Sunday, July 30, 2006


After much morning drama, which included me loosing my wallet for 2 hours (in my house no less) causing us to miss Traci and Rich's baby shower,and then getting stuck in horrble traffic, meaning a super-late start, Echo and I finally made it down to Brandywine Park in Wilmington to paint. We drove sepreately as she has to work Sunday and got seperated on the drive down, so by the time I made it to the park she and Thomas we waiting. It was aslo 95 degrees and a bit muggy, the flies were biting my legs within 15 minutes..@#%&*! next time long pants. We all too advantage of the shade under the big overpass, but still it was one hot momma, luckily I packed our cooler with water and ice drinks.

We missed our painting buddies Pahl and Catherine who went on ahead of us, so by the time we found the spot and set up it was probably 430. So despite our intention to get set up early and paint, we ended up having to chase the sun as we painted. I had primed a few canvases this morning with acrylic, setting them in the sun to dry, and Echo and I each picked a 12 x 9 to do, not too big as we wouldn't have time to do a larger paintings with the time clicking away.

Thomas lays in his charcooal sketch.

I went to work fast massing in the shapes and trying to get the major valuse down and related to each other, wanting to keep the foreground and background clear.

here is the painting where I stopped it, there was still a lot more to do, but time , or the sun ran out.
See a larger pic HERE.

I was particularly excited to paint today because last week we wanted to go and were rained out and Echo had never tried painting in oils before. It has been a year exactly almost to the date since I last painted anything, and that was the stil life I did when staying with Bret in Prescott AZ last summer after San Diego con.
So each picked our view and I made up both palettes, I put freezer paper over the tops and uses clips to hold it down, this saved the muss and fuss at the end as we could just toss it away or fold it up andscrape any extra good paint off at home. two empty FEDEX boxes would hold the pallettes for the trip home.
s quick.

I started in right away and tried to block in the big masses and values fast as I could see the shadows were now going to start marching fast and 30 minutes would result in a big change in the values of the foreground and background. I keep an eye on Echo and Thomas, going over and giving Thomas some pointers on his charcoal drawing he had underway. Echo seemed to take to this whole thing like a duck to water, she made fast progress with here block-in.

As we painted away many people who were enjoying the day outside would stop and comment, one little kid really wanted to come close and his mom asked it it was ok.
A friendly park ranger stopped to chat and tell us of other cool places to paint further down into the park, so we may try that next time.

I have to say it was exilerating, totally absorbing and frustrating at the same time. You realize that once you are outside nature has the upper hand and you have to keep moving fast, and fight the urge to add details too early. I also realize how much I have to go as a painter, painting one painting a year isn't gonna get me anywhere! So Echo and I have vowed to try and do it once a week along with the figure this will be a big commitment.

Anyway, we had about 2-2 1/2 hours to accomplish what we could today, we wrapped up a liitle before 8, by that time the sun had dropped below the treeline and the values were all changed too much to continue. Echo finished first while I tried to dash in a few little extra bits, so the painting was stopped but the painting really isn't finished. I aslo need to buy some better brushes, the ones I have are ok.

Looking forward to next week already.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Here is the next batch of boards as our little alien is now running for his life not only from Tarack the Tracker but also from Combator Transformer.

Bigger version Here.

Bigger version Here.

Bigger version Here.

Bigger version Here.

Bigger version Here.

Bigger version Here.
More later this week.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Last night was the 5th week of the open figure lab at DCAD and it was a packed house, maybe a dozen or more folks sketching away along with Echo and me, many former students of mine along with the Dean as well.

I was trying to be a bit looser, just loosen up, but I was only 1/5 successful I think. I like bits and pieces of these yet I am mostly still frustrated but the only way to get where I want though is to go every week.

Sayonara Mako

I read last night that the actor Mako passed away from throat cancer last Friday. Most of us remember him not only as the voice of Samurai Jack's nemisis Aku, but the wizard and narrator in the Conan films and his Academy Award nominated roll in the Sand Pebbles. It seems he was more than just a character actor though and cofounded and ran a theater company in LA. He had a great distinctive voice, no doubt in part aided by smoking...which no doubt lead to his death from cancer. It's sort of ironic as I just started posting the SJ boards on the blog and saw him in one of the Conan flicks the other day, I believe the same day he passed away, which was last Friday. I always liked him in whatever roll I saw him in, and his voice was perfect for Aku. he was a great voice actor in ana age when voice acting is sort'a beyond stale on cartoons.

He will be missed. The newer generations of actors lack the depth and distinction..the "type" that character actors from the previous generation had. Some say there are no character actors left in Hollywood. Everyone on TV is under 30 and looks the same.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Starbucks Sketching

Sunday afternoon Echo and I took a break and went up to the nearest Starbucks for a coffee break and some sketching. There were some interesting types there, here are a few of my sketches.

Monday, July 24, 2006


Here is the second batch of storyboards from Episode 22, and you can already see if you watch the DVD that the board I did is very different. In this part we are introuced to the first two of the bounty alien, the learder who is a sort of Professor X type and a armor plated dog-ish/rhino type, very similar to Tundro on the Herculoids.

Genndy did keep the multiple eye stalk motif on the prey though, in this case an alien humanoid of sorts, on the fianl ep it was changed to a heard of multi-eye stalked grass eating alien animals.

A bigger scan here.

A bigger scan here.

A bigger scan here.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Samurai Jack Storyboard EP 22 part 1

last weekend I picked up season 2 and 3 or Samurai Jack on DVD which included an episode I boarded but never saw when the show was on the air. To my surprise the episode in question #22 had really been changed a lot from what I had origionally done. It seems Genndy changed his mind and rewrote and reboarded most of that episode after I had finished the entires show and sent it in. He kept my beginning sequence though and I am credited at the end of the episode.

Originally the team of bounty hunters was a cardre of various types playing off of Genndy's fondness for the Fantastic Four, old Transformers and the Herculoids. But now they are gone, replaced by a pack of lion hunters. So I decided what I would do is post the original board so people can see what I originally did.

Samurai Jack was a very pro-artist show where the board artists really were the writers, you'd get a plot which might be a page, page and a half and then you were off to rough out the board, including writing all the dialogue. So the show was written in the storyboard and it was a great bit of fun and a lot of hard work. Being off site, meaning working here in my studio in Philly instead of Cartoon Network's studio in LA meant I had a lot to pull and no day-to-day input with the staff, Genndy etc. In essence it was mostly working in a vacume and I would only talk to the producer or Genndy once in a while. Once I'd roughed out a huge batch or boards I'd send them off to Genndy and he would give e feedback via fax or over the phone.

So witout further delay here is the beginning of the show, I'll hopefully post some more boards on Monday, or even over the weekend.

A bigger scan here.

A bigger scan here.

A bigger scan here.

A bigger scan here.

TMNT Movie Trailer is up

A friend sent me the link to the new trailer for the new 3D Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie coming out next March. I have to say it looks pretty darn good, lots of cool Steve Ditko type NYC water Towers and spinning ninja action.

TMNT Pencils continue

Here is another page I just penciled. I did this one a little rougher as I will get kinda' choppy with the inks to add to the flashback I wanted to leave some drawing for the inking stage.

A larger version HERE.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

More Ninja Turtles

While everyone and his mother is out in San Diego this week for the big con I decided to pass, save a few dollars and work. I canceled my hotel (making some con goer happy I know as rooms are impossible to get now) and turned my tickets into vouchers with Southwest which Echo and I will use in September on a trip to Arizona. So I sit here in the sweatbox of Philly drawing away missing the cool sea breezes of San Diego, my studio is only survivable with the air conditioner straining against the heat as the sun hits that side of the house and my studio all afternoon. It registerd at 99 in the shade yesterday afternoon on my sunporch, in the car on the way to figure drawing at DCAD yesterday afternoon the tempature read an INCONVENIENT but TRUTHFUL 103 on the navigation readout....Global Warming is in FULL EFFECT!

Here is another TMNT page plus my thumbs for the two page flashback where Casey's baby is kidnapped. The thumbs were drawn at this size since it's better for me to design the shapes small, this way I don't get caught up in details and miss the storytelling and dynamics I am going for.

you can see a bigger scan of page 5 here.

Life Drawing Week 4

Here is a batch from this weeks open life drawing at DCAD
This week they didn't do any getsures to warm up, which I didn't like or agree with so I did some quicker drawings anyway to warm up. I got them to have a single spotlight on the figure at least, but some people complain it's too dark to see to draw...aggh!

Some quick drawings I did of folks standing around on a break.

I did this directly as a conture drawing with no underdrawing. A larger version here

I want to keep at this as it's really the best type of drawing to me, but goddam it's frustrating at times!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Some More Ninja Turtles

Here are two more pages from the story I am doing for the TMNT.

Upon reviewing what I have drawn from Steve Murphy's plot decided I needed to add a flashback page which I am drawing now and it will become what was page 5.
When I get it done I'll post it. I feel I am just now starting to get the "flow" going on this job.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

These are two more pages from the TMNT job I am doing now. I hope to be done penciling in a week or so, then I can hop on the inks.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Life Drawing Week 3

Here are a bunch of life drawings from this weeks session at DCAD. It has been a few weeks since the last one both Echo and i attended because we were at Heroes Con and busy.

I still feel pretty darn rusty and unable to focus as I'd like, it's like being out of shape and going back to the gym after a layoff. But this type of drawing is honest hard work. I always tend to and want to idealize the figure, as that's what I do all day when working drawing comics or storyboards. As a result I stylize, so I feel I blow porportions too much. But this week's drawings suck less than last time. Still feeling my way here though as I need to do hundreds more of these things. But since I was there early this week I was able to set up the model with lights the way I like, to get some contrast on the figure. The usual gang of whiney oldsters were not there to moan about it! " Ahh, I hate the shadows, I can't see!"

F you! I say ;-)

The drawings were mostly 5 and 10 minute with 3 twenty minute ones at the end, sometimes I'd rush and over render, the anxiety to get it done and beat the clock would get the best of me...
Shanna was the model again, and she is always good, very good at holding a pose, which many models simply can't.

Since we got there early Jessica and Echo took turns posing for warm-ups

This last drawing I did directly as a conture drawing working fast as I had completed another drawing of this pose I didn't like, so with only minutes left I drew this one down. While the porportions get funky I like the energy.