End of 2011, what a year!

Evening folks!

I hope everyone had a fantabulous Christmas and rearing up for a rip roaring goodbye to 2011!  I'm off to the Woodford Folk festival over the next week to hang with some smelly hippies and soak up some awesome vibes :-D.  Here's some quick samples of what I've been up to these last few weeks:

Some Look development for my short "A Grey Matter":

Art Workout 2011, Week 42 of 52.

Art Workout 2011, Week 43 of 52.

Storyboarding storyboarding storyboarding.  I've been working hard on really nailing the telling of my short's story and I've been experimenting with loads of different ideas.  Here you can find some recent boards (just some random samples, these aren't consecutive panels).  I'm making great improvements with each iteration, progress is being made!  :-D

Art workout 2011, week 44 of 52

Here's a digital portrait of my good friend Jim, who unfortunately passed away several years ago.  For me, the time of mourning has passed, and I wanted to paint a picture celebrating the lovely energy in which he lived his life :-).

Art workout 2011, week 45 of 52

More notes!  "Ideas for the animated short" is a great book I absorbed to keep myself thinking about all the elements that come together to form a really great short.  Defo worth a read!

Well I've still got 7 workout's to do by the end of the year :-S.  Ah well, the folk festival well surely inspire many a drawings to share first thing in the new year ;-).

Adios amigos! 


The old man is a com'n


Here's some more of this year's art workout and some development of my short film!  Firstly, I've been working hard on the new model for my short film's main character - check out some turnarounds with pose tests here:

Art workout 2011, week 37 of 52

Also, I've finalized the design of my second character, a cute little dumbfounded frog:

 Art Workout 2011, Week 38 of 52
Art Workout 2011, Week 39 of 52

And also, for the occasional break away from my short - here's a few random doodles:

A bizarre long necked frog:
Art Workout 2011, Week 40 of 52

The lizard captain!  He's a salty veteran sailing endlessly across the soft sandy desert of the vulture isles.

Art Workout 2011, Week 41 of 52

Cheers captains!


A Grey Matter concept work


As I'm devoting myself fully for the time being, all my time of late is spent developing "A Grey Matter".  Exciting times!

Art workout 2011, week 33 of 52.

Here's a photoshop painted concept for the frog character in my short, whom I have affectionately named "Wibby".  This one was created with photoshop's "natural" brushes set.  Not quite the look I think I'll go for, but defo worth the experiment.

Art workout 2011, week 34 of 52.

So here I'm starting to nail down a final design for my main character.  I must have drawn this guy 1000 times, so I got together all the best drawings, my favourite nose/hair/head shape, and amalgamated them all into this design you see here.  The linework/rendering style is inspired from the very excellent short "The Backwater Gospel".

Art workout 2011, week 35 of 52.

I've been very busy boarding for my short.  Exploring as many ideas as I can, grabbing feedback from peeps, then hitting the boards again.  Boarding is redoarding they say eh?  I'm revealing a few panels here but still keeping most of my cards hidden ;-).

The creative habit notes - by Twyla Tharp

Art Workout 2011, week 36 of 52.

As I'm sailing under my own guidance and self discipline, I thought I'd go over my notes when I read this great book by Twyla Tharp.  She doesn't sugar coat anything, just giving clear and practical ideas about generating ideas, keeping organized, inspired and focused in whatever creative path you're heading on.  I'd recommend any creative characters out there to give it a read!

Power on comrades!


short film character development

G'day fellas and Sheila's!

D'oh, been a while since my last post.  I've been on the most amazing adventure humanly possible on 2 wheels!  My wife and I rode our BMW Rockster all the way from Adelaide to Brisbane via the great ocean road.  So between packing up in Adelaide, the 2 week trip and resettling in QLD, my lack of posts can be forgiven methinks!  Well anyway, got my paintbrush and sweat band - check out what I've been up to keeping fit with my "art workouts":

Art Workout 2011, Week 31 of 52.

Art Workout 2011, Week 32 of 52.

What's with this recurring old man?  Am I seeing double?  Why is he so grumpy?  Who wears a monocle... really?  WHAT'S HAPPENING!?!

This is some development for my short film I'm creating.  I'm taking the dive and committing the next 3 months to really fleshing out the pre-production and base assets.  Gonna be a long haul, but hey, can't be a cog my whole career, every artist should have a baby that can really call their own.  This old man, combined with an idiotic frog are indeed my babies, which sounds wrong and confusing, but get used to it, if you're following this blog you'll see a lot more of them :-D.

*Top secret* "A Grey Matter" Script revision  *Top secret*
Art Workout 2011, Week 33 of 52

Yeah I'm an arsehole and hiding my cards.  I've been working hard on revising the script for this short's story, but I'm not keen to share it online, you'll have to wait a couple years until the film is finished :-P.

hugs (yes even it you are a stranger, sorry about the B.O.)


A winter Ride!


Art workout 2011, week 29 of 52.

Well this week I've really delved into something quite different :-D. I borrowed Sam Baker's GoPro camera (basically a tiny camera with an attachment, in this case a giant suction cap with pivoting arm), and spent half a day with it and my trusty motorbike out in the Adelaide Hills. I really had a blast experimenting with different ways I could put the camera and stage shots, I had about 1.5 hours of footage by the end. The next big step was editing it all down to a few minutes, choosing what to keep or kill, linking with some suitable audio and doing some shaky cam Stabilization too. Lot's of firsts which is probably what made it so much fun! I'm really happy with how it turned out and I feel I really captured the way I love to ride, cruising around twisted mountain roads :-D.

For those interested, the bike is a 2003 BMW R1150R Rockster being ridden around the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. It's filmed with a HD Hero Go Pro, motorsports edition and edited with Sony Vegas. The music is the song "From the morning" by Nick Drake.

Art Workout 2011, Week 30 of 52.

And here's a doodle from my sketchbook. Getting into production on a short film has been playing around in my head quite a lot of late, and here's me playing around with a little bit of character development for it.



The Spirit Gala

Greetings!Art workout 2011, Week 27 of 52.

So here's the final result of that layout test I did two posts ago! This is my final version which I've had printed for the Sala festival and will be exhibited to the public in the Foyer of Rising Sun Pictures here in Adelaide! Woot!

Art workout 2011, Week 28 of 52:

Film Lighting: Talks with Hollywood's Cinematographers and Gaffers - notes

Here's another week where I'm substituting visual art for a bit of theory and sharing notes I made while reading the above mentioned book. It was all pretty technical live action lighting thoughts, but I found a few golden nuggets of knowledge in there and added them to my Wiki. Maybe a nugget of gold useful to your fine self also? By the power of pork flavoured marshmellows, I surely hope so!!



Awww Koala hug!

Art workout 2011, Week 26 of 52.

This week I tackled the very intimidating challenge of doing a caricature of my awesomely lovely wife. It really ignites your nerves working on a reimagining of a loved one, luckily enough,she really liked it :-D.

Peace out!


The treehouse party!

Howdy ho!Art workout Week 24 of 52.

Jeepers I'm behind on my Workouts! Here's a rough layout I did for a digital painting I've got planned for a small exhibition here in Adelaide. Fun/intimidating to work on something for the public!

Art workout 25 of 52:

Week 25 I've decided to twist the rules and submit something that isn't artwork at all, but a bit of research I did about bird flight mechanics. There's a very interesting in depth article here: http://icb.oxfordjournals.org/content/42/1/141.full which I found a great source of understanding on how birds maneuver mid air. To help myself really get a grasp of it, I translated the article from Oxford genius speak, and boiled it down into some simpler points jotted down that doesn't scare my limited intellect nearly as much. I then published that up on my personal wiki I added to my website: http://www.kineticdan.com/wiki/index.php?title=Dan%27s_Oxford_Journal_flight_notes. Anyone animating some complex flight may very well find it interesting!

On the topic of the wiki, I have to say I'm really enjoying fostering one on my own. It's like having my own personal online encyclopedia of stuff I've learned/found to continually add to. In all honesty, I stole the idea from a very talented colleague I work with, Eric Bates. So far I've been adding any interesting links I've found online, and starting to compile my own personal collection of notes and tidbits. For example, I went to an interesting lecture by an excellent Oil Painter, Robin Eley - you can read the notes I took here.

Cheers ladies (and possibly fellas).


More Primate doodlings.

What do we have here...

Art workout 2011, Week 23 of 52.

Time is of the essence. That's why with every playblast/render/publish I take advantage of it and doodle away. Some of these may or may not have been drawn in long meetings ;-). I've been playing around with the idea of developing a modular set of monkey men, hence all the relentless primate focus! Call it RnD ;-).



More naked ladies

Well hello...

Art workout 2011, week 21 and 22 of 52.

I've been at some more life drawing, so I thought I might post up some recents. I've changed my approach here and there as I gained so much at Kevin Chen's life drawing workshop
I attended back in April. It was absolutely amazing, so wonderful to see a real master of his craft working away and talking about his process as he went. I think the biggest point I came away was about breaking down elements into simpler, more graphically strong parts. For example, working with straight lines and "C" curves and avoiding "S" curves or complicated lines and shapes. This really forces you to think of the form as more of a series of intersecting simpler shapes instead of weirdly unrealistic 2d shapes. I've also picked up his preferred pencil - A HB Conte pencil with a long tip shaved down with a razor. This long tip gives you the ability to quickly turn it on it's side to make soft wide marks which is much nicer for shading than my usual cross hatching affair. Still applying what he taught us and absorbing it, will be interesting to see my future life drawings and how that knowledge melds into my style!



Gregarious Gremlins going gaga!

Art workout 2011, week 20 of 52.

This week I put together this kinda silly picture to open my updated website. So if you are terminally bored, why not visit it? Just click one of the titles at the top of this blog! It's all integrated now ya see!! Woot! My website's still a wip, so if anyone has any comments or suggestions, feel free to shoot me a crit!

This was a really fun little picture to put together and is actually my first drawing created in Photoshop from scratch (usually I start from a scan). I really loved the quick ability to rescale and distort things here and there as I went, and pretty much approached it the same way I'd do so with a lightbox - started with a really scratchy layout to begin with and added layers (pages) and cleaned up and worked upon each layer one by one.



Self Caricature

Art workout 2011, week 19 of 52.

This week I decided to try my hand a caricature. To make sure I don't insult anybody, I thought it best to test out my first one on myself (I'm only mildly embarrassed). It was a lot tougher than I thought, I know it's all about seeing what's distinguishing and exaggerating those elements, but it was a challenge to gauge whether I had a big forehead/eyes wide apart/small eyes etc and I did quite a bit of trial and error trying to put myself together. In the end I feel like I've got something that still resembles me but hopefully I can get some more extremes in my next one!

This was also my first time using the "wet" brushes in photoshop which was quite a nice experience. Not sure if I'd use them for a painting from scratch because they tend to mix a little strangely, but it works nicely behind a drawing and keeping your outline. Lately I've really been enjoying drawing while having a TV series running too, I've been rolling through "Star gate universe" which is some nice ambiance to have while getting mesmerized in some doodling! Anybody else do that? Of course, I mean watching series on DVD as I don't condone watching TV commercials at any time :-P.

Peace out yo!


Monkey sketch dump


Art workout 2011, week 18 and 19 of 52.

Monkey's are my favorite thing to doodle lately!. Here's a few strange and interesting fellas + a gal.

Hope your future week is splendid and flea free!


Get a life. Drawing.

Morn'n to ya!

These last two weeks I've been attending some life drawing sessions, nice to get back into some traditional materials and improve the eye + hand :-).

Art workout 2011, Week 16 of 52.

Art workout 2011, week 17 of 52. A pregnant model, jeepers it was tough! Pretty happy how this one turned out considering all that foreshortening.

Thanks for stopping by and keep drawing everyone!!


Snapped some birdies!


Art workout 2011 Week 15 of 52.

This week I took bit of a break from all this digital painting took my DSLR out for some bird shots. These are taken in the parklands around Adelaide city along a very enjoyable bicycle ride to the beech(such a great city for cycling!). I love that rim lit lighting you can get once the afternoon sun gets low at the right angle.



The grumpy frog king

Yoyo!Art workout 2011, Week 14 of 52.



9 Monkey heads

*Pats readers on head*. It's a new greeting, just trying it out ;-).

Art workout 2011, week 13 of 52.

Ahh I'm behind a week! All this moving interstate thing has slowed me down! Here's 9 Monkey heads I sketched on the plane on my flight to Adelaide.

Sleep now, ciao!


General Alcazar's night of shame

Atten-shun!Art workout 2011, Week 12 of 52.

"General Alcazar went from relieved to perplexed, hiding deep his terror during the evening. His new allies weakened so quickly to forbidden nightly pleasures. Does the survival of the empire really depend on these unfavorable men?"

Tried a different approach with this one, I really wanted to some more convincing lighting: so I kept all 3 light sources on their own respective layers in photo shop to focus on them seperately. I really liked the flexibility I had later down the line to modify the colour and intensity of the lights independently. Nice! I quite like having different lighting setups and expression on one side of the face to the other, creates some very interesting ambiguity in his mood.



Aye, it be a pirate paint over!

Heya Skallywags!

Art workout 2011 Week 11 of 52.

I've been thinking for quite a while that I'd love to go back and improve the texturing/modelling from an animation test I did back in animation mentor. This week I decided to take a frame from that animation and paint over it, experimenting with some of the changes I might make. Another cool project to go in the "maybe one day!!" pile ;-)



Thanks to technology, we've never been so social!

Greetings bots!
Art workout 2011 week 10 of 52.



A hike through the mushroom kingdom

Art workout 2011, week 9 of 52.

Today Brent the chicken footed frog man decided to take a refreshing hike through the mystical land of mushrooms. The fresh air of his pond was getting to him. Some musty air infested with spores is exactly what he needed....

Also, any animators out there looking to soak up some inspiration should definitely stop by the marvelously new Reel Barrow!


The Camp fire

Hey Groovers!Art workout 2011 Week 8 of 52.

Just a fun little painting, I love playing with Silhouettes :-D.


shape restriction doodles

Art workout 2011, week 7 of 52

This week I decided to play around with bit of an experimental drawing exercise: The idea is that the shape of your next doodle must fit into the contour of the previous doodles. This forces you to use shapes that you wouldn't ordinarily imagine to form characters. Some of them are successful, quite a few are quite pants :-P. Fun approach though! I quite like how it encourages your eye to meander it's focus picking up ideas a long the way.



Smoking monkey painting

Greetings primates!

Art workout 2011, Week 6 of 52.

This week I decided to do a quick speed paint (probably about an hour) of this charmingly grumpy monkey smoking a fag. Technically I approached this painting a bit differently than usual, and kept my tone (a grey-scale layer) separate to my hue layer (just the colours overlayed on top) to make me concentrate on tone more. Was an interesting experiment as it's easy to get distracted by choosing colours, but this forces you to look back at your tonal layer often and identify spots that can be spiced up with more contrast.



Motorcycle Knight painting

Howdy strangers!

Art workout 2011, week 5 of 52.

This week I decided to paint up an older sketch I did of this motorcycle knight fella. Had lot's of fun and this is the first time I've consciously made an effort to apply colour temperature as I'm painting (pretty much just means that the brighter the light, the less saturated the colour).



BMW R1150R Rockster Sketch

Good evening puppies and hellspawn!

Art Workout 2011, Week 4 of 52

This week I decided to challenge my perspective skills a little more and sketched up a drawing of my meaty little motorcycle. It's a BMW R1150R Rockster that spends too much time sitting still with all this rain we're having. Although I may just go out for bit of a cruise today! Woot!



Very cool short film maker: Nick Cross

Hello hairy hippos!

Check out these very cool short animated Flash films by the independent film maker Nick Cross. Almost does the whole thing's by himself! What a champ!

The Pig Farmer from Nick Cross on Vimeo.

Yellow Cake from Nick Cross on Vimeo.

I'm really impressed with people who really get out there and do there own thing. He even does his own funding drives and sells prints etc as he goes along. Check his blog: http://pyatyletka.blogspot.com/


Distractable Dean Sketch

Allo Armadillos!
Art workout 2011, Week 3 of 52

Just a fun little setup. Challenged myself a little bit too much with the perspective, would be fun to paint this one up and tighten it up some day!!



Awesome Flash Websites

Yo ho and a bottle of yum!

I trawled the web looking for some funky flash websites and found some really awesome pages, check these out:

This is a very cool site for the portfolio of Mauricio Guimaraes. The idea of presenting it over a landscape is just fantastic. I love how it encourages you to explore without throwing a big fat menu at you. Such a great moment when you follow the rope up to the air balloon :-D.

It looks like this site was developed to encourage kiddies to drink more milk. They actually made a whole board game out of it, funky eh? Art looks really cool, it's a weird interesting blend of 3D characters and what appears to be a physical miniature sculpture for the set. Nice!

Another website focused on educating the kiddies. This one too has a fantastic open atmosphere which encourages you to explore. Nicely done in 3D too! Great idea of telling mini stories in little pop up books. Love how they let you explore them from all sides too, and check out all those details revealing the papery/cardboard materials they're made from. Very fun art :-D.

I would love to get into some of this online interactive stuff sometime, looks like loads of fun :-D


Big chicken with wedding couple digital sketch.

Heya pork pies!Art Workout 2011, Week 2 of 52

This week I had some house keeping to do as I needed to do a picture for our post-wedding thank you cards. So here it is! Just a bit of fun with photoshop drawn directly with the tablet. Quick and easy fun :-D.



Old man Reanimated!

Not in a freaky back from the dead via green glowing syringe way, more in an old animation I got around to touching up and rendering :-D. Ahh lighting and rendering, what will I do next to hide my animation flaws from you? Check it out by clicking on this funky portrait:
I feel like he's a pretty darn good improvement since I left this piece as my Animation Mentor assignment back in February last year (check the old post here). I can really see where I've progressed in controlling my overacting and natural motion since animating realistic owls on "Legend of the Guardians". I actually had a big elaborate ending planned, but in a desire to get this piece patched up and finished, I decided to end it swiftly and keep it as more of a simple performance piece than an elaborate story. I sketched up an alternative ending that I brainstormed with the very artistic Darren that you can check out here (to be honest, the idea is mostly his :-P ). Would be fun to add this sometime, but there's zombies smashing through my window and if I don't apply some kind of gruesome violence to them, they'll surely consume my brain.



Pompous Ms Peach Painting

Yo green peas!

Art Workout 2011, Week 1 of 52

This week I decided to do a speed painting. This was from an older sketch and I threw the colours on over the top in about an hour and a half. I used photoshop and really enjoyed experimenting with different brushes here and there to try and get a variety of textures over her different features. I've been throwing ideas about making a modular character design so this was bit of an experiment to see how a seperate add-on mouth could possibly work with a female design. Kinda does look transvestite-ish though :-/.

And I'll leave with a quote that keeps coming back in my mind:
"In this world there are two tragedies: One is not getting what one wants, the other is getting it. The last is much worse." -Oscar Wilde


Wilkommen to 2011! Art Workouts begin..

Heya peoples!

Well here we are, another year, more challenges, more change! Wow, how big was 2010? I feel like my animation has really improved, got to work on an awesome film, and greatest of all, I married the woman I love :-D. So what's in store for 2011? Time to ease off my obsessiveness and keep more balanced I believe. Find some mental/physical, animation/real world, introvert/extrovert equilibrium.

So one of my big resolutions is to keep myself producing my own art. So I'm committing myself to creating a finished 2D artwork roughly once a week, in an effort to keep those drawing/creative muscles pumped:
Pah! Who keeps their resolutions you may say? I'm definitely not the only one who is seduced by the mistress of procrastination, weighed down by the heavy chains of excuses and injected by the lazy, lethal sedative that is "conserving energy". That's why I'm asking you to keep me accountable to this resolution, follow my progress and feel free to press this button if I'm not maintaining my artistic upkeep:
Yes it's true, just push this button on your screen and I get a small electric shock in my anus. It's incredibly painful, so please... please... only press it if I'm falling behind with my weekly "Art Workout". So I've got 52 to produce this year. I'll keep it pretty open, I might do a drawing, digital painting, storyboard, drawn animation, or maybe even something creatively written for a blog post... whatever inspires me that week.

Keep inspired,