Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dinotopia Podcast, Episode 3

It's time for the new episode of the Dinotopia audio podcast adventure. Just click below or follow this link.




Arthur and Will Denison continue their adventures in Dinotopia. Lee Crabb tells them about his sneaky plot, and they follow him to Volcaneum.


Arthur meets Tok Timbu and learns about the ways of the island where people live alongside dinosaurs.


...and they meet again someone they saw when they first arrived.

The Podcast Series
This acoustic adventure was produced by Tom Lopez, mastermind of the ZBS Foundation, with an original music track by composer Tim Clark. AudioFile Magazine calls it “A masterpiece of audio production.”

Episode 4 arrives in one week— Tuesday, December 2. Each 10-minute episode will only be live online for one week, and then it will disappear. So tell your friends, and be sure to check in to this blog each week. That way you'll be able to hear the whole production for free.

If you'd like to purchase the full two-hour Dinotopia podcast right now and hear all twelve episodes back to back in a feature-length production, check out Dinotopia at ZBS Foundation website for the MP3 download.

You can also order the original book from my web store and I'll sign it for you. It's the ultimate holiday gift for the imaginative person in your life. (US orders only for the book, please).

To listen to the full audio podcast, you can get a download at ZBS Production.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

LAX, Gate 35

We arrived at LAX an hour and a half before my flight yesterday, so I painted this study of the aircraft at the gate. It's about 5x8 inches in a Pentalic watercolor journal.

I used just four colors: white, black, cadmium yellow deep, and ultramarine. Those colors gave me a complementary gamut with warm and cool contrasts, and an interesting dull green.

Halfway through the painting, I was disappointed to see the aircraft depart. My model was gone. But I got lucky. Another identical airplane arrived to take its place, so I could finish the study.

To see a detailed step by step, with all the stages of this painting, check out my Facebook page.

Monday, November 24, 2014

CTN Portrait Sketchbook

At the CTN Animation Expo, I sketched quick portraits of Peter De Seve and Jake Parker.

Jake and I did a demo on stage. He drew a robotic dinosaur, while I drew him drawing.

...while Jeanette sketched me sketching Jake. 

Left hand is for the noodles. Right hand for the watercolor brush.

Fellow artists and animators at the Japanese Grill.

Sebastian Kruger knew that he was surrounded by caricaturists, so he pulled his hat brim down a little lower.


It was a grand time with amazing artists! Just to name a few, above left to right: Armand Serrano, Mark Oftedal, Armand Baltazar, Pascal Campion, Robh Ruppel, and Sebastian Kruger, plus so many other pros and students.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Book Review: "Graphic LA" by Robh Ruppel

At CTN Animation Expo I bought a copy of Robh Ruppel's new art book Graphic L.A., and want to share it with you.

Robh is one of those rare artists whose work spans imaginative and observational painting. He has worked as a designer for video games and films, and has taught at Art Center. He has also been a leader in digital plein-air painting.

While the book contains some landscapes, the bulk of the images are urban scenes. What I like most about his work is his ability to find beauty in commonplace scenes.

The book includes a mix of finished paintings, thumbnail sketches and step-by-step sequences. The sketches are in tone, most often in marker, while the colored finished paintings appear to be all digital.  

Many of the paintings have evocative lighting ideas that go beyond what photos can capture.

Accompanying the images are helpful chunks of advice, such as "Reduce, refine, interpret." Before he commences a painting, he always explores the possibilities of the subject in two or three tones. "Good value design," he says, "is the clear simple arrangement of a few tones."

He says, "Searching out the composition should take as long as rendering the image. Ultimately, the staging is what tells the story."

The book is 144 pages, about 8x8 inches.
Book: Graphic L.A. by Robh Ruppel

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cast Shadow in the Foreground


I painted a watercolor demo during a daylong visit to Favilli Studio, a multidisciplinary design group in South Pasadena. 

I walked down to the Arroyo with a group of designers and chose this view toward the York Avenue Bridge. I wanted to paint the forms—arch bridge, trees, and embankment—as realistically as I could.


But the light was overcast the whole time, so I decided to invent some light and shadow effects. 

I figured that I could make the planes of the retaining wall much more clear if I cast a foliage shadow across it, with the dappled spots of light following the vertical, horizontal, and diagonal planes.


The cast shadow serves two purposes. It invites the viewer to move from the dappled foreground shadow, where they seem to be standing, into the brightly lit middle ground, where Jeanette is standing.

The foliage shadow also helps to define the plane changes as the ground slants up and over the embankment wall.

Shadows can be a powerful tool for expressing plane changes, as Arthur Guptill demonstrates in this plate from Color in Sketching and Rendering (1935).
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Previous posts:
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Learn more methods in my video  Watercolor in the Wild

Friday, November 21, 2014

Beloved Friends


Here are two gouache portraits I painted while waiting for supper.


Our beloved art-teacher friends David Starrett and Sam Clayberger mentored us 35 years ago when Jeanette and I were were just sketching companions.

When we're with old pals like these, the years disappear, and we live in a moment that I wish could last forever.