I finally got around to watching After Earth the other day, the sci-fi-fi movie M. Night Shyamalan made with Will and Jaden Smith a few years ago. It just hit me that Will has a unique face, and I instantly felt compelled to draw it. So, with my Dark Brown Prismacolor pencil, I gave it a shot.
UPDATE:I just want to say that I used to be a fan. After the ugliness at the Oscars on March 27, 2022, rather than remove this drawing, it will be left up with the message that I will no longer support Will Smith’s endeavors with my dollars or attention. Defend a punch with a punch. Defend words with intelligent words. Proverbs 15:1-2 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.”
The time of lockdown here during 2020 has got to be the strangest societal experience of our collective lifetime. One of the stranger of the restrictions placed upon us by our government has been the suspension of religious freedom despite stores being open, restaurants being open, open beaches, massive public demonstrations, political rallies, and even air travel where everyone breathes the same recycled air for hours on end.
Well, we have acquiesced, and have reverted to watching our churches online. All of our preachers have inadvertently become televangelists. During this time of uncertainty, I have been thankful for the biblical wisdom my own pastor has released upon us week after week, backing everything he says with what is written in the Bible, spoken in a calm, easily understood manner.
You know, back in the day, I used to sit in services doodling while listening. For me, doodling was always a way to help me stay awake during a long talk, business meeting, sermon, or otherwise. It helped me focus on what was being said. Unfortunately, in church I was a distraction to those around me who would watch me doodle instead of listening themselves. So, I stopped.
With church being online only these days, I’ve gone back to doodling during the sermons. While some doodles are random, a few Sundays back I found myself doodling my pastor from the computer screen. Later, I took the inked drawing into Photoshop to add some quick color.
I’m not much of a portrait artist, but caricatures flow from my hand from time to time. So, this was drawn with the utmost respect.
Instead of doing some sketch of a patriot for today, I thought it might be fun to see ol’ British King George III’s reaction to learning that the Colonies decided to rebel against him on that fateful July 4 back in 1776.
I’ll bet ol’ Georgie had wished the postal service had that day off that first year, but that would come later.
Today marks what would have been the great Ray Harryhausen’s 100th birthday. To film and animation aficionados, Ray’s name is highly praised, and rightfully so. He was a brilliant stop-motion animator who, following in the footsteps of Willis O’Brien (the man behind the original King Kong), Ray elevated the world of visual effects in live-action movies that set new standards for decades. His work was often a part of science fiction and fantasy movies, but even if a film itself wasn’t necessarily great, Ray’s work on its own was groundbreaking.
My favorite of Ray’s work, and the favorite of many, is the skeleton sword fight from Jason and the Argonauts. It was made in 1963 , which means there were no computers involved. It was just little skeleton puppets moved one frame at a time, lit to look like it was outside, and large real human actors were filmed separately from the skeletons to look like they were interacting with them. Insanely difficult to pull off, but done so brilliantly. Here’s the scene:
I feel very privileged to work in the animation business, and was thrilled to have had the chance to meet and talk with Ray a number of times before he passed. His tales of working in this business inventing techniques and trick along the way were fascinating. They were especially fascinating because while I usually work on projects that are completely animated, Ray’s objective was to have the make-believe stuff appear to be real by having it interact with real things.
Perhaps the most unique brief chat with him came from bumping into Ray on a sidewalk here in Burbank, CA one day. Most people walked by without giving him a second look, but then a young animation guy like me knew who he was.
Ray passed away at the age of 92, but what an amazing legacy he left behind.
Alright, Pilgrims, show some love to those dads out there today because it’s Father’s Day!
This is the first Father’s Day without my pop. Got to thinking about him, and his favorite actor was John Wayne. Dad watched all his movies, and in particular, he loved the westerns. It’s no wonder, growing up in Arizona, Pop had a bit of the cowboy spirit about him, and John Wayne was the ultimate example – the epitome of manliness with the right amount of sentiment. While my dad ended up working in the world of business in the shadow of New York City, he always maintained a touch of cowboy just underneath the surface.
So, call up your dads today, give them a big ol’ “HOWDY,” and make sure they know how much you appreciate how they protected and herded you and the rest of the family over the years.
When I was working on the Green Eggs and Ham show at Warner Bros., I was chatting with some colleagues who shared an office with each other. Lorenzo Martinez was joking that he and Sarah Arakaki were Batman and Robin, to which Sarah commented that she was Batman in that equation.
I thought that image seemed funny in my head, especially since Sarah is a bit short, and Lorenzo is overly tall. So, when I had a moment, I decided to turn that into a real image. This was the result.
Hopefully you’ll find the image funny on its own merit since you all probably don’t know Lorenzo or Sarah. What you should know about them, though, is that they are brilliant animation layout artists. Those are the people who design the environments – the sets – in animation.
Lorenzo is a veteran going back to films like The Little Mermaid, and more recently was the layout supervisor for the animated sequences of Mary Poppins Returns. Sarah is new to the business with Green Eggs being her first show. She’s got a very bright future ahead of her! Together with Tyler Gentry who I worked with years ago on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, they make up the layout department on Green Eggs & Ham coming soon to a Netflix near you!