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5 little monkeys

Here is some artwork inspired by my youngest daughter. I had a loose scribble on a page of a non recognizable doodle. She had leaned in and started to sing the 5 little monkeys song. I titled my head to view it a bit closer to her angle. Sure enough it sort of looked like a monkey. Inspired by her singing, This time I intentionally created a 5 little monkeys piece for her.

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Glen Keane's Duet

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Glen Keane's Duet

Over the years I have heard many master animators talk about how there is more to explore in terms of art in traditional animation. That there are new grounds to push.  I heard legendary animator Glen Keane say this very thing at CTN.  Others usually ended their speech by passing the torch saying it is up to the next generation. Many certainly have earned the right when looking at their body of work. However Glen has been a man of action. After he quit Disney he mentioned it was not going to happen there. Teaming up with Motorola and Google for what will eventually be an interactive story has created an amazing short in it's own right. Not sure what the interactive will fully entail but sounds intriguing.

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VW Kombi Drawing.

Growing up, for several years each summer we would travel the country in a VW Kombi. This van became a home away from home for a couple months at a time. The drawing was done in ink markers and brush pens. Then a tad of photoshop for the shines and background.

VW Kombi

VW Kombi

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Mermaid Drawing

Here is a picture of a mermaid basking in the sun. Maybe later I will post some of the early pencil work and outtake tests. At one point I thought to do it all in color pencils. Ultimately in the end I went digital to color.

Mermaid, graphite and digital.

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Scaredy Bear

A fairly fast drawing of a scared bear. One rough sketch followed by a cleaned up pencil trace. Then scanned and colored in photoshop. 

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I originally started with very rough sketches on note paper. I was more focused on trying to create a good silhouette at this stage.

However I was so focused on silhouette that I ended up stretching the far hind leg way too long. It reads better as a hind leg, but proportionately it makes for one looooong leg. As I was coloring it in, the defect  started to yell out at me.  So with some photoshop magic I pushed the leg back in the final version above.

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New Year New Sketch

Happy New Year! Trying to sketch a little more this year. Squeezed this one out. Not sure where the inspiration came from other than it seemed like it would be fun to draw.

 

Hillbilly playing banjo.  

Hillbilly playing banjo.

 

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Random Sketch of a Girl

Been awhile since I updated art wise. I dug around and found a drawing I did back in March or so. I had just ordered some oatmeal paper and had to do a test! Otherwise I have been keeping busy with my freelance projects which do not allow a lot of time to draw. However I am getting very close to the end of the animation project I have been working on. I have just a few more shots left to work on animation, then comes post production! But in the mean time I will post this sketch.

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Abstract Pencil drawing

I finally got some time to finish a drawing . I realized I had not done a graphite drawing in some time. Figured I would do an abstract piece to flex my skills.  As it happened, I was feeding a banana to the baby when I discovered the subject to draw.  So I snapped a reference photo to use.  Originally I was going to draw it just like the photo with a hand holding a banana. Last minute I decided to switch it up a little and have the hand come out of the banana.

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February update

 Had a few people inquire that the site has been a bit quite lately. Well there are two reasons for that. Let me start by saying a very late Happy New year. First I have been working on my freelance project. As I have mentioned before being under wraps I can't say much. However progress has been great and I am moving right along.

The second reason, I finally upgraded to a new computer that was long over due. Took some time to transfer everything over and get new programs installed. I am just about up to speed. 

I have been itching to do some sketches. I have some ideas and have even collected/created some reference. Now just need the time. If I am at my office I feel compelled to work on the freelance project.  So I have been sort of waiting for some down time to happen while I am away from the computer. I have been trying to carry my sketchbook around for this very reason. With some luck I might get new sketch soon.

I usually like to post with a photo as it makes the blog feel less wordy. Since there is not a whole lot to update with I will post a photo of my work station showing off  my newly installed color led lights. 'Till next time!

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Background Teaser From Upcoming Project.

As I have mentioned before, the current project I am working on has to remain under wraps at this stage.  However, I may be able to get permission to sneak out a little teaser now and again like the background image here.

Click to enlarge


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The Saga of Rex Kickstarter project

Every so often I will come across a kickstarter project that I get excited to jump on board and support. In this case not just financially but also getting the word out there to anyone else who may be interested. I have been a big fan of Michel Gagné for some years now. So I was very excited when he started campaigning to animate his graphic novel The Saga of Rex.  Below is the official press release for the project to learn more. Feel free to post and or pass along.

THE SAGA OF REX: FROM GRAPHIC NOVEL TO ANIMATED FILM

Bellingham, WA, November 5, 2012 – Veteran animator, Michel Gagné, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance the first four minutes of a proposed animated feature film based on his graphic novel, The Saga of Rex.

Gagné began his career as an animator in 1985, and went on to work on several high profile projects for studios such as Don Bluth Entertainment, Disney, Pixar, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and many more. In the mid nineties, he worked his way up to Head of Special Effects at Warner Brothers Feature Animation where he remained for six years. In 2001, he decided to leave the big studios behind in an effort to pursue a different goal.

"I have always done personal work after hours and on weekends", said Gagné. "With my departure from Hollywood, I was planning to make my personal art the primary focus of my career. In 2002, I moved to the Pacific Northwest, converted the first floor of my home into a state of the art studio, and began seriously working toward that dream."

Since becoming a full time independent artist, Gagné has created books, graphic novels, short films, a video game, live performances, etc., while at the same time, continuing his affiliation with the movie, television and game industries as a freelancer. Earlier this year, he was awarded a BAFTA (British Academy Award) and an Annie Award (Animation's Highest Honor) for Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, a video game he created with Seattle based game veteran, Joe Olson. The Saga of Rex: The Animated Film is his latest venture and he is confident that he can get the project off the ground through the crowd funding opportunity that Kickstarter offers.

"Kickstarter is a wonderful tool for independent artists to create something special and visionary that would, otherwise, have no chance of funding within the traditional commercial route," said Gagné. "In America, 2D hand drawn classical animation is on the brink of extinction. With The Saga of Rex, I hope to help the medium move forward with new ideas and concepts, and prove that it can be done with a responsible budget. Essentially, I want to make an author film with animation that harkens back to the Bluth and Disney classics."

The Saga of Rex was born when Gagné was approached by editor Kazu Kibuishi, about creating a story for the annual comics anthology, FLIGHT, published by Image Comics and Random House.

"In 2004, I was doing a signing at the Long Beach Wizard Con", said Gagné. "Kazu Kibuishi came to my table and showed me a binder containing the artwork for a comics anthology he was putting together called, FLIGHT: Volume 1. He was familiar with my work and hoped I'd be a part of future volumes. Impressed by his presentation, I suggested a science fiction story around Rex, my little fox character. One of Kazu's goals with FLIGHTwas to help artists build their own graphic novels in manageable chunks. I saw a golden opportunity to not only produce a graphic novel, but laying the foundation of a potential animated film as well."

The Saga of Rex was serialized in six volumes of FLIGHT, from 2005 to 2010. All the chapters were then compiled and published as a single book by Image Comics in the Fall of 2010. The story features a little fox who gets abducted by a flying saucer and is transported to the planet Edernia, where he encounters the Blossoms, a race of shape shifters. One of the Blossoms, chooses Rex as a potential mate and so the adventure begins. Rex must prove his worth and Aven, the shape shifting Blossom, must conquer Rex’s heart. The Saga of Rex is a labor of love that reflects Gagné's deep enthusiasm for offbeat golden age science fiction and classical animation.

Find out more about The Saga of Rex's Kickstarter campaign, and Gagné's plan on how he intend to make the movie at the following links:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/michelGagne/the-saga-of-rex-the-animated-film-project

The Saga of Rex Kickstarter Video on YouTube: http://youtu.be/A5M3ebgBL04

Michel Gagné's Official Website: http://www.gagneint.com/

Contact: Gagneint@aol.com

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Prepping for animation

I am starting the prep work for animating on the freelance project. Does not help that my main computer just died. Just pushed play on iTunes when it shut down. Such is life. I am now getting the lap top prepped for the project.

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Storyboard work continues on the freelance project.

Been hard at work on a freelance project. Currently I have not asked for permission to post anything about it.  If and when, I will post some more detailed progress. As of right now I am working on the story boards going back and forth with the client on revisions. Once I get the thumbs up I will start working on animating it.  Should be a fun project! 

Zane working on story boards.

Zane working on story boards.

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New Redesign!

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Yes...yes you indeed are seeing something different. I gave the site a redesign. This is the first in 4 years. It started more as a back end upgrade that has a ton more features to make my life easier. As I started working on getting the site transferred over to the new service I started tinkering around with the design. With that said I am probably not done tinkering. So if you notice some small things changing here and there it is not you. I want to thank all of you who follow along and even comment from time to time. Hopefully you will enjoy the new site?

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New Updated Website Coming Soon!

Update!

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I am currently working on a small redesign for my website. This is more back end than anything. It will be much more optimized for mobile and tablet devices. The updated site will give me a lot more flexibility with automated features. In return this allows me to do what I like to do best... draw and animate. While I am keeping the same colors and theme overall, you should notice some design updates.

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