Friday, December 30, 2016

rowland emmett at OSC

The Ontario Science centre is putting it's collection of Rowland Emmett whimsical kinetic sculptures on display over the Christmas season, as they do each year. If you are not aware of Emmett and his work, or
haven't seen these, they are astounding - no digital enhancement, no computers, just mechanical creativity in action before your very eyes. So to make this a more special event, i am going to lead a RefSketch outing to go see - and DRAW -  them. Anyone welcome! see the info attached:

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What the hell? For the last six months , i couldn't seem to get onto my own blog. That plus the intrusion of other social media - Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, the various forums that I contribting to by way of my online teaching - it has all drawn me away from this site.  Meant a long hiatus. Imagine my pleasure and frustration when i tried today and find that I am able to post. All this stopping and starting isn't good in the long run, at least  given the purpose of the blog, which is to attract attention for possible employment, visibility within the artistic community,but seems to be a pattern for me; hot and cold. So, a bit deflated, but hope springs eternal, so will attempt another round of blogging. Plenty to talk about since the the last one.

Contributed to my first ever Kickstarter campaign, for a book on Ken Dallison, Toronto illustrator extraordinaire, at least to those of us in the field in the 70s and 80s - being put together by Leif peng, of Today's Inspiration Press.

April has come and gone, but here is a memeory, afavourite illustration i have had ov er th edesk for years, comes in and out of the drawer depending on the season.

Even before that, we had March - this was a quick cartoon for thte middle of the month:

Meant to post this somewhere after I did some more time out at Sheridan - i always love the take the students do on us  - Thanks, Jade!

And this is the biggest thing for me in the last year - attempting to launch something that will go beyond the regular workaday - a series of workshops designed to help people with their drawing and appreciation of research and reference, which i am always going on about - we have done four events so far since February, very successful artistically if not financially - drawing at the ROM, at Kaj Pindals' backyard and at the Tall Ship festival at Harbourfront in July. Will be posting more on this soon. Follow on Facebook at:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

2D motion test

A quick motion test, done using Photoshop: a simple sketch, applied transformation tool and added a short panning move. Very simply done, but gives surprising good sense of 3D...looks like one of those helicopter shots.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

end of summer

An image that was not done recently but captures the feeling of the approach of the end of the sailing season....

Monday, April 27, 2015

More 2D Camera Movement

Here's a better one..

here I imagine a young person , full of spit and vinegar, wanting to do something amazing, and actually pulling it off.  Yes, very clever very perceptive, also technically savvy. Well.

Samurai Jack vs the Shinobi Shadow Warrior

experiment to see how easy it is to post form Youtube...

example of camera moves brought into class...

sure holds up..hard to believe this is already 20 yrs old.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Once and Future Perspective

I get al ot of comments from students that they feel bad for "not getting perspective".
Well, i get you, although i will say,  it seems to be more self-flagellation, as though you will receive a benediction for it:

Student: "Oh I'm no good at it ".." I can't do perspective...", "...I just want to be a character designer..." 
Instructor: "Well, that's OK, I 'll give you a pass, you don't really have to work very hard at anything, the world will give everything for nothing anyway, why don'y you just go  and draw the same characters over and over instead."
Student: (relieved): "whew, thanks, world, that's a load off my mind!"

Seems as though saying it excuses them from doing it. Or,  after saying it,  they expect to then be touched with a magic wand and be suddenly good at it.

Nothing i can do when you say that, except I don't buy it.

Anyone can be good at anything, they just have to do the work.

Yes, perspective is one of those things that defeats many. Don’t know why, but it is partly that we no longer live in a world where being able to draw perspective was the norm.

Or a world where being able to play the piano was the norm.

Or being able to fix your own car was the norm.

it isn't considered a fundamental of art training and stopped being taught as such.
stopped being considered a staple of art training

In commercial art of the first part of the twentieth century, traditional art study was still in effect in most places.This meant perspective, academic drawing, painting, anatomical study,etc.

Then attitudes changed.

so many - world war two, modern art, a faster planet, technology.

Solidly structured art was supplanted by more interpretive approaches.
Photography took on a greater role - as the final image in advertising and journalism (see today’s illustration vs that of the 30s 40s or 50s)

and therefore the artists and teachers in place now, except for a few, don't really know the basics.

It just isn’t “in the air” any more.. plus the digital revolution that lets the computer now do it.

During the heyday of the career - Nelvana, Bluth, Disney, Pixar etc. - I never really had any discussions about perspective with my peers - that is, the other journeyman level layout artists that I worked with. It was plain they could all pretty much draw the stuff, but we never , at least not often, got into any long form theoretical discussion of horizons, VPs, etc. One would just do a quick sketch of your intentions and make sure that the story points or whatever were clear. It was kind of a given.
 I had never done very much theory of it, i just drew what seems right and it came out.

Where did they/I get it from?

And yet, there is more traditional art instruction available today than ever before.

This thinking may be a bit old fashioned..but I am a traditionalist, and I think it’s great to know this stuff.

And - when the Singularity occurs, the machines don’t let us use our computers to do perspective; we’ll be forced to rely on the old ways…then the perspective heroes will rise!