Archive for December, 2007


I have a large collection of old illustration magazines and manuals. They can be funny to read, descriptive text from the 1920’s ETC has a very pronounced style. But they have a ton of amazing, beautiful art samples. I will upload a few from time-to-time if people are interested. The above catalog was published by Higgins Ink Co. from 1948, and is edition number 5 (the first being from 1927). It has dozens of illustration samples from folks who, obviously, use Higgins Ink.


It features some great advertising cuts, book covers and golden age illustration samples as well as several wash drawings by Andrew Wyeth. I’ve chosen pieces by Dong Kingman and Tracy Sugarman to show up close.

Each page features at least one, and as many as 5 illustrations and short bites about the artist’s technique or methods. It also features cutting edge (for the time) info on line screens, half tones and advice from various professionals. I’ll leave you with this quote from William Longyear (credited as -Head, Dept. of Advertising Design Pratt Institute-)

“If you aspire to be an illustrator, draw incessantly, draw intelligently, draw for the love of it. Drawings is the foundation of all illustration.” While not revolutionary, certainly good advice and advice that is as true today as it was in 1948.

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The above art are samples from a set of icons for OSX called CREEPS. I made them back in 2003 for an icon contest. It seems to me, I didn’t do that well in the contest, as most people in the Icon world like clean, photo realistic icons, and I am way too messy for that. They are all horror or sci-fi related heads.

So here is a Holiday gift! For the first time since 2003, free OSX icons! Please don’t repost these files, but you can link back to this post.


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Above are two pieces I’ve done for a new animated short I am working on. When will it be done? …well, I am hopeful March or April of next year. But we will see.I’m not 100% sure of the overall visual look/art direction yet. I have locked the script and the board is about half done. it’s only a 2 minute film, but I want to have more subtle animation then I have done before. I imagine I will do a bunch more of these designs before I decide on a look. It is a fairytale, but with an edge.I’m playing with color and design at this point. Trying to find not only a palette for the entire film, but a design style. Should it be modern and quirky? Rough line and watercolor looking? I’m not sure yet. But the look has to reflect the story, at least the pathos of the story.It’s based on a single page comic story I did years ago. But the comic style isn’t quite right when you bring the idea into animation.

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Some card art from 2004. The traditional Holiday cat, duck and wolf. The ageless Christmas tale of how they learned to skate. In other words, I wanted to draw our cat, a duck and our husky.

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Animation Monday is proud to introduce Don Hertzfeldt. Rejected is a great animated short (an Oscar nominated short from 2000). I’m sure most people who stop by this blog have seen it and most probably own it on DVD. Anyway, a great short, funny, with unexpected turns all done in his unique style, and shot under a camera. This is on YouTube. Not sure if it is legally up there..I would guess not. But you can stop by his web site,(linked above) and buy his DVD’s with  better copies of the film as well as his most recent work.

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The sketch above is from a book project. It is a big crowd scene. I love to draw crowd scenes. And I do it differently then I used to. As I do all my finished art on the computer it allows me to easily mix sketches and play with a composition at lightning speed. Good for someone like me who suffers from attention deficit issues.

I have a rough layout of where my crowd goes on the page and relative sizes. Of course there is a main piece of action attracting their attention. I have done about 20 pages of sketches, different people, groups, families, all reacting to one another or the main scene. Each, hopefully, telling their own story as well as revealing emotions and attitudes of what is happening on the page. I can pick and choose,  draw more people and combine them until I have my crowd. Then I draw over them in Photoshop and paint. Or in this case, I am choosing a style where the background crowd will be just line art so as not to distract from the main action. In years past I would have worked on a single piece of drawing paper/board and worked the sketches until they were dead and tired on the page. I feel like my work is better the more improvisational it can be. And although there is a lot of planning and layouts to get to this stage, I want the characters to be alive, unique and interesting enough to jump off the page. I want you to recognize them, perhaps guess what they might be eating or if they smell! This is the second rough. I think I will ‘ink’ this and see how I like it.

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Back on schedule. Animation Monday will be posted on Sunday as I won’t be posting on Monday. So here is animation Monday!

Pencil tests. You Tube offers a great variety of pencil tests. Some are copies of original test shoots by animators, others are, I would guess, reshoots of cycles and scenes when someone finds or ‘inherits’ the originals pages from an animator. Either way some amazing 2D pencil tests are available for viewing and education. This is a characters scene from what is probably the worst of Disney’s animated features (not counting the Emperor’s New Groove) Treasure Planet. I think it is Treasure Planet. If I’m wrong let me know.A really nice little clip. It claims to have been animated by Sergio Pablos. I don’t know otherwise.

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