Sunday, March 1, 2015

Post for March

From a discussion last week in my on line class for AAU  - re aspect ratios for layout and the general topic of how badly things used to get cut off on TV in the old days, thanks to pan and scan, or lack of it!

i absolutely remember watching movies on TV in the early 70s( when i first began to really "watch" them,) 
staying up late, pleading with my mother to let me watch "Fall of the Roman Empire" or some such and it was still thrilling, but seeing Alec Guiness cut off on one side of the screen and Steven Boyd ditto on the other, and feeling there was something going on, but not sure what.. oh well,  you just went with it.. all in black and white too, as we  didn't have a colour set yet!

Resulted in this quick sketch to make the point!


Saturday, February 21, 2015


I am getting alot of questions these days on the specifics of drawing...what did I do to gain my drawing "chops"?

" How can I figure out a way to generate thumbnails efficiently?"

" Do you have any practical advice when it comes to thumbnail sketching in general, like how to quickly generate the idea, not to stay too long on a single thumbnail, or finding a good way to quickly generate detail?"

What was your education, and how did you come to do layout/storyboarding,?"

here are a few disjointed answers:

I drew A LOT.
A cliche answer, but simply true.
One of my pleasures in life was sitting down, putting on some good music and simply drawing away an afternoon.
I stayed in a lot of Saturday afternoons and just drew.

These are some things i drew:

-We had some books in the house, but the book field was not like today. The typical living room of the mid 60s did not have shelves creaking with books, or if they did, it would be the Book-of-the-Month Club variety.

We did have a collection: the Readers Digest Children's Library, illustrated by the likes of Robin Jaques.

We had two of the Time-Life  Libraries: the Science Library and the Nature Library: I wore them out. Not alot of illustration per se, but they had the now famous illustrations of archaeology and paleontology, by the likes of Zdenek Burian and Charles Knight and Jay Matternes. This was balanced by any book on dinosaurs in the public library and the occasional issue of Star Spangled War Stories.

There was a copy of the "history of Earth by H.G.Wells, who I already connected with War of the Worlds. Had some rather disappointing ink line illustrations

I went through a phase of being besotted by engravings and 19th century art, ( might be termed "steampunk" now, but I am thinking of art like Gustave Dore) where forms are created by pen and ink/gravure cross hatching. drew them all.

We had an illustrated edition of the Bible: colour plates of old master paintings. Scared the shit out of me.

I went through a Dennis the Menace phase, acquired a number of paperback collections and simply drew them all.

Mad Magazine

We got life and Look magazine, there was the ad illustration of the time.

Built a lot of  scale model kits, so saw and drew from alot of box art - the art was then done in tradtional media, very inspirational and good to copy from -Leyenwood, in particular. But more importantly, building kits developed the sense of three dimensions - handling, viewing the models increased the solidity of any drawings I did of the planes.

Hunted the paperback racks of the local smoke shops, department stores, so called book stores of which there were two in my home town and could be classed more stationary stores. This yeilded alot of sct fi  and fantasy illustrations, first time i saw Frazetta, McGinnis, 
The Public Library in my home town, one of the Carnegie libraries, all wooden stacks and high ceilings and stone fireplace.

I grew up in a small town, with small town values.

The local art supply store, J. James and Daughters, carried everything, was the only real source i town for art books ( agian, apart from the public library). They had all the Walter Foster books, the old original ones, large format, picked up several during these years.. They might be considered  a bit meh these days, but had some solid tips.

So...How do you get to where I got with my drawing?

Do all the above.

Listen to classical music.
Develop a taste for the old masters, for classical architecture, for things that have been around long enough to stand the test of time.
And draw. And draw. And draw.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sad Blog

For any of you who may been checking in recently, many apologies...the blog has gotten pretty sad these days. Is it possible that blogs have outlived their usefulness, what with FB and Twitter, etc.? You gotta have something burning pretty bright to be seen out there in the cyber-wilderness...

here's a match flaring up; I am doing the Intro to Perspective for CGMA again for their Spring Sememster. This didn't go up here in time for potential sign ups, but the class is full, so once more, it's VPs and horizons and grids, oh my!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

New Post Finally!

Hi everyone,
Many reasons for no posts of late, not that there hasn't been a lot going  on...
But here is a quick announcement  - I am doing the another class for CGMA's new semester, the Intro to Perspective course. This is the third time I have done the course, guess something 's working.
The course consists of some pretty hard core fundamentals - finding basic shapes in more exact ways, that correspond to station point, picture plane, intersecting forms, translation of points, planes and shapes and forms, some using traditional drawing and some using digital 2d techniques...
if you are interested, please sign up!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

blast from the past

While on a search for something else entirely, came across this - imagine my surprise and chagrin to find that I have a place in the Savannah College of Art and Design's art collection, amongst the studio art from Don Bluth, which was all donated to them some time ago. Tons of it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

post TAAFI

TAAFI done for another year: it must be viewed as a success, as I had an actual table and was selling something for the first time ( apart from Ad Astra last year..)

Has been said before, but while exhausting, these things are energy builders. its a curious thing, something that really is very inwards looking, only of interest to a niche crowd, can be a defining experience. Sales were slow, only sold about 5 books, didn't come anywhere close to covering costs, but somehow it doesn't matter. Great to see and talk to so many folks, great to have everyone there to help out the fest.Lots of advice and tips on how to improve the presentation, which I will take to heart. Do more Mary Blair type art, I suppose. Or cheesecake.
Didn't have a chance to go to any panels or screenings, except my own: a half hour demo up in the classroom on the 4th floor, reasonably well attended, and which i felt was successful because i winged it, and made a coherent presentation. then the big masterclass on Sunday afternoon, also reasonably attended considering the late slot in the schedule, but not quite so successful in presentation - ihad prepred way too much material and ended up rushing through it. had to slide throught a couple of points where i wasn't sure of my facts. Well, next time. And will follow up here and elswhere online. Great tech help by the all the crew: Reese, Bianca, Stephanie, Natali, thanks!

Separate shout out to Nick Hendricks, former student, present friend, thanks tons for handling the table while i  took off to drink beer- you are very deserving of your good fortune in life!

Thanks to Ian Heier for the pic;

Friday, June 13, 2014

bound for TAAFI

Well it's all about TAAFI now - won't be a "con table" virgin for much longer... here's the cover of the art book that will be for sale at table D1! Come on by, hope to see many of you there...looks like i will be seeing many of you directly across from me at your own tables!