Tuesday, 7 October 2014


First of all, my apologies for my last statement of posting every 3 weeks, which was unfortunately 6 months ago. Harder habit to get into it seems. I'll strive to do better.
Attached is a sketch I did tonight after being puzzled and frustrated about the GMO's in our foods. I try to read up on as much as I can but frankly that usually just creates more frustration that it releases.
Hard to think a corporation would willfully risk the worlds health for a profit. But after thinking that I realize how gullible that sounds.
Well, this image came into my head so thought I'd share it.
Any comments are always welcome.
Looking at it now I wish I had added more black to the pant leg. May go do that and repost. If it looks better that is.


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Problems of drawing muscle mass

      A big problem many artists have with drawing muscles is the correct mass to character ratio. I used to see these problems as a kid reading comic books. One in particular was of an old meek and feeble genius who was ripped off by his partner, so he became a super villain to get revenge. Somehow he developed these crazy muscles as soon as he donned his costume. It didn't ruin the story but it did ruin the believability and took me out of the story. Albeit briefly, it's not what we want to have happen in any media of storytelling.
    So it's not just a student or amateur's problem, many professionals run into it as well. Which I think made me determined to be able to draw different musculatures.
    One thing many artists fail to do is reference. They and myself included have all been guilty of being lazy and making do or hoping for the best. Not sure if it's a feeling of guilt as if we're cheating if we use reference or not but it isn't. As long as we're not taking it directly line for line, image for image.
     The biggest problem isn't always the drawing of the muscle it's the massing of it. In other words drawing them too big. Every day people, children and the elderly having muscles like Superman somewhat takes the believability out of it as you can imagine.
     The main reason for this I find is that many of us learn from comic books as well as muscle mags since the models in them are shirtless and was well physiques so we pick up on bulging rounded muscles.. But how many mags show shirtless elderly people and if there were who would want to buy them except artists?
       My friend and mentor Werner Zimmermann always teaches his students to look at the muscles as cables. I've found this to be the best approach and have drawn up some illustrations to hopefully show how it works.

      Above left is a sketch of the skeletal leg front and profile views. To its right muscles drawn as cables which is more accurate to the real thing as most of our curves come from fat and flesh over the muscles.
 Why this works for skinny forms is obvious but overlooked, skinny forms do not have much muscle or fat, there few curves.
     To the left is a drawing with muscles of an average athletic person, again even though they don't appear large there will be fat and flesh covering them which will add to the size and give more curves.
 Below is heavily muscled which has curves we're used to seeing in muscle mags and superhero comics. One thing to note is the bodybuilders you see in the mags are generally working their way to competition so their body fat is low which let's us see the separation of the muscles more clearly.

The above sketches side by side.
  I have included here some sketches I did to show various skinny legs.
 A couple of goblin legs next to a more athletic leg (foots a little large now that I look at it, another reason to never wait til the last minute to do your work, a fresh eye always reveals mistakes like this)
 Thin legs. Unfortunately they look like mine.(not really, mine are bowlegged  and hairier)
If possible one of the best artists to reference for these statures is Heinrich Kley. You'll learn an incredible amount from studying his anatomy, movement, acting and line work. 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Comics and Animatics

Like most kids who grew up before video games, I read comic books and watched cartoons. I evolved in my tastes, from the basic good guy vs bad guy super heroes in tights to ruthless bandit barbarians to the anti-heroes of the Watchmen.
 The thing I like most of the comic world evolution is the incredible range of story telling, writing and of course the art work, which is the same for animation.
   My cousin who is an amazing writer and producer in Hollywood (NCIS Los Angeles, Jag, E.R. to name a few) was writing a script for a live action series and asked if I could do a comic book teaser. I immediately jumped at the chance.
 I can't go into it too much (confidentiality things) but it's set in WWII. I'm a history buff so I really got into researching the uniforms, equipment and settings.
The challenge was converting a script for live action to comic book.
That and doing it using a Wacom tablet and Photoshop. I prefer traditional pencil and paper but thought this would be faster. Took a few pages before I got the hang of it. Went for a more realistic rough feel over the more traditional north American style in hopes of the viewers easier seeing it as live action.
  After that was done (10 pages) my brother (also an artist/animator and director) took the comic and made it into an animatic which I have included below.

So here's a few pages ofwhat I've done and the animatic made by my brother.
Hope you like it.



Sunday, 16 March 2014


  My apologies for not posting sooner, has been a hectic few months. I plan to never be this absent again.
    I've always been a huge fan of the classic horror stories. Not sure why but I think they were scarier but also had a human element to them, they seemed to be more the victims in a sense.
Frankenstein or should I say his monster was the perfect example of that. Gentle being turned monster from the mistreatment and ignorance of others.
     The real scary part of it for me is the idea of bringing life back to the dead (even though we all might wish we could at some point in our lives.) Most of us I'm sure wouldn't want to use remains of different people to do it.
   But the idea does have artistic curiosities (Now I'm seeing where the scientists get their urges from)
So I've been sketching some ideas for a monster which I've posted below.
Much of my inspiration comes from the novel Frankenstein's Diary. Fantastic view from the Doctors perspective.
As always I welcome any comments.
Hope you enjoy it.

   "I am Legion, for I am many."   (from Frankenstein the True Story in reference to his being made of different people.) 
                                           The monster, learning to walk using apparatus.

                                        Had fun researching physicians tools of the 1800's.
A great way to learn anatomy.