Monday, February 28, 2011


Anybody who has been to my house knows that I'm a bit of a nut when it comes to still lives. I spent most of my childhood drawing kind of what I do best. Honestly. I feel like still lives are my safe place. They don't move....they're pretty....and...I feel like anything I have done in my life (artwise) all somehow ties back to still lives. Unfortunately nobody wants to buy them, and most people find them boring. The most one can say about a still life is "that is executed well."

It is also something that Russians obsess about. For whatever reason. Its like..."hey look guest, my child is so cultured, she paints still lives! Isn't she AWESOME!!!??" Snobiness aside, It puts my heart at ease that most of the parents of my students recognize the importance of still lives in a child's education. Like doing math problems, it opens up a new way of thinking. By excercizing their visual analytical brain muscles, I find that my kids start seeing the world in a different way, and are able to grasp the "big picture" better.

For some reason, people think that if you study art, you are going to become an artist. I think that's absolute horse shit. Only the smallest sliver of the population goes on to become mathematicians post graduation, and yet they've been doing math their whole lives. Most people focus on "artsy crafts" when they work with children, because they severely underestimate their hungry little minds.

For the past month and a half I have been prepping one of my students for still lives. She just turned nine. Today was her second foray into the world of still life. And she loved it! "I don't understand why I was so afraid to do this! This is easy!" First time resulted in a weepy mess where I quickly had to dismantle the thing and save it for when she was more ready. But today was hyper success. I did it! I made understanding 3D forms EASY AND FUN FOR A 9 YEAR OLD! I'm so proud of her!  

Can't wait to light it and paint with watercolors!


Couldn't help myself >.<
P.S. - I'm getting a blast from the past. Working at my school AFS doing some scene painting for the middle school show. Will post some progress pics for fun! Here's a brick oven I'm working on. Will replace with better pictures soon. See! Still life skills to the rescue once again!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Hurray for editing more photos! I swear guys, I'm a pro at this lasso thing now!
I also potentially picked up a new student. Hurray! Today we did cut outs. I think the girls had fun. I made a demented blue zebra. I think I'll name him Carl.

On a positive note, I started on a new butt for my deer boy. I mixed sculpey firm with super sculpey...which I think yields stronger results. I decided to bake it while everything still worked, and I'll work off a solid base from here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Seagull turnaround is complete! And so is his manikin head.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Ok...this really isn't fair. I swear to god I only just posted a few days ago. Its been over a week. WHY!!!!!! I realize I've been so busy I haven't even checked my email! (Ironically I'm on facebook enough, but that's just because cupcake corner whirrs in the background while I work on stuff).

So...I suppose I have been working on something a day.

I'm a huge lover of Asian ball jointed dolls. Unfortunately I do not have the money to fund a collection, so I get bits and pieces of dolls second hand. They are far from mint quality, but I still utterly love them. I am currently in the process of casting a koi mermaid boy - KIO, and have already tried sculpting an MSD sized one around 4 years ago. His head is cute, the rest is....epic fail to say the least. A while back I bought a hand made doll head, and thought it would be fitting to make a hand made body for him. And here is the start. He had a lower half to his torso (hips) but they broke after they cooled off. I need to figure out a new material to work in for the rest of his body...something more durable. So, here is his torso and doom hand:

We also gave my friend's doll torso a long overdue sex change. Hurray for sanding toxic resin boobies!


Ugh...long day. Woke up at the crack of dawn to get to my sister's figure skating competition. She won
first place!

Made an Asian fish kite with one of my students:

And did figure drawing with my other student. She's really quite good! She did each of her drawings in 10 minutes. I drew along with her to show her how the body fits into perspective. I know its a tad much to expect from a 10 year old...but she's very keen. Here's a photo (taken after the fact!) for comparison.  

Abby's first venture into figure drawing! HER FIRST!!!

What can I say...I have kickass students :)

Worked all day editing photos in photoshop. Glad to say my lasso skills are exemplary now. Still plowing through a still life with my student. Here are a few examples of the kind of things I am surrounded with at work:  

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I don't think my painting went over very well with my commissioner/boss. He says its...flat. He also went on to mention that it wasn't impresionistic enough, and lacked...err...emotion? Or...feeling?

This isn't the first time I've heard this about my paintings. Everyone classifies them as rigid and academic. Even 4 years at a pretty loosey-goosey art school didn't loosen me up enough. Perhaps impressionism isn't my cup of tea? Well, I'll try again. I have an idea for a new painting (sunny this time...)

 My boss took me to a gallery in Lahaska. All the paintings there were of idylic landscapes and had some kind of interesting lighting going on. I guess mine was too uniform and moody? *shrug* who knows.

I just know that I can sense a little piece of the artist's spirit in whatever artwork I look at. Even if I can't always see it, I can still sense its there, and can appreciate it for what it is. I just can't convey the same thing in my paintings though. 

Curious to do you inject life into your art?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Wow, its been forever since my last post. How is it that every day drags by so slowly, and yet every week just whizzes right by? Sheesh!

So, I have to say, that I've had one of the best damned Valentines days ever. For starters, I met Jamie Calieri, who has been one of my favorite animators/directors for years! Do yourselves a favor and look at HIS WORK. You WILL recognize what he has done, I promise.

So, I've managed to meet Eric Goldberg (Ottawa), Yuri Norstein (Pratt), and Jamie Calieri (Uarts). Watch out Brother's Mcleod and Hayao Miyazaki! You're next!

I managed to get his presentation on video. Sound is out of sync and he's far away, but its something! Jamie giving some good advice:

Hard to top, I know. My day ended wonderfully today. I had two fantastic lessons with my students. I drew one of them:
She has the best bangs out of anyone I've seen!

 I also did stamps and stencils with my other student. Nothing the universe should ever care to look at, but, seeing as I'm the most common visitor to my blog, I can post whatever I want to see :)

NETWORKING HINT: It really helps to get someone to introduce you to someone famous. If you come up by yourself, you come off as a fan. If you can get someone already connected to said famous person give an introduction, then you're worth something. Unfortunately my introduction went awry....ah well. At least he has my business card!

SHOUT OUT to ADRIEL GARCIA, my valentine :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Turnarounds and animation tests to soon follow;

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Does this really need an explanation?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

SEAGULL TESTS 01 -- sillhouetting and walk cycle

Wh-wh-wh-wh-whaaa? Can this be? I've...animated? And....used Eric Goldberg's book?

I'm doing some preliminary work to help me get into character of a seagull I'm animating. He's a pompous little jerk who annoys the hell out of a composer in hopes of getting him to write better music. Kind of like house...but better. I think I'm in love*swoons.*

So, I've been doing a lot of sketching. I'm not even gonna post a quarter of all the sketching and mucking about I've been doing. Instead...I'll show you the SILHOUETTING exercises I've done. First lesson in Goldberg's book! They're kind of squashed in with some of the sketching and notes I've been taking...but I kind of find my whole sketch dump page aesthetically pleasing, so I'll post the whole thing *cackles evilly at your pain*

But that is not all folks! I tried to do a test walk cycle. Honestly, I think its kinda blah. I like his butt wiggle. I think I'll make it more defined though. And his head NEEDS to move. Seagulls don't jerk their heads around like pigeons when they walk, so I didn't see need of that. Also, I thought I should make his head as straight as possible to make him more dignified.  But, I HAVE to move his head. Also...I was caught in the crossfire between two opposing sides. Should I make him walk completely realistic? Or, should I really push his walk cycle to make him as pompous and as all knowing as he should be? So...I kind of fell in between. Which is a dangerous place to fall into most of the time. I think I'll follow up with a completely realistic walk...and then a more pushed one. My director wants to go more realistic, so lets see how he feels about this one. ANY critiqs will be helpful!

You know what? On second thought, I'm going to take a look at how Amelia and Amanda, the two LOVELY geese from Disney's Aristocats walk. They are so dignified, yet they have the cutest waddle! I might copy that as a quick side assignment...*ponders*

Friday, February 4, 2011


I was working on a still life with my student today and got bored. Here is a corner of her overall still life.

Did this in one hour using colored pencils in student's sketchbook. Photo taken by my cell phone.


If anyone knows me...they realize that I can get kind of obsessed over things. Like Cupcake corner on facebook, or paper mario, or avoiding sleep.

So, recently, my good friend Evan stumbled across Animation Fight Club on Facebook. Will this be my new obsession? Yes @___@. I think its kickass...and I think all you animators out there should participate...

So...I've kind of been sketching around, figuring out what my character will be. Can't post it here, because part of AFC is anonymity. However, I cracked my good buddy Isaac out to to do some martial arts in the spirit beating shit up.

So...go on facebook, and search for ANIMATION FIGHT CLUB.

Hopefully I'll see ya there!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


So, recently I got into Bucks County impressionism. Its neat stuff! What I like is how hot it is right not! Seriously, paintings are going for like, 20 grand a pop!

I figure it would make a great background exercise for me! I went out with my boyfriend and we took tons of pictures outside in the snow with the new camera I bought him for his birthday. We visited where George Washington crossed the Delaware, and took pictures during the nonstop snowstorms we've been getting here!

Seeing as B.C.I. is all done in oils, I cracked out my oils and decided to do my background in them. Gosh, I forgot how awesome they were!

So here is what I got after today! This is only the first coat! I gotta wait for it to dry before I add all the snow in the trees, otherwise my white will get all muddy because they'll be mixing with the wet paint underneath.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Brian Lonano, thank you for the slap on the wrist.

 I have mostly been working on character designs, getting ready for animations. Got more work (new students and job). I know I said that I would really focus this blog to 3 main things. And I tried...sort of...

So for the time being I'm opening up my blog up to things I am working on.

More on this later.