Monday, May 29, 2006
This was a 4 pager story I did for Disney Adventures magazine a while back. It was a comic that was to tie into the "Mulan 2" traves- uh--film--that was about to come out. I had worked on the original animating Mushu (as if you didn't know already, everyone says I won't shut up about it...) but this was the only thing I even remotely had to do with the sequel. The editor at Disney Adv. mag got me because he said he had a MUSHU comic for me. He hooked me good. When I saw the script, I found that Mushu's not in it much. By then it was too late, I had committed. In the feature, I only drew Mushu. This had everyone else but ShanYu in it, but I kinda enjoyed drawing all of these other characters that I never got the chance to draw all those years ago. Shang was a little tough, though. So, a quick turnaround later, this was the original pencils for the book. I hope they are in order above. I drew two pages per sheet of stock comic book art paper. Disney Adv. mag is so small, that is still bigger than it will be when published. I learned that after doing a few of these comics for them over the years. One of the inkers finally told me, "Hey, can you do them two per sheet, it makes it go quicker for me.". I think I sold these originals at the San Diego con a couple years ago.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Gotta get out of here but I wanted to put up a new Celeb Sketchbook image. This one is probably, honestly, one of the LEAST impressive drawings and probably one of the MOST at the same time! It's a sketch by FRANK FRAZETTA!
Long story short, during the earlier days of the Orlando MegaCon we, Disney Animation, started a nice relationship with them. The deal was that we would give exclusive tours of our animation department to guests of the comic con if those guest, in return, would do a Q and A with the artists at a lunchtime panel in our studio. AND me being one of the biggest comic book nerds in the studio I ended up MCing the panel discussions. I kinda loved that. Because of that, I met and became friends with many comic book professionals. Some of which, I still stay in contact with. (Like animators, they tend to be really nice folks. Though sometimes a little rough around the edges- like Tod McFarland.) Like I said, it was a sweet deal and the comic guys loved it too. Most of them were big Disney fans and in the beginning of our annual "program" we really gave them good tours.
This drawing came from the all time BEST year our our 'relationship' with Megacon. That was probably the second-ish year it was around and they had an incredible guest list. AND a lot of the artist that came and did the tour the year before must have told all their artist friends how cool it was. What ended up happening was that we had John Romita SR, Todd McFarlind, William Stout, J. Scott Campebell, a bunch of Image people, and way more that I can't remember! It was awesome! Then, without anyone knowing it, in walks Frank Frazzeta! You just don't see this guy often. He and the whole group were being toured by me so I ended up back at my office (of course) and showed them some of the experimental animation I was doing on the just being developed "Mushu". During the tour Frazzeta's "handler" would tell everyone as they came up that he MIGHT give an autograph but no sketches! I was giving the tour but thinking the whole time how was I gonna get a sketch! I would have been fine with an autotgraph, but I came up a plan. It was risky but once I saw that he was into seeing some of my animation and such, I quickly asked him to sign my sketchbook and handed him it and a drawing pencil. "Sign your sketchbook?" You don't sign sketchbooks..", he said. He got it right away. Then he asked for a thicker pencil. He said he hated drawing with thin pencils. (It wasn't that thin, it was probably a 4B pencil, but he liked huge pencils.) I grabbed him one quick and he did the drawing you see above. His "handler" said that he never does that and I better hang on to it. Like I woundn't. He ended up having a pretty massive stroke a couple weeks later. I heared he stopped drawing and painting after that. This may be one of his last sketches.
Because of all that, it's probably my most treasured drawing.
Sorry about the bad writting and mispelled things like Frazzeta and McFarland, I know they're wrong, I'm just trying to get this story out quick!
Friday, May 19, 2006
Local artist (to me, anyway) Mike Meredith has offered to color a couple things of mine in the past. He was nice enough to take the Daredevil drawing a couple blogs back and color it using Illustrator. He said he did most of the work in under an hour. (Gotta learn this program!) He also said this isn't complete in his mind, but he just really couldn't put much more time into it. (Man, I don't rate 1 and a half hours?) Anyway, I think it's looking good and thought you all might want to see it. I'll do another Celeb sketchbook next. I got some good ones coming...
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
I had a great idea the other day. I can't post that much these days because alot of the work we are doing is keeping us busy with stuff we can't talk about or show....so I gotta get creative keeping up with this blog at times. I was thinking about a Glen Keane story I'd like to share soon and a drawing he did in my personal sketchbook that goes with it (coming soon), then I realized that I may want to post a few of the drawings in the sketchbook. This is one of those black sketchbooks that people take around to cons and get artists they are fans of to sketch in them. I never did this until one year I was going to Calif. for a work trip with Disney. I realized I was going to be seeing some of the best artists in the world, why am I not "documenting" this visually. I don't like taking pictures with artists I'm a fan of, but a sketch from them is so much more memorable to me- and something I would treasure forever. So, I got the sketchpad. Turns out, the next couple years I met alot of famous artists between the comic cons, working at Disney, and becoming a member of the National Cartoonist Society. The sketchbook is about 5-8 years old now and not quite full, maybe 20 more pages left. I forget about it for a year or so, then meet someone and dust it off for a sketch. BUT it has sketches from some of the best animators, comic book artists, and comic strip cartoonists in the world! It took a long time and a lot of guts to ask some of the more intimidating ones, but it's a treasure I'll never part with! So, from time to time I will post a sketch and a story of meeting someone that I am a fan of. I think you all will like it to. First up: John Lassiter!
I just read this great article that was in Fortune interviewing John. He has such a great personality and warmth about him. Here's a great comment he made at the end of the article:
" Let me tell you a funny story. I took the family to see this film one weekend - I'll go to see almost any film that's good for the whole family. And so we're sitting there watching this film, which I won't name, and there are long stretches that are just not very entertaining. My little son - he was probably 6 at the time - was sitting next to me, and right in the middle of this dull section, he turns to me and says, "Dad? How many letters are in my name?"
I must have laughed for five minutes. I thought, Oh, man, this movie has lost this little boy. His mind has been wandering, trying to figure out how many letters there are in his name. So I told my wife, Nancy, what he said, and she started laughing, and then the story went down the row through my whole family, our four other sons, and we're sitting there as a family giggling and laughing.
And I thought to myself, If ever a child anywhere in the world leans over to their daddy during one of my movies and asks, "How many letters are in my name?" I'll quit."
I've been fortunate to meet him a few times during my career at Disney. On one of those times, I got the nerve to ask him for at sketch. Most people don't think of John as an artist, but he went to CalArts (same as me) and was in cleanup at Disney way back when. He was standing in the hallway just outside my office when we small talked and he sketched the above drawing. I think we were taking about CalArts and working on student films there for some reason, because he sketches his character from his student film (on the right) and the ant (can't remember his name now) from "A Bugs Life", which was just about to come out when he did this. (I think he was at Florida Disney doing a press junket for that film, if I remember right.) Not one of the best drawings in the Celeb Sketchbook, but he's one of the nicest guys to put it in there!
Monday, May 15, 2006
These are sketches from a meeting we went to last week. Rob was doing the "presenting", so I was doodling. I don't know about you, but when I sketch on a page I do two things: 1) I have to fill it up. If I have a big drawing that I start with (in this case it was the girl), then I will start figuring out shapes that will fit in around it and 2) if the first sketch doesn't turn out the way I like it, I stop doodling. Sad to say, but I've finally 'awoken' to this fact. I'm not a great doodler anyway, I just don't have a love for it. I love to draw, but I have to have a reason. That's also sad, but I think it's because I like perimeters. I like to have a goal, say, of drawing a funny dog. With that "assignment" in my head, I can draw a bunch of different funny dogs, but without it my pencil just lazily slides around the paper without motivation. Rob, and other people I know are just the opposite. They can doodle cool little drawing and characters without even knowing where they are going. Rarely, I will do that and I will have something I like on the other end. Now you know my problems. Sharing is fun.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
I don't know if I posted this or not....I hope not. I have to bring in some CD's I have at home for some fresh, new old stuff! That's coming soon, get excited! New to you hopefully. This sailor lineup of characters is a drawing I created for my character design book that I will NOT start "selling" in this blog. I'm being good. Anyway, the story behind it is that this is is based on an assignment that our character design teacher (the great Mike Giamo) gave us when I was at CalArts. The goal was to design 5 characters that all had very different shapes and sizes (and personalities hopefully) but were all wearing the same costume or uniform. For that assignment, I designed cowboys (and a cowgirl, naturally) but since I had a "cowboy" theme already running through my book (buy it at AMAZ--oops, I caught myself!) already, I changed this image to sailors. I remember someone in the class did a good one with sailors so that stuck in my head. My brother did "chefs", I recall. You can do it with almost any job that they wear an outfit that is similar , but it works best when they are all wearing identical outfits. Five different construction workers doesn't work as well, because they would all wear different shirts, pants, belts, hats or no hats. You get it. I think it's more of a challenge to have the exact same elements to the unform, so you can really play up HOW they wear it as different. Like the scarf around these sailor's necks. Anyway, hope this is new to some of you!
BTW, yes, the guy on the right is a version of Rob, but he isn't as short as I would have made him normally. I had a short guy already drawn, so I just stretched Rob so I'd have more variety.
Monday, May 08, 2006
This is another oldie, but I still kinda like it. I really like the characters with the simple, iconic costumes and Daredevil is one of the tops of that list! (Marvel side anyway.) I'm a big fan of the old Gil Kane Daredevil covers, some of his best work in my mind. This was originally done in with some red pencils, so some stuff showed up better than this B&W version. Maybe one day I'll do this up in Illustrator (making a few "updates here and there) and color it up! Probabably not, but woud'nt that be cool? Any extra drawing time goes to new stuff, not going backward, so it's pretty doubtful it will ever happen.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
This was a quickie "freebie" t-shirt design for our church youth group for this summer. They wanted 'cool' and all that. Why did they come to us then? We're pushing 40! Anyway, they threw us these words that were important to them and said "go for it". Rob came up with the rough sketch of the characters and then I did up the final. We tweaked it some more past this point (above) but I don't have that one. Trust me, anything you don't like here got fixed and improved! Oh, and I KNOW this could have been done easier in Illustrator! Thanks Heath, I knew you'd mention it. I gotta learn that thing, I know, Iknow.....
Monday, May 01, 2006
This was an unused cover for what was going to be the second book in a series for Naomi Judd's "Gertie the Goldfish" children's book. We illustrated the first book and designed the characters. They wanted "Disney style" so that's what we gave them. (What's that hiding between that line? Do you see something?) Anyway, they asked us to do up some sketches for the second books cover and then once they picked one (Rob did some, I did some) we were asked to do up a final cover image for their catalogs and websites. We did. A couple rough versions I did are above and the one they picked was inked by Rob and colored by our colorist of choice, Jon Conkling. Again, they like that airbrushy look so that's what they got. After we finished it all, they told us the book was canceled. It happens. ( I said "it".)