Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Drawing Sessions

Recent storms brought in the best snow I've ever seen at Lake Tahoe this past weekend (lots of tree riding at Squaw!); unfortunately it also brought blinding 120mph gusts of wind, which closed the roads out of the mountains and stranded Mark, Mahyar and I for an unexpected Sunday night at the Cal Neva bar. We woke up at 4am Monday morning to chase a small window of potential freeway re-openings, and made it back to Oakland in time for work.

As for drawing: I got a pretty good note in class to look more for the abstract shape of a pose before committing to even the limbs of a character. Will try to push for that more in the next session...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Gesture Drawing

Coachella's lineup was announced today... I'm thinking about it, but leaning away this year. Roger Waters would be cool, but for the $500 it takes for me to make the trip, this new lineup just seems to fall a little short. Keeping me in the game is a review of some of my favorite 2007 shows streaming fresh off the 'nano: Rodrigo y Gabriela, Of Montreal, Hot Chip, Metric, and Gotan Project.

Meanwhile, back at gesture drawing:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Do it Yourself: Cloverfield

This past weekend I saw the new film Cloverfield, a sci-fi/action/horror release shot entirely with handheld cameras (similar to Blair Witch) which was apparently a big hit with U.S. audiences. I came away disappointed by my experience with the film, particularly because I was startled by its gross production inefficiency. While some might laud the film's $25 million production budget, the same experience could have easily been achieved without leaving home, for less than $20. Please allow me to explain this as a simple four-step process:

To reproduce the movie, you'll first need to acquire a bottle of cheap vodka, a shot glass, and a copy of Godzilla (1998 version starring Matthew Broderick). For some viewers, these will be ordinary household items, making for an even smaller production budget.

First, power on your television and DVD player. Set the sleep timer on your television to a random time within the span of 1 - 1.5 hours. This step will make sense later.

Now, quickly drink about 5-10 shots of the vodka. After a brief wait, the room should be spinning and you should feel somewhat nauseous - perfect viewing conditions! Not a moment to be wasted - find that DVD player remote!

Play your copy of Godzilla. Note the explosions, large invincible reptilian creature destroying New York City (again), as well as the entirely forgettable plot and characters. Note how the spinning room adds to your viewing experience. Occasionally look down at your feet for a few minutes, and try to focus on them. Think about the last time you went to Disneyland. Think about how courteous it was of Disneyland cast members to discreetly place those small vomit receptacles by your feet on turbulent rides. Try not to dwell on this, just appreciate it.

If you followed the above steps correctly, your television should turn off unpredictably, at a random point in the movie: Just what you need to complete your Do-it-Yourself Cloverfield experience!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Drawing Sessions (From the Stack)

I usually bring all my drawings home from class and toss them in a growing stack of newsprint paper. When I have time, I take a few pages from the top of the stack, re-drawing poses in a sketchbook and taking a second look at successes and failures. Here are a few interesting ones from December that had been buried...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Drawing Sessions

While I've spent most of my weeknights lately battling a major outbreak of buzzing flies in my house, I have to admit there's a strange satisfaction once you reach a letter of flyswatter aptitude where you can take down the little pests in mid-air, on their own turf. Anyhow, here are a few drawings from class in my first week back:

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Google Reader & Homepage

This might not be news to everyone, but just a quick shout out for everyone else: I've only recently been able to sit down and fully explore the cool new Google Web apps available, and I have to recommend that you Google users out there at home give Reader and Homepage a spin (available through the menus at the top of Gmail and Google search). As a pair these have largely streamlined my daily web browsing: I get RSS summaries of all the websites, blogs, and columns I read as they're updated, and my homepage lists my email, chat, weather, stocks, and news. The new and evolving Reader sharing feature, by which you can see your friends' favorite articles and web findings, is a lot more fun than - so get on there, Google friends! You can also see my shared items to the right on this blog if you use a different reader.

Only downside is that I've already subscribed to too many things! That, and the fact that Google now knows far too much about me and could probably replace me entirely by 2021 when it releases "Google Replicant".

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Comic: Family Tech Support

Do you live far from your parents, finding yourself doing a little tech support regularly on your visits? Usually it isn't anything impossibly complex, but the generational gap when it comes to computers is always amusing, so when I found my afternoon free yesterday I decided to draw up a quick comic:

It was fun to try this, though the process was glacially slow since I'm not used to doing it! I used a generic Dad caricature for the sake of getting the drawings done quickly.