Animation Guild Holiday Party 2008


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I know I haven’t posted here in a few, but if anyone still checks this site or is checking their RSS feeds every minute with the feverishness of a meth addict looking for his next score, I will be attending the Animation Guild Holiday Party from approx. 7pm to Midnight tonight at Pickwick Center Royal Crest Room, 1001 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank. Map: http://tinyurl.com/tag-party

So please, if you are going to be there, look for me and come up and say hello. Here’s what I look like:


IMG_0555.JPG

Oops! Wrong picture. This one’s a little more accurate:


Picture 4.jpg

My wife Jamie will be there with me.

I realize this is very last minute, quite literally. It is almost 7pm now, but I figured I’d give it a shot anyway. Bye for now!

—Lee-Roy

Cat Sketch


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Another portrait of Stripe.

20080811_stripe.jpg

Cat Sketch


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My cat, Stripe, lounging on the sofa.
20080804_stripe.jpg

An Inky Housewarming


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I gave this as a housewarming gift to my friends Chris and Lindsey. It’s approximately 3 by 4 inches, or 2.75 x 3.75, if cropped to the pencil line.

Ink on Bristol.

Spaceways


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Spaceways

Here I am traveling through time and space and thought.

Drawn with Photoshop on Cintiq.


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FRC_2.jpg

I just watched the documentary film “Frank and Ollie” last week for the first time. I knew that these two guys (Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston) were legendary Disney animators and two of the “Nine Old Men.” I also had some idea that Frank and Ollie were good friends. I didn’t know just what good friends they were. What a very special friendship they had. A deep understanding of each other’s minds, immense wisdom and patience and love for life. It’s a wonderful story about two friends, really. And two great people. In addition, they created these wonderful works of animation that are and forever will be such huge contributions to our culture. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Pinocchio, Bambi, just to name a few examples. That’s big. And yet, their contributions were so often such little things when it came down to it. A slight change in expression. The shape of the eye changing, a lean of the body one way or another, beautifully pushed, yet understated mannerisms. And the feeling behind those movements so wonderfully conveyed so that we really feel there is a living entity there, even if only in our imaginations (which is a lot). All embodied by some lines drawn on a piece of paper.

After watching “Frank and Ollie,” which was produced in 1995, I was saddened to learn that Ollie’s wife and his best friend Frank had both since passed away. Saddened after seeing what beautiful relationships Ollie had with these two, I imagined him then quite elderly and alone, but at least he might still have those friends, the trains. I wondered if maybe he was too elderly to care for his trains anymore. Then I learned that his train, the actual, life-size, restored steam engine, had since been purchased by John Lasseter (a long-time friend of Ollie’s). Where was Ollie now? And was he happy? It seemed to me, or so I hoped, that in spite of the loss of loved ones and the difficulties that come with age, he might still find some solace in his living an exceptionally good life. Which means having dear friendships, making a contribution to humanity… and what I saw in that film was a radiant inner joy, peace, and spirit that Ollie seemed to have. Of course, I think it’s pretty unlikely that he was alone. He was living in a long-term care facility in Sequim, Washington. That’s on the Olympic Peninsula, not far from Seattle (where I lived for 8 years), and it’s a beautiful area. The Olympic mountain range is there, Hoh Rainforest, hot springs nearby, Pugent sound to the north and east, and further west is the Pacific Ocean.

Ollie died of natural causes on Monday, April 14th, 2008, at the age of 95.

LEGENDS_OJohnston.jpg

We’ll miss you Ollie. Your passing puts a final page on the story of the Nine Old Men, but your work and your legend will live on forever in some of the finest animation that we have ever (and may ever) experience.

But…


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Here’s one of my first sketches on the Cintiq 12WX! I took a couple tries at drawing myself on the Cintiq before this one. I drew myself all bright and cheery, but it just didn’t look right. I felt like I was making myself look too good, and who wants to see that? So I pushed this one a little more and gave myself that look of desperation. This was an unscripted pose, but it seemed as though I might be in a confounded state of pleading or grasping to understand something fearful, so I added the “But…”

Computer Upgrades!


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My computer for the past eight and a half years has been a Power Mac G4. The very first Mac G4 ever produced, known as the G4 “Yikes!”

I purchased it within the first month of its release in September of 1999, and at that time it was considered so powerful that the U.S. Government declared it a “supercomputer.” Today, with a 400MHz processor and a 10GB internal hard drive, it’s anything but super, but this machine has held up surprisingly well over the years. It came with Mac OS 8.6 installed and has since been upgraded to OS 9, then to OS X 10.0 Cheetah, and finally 10.3 Panther. It was able to run all of the operating systems relatively smoothly, but I don’t know how it would’ve handled 10.4 Tiger and I think 10.5 Leopard simply would not have run on this machine. The limited hard drive space became an issue quickly and I added an 80GB external drive and then a 250GB external drive to hold all my applications and files. CD burning had only just come on the scene when I got the computer, so I’ve always had to do that with an external. I’ve had two external CD burners over the years and it looks like my second one is now broken. With all of these peripherals, it’s come to look as though it’s on a sort of life support.

About four to five years ago, when I had to color a storyboard assignment in Photoshop using only a mouse, the budding carpal tunnel that I felt in my wrist urged me to purchase a Wacom Intuos tablet. This streamlined my workflow in Photoshop a bit more. It gave coloring and pretty much everything a great deal more natural feeling, but I would continuously run into walls using Photoshop simply because my computer couldn’t handle the heft of the program, particularly when working on large files. At times I would have to wait minutes for it to complete a single action and saving large files could take ages. Anywhere from 15 minutes on, and in some rare cases, over an hour.


Well, no more. My new machine is a 15” MacBook Pro. The processor is 2.4 GHz. That’s six times the speed of my G4. The internal drive is 250GB, twenty-five times the size of the G4’s internal drive. It has wireless internet and bluetooth capability, a DVD/CD burner, a built in iSight camera, a nice video card, and comes with Leopard and lots of bundled apps, including iLife ’08, and on top of all that, it’s portable! I’ve gotten iWork, so there won’t be any need to install Microsoft Office on this machine, and now I have Photoshop, too, so I can get to work.

The Wacom Intuos has always been great and for a variety of things it is far far better than using a mouse, but drawing/painting on a separate surface and looking at another was always rather counter intuitive, no matter how well I may have adjusted to it over time.

I’m now able to work directly on screen with the Cintiq 12WX, a newer model of Cintiq that brought the screen size (and the price) of the Cintiq a little more into the realm of possibility. It’s still not a cheap item, by any stretch, but it’s a powerhouse of graphic potential. This should really streamline my storyboarding process, in particular. No more scanning necessary (while technically also true of the Intuos, I could never get the hang of drawing with that, even though painting seemed to work more or less okay, so I always had to draw on paper and scan it in). I have no intention of abandoning physical media entirely, because there’s really just no replacement for that, but this will be a lot of fun to experiment with and will certainly give a boost to some very key areas of my work.


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UPDATE: More after the jump…

Continue reading ‘Sketchcrawl 18, Part III of III’


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UPDATE: More after the jump…

Continue reading ‘Sketchcrawl 18, Part II of III’


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UPDATE: More after the jump…

Continue reading ‘Sketchcrawl 18, Part I of III’

Sketchcrawl 18 tomorrow!


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(Logo design by Enrico Casarosa. Used with permission.)
Tomorrow, Saturday March 29th, is Sketchcrawl 18. People will be gathering in cities and places all over the world to sketch. If you enjoy drawing from life and your environs, please join in the fun. Visit http://sketchcrawl.com/forum to find people sketchcrawling in your area. All are welcome. I’ll be joining the L.A. group at Lake Balboa Park in Van Nuys, where the cherry blossoms are supposed to be in full bloom. Hope to see you there. Look for more from me in the next day or two, as I post my results from the crawl!

UPDATE: Here’s another image appropriated from Enrico. A map showing all the places in the world where people will be sketchcrawling tomorrow! Click it for a larger version.


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I’ve been drawing upon various themes lately in my sketchbook, one of which is “pretty girls.” It’s not an unpopular subject among cartoonists and illustrators, in case you haven’t noticed, but it’s certainly a worthwhile one. That is, if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s fun to study different types of women or qualities that I find attractive and try to translate that to a (at least somewhat) pushed, cartoony sort of character that still comes off as pretty or sexy somehow. It’s a subjective process. What it is that makes a person attractive can be an elusive sort of thing. It’s not always in the details, and there is no single type that best exemplifies beauty. I’ve mostly been exploring petite types and models or young women. Typical, but hey, that’s what I’m drawn to at the moment and that’s what I’m exploring. Beauty is personified in all kinds of people.
Of course, all that egalitarian sort of talk aside, the most important pretty girl in the world is my fiancée, Jamie. Here’s a drawing of her.

Noir Character


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Here’s a noir guy for you. That slightly goofy rumpled detective who comes off as nothing but cool, due to his calm confidence, charisma, and cleverness (pardon the aliteration).

Late Nite Rocker


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This is based on a guy I saw performing on Letterman last night. I don’t know who he is, but I liked his skinny shape.




About Lee-Roy  

I’m a Storyboard Artist and Illustrator currently in Los Angeles, where I live with my wife, three cats, and several colonies of ants. My earliest memory is as a three-year-old, drawing a picture. About three decades later, the picture is still being drawn. It’s one I never want to finish.


 

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