio, I will not only draw more things for the animation, I will block in the figure and background with the first pass of my darks.

September 8, 2012

Snack time, but not time for a break

It may be gorgeous outside, but I am in an art prison, slave to my computer system so that I can get this project completed by the preferred date, my Birthday.

I am getting to the nitty gritty parts and the details. I started animating the characters faces within the walks. I spent most of the session working on the many elements that make up the theatre scene. I also compiled a list of artwork that still needs to be completed and tackled tonight so that I may scan and process them on Monday.
I spent the majority of time creating this theatre scene. the theatre and chairs are constructed in 3D space in After Effects so that later on, I can have a camera fly thru it. I plan on adding more movie monster characters as well as noisy theatre sounds, popcorn being chewed, coughing, shsssing etc. The audio will really help to fatten up the scene. It looks great in HD, but draft version is needed for this blog.
I hope to get this scene pretty much wrapped up today. This is the work done so far. I need to get the arms movies and the throat swallowing. I have a lot of timing to work out as well. Characters are going to reveal they are not walking on a red carpet but are in fact entering his mouth. Its the popcorn and soda that cause the skin to melt off the character.

More to come ;)

September 7, 2012

Snack time - making progress

Yesterday's full day session proved to be very effective.

I made a bunch of test movies to see them in real time and to give myself reference points of where to animate.

I made null joints on all the puppets and animated a variety of short loops to be tweaked and added to other compositions. Still works in process you can see some of the progress I made on my animation.
Here is a rocket ship made up of the body with a wiggle parameter on the scale and position property. I added the three tubes to the bottom and anchored them to a null object at the centre of the rocket ship body. Each flame is parented to each respective tube. The flames have sine wave effects put on them. The eyes of the character are anchored and have a different wiggle parameter on them. Later I will animate the rocket flying across the sky with a plume of smoke following the motion path behind it.
Here is a pink plane made by drawing, scanning and slicing up many parts in much and then assembling in After Effects the same way as the rocket ship above. I may make a new propellor and just have it flash on and off rather than how it is now. At about 15 seconds in there is a trap door in the back that opens and will drop some bombs over the landscape in the animation.
Here is a humpback whale that I animated that I will have floating up into the sky pulled by an air balloon and finally being dropped down into a movie theatre and squishing the the words "the end" or onto "intermission". I created null objects in the tail then put puppet pins on their left corners then used this piece of code as an expression for each:
n=thisComp.layer("name of null object") 

In this way, each pin on the object layer is attached to the named null object. I then created a hierarchy of the null objects by parenting them from one to another so that when I rotated one the others are affects along the hierarchy. 

September 6, 2012

Snack Time

No it hasn't been time to eat...
I've been slaving away all the while on finishing up an animation project I've been on for quite a while now. It is enough to make my hair grey.  Then while rendering out a test shot at lunchtime today................


Enmax blew the electricity while they were working a block away!
I would have taken it as a sign to eat (ie SNACK TIME) and have a snack myself, but I couldn't heat  anything up.

 Since I haven't posted about it while I've been at it the last week, here is where the process has taken me so far:

I drew a bunch of stuff based on my storyboards.
I colored and created parts to be individually moved like paper cut outs.(see examples)
These drawings were scanned into photoshop and each drawing was digitally cut out and placed on a transparent background.
I imported over 100 of the individual drawings into after effects and began constructing timelines for the animation and assembling the puppets together.
I'm creating a bunch of long scenes with many moving parts and layers to tell the story as described in the treatment and storyboards.
After I test, time and render everything out of After Effects, I will then add the backgrounds and audio track consisting of individual sound effects synced to the visuals and a soundtrack. This will be done in my trusty Final Cut Suite.
The final part will be to output it and burn a playable DVD.
The beauty of Adobe After Effects is the way you can do just about anything in terms of animating visuals. It may get complicated but I just have to keep remembering to stick to the plan and not get lost getting mucky with crazy additional visual effects and stuff.

I have to have the entire piece edited to sound and burned to DVD with a report by September 15. No exceptions!!!

Animation is by no means quick and easy so the next week is not one I am really looking forward to! Keep wishing me good luck, my fingers are crossed!

September 3, 2012

Ganesh - a little bit more

I kept going on the details of this piece and really hit a good stride.
I busted in details and danced over the whole piece pulling together the entire cohesiveness.
I drew in a necklace onto the body.
I painted in gold jewellery and the bowl. Later I plan on applying actual god leaf but for now and photographic purposes I am using yellow ochre and brown and white to create the illusion of gold.
At the crown on top of Ganesh's head is the sweet fruit - peach. Later on I will probably challenge myself to guilding a gold leaf design as a crown element.
I painted in long eyelashes on all of the eyes. They are not as smooth as I would have liked due to my shaky state at 2am but I can live with it for the time being, it does what I need it to do.