Friday, 9 December 2011

Sighting the Yeti


Man I'm really struggling, I'm finding it so hard to simplify my animation just for the sake of passing my module. When I try to simplify my stylization I just end up hating it, but I just haven't got time to do a hand drawn animation, It's going to have to be fully 2.5D in cinema 4D...

Anyways, no one wants to just hear me go on rambling! I've got some more designs as well as a clip that I found influential for this project, from the beginning of Kung Fu Panda and the ending of Kung Fu Panda 2.

Thanks for watching


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Yeti Spaghetti

Sorry for the post title, it's all I could think of that rhymed with Yeti, my first choice was even worse, I won't share it with you...

Anyways I've been really struggling with my character design for my animation which, should rea-l-l-y be well on it's way to completion! I've got a couple of pictures here with my general concept but please! Don't hesitate to give me some advice or suggestions for his design!

Cheers guys,


Monday, 5 December 2011

Weekly Challenge

Hey guys,

Well Kate, Sean and I agreed to do a 'weekly challenge' in which we would set ourselves a drawing challenge to upload on our blogs every monday.

These drawing can be anything such as animals, characters, tasks or associated with a simple word. The challenge is set by somebody else and we can see what we come up with. It's also interesting to see how we improve being 'forced' to draw something out of our comfort zone, whilst expanding our repertoire.

Kate chose 'futuristic' for me.

So... I drew a guy riding Hover skate's, running away from police bots.



Saturday, 3 December 2011

Pencil Lead Shavings

Man I've been drawing a lot today! My hand feels numb... Hence the post title, my leadholder sharpener is just full of lead! I kinda like "Lead Shavings" as a possible title for my blog title, it would definitely reflect how much I draw these days.

Sorry for the late post (not that you probably mind!) I've missed the mark by minutes, so I guess I've kinda failed my post a day vow...

Anyways I've got a little sneak peek for you of some sketches from 'life' that I used to inform my character designs, hope you dig.

Gorillas are seriously one of my favourite things to draw!

Again sorry for the poor quality of the iPhone's camera! (good excuse for my crappy drawings ha)
Cheers guys, that's all for today


Thursday, 1 December 2011

You Can't Be Serious!?

Y-y-ep, m-o-re hand drawings!

Liam man do you ever stop drawing hands? I'm getting kind of tired seeing you post them everyday! Haha this should be the last time for a long while that I post studies of hands. Honest...

Th-that's all folks!

(on a side note, Milt Kahl is just too much! Just putting it out there...)

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Time to Plan...

Well here is my 'Time Plan'/ 'Action Plan' all done and dusted. All I ever wanted to do was sit and draw, but life gets complicated...

On a serious note, this table will actually help me organize the process of my animation, making sure that I stay on target for completion, right the way through from 'pre production' to 'post production' including assets to sound creation. The 'Time Plan' allows me to add dates for completion as well as the assets, scenes, sounds and edits I need to finish. Incorporating tick boxes and 'render' tick boxes.

A-n-d that's just about all I have to say for today. I'll leave you with... You guessed it, m-o-re hand studies! Oh my giddy...

oh and a page of flowers?

Thanks again for watching,


Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Adam Hughes...

What more can I say? This guy has a had a profound effect on me as an 'artist', if I could ever call myself one, from my outlook on art to the very tools I use to create it. Adam and his work rea-l-ly opened up my eyes. It all stems from this guy!

Adam Hughes is an american comic book writer & artist who, is probably best known for his covers on DC comics as well as his signature 'Good Girl Art'.

Before Hughes, I really only ever looked at american comic book and manga artists, and that's no way to be! It was he, who planted the seed in my mind regarding colour, composition, anatomy, the quality I wanted to achieve, as well as a chain of key influential artists in my life such as Gil Elvgren, Norman Rockwell, Alphonse Mucha, JC Leyendecker, Alex Raymond and so on. He was also the first artist to make me believe I could earn a living drawing pictures...

I have now gone on to explore much in the realm of art, I have understood many ideals and gained the knowledge that is essential to creating art, as well as acquiring a 'bank' of artists that have influenced me over the years, each connected in a complex web, originating, from Adam Hughes. Without him, I simply wouldn't be where I am today, I'd still be scribbling silly drawings with no real conviction.

But enough from me! I've got some examples of his work that I'd like to show you, finished covers, convention sketches and illustrations.

Man that was exhausting! So many pictures! But it was fun, if you're interested in Adam Hughes' work his latest book is now in shops, 'Cover Run' the DC comics art of Adam Hughes. Also the link to his website is

Aaand finally I'll leave you with this clip of him drawing at a convention which, I have watched hundreds of times! And has continued to inspire and floor me every time.
It's actually in 5 parts, here's part 1 ;)



Monday, 28 November 2011

More Hands!

The weekend is finally over, back to some more posts!

I've got some more hand studies that I'd like to share with you, practicing whilst watching various Milt Kahl animations. These were drawn in my Moleskine, which, I carry everywhere with me! Hands are p-r-obably the hardest thing to get right on the human body and can really 'make or break' a drawing. You can't hide poor hand drawings, but when done right, they are so expressive and vital in communicating story and retaining believability. So I've really forced myself to concentrate on them as of late.

Apart from that there isn't much more I can tell you, except that I have started my 'Time Plan' in lesson today which you can probably expect in the very near future, accompanied by some character model sheets and other little things.

Thanks again,


Friday, 25 November 2011

Walk Cycle

Just a short update today, I'll leave you with the walk cycle I created free of reference for my first module.

I hope you enjoyed this and thanks for watching,


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Out and About

Hey guys and girls,

well, you've probably guessed by now that I'm studying FdA animation at Newcastle College and so I thought I'd check out my new surroundings! It's always nice to take inspiration from what's around you rather than what's on the screen in this increasingly digital age! Trips to the Laing art gallery and Baltic have been extremely helpful, some of the oil paintings at the Laing are just mind blowing, they also recently had  an exhibition dedicated to Mervyn Peake with some fantastic Pen & Ink illustrations from the Brother's Grimm and things. Also the Turner prize was held at the Baltic this year which was really inspiring, I know who's got my vote but I won't mention them here. GEORGE SHAW... Seriously though, his paintings were incredible, I won't go in to too much detail about them here, maybe in a future post, trying to space these things out!


Anyways back to the exploring! I went down to Jesmond Dene for a bit of a walk, man it was cold! But I did see some lovely things and it was nice to get away from the computer screen and the sketch pad for a second. They also had a little 'pet centre' there with some interesting little critters, I will definitely have to get back there with my sketchbook when the weather perks up! But apart from that I've got a few pictures I took (from my iPhone again, sorry about that...) just before it got dark. (man it gets dark early these days)

That's all for now, thanks for watching,


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Character Animation!

I'm back again, trying to keep up with a post a day, although I'm sure I'll run out of things to post p-r-etty soon!

Well I recently came across a problem with my current project, after having looked over my storyboards and constant viewing of my animatic, I realized that I had lost that initial spark of imagination, that life and energy, it had lost it's meaning somewhere in translation. So, the importance for me was to take it back to basics, what is it I want to say and what is it I want to communicate. I have now cut my 1 min 55 sec animation down by around 2/3's! Leaving only what is important and what it is that makes it interesting. The interaction between the two characters and how they develop!

Carrying out my research, I asked myself the questions that needed to be answered, in order to find that initial enthusiasm, and I thought of some things and jotted them down, bullet points that helped clarify that vision, how to get the interest, excitement and meaning back into my story. Posting them here helps me to document it properly but who knows? It may also help with your own dilemma's?

1. What is the character trying to achieve in the relationship?
2. Change relationships to get the best possible drama/ excitement
3. Character and relationship growth, how do their views change?
4. Character contrasts
5. Push things to extremes whilst retaining believability
6. Peaks and troughs
7. Recognize what should and shouldn't be done

I also came across this quote whist reading "the Illusion of Life - Disney animation" by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston that was just rich with personality and humour. They were discussing the mice in "the Rescuers" and how they had to change all sorts of character relationships in order to get the best possible story and excitement. After looking at it from a fresh point of view it had opened up all kinds of possibilities. The quote goes like this.

"While Bianca was selecting hats and outfits that would make them look debonair, Bernard was concerned with safety and ingenious inventions that a James Bond might have used. When asked by the clerk if he knew how to handle a special dart gun, he acted nonchalant and competent in order to impress Bianca. Naturally, he hit the release and nearly killed them all."

I just love that, they are both such contrasting characters which develops interest, but then also the way in which they feel about each other and act, creates even more depth that can be expanded and progressed to help to progress the story also and allows you to connect with the characters on a human level.

Well that's all for today, I hope you found this at least a little bit interesting, I'll leave you with a scene from "Sleeping Beauty" in fact it's two scenes in continuation. The first animated by Ollie Johnston and the second by Frank Thomas. I found this helpful when thinking about my own animation and how the characters could be revived. Some wonderful character acting and dialogue, this sort of stuff leaves me speechless every time.

I actually referenced this sequence in my research on Frank Thomas for my animation production module.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Character Design

Well I'm back again, this time with some character designs! We had an hour's task in class where we were given a hand-out of character back stories in which we had to develop and visualise. There were three characters in all and after having designed our character's we found out that they were in fact, all entirely based on animals, a pigeon, a frog and a monkey to be exact. Here I've posted my design for one of them.

I've also got an image of a character from my previous project, meet Zeleka. The name Zeleka actually means "little innocent one". She may get refined a little more for when I come to animate the actual film.

And finally I have a little doodle using a Pentel Brush Pen after class, I love this pen, it really allows you to stay loose and free in your sketching. I like how this portrait was drawn free of reference, from which started as a simple rectangle and developed in a matter of minute's. A perfect example of how planning a picture no matter how rough is essential to getting a competent image. Her feature's are aligned with those of the divine proportion.

Again I am really sorry about the picture quality, these were taken with an iPhone!

Thanks for watching,


Monday, 21 November 2011

Welcome to my new blog!

My first ever attempt at blogging, so bare with me if it gets sketchy at times!

Well what you can expect from this blog is mainly an insight into my projects at college predominantly focusing on animation, as well as personal work, scribbles and adventures. I may also post certain things that I find interesting or influence my work in some form or another, such as artist's video's and work that I find inspirational and helpful, either to do with animation, character design, story telling or style, technique and composition etc.

I will probably be learning as I go along so please drop me some feedback!

To get things started, I've got some hand studies I sketched in my moleskine last night that I would like to share with you, inspired by the great Milt Kahl whilst watching his various animations.

I'm sorry about the quality but I only have an iPhone camera to take these with!
Enjoy & Thanks for watching.
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