Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Three Cowboys

Here's a sketch I did today because I was feeling bad about not painting for the last few days. My allergies have been giving me hell, but I think I know how to get it under control.

Hooray for spaceships in the desert!

Also, Happy New Year! I'm gonna make some goals and post them so's y'all ken keep me in line next year...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tiger PGA Tour 09

All images property of Electronic Arts.

Here is another lighting target I did for the Wentworth course in Tiger 09. I made the time of day to morning. Personally I think the sky could use some work, now that I'm looking at it again.

Please let me know if these types of posts bore you!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Yet another BW Sketch

This is a really quick one. Absolutely no thought process, and I don't like the square canvas... but, it is what it is! Let me know what you think.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Family Time

It's been nice being at home for the holidays. It's also been nice not to be traveling anywhere, though it is always fun being around more family and friends. We are glad for the nice weather we've been experiencing while watching the rest of the country suffer. I need to do some more painting, but here are some of the things we've been able to accomplish so far. Santa gave the girls roller skates for Christmas, and Miles commandeered the sweet pink scooter. Lucas is practicing standing on his own! Most of these were taken at the local library park/roller hockey rink.

Have a safe New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Recent Sketch

I was doodling around with a few custom brushes and started liking the results. I was inspired by Hans Bacher's focus on composition and basic texture and color. Maybe someday I'll add color...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tiger 09 Clouds

My claim to fame for this one is that I painted the sky with custom brushes I made by hand. The bottom one is my paintover, with lighting adjustments.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Madden NFL 09 Stadiums

I like the UFO stadiums. The Saints stadium was one of my favorites to do, even though there are things I see now that aren't so good. Did I mention these were one of the first projects I did after joining the Concept team?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lil' Chitlins

1. I think Anna is playing with a cookie. She is getting more and more beautiful!

2. Lucas managed to eat some of the softened sticks of chalk. He just LOVES getting into things.

3. I just LOVE the devilish look Miles is giving. He kinda looks like Gollum,! Wife said he was pouring cups of water on the chalk, watching it wash the drawings away.

PS. I think my monitor is too bright, even though I calibrated it. Let me know if these photos look too dark to you!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Figure Drawing

18" x 24" Nupastel on Canson sketch paper. 10 min figure study at a session at work. I'm a bit rusty, so it was good practice.

Friday, December 19, 2008

NCAA Football Weather Target - Overcast Snow

All images property of Electronic Arts.

The top image is the "plate" for this painting. It's a screenshot off of the Xbox 360 game. The art director wanted a target for what overcast snowing weather conditions would look like, so this is my concept. This one took a few days in Photoshop.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Christmas 'Stache

My manager at work started an initiative to get all the guys on our team to sport moustaches at this year's company holiday party. I was hesitant at first, but decided to see how mine turned out. I started letting it grow the weekend before Thanksgiving, and shaved it off this last Sunday. I don't have a pic of the goatee (if you could call it that) before I started shaving, but here are some photos taken as The 'Stache emerged!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tiger PGA Tour 09 Lighting Target - Sun City

All images property of Electronic Arts.

This is one of the first projects I worked on when I transitioned over to the Concept team. I was given an idea of the overall color they wanted for this course,. I was also given the top image as a starting point.

I used adjustment layers to adjust color and repainted some of the light shadows. The time of day is late afternoon/early evening.

The purpose of this piece is to give the lighters a target for color and atmosphere as they light the course they get from the environment artists, as well as set the sky. I am not sure what the course looks like in the actual game, I guess I could go fire it up.

It was awhile ago, but I think these took me a few days to do.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Madden NFL 09 Stadiums

All images property of Electronic Arts.

These stadiums were painted for Madden NFL 09 intro screens. We did a day and a night version for each stadium. Unfortunately, I didn't get to do the night one for the Cardinals, which is one of my favorites because it looks like a UFO. These images are more like matte paintings in that elements of photos were used, but there was also a good deal of painting into them. We started with a 3D render of the stadium as a guide. The parking lot and street had to be in the same location.

If you fire up the game and watch the intro, there is actually a camera move, which was done by projecting our paintings onto geometry to get realistic parallaxing. I think they turned out pretty nice, considering we only intended for them to be static 2D images to begin with...

These took 3 days each. The Colts stadium was particularly interesting because it was not completed when I had to do the painting. I used whatever reference of the building plans I could find on the internet, so it may not be 100% accurate.

I got a lot better at painting windows by the end of the 32-stadium project (64 paintings), even though I only did 13 of them.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oil sketch

This little 3" x 5" sketch in oils took a hefty 2 hours to do. I haven't painted in quite a while, and want to develop more control in the medium. I am far from it, as you can see by the muddy colors and heavy purples in the sketch. I worked from a photo of Otter Creek PA my wife took last time we were up there.

I was having a hard time painting wet on wet and with only one brush (I dislike having to clean tons of brushes!). My friend Steven Geer told me I should be using multiple brushes and paint shadows thinly at first, building up to thicker opaque lighter values, so that's what I'll be working on next time. Wish me luck!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tiger Woods 09 lighting target - Sheshan

All images property of Electronic Arts.

This is one of the first projects I worked on when I transitioned over to the Concept team. I was given an idea of the overall color they wanted for this course, Sheshan. I was also given the top image as a starting point. The lighter strip you see on the bottom of it is actually the finished artwork in Photoshop. I added the strip to shift the horizon line higher and make the composition more appealing.

I used adjustment layers to adjust color and repainted the sand traps to have a nice cool shadows. I was told to paint it as a certain time of day, can you tell what it is? I am not sure if I hit it as accurately as I should have...

The purpose of this piece is to give the lighters a target for color and atmosphere as they light the course they get from the environment artists, as well as set the sky. I am not sure what the course looks like in the actual game, but I do have a copy of the Wii game. I wonder if that one looks as good as the 360 or PS3 one... doubtful!

It was awhile ago, but I think these took me a few days to do.

Keep checking back, I will be posting more of these and then some Madden NFL 09 work.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Concept art

All images property of Electronic Arts.

These are some pieces I did within the past year. The Sand flea/squid was a one day exercise, the subject was simply "Industrial Design". I did a page of silhouette sketches to warm up and explore different shapes, then took the rest of the day to paint it. Props to my co-worker Steven Geer for his paper texture that I now use for everything!

The PS3 background was for an internal PS3 load screen. It was fun, even though it's pretty's what they wanted...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I can't get enough ART!

Ok, I'm sorry for not posting more regularly. This blog has kind of taken some twists and turns, and mostly been a place for me to post random stuff. Eventually, I may split this blog into two streams of consciousness, one for art and one for everything else....

I am taking a break from furious mouse-clicking to type this blog entry. I am compelled to save artwork to look at and study and draw inspiration from, so I've been going to a bunch of art blogs and saving the images in reference folders for myself to peruse at my leisure. My wife snidely comments on my "stealing" work, but sometimes people's blogs or webpages disappear, or they take work off of it. I love studying other artists' work, and learning from them. I have a LOT of artists blogs in my Google Reader, but I'm not sure how to get a list and link them easily. If anyone has an easy method for this, please let me know!

Here are just a few of my favorites (legendary status) lately:

John Nevarez
Hans Bacher
Nathan Fowkes
Robh Ruppel

Sorry, no pix! I'm feeling WAY too lazy and I'm also grumpy at Blogspot's lack of layout tools for the non-HTML nerds.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I have a new little snapshot camera, which I bought from a friend for a few bux and need to get a replacement battery door cover. I just like how small it is, but I need to get the manual to figure out some stuff. Here are some pictures I've taken lately! Abbie's school had an event called "Donuts with Dad". As with any publicized event with free food, there was a mob of hungry dads and kids. Apparently, last year the event didn't have nearly that many people. When we walked into the cafeteria, I noticed 4 or 5 Krispy Kreme boxes and some drinks, and noted the fulness of the cafeteria. We were lucky to get any Donuts at all, and they were the backup Dunkin Donuts that showed up 5 minutes before school started...

I won some tickets to the Magic vs Raptors game last Tuesday. The company's season tickets are in the lower bowl, and great. I had a headache but went anyway and it was a great game.

The picture of Lucas was taken at the park when I took the kids for a half-hour romp yesterday. The weather was great and he liked to hang out watching the other kids play.

I am truly blessed!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fu Man Chu

FYI, that's not me, I Googled "asian moustache"...

My manager at work started a movement for all the guys on our team to sport moustaches at the company Holiday party. I was a little hesitant, but I want to see how far I can go now. I guess I'll have to take a pic or two, but let's just say I don't think it will come in very thick. The middle of my upper lip probably won't grown any moustache at all, and I am pretty interested to see how it is going to turn out....

I did find one pic that is probably how I'll turn out.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I've been going to the gym more, and I've been loving it. I go at lunch, with a few of my co-workers. I used to do some push-ups and what not at home in the mornings, which I should get back to doing if I could just get to bed and wake up earlier. Here is what happened the other night when the kids wanted to do some exercise!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Some of you may remember my attempts at caricature back around April Fool's Day. I finally have some free time and hate to just sit around watching TV, even though I enjoy the diversion. It's just that nothing really gets accomplished by sitting on the couch, so I choose to watch shows at my computer. At work, I usually have a show running in a corner of one of my monitors while I paint. I've tried listening to music, and while it works, I enjoy listening to people talk more. I guess I'd like XM radio, but I haven't gone there yet. Just ask the Dear Wife how much I enjoy good talk radio. Too bad Florida barely has any! (no offense if you're reading this, Lex and Terry).

Anyhow, my manager keeps saying how much he can't wait to see color in the caricature I did of him back for April Fool's Day, and I finally got around to it! The secret method is simple - Photoshop adjustment layers! I flatten the entire image as I work. I used to be very anxious about losing layers that I might need later, and there are still instances where you might want to keep layers separate for awhile, but it's always easier working on a flattened image when doing color work. It also gives the piece more life, variation, and refinement. Here is the tonal I started with, and where I'm at now. I'd say I'm about 75% done. I'll have to get some fresh eyes on on the images to view them larger!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

More thoughts on Voting

The Woman has been begging for the Flip Ultra, a "video camera for dummies". And let me tell you, it is! Abbie will be using this in no time, without our permission of course. It has no removable memory source, but can hold 60 minutes of video at 640 x 480 resolution at a pretty decent picture quality. It saves movies in AVI format and comes with some simple software that I have yet to use. Best yet, is the low low cost of this product, a mere $125 from Costco. That sure beats the Canon DV camera that I bought over a year ago and have used 3 times! The thing is, capturing and transferring off of DV is a pain... I know the quality is better, but for me the purpose and hassle isn't worth it.

We drove by the local library today to see how long the early voting line was. It went out the door and along the sidewalk and parking lot, so we just went to the park and then Walmart instead. Here is an impromptu interview The Woman recorded on the way. It's always weird seeing and hearing yourself on video...

Vote for Sale!

Make me an offer!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

ZBrush Resurface

Fear not, faithful readers. I have not forgotten you! It does feel like ages since my last post....

I did a gesture sculpt in ZBrush, using ZSpheres for the first time ever. I should have saved that in an image somewhere, so you non-industry people will have to use your imagination. The results actually held up pretty decently, but I forgot the ears so I just jumped ahead to resurfacing the mesh in Maya. I used the sketch from a previous post for reference. Now I am ready to push around some more digital clay and finish out this head! Stay tuned for more updates...

In other interesting news, Autodesk buys XSI from Avid for $35 million. The end of innovation? Perhaps. Autodesk is now the Microsoft of the 3D software industry, as it now owns the 3 most used software packages in the industry (Maya, 3dsmax, XSI) as well as Mudbox, which looks to be stiff competition for Zbrush with their upcoming release.

It's as if Microsoft just bought Apple...the End of Days?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Art and Abbie, the Author

This head study was done with raw Super Sculpy. It's the first sculpture I've ever done, and the only one I've ever finished. I hope to have more time to do more sculpting, but I am still learning and want to try some different materials that require some more equipment. Super Sculpy is ok, but kind of gummy. I used photos of a Polynesian football player for starting reference, but wasn't going for a likeness, just having fun!

Abbie is a very intriguing little girl. She's way ahead of the curve on her reading, and loves to draw. She isn't quite as imaginative as Anna, but she loves to draw from life. As I was taking some pictures of my sculpture before it got too old, she decided to draw it. Not bad, eh? She also wrote this story, perhaps somewhat reflective of a common household event...