Daddys version #2

My just turned 5 year old son presented me with this awesome picture the other day.

Being the brilliant father I am I’ve since forgotten what he said it was… ahem.

Of course, all I saw was what I wanted to see, so to me it was the most awesome abstract expressionist drawing of a giant robot in a forest I’d seen.

Being an old hand at ripping off my kids’ ideas I couldn’t resist.

I traced over the lines I liked and embellished a bit, but when Isaac handed me the picture this is pretty much what I saw.

I shocked myself by drawing it in Flash(not my favourite software). Colouring was done in Photoshop. The giant robot in forest theme is pretty reminiscent of the Iron Giant. (if you haven’t watched ‘Iron Giant’ watch it now, it’s bloody brilliant)

I dunno, maybe the death ray should have been shoulder mounted……

Revenge is a dish best served by…Godzilla!

Recently got the terrible news that a friend and co-worker had been run down by a garbage truck. Thankfully Ching-Yee survived albeit with some pretty bad injuries. Now she’s stuck in hospital while she waits for her broken bits to get better. Ching’s husband James put out the call for her wide ranging artist and animator friends to get scribbling to encourage her to do some of her own drawing and keep her mind occupied, this is my small contribution. Predictably, a large scaly animal destroys something!

That’ll teach garbage trucks to pick on small animators on scooters.

Pink Dinosaurs for Breast Cancer Research!

The guys over at Art Evolved have set up a Pink Dinosaur Fundraising Event for Breast Cancer awareness.

Part of this has been to challenge to paint or draw a pink dinosaur and send it in, with each entry triggering a donation for cancer research.

You can check out the details of how to send in your picture here.  All those cartoony people I know get out your Wacom tablets/Pencils and start scribbling for a good cause!

The image I’ve submitted is of Leaellynasaura, who spent half the year in polar darkness. I figured that gaudy Mardi Gras colours would have had no impact whatsoever on it’s ability to blend in to its surroundings in the dark!

Diabolical Speed Paint: Diabloceratops

A guest post by palaeontologist Jim Kirkland over on Archosaur Musings caught my attention last week with the announcement of a new horned dinosaur ‘Diabloceratops‘.

I was looking for an excuse to just throw together a speed painting to loosen up a little and this sucker came along at just the right time. What a fantastic looking beastie.

I just wanted to stick to values again, so it’s black and white, 30 mins from start to finish to keep it loose.

I’m starting to learn that I get the feel I want if I imagine I’m sculpting with the paint. Chunks of light and shade seem to work best, then work detail into the areas of interest.

Meh, I’ve got a long way to go…

Dinosaur Art: Chaz the drive by Chasmosaurus.

Ok so it’s a pretty obscure post title.

The Chinese Dinosaur images have been popping up from one end of the Net to the other, which has been getting a bit more traffic through the blog, nice!

I’ve also had contact from many different corners of the globe asking for permission to use the images for this or that, which has been quite cool.

One person to get in contact was David Orr, who writes the blog, ‘Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs’. Dave’s site describes itself: Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs is a blog about dinosaurs, their relations, their neighbors, their study, and their various manifestations in pop culture.

Dave wanted to do an interview about the artwork that I’d done, my interaction with Dave Hone over on ‘Archosaur Musings’, and some stuff about me. It left me blinking at the screen a bit bamboozled… ‘about me?’..

He then asked if I had any other dinosaur images I could supply him with for the story….er….. it was at this point I was reminded how little I’ve done since I got back into painting, and like most artists I don’t like anything I did more than 30 seconds ago.

So I found a Chasmosaur skull on the net and added some flesh to the bones for a bit of fun. I consider a painting like this to be a ‘drive by’, pretty much a speed paint done in a couple of hours.

I stayed in black and white because I’m trying to work on my values, and since this is quite a different animal to Xixianykus I looked at a bit more reptile reference, though there’s a fair bit of parrot in there.

Anyway, do go and check out David Orr’s site and even the interview (I really jibber on a bit though, you have been warned!).


Unhappy Tree Friends

I was lucky enough to be invited to do some creature concept art for a very early development horror/dark comedy film with some quite original baddies based on plants.
My friend Stef had already done a pass on the idea which you can see over on his Bowwow graphics site here and he gave me the basic outline of what the film makers wanted.

I liked what he’d done, especially the weird hairy crawling guy, but decided to take a different approach.

I got a little scientific about it and talked to botanist friend(thanks Mark!) who suggested I take a look at native orchids. He then proceeded to show me all these very creepy looking flowers and stems, which looked quite spidery and not at all friendly.  I also asked him about plant movement to get an idea about how I might build something that needed to get around a bit….

I also drew some inspiration from some unexpected sources…see below.

Anyway, the client needed several versions for various reason for which I’ll remain vague in case the film gets made and the designs are used, so here are my three ‘unhappy tree friends’…

They’re really speed paints, I didn’t have much time to produce them in between other things but they were a lot of fun.

The last monster had an unusual source of inspiration in this image:

Click on the picture to find out what she’s all about for those of you who don’t know!

Many people find her beautiful, and I can see that, but I think the frame holding her set off the creepy alarm for me. Something about unnaturally long legs, almost spidery.


Daddy’s Version….

The other day I posted my 7 year old daughter Gabby’s interpretation of one of my paintings. Gabby does a great deal of cool art with all sorts of animals being the main subject.
Among the ponies, kittens and puppies are the ‘not so common in little girl drawing’ animals, like prehistoric Terror Birds, Dinosaurs and the old favourite, the Leptictidium.(really)

Gabby does come up with some fantastic original creations as well, most of which emerge from that pure point where internal logic and naive imagination combine in a way that’s really fantastic.

So when I saw this little fellow I knew I had to plagiarise him. It’s such an incongruous combination of features: mane, lopsided cat face, wings, horns, tentacles and don’t forget the flower!(Gabby isn’t medicated in any way)

Gabby's great little thumbnail sketch

Gabby asked me to name him, I’m not sure why I called him ‘shambler’, I think he seemed to me like those life sized muppets that are a bit top heavy and shamble around.

So here’s my ‘grown up’ version:

I’m not sure where the mane made of bamboo came from, it just seemed right. He’d probably sound like a cheap wind chime as he shambles around…

All photoshop, probably a couple of hours work as I didn’t really have a clear idea of where I was going to finish up and he was done in the spaces between serious slacking.


Pinkie Paint

I did this little speed paint a while back, took about 45 minutes. It’s Pixel Pinkie, the main character from a TV series I worked on at Blue Rocket productions.
The painting really is just a sketch, though I concentrated on the face a bit more as it’s the focal point. Pinkie is a bit more tanned than she appears in the series, though that’s in part because I tend toward darker, more contrasty images as I fumble around looking for values.
If you haven’t already, check out the really fun Pixel Pinkie website where there’s heaps of games and interactive stuff to do:

Hmm, I reckon this ‘fleshy’ Pinkie might creep out a few people who worked on the series …  Animators get a bit funny about taking clean 2D key line characters and 3Derizing them(shut up it’s a word).

I was tempted to do a wolf whistle version with more curves, one of the animators on the series did a few ‘grown up’ versions of the characters that were great.(Hi Air!)