Thursday, October 2, 2014

Georgetown atelier

A couple days ago I started a part-time Illustration Atelier at Georgetown Atelier in Seattle, WA. Upon recommendation of my good friend James, I’m going to do my best to keep a blog about my time there. You can learn more about the school here:

The school has actually -just- signed a deal with Gage Academy of Art to help with bookkeeping and the like.

About the class/ teacher:

This class is only one day a week, three hours per session and broken up into trimesters throughout the year. I’m not sure how many trimesters the program will be… my guess is that it’s going to be dependent upon how many students return. Our instructor is Brian Snoddy (Pronounce Snoe-dee), a professional of 28 years. He got his start just 2 months after I was born, so he can actually get away with saying he’s been doing this shit as long as I’ve been alive. He gained popularity doing work for Magic the Gathering in its early days. More recently he’s done stuff for Privateer Press (warmachines) and is currently a full-time designer/illustrator with Flying Frog.

The class is kind of unknown right now. We know it’s going to be broken into phases. Working with pencil for a few weeks, then pen and ink and finally Gouache (probably just sticking to black and white for this first trimester). Beyond that we don’t know what we’ll be doing. Being an atelier, the class will probably be almost entirely drawing. Learning by doing rather than just a bunch of lecture. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get out of my own head-funk and work in a positive and encouraging environment.

Day one:

After all the introduction (most of the first session, actually) to Brian and his work we settled down to do some drawing. We were given printed pictures of random surface textures and asked to choose one (or a few) and start working on recreating that texture with pencil. Being a littleoverly ambitious I decided that I was going to try my hand at designing a character that I could apply my chosen texture to. Which lasted maybe ten minutes. Brian didn’t actually say anything to stop me but I realized that I was being cocky so I put that out of my head.


Sorry for yelling. Part of this class is me teaching myself more positive habits with art, both internally and externally. Once I started actually attempting to render the texture itself (cedar bark, I think it was) I found myself fumbling about more than anticipated. Come on, I did my hard time at DigiPen, I’ve been drawing my whole life. How hard could it be to draw some bark. WELL I forgot that I hate everything I draw and it takes most of my effort to just keep drawing, let alone worry about how I’m drawing.

Man oh man is that the thing I need to work on the most. Really. Like, I nearly frustrate myself to tears. And for no good-god-damned reason. That’s the benefit of having that time sectioned off each week, away from home and with other people who are all there to learn. I can just grit my teeth and keep drawing. With some guidance from Brian and just continuing to slam my head against my self-erected wall I got some good work in by the end.

Day two:

We were all asked to bring in a photo of an object we wanted to draw. I love armor and weapons and junk so I grabbed a photo of some ancient chinese stone-tile armor. There was no dilly-dallying, we got in and started drawing right away with Brian working on his own stuff right along with us (“If I can’t do it in front of you all then I’m a hack and shouldn’t be teaching this class”). He would get up every 20 minutes or so and make the rounds, offering pointers and showing each of us a bit of technique to help tackle whatever challenges we were facing.

In retrospect it was a good class. At the time, though, I found myself getting so upset that I had a really hard time keeping myself there in class. Feigning illness (shit, not even going that far… just saying, “ I don’t feel good….”) to leave early seemed more comforting than continuing on that train of self-loathing and dersion. BUT I DIDN’T. God damn it. I stayed up in that fucker and kept on drawing. And it was a good thing I did, too. Not that anything brilliant came out of the class but it was a triumph. A triumph over whatever it is in my head that gets all screwed up when I do art.

So it seems like the class is going to be a lot about rendering. Which is perfect, I think. That’s what I get hung up on the most. I can thumbnail and sketch and do some pretty nice drawings, but when it comes to really finishing a piece I get lost and flustered and give up.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Summer Sketching!

Cover of the new Sketcthbook. I love this paper, second one of these sketchbooks I've had and I am going to make better use of this one than I did the last.

Having fun experimenting with media and technique. The text says "Chill," trying to tell myself to relax and get into the drawing. Keeping it free-form and open-ended helped.
Water color, pentel brush pen and white gel pen

I seriously haven't had this much fun drawing since highschool. At least 10 years ago. I learned that I need more patience with my drawings. Impatience and anxiety have manifested as a result of the work environment at school. When more time is taken with my art, the more I get absorbed, the more I enjoy it, the better it becomes because I am willing to invest more time in it.
Watercolor, prismacolor marker, white gel pen, pentel brush pen.

Monday, March 4, 2013


More photography. Some astute viewers might notice that I haven't uploaded any drawings recently, it's not for not having been drawing. Mostly, the drawings I've been doing haven't been that great and I don't want them to see the light of [internet]. So instead have a bunch of amateurish photography. No guilt from me with taking pictures that aren't that great. I've only been doing it for a couple months, so... I can still suck and not feel bad.

I do have some animation work that I'll upload soon.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Not drawings, but still art junk

This is one of my two Australian Shepherds, Princess Leia

This is the other, Han Solo.

This was taken at Seward Park in Seattle. That place is awesome. If you are ever around, go there.

Taking a photography class this semester. I'd started taking more pictures with my little point-n-shoot a few months ago. Figured it's the fastest practical exercise for composition and lighting. Now I have a Nikon d200 courtesy of my camera-junkie father. Having a lot of fun with this class and look forward to adding photography to my regular art doings.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Calling it DONE

And I am pretty pleased with the results. Did some minor tweaks to the animation, did some major tweaks to lighting and had a shot at rendering with Motion Blur.  ANIMATING IS FUN. Did a walk and a run cycle with Lars (that's this guy) as well that I will get posted here soon.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


The assignment was to take a photo (one that taken by yourself) and turn it into a medieval/fantasy scene.

Kent Station from the roof of the parking garage.

Original underdrawing

Mostly 'finished'. I wanted to keep this piece as simple as possible, looking  more at designing the shapes, value and composition rather than worrying about rendering.

"Done" ..... I really need to figure out how to do color correction on my monitors. Each one of the three is slightly different than the other. The textures as I am looking at them now are way harsher than if I look at this image on my main screen. Weird. Time to figure out  a good way to fix that.