Saturday, 23 March 2013

Sea Monster Reference

After doing concept sketches for the Loch Dreagan game for a little while now, today I dove into the Google Image search. What relationship should the sea monsters have to eels, dragons, dinosaurs, snakes, reptiles, crabs and a slew of fantasy monsters of all shapes and sizes. To help answer this and to inject some new ideas and thinking, here are a suite of sea monster/dragon images that are quite inspirational even though most are higher up on a seriousness scale.

[Reference images from all over the net of Sea Monsters and Dragons]

Friday, 22 March 2013

Dance and a Junkpile

Yesterday I was treated with being able to watch 2 sessions/classes at the Isobel Anderson Awards. The event brings dancers at various stages of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) classical ballet curriculum together to show their stuff. The format takes students at the same grade, the classes I saw were for those that had passed their Intermediate Foundation exams. What was remarkable was how the girls (and a few boys) could learn on the fly in class new routine after routine. The teacher/instructor would just build a short dance on the fly molding it to the music and adding variations to relatively set moves all of which had French names of course. I was just in awe of how the dancers could pick up, remember and then perform with gret skill and class in such a tiny space of time --- insert stunned expression here ---
The finals are on Sunday where they also perform a rehearsed routine (Good luck Alicia and Morena from the Dance Spot for then, but big congrats to all the performers, I am still amazed)


After posting yesterday on the zany complexity of Mattias Adolfsson's Sketches, it seems super relevant to post this image that Grant Imahara took on vacation of perhaps the grooviest junkpile in existence (ok salvage yard).

[Salvage yard photo by Grant Imahara via Twitter]

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Mattias Adolfsson sketchbook complexity

When my April ImagineFX showed up (always a nice moment), one of the standout things was the regular Sketchbook section which this time featured the stupendous work of Mattias Adolfsson. His work takes humble sketch books and unleashes a glorious array of pipes, dials and other details that defy what any regular notebook page was ever meant to contain. His site and blog feature plenty of work that I love because of the joyous complexity on display. I love a clump of work like his Autumn Drawings or this sketchbook vid wonderful stuff.

[Mattias Adolfsson artworks via his blog]

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Amazing Spider-Man

Finally got to see the Amazing Spider-Man (on Blu-Ray) and it was a real treat. There was a beautiful balance of comedy and the serious heroics/message. Some of the sequences were pure joy to behold, the fun the film makers had really shined through - when Peter wakes up with his new strength is perhaps my favourite scene in this respect.

The graphics, CG and compositing work is exceptional, read the article in CG Society for lots of detail. It is still remarkable to me how seamlessly complex the digital work is on films of this calibre. We are treated to whole shots where digital characters, environments and cameras are flailing around and giving us a remarkable view of these imagined characters.

With a comic realisation there is always a good chance of some groovy concept art. Here are a few source sites and examples: Ed Natividad on ConceptArtWorld ; Aaron Sims, Eddie Yang and George Hull on ScreenRant and Josh Nizzi on ConceptArtWorld.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Lochy Training Sketches

I did a handful of doodles during training today (dont worry, was still one of the most active participants in the room). The two on the right were the Loch Monsters that found their way onto the pages and the bigger pic was what appeared during dinner. I am hooked on this Loch Dreagan concept and I am keen to find even more time for it.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Shaun Tan Artistry

Had the pleasure of reading my first set of the lovingly gorgeous picture books by Australian artist/writer Shaun Tan. I got to read Eric, The Red Tree and The Lost Thing (my favourite) and loved them all. The artwork is a wonderful blend of detailed complex elements while somehow presenting a single almost isolated view of something in each dramatic frame. The paintwork, colour, texture and composition are a treat at every page turn. The quirky tales and elements have a very Studio Ghibli feel to them for me.

Here are a few images from his site from the books, if you can find them or someone who can lend them to you - you should! Check the interview on for more insights.

[Shaun Tan picture book images via]

Plus, so nifty is The Lost Thing, that Andrew Ruhemann and Shaun Tan directed the little fable into a 15 minute Acadamy Award Winning short film, see the details on including the trailer, gallery and character sketches.