Monday, April 29, 2013

Band of Angels

I had one more page to fill in the book I'm coming up with and wanted to continue with an angel theme consistent with what I posted a few days ago on April 25. So I doodled a few concepts in black line of  a group of angels playing assorted musical instruments. I took five of these sketches and placed them within a single composition. Here's how it turned out...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Crash Bandicoot - Origin of Dingodile - Part 5

These are the last entries in the creation of Dingodile from Crash 3. They're dated February 12 1998. I was not provided with quality copies of this body of work by Naughty Dog and only have photocopies of the original images. In one instance I didn't get the entire composition. What I do have I'm showing here in black and white although the rendering was done with blue pencil along with black line. Color versions of the originals are online and you can see them through an image search of Dingodile.

The flame thrower was added after ND wanted him to be a fire breathing character. I suggested giving him a device to do this as it would make him much more interesting. This is as far as I went with the character. I'm happy he turned out well and that Dingodile has an enthusiastic following among Crash fans.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Rugged and different - Color process

I came up with this composition in class earlier in the month at the same time of the entry entitled Man in Black and Blue posted on April 5. At the time I wasn't that enthusiastic about it. Later I thought that some color would spruce it up and make it more interesting. This is where I took it after having fun in Photoshop.

Let's go back in time and you can see how the final image progressed. Through a series of color tints I was able to create an unusual and much more compelling result from the initial black line image. When I color an image one of the things I keep in mind is that at just about any time during the process I can stop what I'm doing and the work will still have a feeling of completeness... 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Angels are cool

They can be hip if you draw them that way. I was looking for a stronger and more interesting composition to replace a page in the book I'm getting together. I had this idea which was consistent with the theme I had in mind as it would match up better with the text. I sketched this out in black last this evening in class while drawings with students.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Jak and Daxter - The Design Breakthrough

I recall in 2000 when I was developing "Project Y" which was eventually named "Jak and Daxter" there were periods where I was having difficulty in understanding the direction I was getting. It wasn't articulated well and also since I was working outside of Naughty Dog's studio without immediate contact as one would have in a face to face situation it was a challenge figuring out what they were talking about. Eventually things would fall into place and I'd be able to move on from there.

Such was the case with this example which was perhaps the biggest design breakthrough I had while on the project. I was approaching the characters as if they were going to be modeled for the original PlayStation console which required a limit of 500 polygons per character. With PlayStation 2 those parameters increased to 10,000 polygons per character. A 20 fold jump in dimensional depth of field. When I realized what this advanced system was about I was able to modify my approach by extruding more thickness and girth from the subjects I was creating. I could really get in there and sculpt each character.

This was the very beginning of designing for a full 3D aspect in video game production. You can see the difference in these drawings. The first is flat and fairly graphic without much thickness being shown in the  simple design elements. Compare that to the follow up drawing I did that adjusted for the new approach. This was the breakthrough. I use these examples in effectively teaching my students how to make the jump to designing for CG animation.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sometimes I feel like this

I think I did this about two years ago while teaching at Cal State University Northridge. I wasn't very fond of the drawing back then but it's grown on me since. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Crash for Cash Ebay - Worthing Boys' Club - UK

Check this out folks! There's an Ebay auction in progress on some Crash Bandicoot art from yours truly! It's for the benefit of the Worthing Boys' Club in the UK! Matt who is active on my blog has arranged it.

The Worthing Boys' Club was formed in 1936 and is a long standing Registered Charity. It's purpose os to cater to the mental, physiocal and spiritual development of young men of 8 to 18 years of age. The Worthing Boys' Club operates 3 nights a week and on school holidays. They rely entirely on donations to keep things going. 

You can contribute to this fine institution by bidding for a rare Crash Bandicoot item. It's a color print of a picture of Crash I drew in 1999 for the child of a close friend. I have since used copies of the work to give to special fans. Believe me guys, there are not very many of these out and about at all. A signed picture of Crash from my hand is quite rare and a genuine collector's item considering that someday I'll be dead and you know what happens to art then!

Also your participation in the Worthing Boys' Club Ebay auction will help to establish a value to Crash art. Right now the signed print is at a whopping 5.50 British pounds. Around $8.37 US. Such a deal! Started out at .99 so we're making progress! 

There's only three days and 12 hours left to the auction as of this writing so hurry and place a bid if you're so inclined.

Here's a photo below of the signed print and also the link to the Ebay auction.

On behalf of the Worthing Boys Club many kind thanks and best wishes to all!

Friday, April 19, 2013

More Skulls

These drawings are a continuation of the direction I was heading with the entry from a week ago last April 12. Having fun with skull doodles in black line during class. Also spent a little time adding some color tints and shadow to liven them up so to speak.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dino doodles

Last evening in class I was working with advanced students in a different way. I was encouraging them to use a free form sketch technique when they draw. Free form sketching involves the use of a permanent medium such as black line or ball point pen or marker. You take away the option of erasing and are therefore committed to the image you create. It's a little clumsy and intimidating at first but after a while you get the hang of it. The difference this approach makes in developing an artist's confidence is significant.

I came up with these sketches while participating with my students. I've set them up as layouts for a booklet I'm putting together on this subject. The line in the center of each spread is where the pages will fold. The drawings are presented in the sequence they were created for the most part. This was fun and I enjoyed myself. We all had a good time plus I appreciated the practice.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Crash Bandicoot - Origin of Dingodile - Part 4

Continuing with the creation of everyone's favorite flame throwing half dingo half crocodile from Crash Bandicoot 3. These drawings are dated February 4 1998. Compared to the last entries on April 10 you can see a difference in how the feet of the character are formed. At this point we're just about at the final design. You can also see how I explored the look of Dingodile's head in various positions. These are black and white photocopies of the original drawings. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bird of a feather

This evening towards the end of the Character Design class I had an opportunity to sketch out a quick concept that came to mind. I was originally thinking of something different but a few changes to essential design elements gave rise to what's shown here. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dream image - class demo 2004

Sometimes I'm asked which of my many class demonstrations were the hardest or most challenging to complete. I answer without hesitation this one that you see here. Here's the story...

It was 2004 and at the time my school was located in a large two story building just down the street from Warner Bros Studio in Burbank. Next door to me was a night club / bar that I was almost always having confrontations with.

I saw an image in a dream that morning and tried to paint it in class. Because of the activity going on outside I was constantly distracted and called away from class. I tried to complete the demo but messed it up. So I turned the paper over and tried again on the back with only 20 minutes left to the session. I drew the composition in black line and painted it in watercolor straight away. To my surprise and to the astonishment of my students I came up with a work that was actually pretty darn good.

Whenever I see it I recall the dream and also how pressured I was to complete this. What was at the time a troubled night turned out to be a happy and successful accomplishment after all.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spyro love - Part 1

I'm organizing content for a series of small books I'll be publishing. The process is providing me the opportunity to go through my old portfolio and assess a wide array of art I've created in the past. These are among the images I found of special interest. It's hard to believe but at one point in the early development of the project this is what the character that became Spyro the Dragon looked like. 

Friday, April 12, 2013


I'm working on a small book which I plan on printing next week. It'll be my second book but the first to be published using an ashcan format which is an industry term for a booklets that are popular with artists in the animation biz.I intend on producing a few of these in the days ahead. Meanwhile one of the page spreads of the one I'm currently working on has a theme that is related to skulls. I don't have enough skull sketches to fill up the space so I created these last evening in class for inclusion. Drawn with ball point and black line pens. A step closer to taking this to print.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


What would Crash Bandicoot look like if he were to morph with He-Man? 

Follow this link to the Bring Back Bandicoot Petition

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Crash Bandicoot - Origin of Dingodile - Part 3

Continuing with development art from the creation of Dingodile. These drawings are dated February 4 1998 while Crash 3 was under way. I wasn't provided with decent duplicates of the drawings I did for Naughty Dog. These are xeroxed copies I made when I created the images at their studio. In some of them parts of the composition are missing in the tail area. Good thing I made these copies as we're able to see the process of how he came about. Previous entry was last week on April 2.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Red pencil doodles

These sketches came about from working with beginning students last evening to help them overcome specific problems they were having with the advancement of their initial assignments in Character Design. The images came about as a result of making dimensional sense out of what they were doing plus I created some design solutions of my own to enhance appeal. I use red pencil to bring attention to issues with their art.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Teddy Bear-able color

I was going through files and organizing artwork when I rediscovered this demo from a couple years ago in 2011 while I was teaching at Cal State University Northridge here in the northern Los Angeles area. This was done entirely in Photoshop on a Cintiq tablet which is a monitor that you can draw on. The first image is the final version. Prior to the color tints I set up the composition in gray scale and then of course there's the original line drawing that defined the subject. It was created while the class watched the process projected on a large screen. This was fun to work on. CSUN students create a good environment.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Drawing with kids

This evening a close friend invited me over for a visit and asked if I would draw for the kids that were hanging out. I gave them some tips on how to draw and asked them what they wanted to see. These are some of the sketches I created per request. A good time was had by all.


Saturday, April 06, 2013

Hurricane girls - 1994

In the mid 1990s I was working a lot at DIC. They were an animation studio that produced cartoons for TV.  I had quite a few gigs there and at one time in 1994 I was designing for a series called "The Hurricanes". It was about a soccer / football team. It was not very challenging as the series was already designed so I had to adapt to what was established as best as I could. One episode involved a woman's team they had to play against I think. These are some concept sketches I created for that episode. The last design is their business manager.


Friday, April 05, 2013

Man in black and blue

The evening before was the occasion of this drawing in class created in black line and marker. I doodled the composition in the company of my students. Later after I scanned it I used Photoshop to add color and tone and some design elements to the face. Here it is from the final illustration going back to the original composition.

Last night I continued working on the drawing and used good ol' Col-erase blue pencil to finish the original art with analog tonal renderingl. Best of both worlds...