Thursday, December 30, 2010

Resolution Revolution

In an effort to become more diligent about updating this blog, I've made a resolution to update it at least once a week for 2011. I've noticed that while my posts here have been less frequent, they've also become very bloated. I'd much rather keep it brief and to the point.

The drawing below was done in November in Noe Valley during the hottest day of a heat wave. I was sitting on the cool stone steps of someone's front doorway across the street. Those of you who have lived in the Bay Area are aware that the hottest days of the year mostly happen in autumn, not summer. I threw some tones over the drawing in Photoshop this evening, using a photo I took of the scene with my phone for reference.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

RIP GreenSpot

Before Kabam acquired Wonderhill in October, I had been working primarily on a garden game called GreenSpot for 3 months. It was announced last month that production on that game would cease and that on December 1st it would be taken offline.

In the brief time I worked on GreenSpot, however, I learned a lot. When I came to WonderHill I didn't know how to use Flash, but I willingly threw myself into a sink-or-swim situation and my coworkers were more than happy to lend me their knowledge and patience to see me through it. While my education in Flash is far from over, I'm confident in saying I'm now fluent in the program. Here is some of the work I did this July-October 2010.

Above: This is a New England background I painted for GreenSpot to commemorate the beginning of autumn.

Above: I can't believe one of my favorite things I did for this game was a pile of bricks. They were a challenge to capture in Flash without making them look like a pile of red rubble.
Below: GreenSpot was dominated by cuteness, so when Halloween came around the art team was thankful to finally indulge in a little darkness.

Below: I also used to do occasional work on Furry Farm, a game where you could raise pets and farm animals.

I'm looking forward to eventually being able to post work from the game I'm currently working on, Dragons of Atlantis. If you're on Facebook, you can play it here.

On a related note, Kabam is hiring. If you're an artist-type or an engineer-type or a marketing-type, you may be interested...

And on one last note (really), my blog has been featured on Online Computer Science Degree as one of 2010's Top Hand Drawn Blogs, a resource for those looking to get into computer art/animation. Thanks for visiting and passing the word along.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Resuming Some Semblance of Normalcy

Whew, APE is finally a done deal. I’ve been pouring all my free time from the past month into putting my work together for that. It was great to meet so many art-appreciators and artists, many of whom I’ve known online for years but had never met in person until last weekend. Thanks to everyone who visited me at the convention!

I also came away from it with some new ideas based on what people liked most about my work and suggestions they gave me. I may do a “Neighborhoods” book mini-series in the future… small books based on different neighborhoods in San Francisco (i.e. books for the Mission, Castro, Western Addition, etc.). I received a lot of requests at APE for prints of specific neighborhoods and I was thrilled to find such local pride. I’m going to set up an online store soon to sell prints and books.

Here are some drawings from this summer that I never got around to posting:

Above: You may recall I posted the linework to this paint sketch a few months ago in this post.

Below: I did this sketch at a SketchCrawl. It was a gloomy day at the Presidio but you could see the rest of the city soaked in sunlight in the distance. I never "finished" this sketch because I liked the composition a lot and didn't want to overload it with detail. You could see the city in the far distance from where I was sitting on an overpass.

More news: the game company I've been working for, WonderHill, just got acquired by Kabam. I've still got my same job, though, at the same office in San Francisco with our same team. I'd like to post some work I've done for WonderHill pretty soon. I mostly worked on GreenSpot, for which I designed and built various items in Flash and painted some of the backgrounds.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Alternative Press Expo

I've been hard at work laying out and printing books for this year's Alternative Press Expo, which is going down THIS WEEKEND in San Francisco. I'll be sharing table #660 with my good friend, Traci Hui. Come say hi, talk art, look at my original sketchbooks in person or maybe buy a thing. In addition to the two sketchbooks I'll be selling, I'll also be bringing some mini comics and art prints.

The Book of Neighborhoods is a collection of my environment drawings.

The Book of Citizens is a collection of my people drawings.

If you can't make it out to APE, I'll be selling books online shortly if you'd like to order one. Here's a newer page that will be in "Neighborhoods":

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Indian Summer

I recently promoted myself to a larger format Moleskine after finishing my most recent sketchbook. Those of you who have flipped through my sketchbooks in person know how small my usual ones are. What I like about small sketchbooks is that they seem to promote unity of thought. Because space is so limited and you can complete pages quicker, the sketchbook feels less like a collection of drawings and more like a progression of thought. You can only render an image to a certain degree before you have to concede that there simply isn't room to continue doing so. It's a constant reminder to simplify, to pay attention to what is essential to the subject, and that something doesn't need to be "finished" to be complete. The following are the final pages in my last sketchbook. I have some paint sketches of city scenes that I'll post on the next update.

Heads up: I'll have a table at this year's Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco (October 16-17). If you're planning on attending, do drop by. I'll have a couple sketchbooks, a mini-comic, prints and more. More details on all that later. I've decided to invest in a good printer and make everything myself, by hand, this year.

Below: The left page came out unintentionally creepy. The right page is one of my favorite pages in my entire last sketchbook.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Public Profiles II

I'm almost convinced it will never be warm in San Francisco again. I've lived in the Bay Area my whole life and I've never seen a summer like this where the fog just never lifts and it's always cold. If we were ever going to see the sun this year, we would have seen it by now. What this all means is... I've been doing a lot of indoor drawing and sweater wearing.

I started a new job last month and I'm loving it! I'm now working as an artist at WonderHill with some super talented people who are just as excited about making art as I am. I added links to their blogs at the right.

Above: Another future painting from last month. I'll let you guys see it before I paint over it and fix the perspective flubs because I do enjoy the linework on this one.

Below: My new coworkers and I have been going out and drawing at the cafe on lunch breaks. That place is old people city on weekday afternoons! And of course, I continue to draw on BART every week... there are random train drawings spread throughout these pages.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pending Paint

San Franciscan summers are notoriously mild. I've been doing a lot of drawings outside lately with the intention of revisiting the locations to paint the sketches when the sunny weather finally hits (usually end of July - November).

Above: I wanted to show the full spread so you can see how I plan my layouts. Sometimes, I just aim to fill each page with drawings that may or may not be related, but there are other times when I want to treat a spread as a unified piece. I left space at the bottom and right sides for writing.

I hope my next update will be in technicolor.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Rattled by the Rush

I've finally managed to work through the slump I've been in since February. In an effort to squeeze in drawing time everyday, I've been sacrificing my lunch hour to drawing sessions and then just eating lunch at my desk while working.

Above: The drawing on the right was intended to be painted over. I'll probably return to finish it soon even though I like it as is. It was way too windy to paint that day. There are many things I'll endure for my art but wind is probably my #1 most annoying thing. I'll take pretty much anything else the weather can throw. When I think about all the times I've gotten sick because I literally didn't have enough sense to come in out of the rain...

The drawings on the left were done at a Pavement reunion concert in Berkeley. Pavement was the first band I ever became full-on obsessed with and they're still one of my favorite bands ever. If you haven't been privy, here is your eduction:

Back to the sketchbook:

Maybe I should keep titling all my posts after Pavement songs. Or maybe that would just be annoying. "Rattled by the Rush" is an amazing song, though. It was actually the song that inspired me to learn guitar... the bridge floored me.

Monday, May 31, 2010

SketchCrawl 27 +++

I did this at the last SketchCrawl (May 15), sitting in front of San Francisco’s Ferry Building. I kind of like my unfinished paintings better than the finished ones. Here you can see I started with a warm brown wash, drew over it in pen, and painted over the drawing.

Above: This was done with watercolor, felt-tip pen, and gouache in a Moleskine sketchbook, which has paper similar to Bristol board except that it’s water-resistant. Why would anyone want to use water-based materials on water-resistant paper? If you’re anything like me, it’s because you’re a glutton for punishment. I enjoy the challenge and unpredictability of painting in these books because it yields interesting effects. Also, I just hate working in pencil.

Below: Drawings done mostly on BART or the bus.

I’ve been working through an artistic downturn these past couple months and it’s just now that I’m starting to feel somewhat satisfied with anything I’ve produced again. Whether my work quality has actually been degrading or just my opinion of it, I don’t know. Anyone else would be a better judge of that than I would. But I’m looking forward to spending more time outdoors drawing and painting now that the weather is finer and I seem to finally be pulling myself out of this funk I’ve been in.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Public Profiles

I always take the same seat on the train. As evidenced by the following drawings.

We're seeing the last of the spring rains here in the Bay Area and good drawing weather isn't far behind. Spring doesn't really hit here until it's nearly summer. And summer, in autumn. I'm pretty done with being cooped up indoors. These sketches were the last of this sketchbook and I'm looking forward to breaking in a new one the first sunny day I have free.