Monday, October 3, 2011

Raccoon Dog

Here's a little sample from a project I've been working on.

Friday, September 16, 2011


A little tribute to Grannies everywhere.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Wind in the Willows: Mr. Toad of Toad Hall

Mr. Toad was kind enough to pose for this little Portrait yesterday.  Immediately upon my asking, he sashayed off to freshen up, emerging blushed and burnished with the heraldic glow of Monarchy.  Here he is in all his glory... Mr. Toad of Toad Hall: Country Squire, avid sportsman, expert motorist, thespian  and wayfaring adventurer!  Do not look him in the eye and please refer to him as 'Your Grace.'

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Holmes and Watson

I did these little doodles in my sketchbook after reading a few of the many Holmes stories in a fat one volume edition of The Complete Sherlock Holmes. I am such a nerd for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's writings... Totally hooked! Anyway, if I ever have the chance to illustrate the stories graphic novel style, this is the direction I would take with the character designs.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hairy Potter

A little something I did for fun. Quite literally a Hairy Potter.

I'll be on vacation for the next few days visiting family and I hope to have more sketches to update the blog with when I come back. Thanks for looking.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Website Update and Other News

I updated the site with a few (somewhat) new sketches and layouts from my backlog of sketches. Also, I should mention that I am officially looking for work. By work I mean short or long-term professional Illustration projects. I've put a link to my contact page on the sidebar, so if you are interested, don't hesitate to write me.

In other news, I've been doing some visual development for a short film and also a proposed graphic novel that is still in story development. I'm VERY excited about both projects. They present several challenges that I've been meaning to tackle. As soon as I can get permission to publish some of this work, I will update accordingly. Thanks for looking.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

OZ: Remember this?

It's been a while huh? Well it seems that the OZ passion project will be making a comeback. Between my last OZ post and now I've gone through quite a journey. Along the way I've made a lot of progress in terms of furthering my design skills. Its been very enlightening, and no doubt it will effect the look of my OZ interpretation, but I feel the hiatus was a necessary step. Now that I am at least somewhat free, I've made the decision to finish this painting. I'ts been laying about in my studio with a piece of glassine covering it. I've shown it to a few fellow illustrators all of which tell me its time to finish it but I geuss with this one I was biting off more than I could chew when I started it. I needed to learn something first. It took a while, I had plenty of distractions that kept me from working, but those days are over. I've been focused on my work now for a good stretch... Its time to finish it once and for all. You can check out the progress of the piece in the December 2010 Archives. It's about 3/4 of the way there. I definitely want to get back to working on other OZ Illustrations. I also want to play with some of the character designs as well, but not to worry, The Wind in the Willows will still be a priority. You can also check out the Illustration page on my site. I've added a few more images, and no doubt I will add more from my back log of sketches. Thanks for looking, enjoy!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Portfolio Website... Finally!

My portfolio website has officially gone live! It's a work in progress but so far so good. I'm happy to finally have a place to showcase all of my work. Click the picture above and check it out!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ratty: Exploratory Sketches

Here is Ratty so far... I'm playing around with the layout of these pages; getting rid of superfluous borders and putting the focus back on the drawings where it should be.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Moley: Character Sheet

Here is another page for the portfolio. This is where Mole is at this stage, I'm sure he'll change a bit more, but so far I am happy with him.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Portfolio Update

Mole: Exploratory Sketches

The Wind in the Willows: Character Shapes

I've put the drawing board down so I can concentrate on updating my portfolio. So far I've had to reformat the older pages to fit 8 1/2" X 11." Its been a bit of a trudge, but I am seeing the horizon. Above are a couple of new pages from the book. I've added seven new pages of work. I even added some of the OZ work to the mix... Why the hell not? Anyway, the complete portfolio will be published here and on my website ( when I am finished.

Meanwhile, I've been evolving my design for Ratty and Mole even further. Yeah, I thought I had reached my final, but the more I've drawn them the more they've developed. My focus is on keeping the shapes simple but adding detail within the shapes. Its been a challenge to get out of my comfort zone, so I am pushing myself to work the designs to another level above where I have them now. Thanks for looking.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Wind in the Willows: Character Shapes

Shape breakdowns for the whole cast. Badger and Toad will definitely evolve further.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Wind In The Willows: Ratty


Colored Pencil and Pen

'Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing-absolutely nothing-half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing.'
Here is a (near) final design for Ratty. Badger and Toad are up next, I'm still working out their shapes.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mole: Final Design Poses

"Mole" : Final Design Poses
Colored Pencil, Cel-Vynil and Ink on Toned Pastel Paper

I had a lot of fun with these. :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mole: Color Sketch

"Mole Color Sketch"
Pen and Photoshop

I had fun working on the little color sketch for Badger so I thought I would do one for Mole. I'm putting together a character sheet for him and Ratty and I'm also working out designs for the other two. Another upcoming project is a simple color comp for one of my first Illustrations.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Wind In The Willows: Exploratory Sketches

Pen and Photoshop


"Mole & Ratty"
Pen and Marker

"Mole & Ratty Basic Body Shapes"

Here are some exploratory sketches I've done for The Wind in the Willows. The first two are very early roughs for Badger and Toad. The third pretty much represents the final design for Mole and Ratty. I'm currently working on a gouache painting based on the this sketch.

The final drawing is a size and shape comparison for the two main protagonists. At this stage I was trying to get a feel for the personality/motivations of the characters and how that would best be represented by shape.

Ratty's design evolved through dozens of drawings that filled my sketchbook. One difficulty was trying to pin down his shape so that he looked like a water rat but still maintained a lithe and athletic skuller's shape. I looked at several reference pictures of water rats and built his design from that reference point. I did the same for Mole, although his shape came to me much quicker. Its not too hard to stylize moles since they already look like cartoon characters.

The challenge now will be to portray the rest of the gang with an equal amount of stylization while still retaining their animal qualities. After that, I'll start working on Background and object designs. Ultimately I would like to do a few illustrations. I would also like to attempt some designs in a more traditional storybook pen and ink/watercolor style. Anyway, thanks for looking.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Wind In The Willows



My home computer has been out of commission for a while so I haven't been able to update as much as I would like. However, the work still goes on. All of my work for Whip Crack Away is done. We showcased it in the Academy of Art Spring Show and I even won a little "excellent" award for it. Showing it was definitely the cherry on top! We got a ton of positive response from peers and co-workers as well as industry folk who came by to check out our work.

So now that my part on the short is over, I've begun to focus on some personal projects. I revisited some OZ stuff and also started sketches for a couple of other books I love. One is The BFG by Roald Dahl and the other of course is The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

BFG will be a lot of fun since it's not been interpreted much. The only thing I have to go by are Dahl's well drawn character descriptions. Willows is a different story. Its been interpreted so many times both in Illustration and Animation. Rankin Bass even did a version back in the day. My favorite animated version is the stop-motion film made by Cosgrove Hall for Thames Television back in 1983. Personally I think it is the closest to retaining the pastoral and cozy feeling of Grahame's book. Weta is currently working on a "darker" version of the story... I don't have much to say about that, but I'm sure Mole would say, "Hang darker versions!"

Until next time, take care!

Thursday, May 5, 2011



"Calamity Jane Color Sketch"

"Whaling Days"

Calamity Jane is nearing the end of production although it seems there is no end in sight to the work. Somehow it will all come together. Right now I am working on mouth shapes that are needed for lip synch and some critters and foreground elements. In the few hours that I find to myself, I've been experimenting with opaque paints. I am pretty well versed in Watercolor, but have always been afraid of the opacity of gouache, so I thought it was time to face my fear. Wouldn't you know it? I fell in love with opaque colors. Can't wait to get working more with them on my off time. All the work I am doing now that is not short related will be going into my next book (portfolio) no matter how crappy the sketch, if it shows process then I want it in there. The three pieces above were relatively quick studies, The first piece is one of my iterations for Mole from The Wind In The Willows. I am working several thumbnails in my sketchbook based on this character and I'll definitely update the blog with whatever I come up with. The second one is a general color sketch for the short, the third and final piece is a little tribute to the production crew working on Calamity. An effort that goes by the name of Whaling Days; We are the whalers surmounting all odds no matter how dire... Keep an eye out, there will be a whole lot more work coming soon!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Portfolio 2011

My portfolio is finished! I spent a week gathering all my drawings, and compiling them into a somewhat cohesive and presentable format. Of course I have also sent a few out in to the world which is the last step in the creative process. No use doing any work if you're too scared to show it. Anyway, if you click on the picture above it will take you to a nice little slide show of my entire portfolio. There are a few pieces in there from the stop-motion short I've been working on, speaking of which, I am now pretty much focused only on completing all the work for that project. I had to put off the sculpt for the time being, but as soon as the work is done I will throw myself back in to sculpting. I also have a few ideas I'm working out in my head. Some to do with Guillermo, and others with revisiting older projects. The OZ project is floating around in there somewhere, but also a version of Hansel and Gretel that I had been mulling a few months ago. I'll be posting new work as soon as I finish Calamity Jane, and also the finished stop-motion film... The fruits of our labor! :) Keep watching!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Portfolio: TItle Page

I took a break from sculpting to work on my portfolio last week. I am happy to say I am done compiling it and I'll be taking it to the printers tomorrow. Here is the title/intro page done in Photoshop.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Maquette Sculpt: Nothing Is Precious

Take a shot of whiskey and have at it...

Its better if you do it in one motion like ripping off a band-aid.

Plumbers Epoxy worked into the wire, Now its ready for Magic Sculpt.

This past week I was wracking my brain over the stability of my armature. It's been a while since I built a maquette from scratch so I've had to relearn things as I go along. One of the difficulties I ran into was with the rigidity of the legs. Guillermo has really thin legs and ankles which means the armature also has to be thin, but a thinner armature means less stability and it is near impossible to sculpt on a flimsy armature. The week before last, I stopped by Douglas and Sturgess in SF to purchased some Magic Sculpt. I had never worked with this product before but I heard that it works wonders... Well, it does and it doesn't. Magic Sculpt is definitely rigid when fully cured, but it also needs support (unless your wire armature is already stiff). I was so eager to work with it that I applied it to the legs thinking it would be rigid enough to stiffen the armature underneath but I soon realized my mistake. I applied it too quickly, failing to work it in the nooks and crannies of the wire so when it was fully cured, the armature underneath was still flimsy; much too flimsy to add clay weight on top. This was very distressing since I had already sculpted detail for the socks, but as with anything creative, one must be willing to destroy work in order to set it right. Last night, determined to let go of the precious detail, I stripped the magic sculpt off with a pair of pliers. Just as I thought, the epoxy clay came right off. I had worked it too quickly and had I continued the sculpt, it would have ended up a disaster. I took a few pieces of steel reinforced plumbers epoxy and worked it in to the wire. It set in a few minutes and then I was able to carve and sand away the excess. While its still not as rigid as I would like, once I add the Magic sculpt on top, it should be rigid enough to withstand the weight of the clay without cracking. The rest of the sculpt (aside from the neck, legs and feet) will be done in Super Sculpey. It can definitely be a bummer when things don't work out as planned but I learned from my mistake. Stay tuned for more! :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Maquette Sculpt: Guillermo's Armature

Guillermo Armature: Front

Guillermo Armature: Side

Despite being very busy with the short, I am still managing to fit in some time to work on my sculpt. The front and side (pictured above) are of the armature as it looks now. I will be bolting the feet to the base tonight and building up rigidity with plumbers epoxy and magic sculpt. The armature does look like more than I need for just a sculpt on a base, but I am learning a "short hand" to armature building which I will use for my next sculpt, hopefully of "Britannicus." You will notice that he doesn't have hands. I usually sculpt those separately and then plug them in towards the end before I do a final bake off. Here is the armature for the hands:

And something to show a bit of the scale:

As far as the Calamity project goes, I just finished designing props yesterday and I am on to color tests for the two characters as well as designing foreground and background elements for compositing. The stagecoach framework, (based on the shapes in my stagecoach design) was completed by Tyson's Dad and it is a work of art in and of itsself. You can check it out at the production blog by clicking on the pic below.

The Deadwood Stage: Framework and Animation Rig

Next stage on the Guillermo Maquette is to actually get sculpting. :) I am so excited to get that ball rolling, hopefully I will have it done in the next couple of weeks. That's all for now, thanks for looking and check back soon!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Art Of Calamity Jane: Team Effort.

Ball and Socket Armature in progress (Machined/Constructed by Alex Yee), placed over my front orthographic drawing of Calamity.

For the past month or so Calamity Jane has been keeping me busy. At this point it takes priority over my other projects, though I have found that working on it has helped me organize my time better so I can work on my own personal projects intermittently. Working on this also inspires me tremendously. While I am allowed a good amount of creative freedom, what really inspires me is the team work. It's the first time I've been part of something bigger than myself or my work. I am so proud of it and proud of the progress we have made in such a short amount of time and with such tight deadlines. The group of guys I am working with are very much professionals in their craft. Talking shop with them is a pleasure and I am just thankful that I have this opportunity to learn so much more than I could have ever learned on my own about designing characters for animation. At the moment I am designing props. I just finished mouth shapes for Calamity to aid in the lipsynch and there is much more work ahead.

In other projects, I started working on my maquette armature for Guillermo and I should have it finished by the end of this week. I've decided to sculpt him in Sculpey instead of NSP. It's for the best since I may want to paint him when I am done. I will post a few pictures of my progress soon. For the time being, click on the picture above and check out the work being done on Calamity Jane. Thanks for looking.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Maquette Sculpt: Turning Guillermo

I drew some turns for Guillermo this weekend in between working on the short. Surprisingly enough, it didn't take me too long to complete them. Next I'll blow these drawings up so that he is about a foot tall. From there I'll be planning and building my wire armature as well as the base for the maquette.

One thing I have always had problems with when drawing turns is the 3/4 pose. This time around I started with the 3/4 and drew the rest of the turns from there. I don't know why I'd never thought of that before, it made the whole process much smoother. Can't wait to translate this guy into clay. Expect frequent updates as I continue to work on this project. :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sketchbook Stuff 02/26/11

Just wanted to post a couple of pages from my sketchbook. I love seeing other artists sketchbooks especially when they leave notes to themselves in it. I can relate to that... Sometimes I even write my grocery list in there.

I used to carry around a larger sketchbook but recently I've been drawing it a tiny Moleskine notebook. I find that in a larger book I tend to get bogged down by details instead of looking at the whole picture. It's a much better way to get my ideas out. I still manage to draw a ton of details even in my small sketches. One of the guys I am working with was actually surprised that the preliminary sketches I had sent them for the short were all done on a page no larger than 3 1/4 X 5 1/2.

Anyway, I decided to give Guillermo a buddy... Probably his only human friend Umberto. He is a little tubby and very loyal. I fixed his hair color in Photoshop per my notes :). I've also been designing more creatures... I have yet to know what the 'Satchel-mouth" eats. The last one is my first sketch of "Quillard." It gives you a good idea of what his color will be like.

In the next week I will be working hard on the short... I have to draw a series of face shapes for the main character and I also have to finish turns for the secondary character. I will also be finishing turns for Guillermo, and begin work on an armature for a maquette... So much work! Loving every minute of it... Check back again soon!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

More Friends For Guillermo

"Quillard" Col-Erase Pencil.

"The Birth of Britannicus" Col-Erase Pencil

I've been keeping busy lately with sketches for my story idea. These guys just keep popping out of my head and onto my sketchbook, its interesting to see how they develop. The first drawing is of what I call a "Shark-faced Quillard" (or just "Quillard" for short;). He drinks ink until he is almost bursting and shoots it out tips of his quills.

The second drawing is the birth of "Britannicus" the Textbook/Encyclopedia eating Beast. An Illustrator friend of mine had the idea that they would become larger the more they ate, and I thought it would be interesting if they incubated in Guillermo's desk.

I will be coloring these this week in between working on the short. I am also drawing some turns for Guillermo as a maquette reference. Hopefully I can get the armature done by next week. I would also like to sculpt other characters. Aside from developing the story, my other objective is to flesh these characters out as much as possible so that in theory they could be animated.

Anyway, I've been having a great time working on this and the short. It seems that inspiration knows no bounds these days... I've produced more work in the last month than I have in the last three years... Exciting times! Thanks for looking and stay tuned for more.

Monday, February 21, 2011


"Gullermo" Character sheet

"Britannicus" Pose. Col-erase Pencil.

Aside from doing visual development on the stop-motion project, I've also been working on a story idea. Initially a portfolio building exercise, I am now developing a story based on the main character Guillermo. He is loosely based on Guillermo Del Toro and his penchant for keeping a sketchbook full of creature designs. My Guillermo is a schoolboy who does much the same thing although his beasts really come to life and consume the things that make his life difficult. That is the general thread at this point but I am sure it will grow to encompass much more and include a cast of monsters each with their own unique personalities and purposes. I will be working on character model sheets for all the characters, and I've even thought of doing a few maquettes in clay. At this point I am thinking of it as an idea for a children's book, age range around 8-10. Stay tuned for more!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Goings On...

WOW so much to update. A ton of things have cropped up lately. For one I am developing a story for a children's book. It's still in the very early stages, but it looks promising. It initially started as a portfolio building exercise but it is slowly taking on a life of its own. I will post a few of my sketches here soon.

Besides that, I was recently asked to head visual development for a Stop-Motion short. So far I have been designing characters for the film. Designs for the two lead characters have been approved and I am finishing turns so the characters can be sculpted in clay. I will also be responsible for designing the foreground/background elements, props, and other peripheral characters. YES I have my work cut out for me, but I am having so much fun working with these guys! Judging by their last film, they are two very talented and dedicated artists in their own right. Once we are further along I will post a few of the designs. Out of respect for the production, I am keeping things on the "down-low" for now.

With that, I'll leave you with a quick sketch/speed (Photoshop) painting I did recently. This is an homage to Chris Sanders ("Lilo and Stitch," "How To Train Your Dragon"). I've always admired his work so I thought I would try my hand at some Sanderesque appeal! :) I know it may be wishful thinking, but I hope "How To Train Your Dragon" wins best animated film!

More to come! :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Doodles, Doodles, and more Doodles... Happy New Year!

So far so good for the New Year. I've been drawing more than ever and my work is encompassing not only my OZ passion project. I've been venturing out and trying different things, letting loose if you will. Over Christmas, I sat down at the dinner table and started doodling as much as I could. I put no limit to what came out of my head, just drew for fun... What a concept! This last month has been about finding the fun in drawing again. Often times it is easy to lose sight of what is important. I think it shows in ones work if the fun is lost. Not all drawings will be beautiful, but all drawings will matter one way or another. In the coming year I really hope to let go of my pride and allow myself to create. It is easy to get stuck in the trap of feeling that every bit of work one does should be a portfolio piece. In the intersession between portfolio work, these drawings can help make the good work far better. In addition to this, I've been finding that I can still satiate my hunger for detail by working it within the shapes that I create on the page. I've found a happy medium... I'm still finishing "The Silver Slippers"... It will be done soon enough! I wish you all a Happy New Year!