Monday, April 19, 2010

New Site UP and RUNNING

Hello all!

I've been neglecting this site a little to direct forces to my new updated site featuring reels, storyboards, and illustrations. (It's being populated as I type!)

Please check it out and let me know what you think.

Thank you and Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Clipstick Book 3 is on it's way!

If it's one thing that can feel the closest thing to achievement, it's finalizing a piece of artwork. I have yet to find something as similar and the only thing that comes to mind is finishing a chocolate doughnut from the local Phillips 66 gas station. Same kind of rush, less fingerprints on everything.

So I'm at a crossroads with Clipstick as the cover for book 3 is ready for display and the book itself is lively being inked to completion. I begin to wonder where the time went and where my future time lies. There is no time. I have an invented theory called "Reciprocal Time Displacement", but after I get some much needed sleep, I'll post for deliberation.



Please feel free to comment and constructively critique the piece as I'm hoping these become conversational upon release. At the Comic-Con I'm planning on having the ladies of the first three books on banners to help promote the book's event.

The images appear slightly darker here so I may need to lighten them for print, but all in all, I hope you're all doing well and let's get a chocolate doughnut sometime.



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Suspense in the "Reveal" cover

Hello everyone!

This week I'm going to discuss the "reveal" cover. I've played through some mental issues, (specific covers in my mind, for clarity), and remembered these illustrations that struck a chord.

Green Lantern #69: Cover Illustration by Gil Kane

Rule #1: Target subconsciously an emotion for what you're revealing.

Red can mean danger. Blue = calming. Green means, well you get the picture. . . High camera angle suggests dominance, low camera angle suggests being submissive. The first thing that attacks my subconscious is the cover features a predominant crimson red. We're immediately on alert.

Rule #2: Text usually pulls primary focus against most images. (In other words, it's best when the text is not giving everything away.)
In this case it helps deliver "THE SETUP". The first actual conscious "story reveal".
Visually we're cued by the foreground woman's sinister glance and bad dental work.

This by itself is a strong visual story. Our eyes jump to Green Lantern's expression, LEAD by the girl's eyes. His REACTION supports what we're thinking, the "reveal-deal" is sealed and a moment of suspense is captured. You feel a chill in this instance. This brings me to my third point:

Rule #3: Visually lead the viewer.
This cover engages you to investigate further. To look for more clues about the situation, to maybe even want to read the book. This can be done by composition, color, balance, size, and lighting to just name a few techniques.

Finally Rule #4: If the cover features a hero, allow your hero to be empathized by the audience.
Green Lantern is reacting how most of us would react to this situation. Our hero connects with us and we fear for him which helps build the suspense.

The best reveal covers surprise you with the reward of discovery.

This cover would fly off the shelf had I been around to catch it in the spinner rack. If you've never read the book, I suggest you let the cover speak for itself.

Here is another great example of a reveal cover:

Animal Man #5: Cover by: Brian Bolland

The same principles can be applied to this cover and a fresh perspective is achieved. This cover does feature an event that actually happens in the book, but it's been speculated to as the timing and meaning.

Obviously these are just a few points based on my experience and there are many more ways to make an enticing cover using the reveal.

Please feel free to submit ideas comic suggestions to discuss to my e-mail.

In the meantime, the next subject I'm going to cover is "Face to Face". A discussion on the formula of a hero directly facing the villains of the book, literally face to face.

Until then, ENJOY!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Latest Animated Commercial!

Hello all!

I'm about to post a breakdown for Clipstick's 4th cover and would love to hear what you all think. However, in the meantime until I coerce my scanner to like my Mac, I'm posting my latest animated commercial.

This commercial is for Neways and will air in the next couple weeks.

The production schedule was tight, (as is the nature in advertising), but the client was unusually accommodating for a creative department to do what they do best. Create without any preconceived vision! With that breath of fresh air we took full advantage on the approach.

Alex Bell nailed a great watercolor look in concept and then I replicated his art style for my shots. During the commercial's creation, I was hailed by several other clients which continually pulled me on and off the project all throughout it's production. The animation was all created in After Effects and the scenes for animation were divided between Alex and myself. Please watch and let me know what you think!

The scenes I created art for are 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 13.

The scenes I animated are 2, 3, 5, and 6.

In each of these shots I animated the woman, dog, weather elements, (clouds, wind effects, etc.), and camera.

Puppet animation already lends itself to a stylized look because of how it's approached. You essentially take photoshop images and dissect them into individual pieces and layers. From those pieces, After Effects retains separate layers from your photoshop file and imports them into your composition. You typically animate each piece individually, (roughly).

Puppet animation is beginning to lend itself to pose to pose animation for it's incredibly planned out approach with each pose drawing being created and animated. These scenes were animated with a "straight forward" technique utilizing what movement I could out of the art assets created because of budget and time constraints. I hope you enjoy the illusion of this poor woman's plight particularly in her facial expressions before she challenges the storm.

Alex also did a great job with his particle mastery in the piece and storytelling in the preliminary storyboards, which helped in bringing this commercial to life

Stay tuned for the latest Batman commercial which will be aired on Feb. 19th. If you have any questions regarding puppet animation or the processes there-in, please feel free to post.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Freedom From Want. . . tribute

JSA #54 features one of thousands of homages to Norman Rockwell's Freedom From Want, one of the highly renowned Four Freedoms series. These are done so often, I normally ignore them, but this one, pencilled by Carlos Pacheco and inked by Jesus Merino, successfully conveys the emotions of gratitude and brotherhood appropriate for the legacy superhero book featuring the world's first superhero team.

Comic Cavalcade #18 from 1942 features an E.E. Hibbard cover. Everett Edward Hibbard worked in comics for less than a decade, but worked on some of the most important comics of the golden age. Starting with Flash Comics #3 he was the main character's main artist until he left comics and is believed to have drawn the iconic cover of All-Star Comics #3, the first appearance of the Justice Society of America. This light-hearted cover accurately reflects the attitude of the golden age, with a playful image that likely has nothing to do with the interior comments of the book, and one has to smile at the idea of Flash, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman having a difficult time catching a turkey.

The idea of ducks eating turkey is an odd one, which the Disney artists seemed to ignore. This one's by Barks. One of turkey in the fridge comes to mind, but I couldn't find it. There have been an awful lot of Disney comics over the years.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Give thanks for giving. . .

Thanksgiving Magazine Cover

As I sit here convincing myself this is the best show my satellite service has to offer, I reminisce about what I've done with my life as of 32 years.  Specifically where I am at in my life vs. where I am heading.  Does it really matter what unfinished projects we keep telling ourselves we need to finish?  How long do we let them slide before they become abandoned and no longer good ideas?

To sum up, a lot of time has gone by and I haven't done half of what I've intended.  On the side, secretly I would love to be a stand-up comedian or some kind of musician, but watching bad tv seems more important.  Apparently.  That and Rock Band. . .

Movie Quote time:
Just as in the movie Waking Life, "How would we answer someone on the outside looking in who asked us if humans were lazy or fearful?"

 I would say lazy.  Look at the inventions we've created.  If you want to get rich quick, find a way to make someone else's life lazier.  Self flushing toilets, remote controls, infomercial exercise equipment, electronic toothbrushes, Ty Pennington, . . .etc.

On a completely separate note, I painted more beer today.  I had a lot of fun with the caustics in the ice, (though not realistically accurate), it stylistically creates the illusion.  (I call this the blue ice cave because I believe this is what lingers in every airplane's basement.)

The rest of the ice cave was rendered before my time at 8fish.

When I've considered what has been personally achieved vs. what I believe still needs to be done, the finished work far outweighs my intentions.  That being said, all we should consume are small chunks, until our large portioned goals suddenly disappear one day.

I'm heading to the CTN Animation Expo the 3rd weekend in November so if any of you are going, let me know.  Hopefully I'll have a Thanksgiving comic cover before the big day.

In the meantime, enjoy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

More Illustration from the Ad bin

Hello fellow artists that are hopefully working this time of year:

I wanted to keep in touch by creating a quick post of my latest exploitations.  One of which is of the beer industry.  Ahh advertising. . . thou art a drunken-hearted, chilled painting. . .

The surrounding environment was done before me, but I bought and painted beer for the first time and got carded.  (I think she was just flattering me, but the bald spot should have covered the bill.)  These two cold ones will be appearing at a Maverik mural near you, hopefully by Thanksgiving.

On a side note, I'm prepping for the CTN Animation Expo happening in Burbank this November.  That being said, we have in-house assignments that are designed to remind us of what we try to achieve, culture-wise, here at the 8fish.  This week being my 2nd week, my theme was "Always Offer to Help".

We only have a limited time to create these as the company foots the bill when we work on them.  This was what I came up with in an hour and a half.  Being in the animated mood, the worm, (because we're 8FISH), is representational of the work load we carry.  It's a reminder to offer help to your coworkers so everyone gets home at a good time.

In the meantime I'm looking for a good comiccover that is indicative of the Thanksgiving spirit.  If any of you have any suggestions, my blog door is always open.  :)