Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mele Kalikimaka!

Mele Kalikimaka and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! (I'm pretty sure that means "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" in Hawaiian...hopefully)

Here's Lilinoe spreading holiday her own special way.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Meet Lilinoe

I'm taking the Story Development for Animation at the Concept Design Academy this semester, taught by the amazing Tron Mai. We're currently working on boarding an "Intro to Character" sequence. I've decided to adapt some Hawaiian mythology, because it's so full of intriguing gods/goddesses with names that are really hard to say. One goddess in particular, Lilinoe (basically sounds like you're saying Illinois with an extra "L" in front of it), is a bit lesser known. She's the godessess of mist...or more literally translated - "light rain." I really loved the idea of a sort of ineffective god. I mean, light rain, seriously? Gee, thanks Lilinoe, we really needed that in this drought we're having. But she means well, and is trying her best. Maybe with enough practice, she'll be able to make it rain (water...not dollars. This is Hawaii, not Vegas we're talking about people).

Here are some initial character designs that I did for Lilinoe...which are heavily influenced by the lovable Melissa McCarthy.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Miss Scarlet

Here are some gesture drawings that I've done over the past few months. The models always deliver some really dynamic poses...not to mention some awesome old-timey costumes.

The first set is a model who dressed up like a sexy sailor circa the 1930s-ish. The class ran out of black sharpies by the time that I got there, so I used red ones instead. I like the results, it adds a boldness that was a fun surprise.

I couldn't see her right foot in this one (it was behind the box that she was sitting on), but I like to think it looks like she's dipping it into a pool...contemplating a lost love.

These were done with the tried-and-true black sharpies. There's a femme fatale quality to her looks, which just so happens to be one of my favorite subjects to draw. Channeling Barbara Stanwyck big time.

Making herself a little more comfortable.

Looking for her lipstick...or a pistol?

And then to change things up - a dude! This guy was doing a 1920s wrestler thing, complete with handlebar mustache. I approve!

Finally, I posted my storyboard sequence entitled Vulture Counter-Culture a while back. Before I started boarding, I did some sketches of the Andean Condor and King Vulture at the L.A. Zoo for research. Below is a video that I took of the Andean Condor as he expanded his massive 10 ft. wingspan!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Vultures always come back for seconds

Before I dove into storyboaring Vulture Counter-Culture, I did a fair amount of research about these intriguing feathered friends (or frenemies perhaps? Vultures are creepy y'all).

I started at the L.A. Zoo, which features two species of vulture - the Andean Condor and the King Vulture. These two birds might be related, but judging from their appearances alone, they are for sure third cousins several times removed (disclaimer - I am not a biologist).

The Andean Condor is gigantic as far as birds go. Their wingspan is ten feet, which is quite a sight to behold when they open them up all the way...Michael Keaton as Batman status.

I was fortunate/unfortunate enough to catch the King Vulture right as she was feeding. So that means I watched a vulture eat a dead rabbit. After initially being severely grossed out, I got over it and started drawing. In the end, I'm that glad I caught's what vultures do best after all.

The main vulture characters in Vulture Counter-Culture, however, were not destined to be Andean Condors (too big) or even King Vultures (they have a turkey-flappy-thing on their beaks that just wasn't right). But thanks to the world wide web, I was able to scour some invaluable information and images to help narrow it down.

I settled on the White Rumped Vulture of Africa for Noir, the story's villain. With their bald heads, sharp beaks and black feathers, they look like the most typical vulture...which was perfect for the by-the-book Noir.

When it came to "cast" Violette, the sweet and unique star of the story, I wanted to find a vulture that was distinctly different and more colorful than the others. I could not BELIEVE my eyes when I stumbled upon the White Headed Vulture. She looks like what I imagine Tilda Swinton would look like if she were a vulture. Elegant, poised, sharp hair styling...and my god that collar.

The beginnings of Violette's design.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Vulture Counter-Culture

Here's a new sequence that I boarded recently. It stars an animal that I have been intrigued by since I was a kid: the vulture. It surprises me how much I'm fascinated by them actually, because they're pretty infamous for their rather macabre eating habits. But still, I find something regal about their giant wingspans, weird bald heads, and quite fabulous feather collars. In reality though, I'd be severely freaked out if I saw one in the wild...with that intense yet vacant stare of theirs directed at me.

Enter my version of a vulture, Violette. She's not like the other vultures. I like to think of her as a subversion of a subversion, if you will...she is what I imagine Leslie Knope would act like if she were born into the Addams Family.