Friday, March 17, 2017

The Clouds of El Nino 2017 - Burbank

Every 15 to 20 years a weather pattern emerges in the Pacific Ocean that brings heavy rainstorms to California. In the old days the Spanish called it "El Nino" because it was noticed around Christmas time when the rainy season gets in gear. Following many years of drought conditions we got hit with quite a few hefty storms one after the other the past few months. The building I'm in is the highest point in central Burbank and after the storms passed through sometimes I'd go to the roof and get a few shots of the cloud formations. Now that El Nino season is wrapping up here's a few photos to remember it by,,.

Looking to the west...

Looking to the northwest...

Views to the north...

Looking to the east...

March sunset through the church steeple...

Thankful for the rain!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

This week's art

Good thing I started having sessions online. Things are never too busy for me to create. I have more opportunity to focus. The onsite classes in Burbank tend to be more demanding of my time in other ways. Still had a chance to create.

I started a new approach by which I'm having online students art direct what I'm doing. After I review their work I do a demo and they help to hone in on a subject and mood of the composition and other things. Then I go from there for the time we have left. These are works in progress and will have another pass in upcoming sessions. Everything was done in Photoshop with the head turn as the exception.


Tuesday in the Burbank class...




Enjoyed myself and we learned something too.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Phone photos of LA and Hollywood - Dec 8 2016

Sometimes I find myself in unique locations. Last year in December I was at the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. This is a very special place. Presidents stay there when in town. As fortune would have it I wound up on the top floor of the hotel. Around 32 floors high. There's a revolving restaurant at this level that offers great panoramic views of the city. I took a few phone photos while I had the chance and would like to feature them here.

This is the view from the Bonaventure's revolving restaurant. Takes around an hour for the floor to make a complete rotation.

Here's what downtown LA looks like from there...

This is the tallest building in Los Angeles...

Here's what the street looks like at its base...

 This is the view towards Hollywood...

Here's a zoomed in shot of Hollywood. You can make out the sign on the hill. The light colored structure towards the right of the sign is the Griffith Observatory. On the other side of the hill is the city of Burbank.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Latest demos from online sessions

In what turned out to be an extraordinarily busy week I found an opportunity to churn out 2 demonstrations while I worked with online students. The first is a drawing of an incidental  character I came up with when first developing Crash Bandicoot way back in 1995 during the Willy the Wombat days. I did this very quickly in a matter of a few minutes in Photoshop as time was running out during the session.

The second one below was started during the class and I found time to continue working on it this evening. What began as a very basic and simple approach to coloring turned out to get more involved than I originally planned but it was fun none the less. My student asked for something kind of dark and grim and menacing so I fell upon a werewolf type of character. It's been a while since I came up with one. Enjoyed myself after the madness of this past week. Gets crazy sometimes but it's all good and everyone's happy it seems.

Edit: This is how far I was by the end the online session...

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Latest Demo Sketches

Often when I work with students I spend  much of my time going over their art or explaining methods they can use to make further progress with what they're doing. Then I find a window usually by request to create some demo art and such was the case today. The blue line sketches are from my Character Design 1 class at an onsite session in Burbank showcasing ways to come up with effective concepts utilizing very basic shapes. The color sketch was created in Photoshop very quickly for an online session. I had fun coming up with an alternative version of Shrek.    

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Universal Studios Hollywood on New Years Day 2017

Hello there !! A belated Happy  New Year to everyone! Hope all is well with you. Sorry for the long delay in posting and also in responding to recent comments. I've been going in so many directions it's been crazy. Good but crazy. Let me catch up by posting a couple of photos that Crash and Spyro fans in particular fans might appreciate as well as movie fans in general. 

This past New Years Day I was at the top floor of the Sheraton Hotel on the Universal Studios lot and shot these photos. The one below is the main high rise office tower at the studio. It was on the top floor of this building that Naughty Dog was located in the late 1990s. I worked on Crash 3 and maybe part of Crash 2 there. Not sure but I know I was there for Crash 3. Top floor corner conference room on the other side of the building. This is the view towards the west with the San Fernando Valley in the distance.

Here's the view looking north. That's the main Universal lot at the bottom of the photo with Burbank California spreading out along the foothills. Gives you an idea of the panorama I enjoyed when I was working there. The long white building at center left is where Naughty Dog was for Crash 2 and also Insomniac's offices were there as well. Both on the upper floors. That's where Spyro was born. The spotty debris at the top of the photo is from the window.

I'll be following up soon with more art to feature. Thank you for checking in. Wishing you well in all you do!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas 2016

Spent a special Christmas Eve doing what I enjoy most and that's kickin' back and creating art. This started as a quick sketch demo for an online student a few days ago. Thought I'd put something together for the many Crash Bandicoot fans who frequent my blog. A little something from me to you. 

Merry Christmas !!!

God bless and may all your dreams come true !!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Spyro's First Flight

I had a lot of fun doing this. It started as a quick sketch concept demonstration for a Visual Development student that I teach online. With each progressive session I worked on it a little more refining the composition and if I had extra time on my own I'd work on it some more.

Here's the final art as I imagine this being Spyro the Dragon's first flight through the air as a youngster. A confident little tyke from the start. It's my Christmas present to all the devoted Spyro fans out there who love the character and who frequent my blog. Merry Christmas! Wishing everyone joy and happiness and creativity with all you do in life. May you soar to new heights in the New Year!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Elf Head color demo

I've got a pretty good crop of online students now as 2016 marks the year that I started teaching this way. In addition to my on site classes in Burbank that is. This approach has given me an opportunity to work with individual students and spend a little more time doing demonstrations in Photoshop. Here's what I came up with last week. I took a blue pencil drawing which was a demo from a couple of years ago and manipulated it digitally to change the line color to black and used that as a base for rendering simple color and gray tone. I used tints and then built up a more opaque application on areas such as the cheek, nose, forehead and the tip of the ear.  The original drawing follows the digital version below.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Another Conan the Barbarian

Here's another version of Conan following the preceding post. This time I took a more graphic approach. Away from realism and into the realm of iconic design. 

Conan the Barbarian was a very popular comic published by Marvel from 1970 to 1993. The series was created by Robert E Howard in 1932.