Monday, January 30, 2017

What I Drew Sunday – January 29th

Here are the top 3 of 9 things that I was able to squeeze into last Sunday’s session of “What Shall I Draw Today?” Despite it being the inaugural session for 2017, I had to make it a short 6 hours, which is about as much time as I could steal away from working on the Unstoppable Tuff-Girl comic book issue that I’m currently in production with.

#1 – Yakko, Wakko, and Dot meeting Mickey, Donald, and Goofy: suggested by akoymdf.

#2 – Briar Rose: suggested by merkitty101 (as “Any Disney Princess”).

#3 – Elly May Clampett: suggested by oliviamn14 (as “The Beverly HillBillies”).

 And here is the whole Sunday set of sketches:

Per usual, all of these are going into my stock of original art for sale at my comic convention show, the next being in March with WonderCon in Anaheim, CA.

Thank you to everyone who submitted suggestions. If I didn’t draw one of yours, then keep an eye open as it might pop up on Instagram in the next few weeks before the February edition of WSIDT.

Thanks to everybody who voted with their “likes” on Instagram and Facebook and for following me on those social outlets.

You may view all 9 drawings on my Instagram: monstergram7.

Monday, January 23, 2017

monstergram7 - Top 9 of 2016

Simply, these are the Top 9 liked posts on my Instagram Feed, @monstergram7 last year, 2016. Click the title to links to learn more about each.

Twistery, Inc. 
(Scooby-Doo / Batman Rogues mash-up)

(with Pua and Stitch)

(Supergirl, Batgirl, Krypto & Ace)

(Winnie the Pooh / Avengers mash-up)


(Joker & Harley Quinn / Mickey & Minnie mashup)

(Moana, Pua & Heihei)

(25th anniversary commemorative)

Moana: The Girl Who Loves the Sea

Black ink and color pencil on Bristol Board. 
21.6 cm x 27.9 cm (8.50 in. x 11.00 in.)
This sketch of Moana with her Pet pig, Pua and the empty-headed rooster, Heihei was one of 2016’s top 9 liked posts on my Instagram feed, @monstergram7. Posted mid-December, it was the last to make the Top 9 list, kicking out an Iron Giant sketch.

Having worked on character art for the product launch of Disney’s Moana, this ceremonial chieftain costume was an interesting change from her standard costume exclusively depicted throughout the product development style guide. As much as I simplified costume, it has a lot of little detail that has me glad I didn’t have to draw it for the guide. As far as lots of details go, Working on Maui’s tattoos was plenty enough a task.

From as long as the style guide team was working on the style guide, which was about 16 months before the animated film’s release, Pua was always a cute little thing. The pig was one of the things to which people first gravitated. As first presented to us, Pua along with Heihei, was to be on the boat on Moana’s journey. Anyone who has seen the film knows that Pua doesn’t make that journey. On hindsight, that alteration to the story should have been ab obvious thing coming, since the two critters didn’t contribute much when the real action ramped up.

Heihei’s personality changed from the self-important pet of Grandmother Tala, to a stupid island bird. In one treatment, he would have ended up the new chief of the coconut-armored Kakamora.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

What Shall I Draw on January 29th?

This coming Sunday, January 29th, I will be conducting the 2017 inaugural session of “What Shall I Draw Today?”, albeit an abridged version. Here I set aside a block of time to exclusively draw suggestions sent to me via Instagram, Facebook and this, my blog, monotonae. Drawings are posted on Instagram as done and shared on Facebook.

Where in a regular WSIDT session the block is a full 24 hours, this time to limit the interruptions to working on my comic book, Unstoppable Tuff-Girl, I’m doing it for an intense 6 hours beginning at 12:00 noon ET (9:00 am PT).

Suggestions may be posted from now until the scheduled end of WSIDT at any of the following places where you see the above image prompt:

• monotonae - in the comments here.

• Instagram:  @monstergram7

Check out the “WSIDT” tab at top for answers to FAQs and the 2017 schedule.

What Shall I Draw Today?
Sunday, January 29th, 2017
12:00 noon - 6:00 pm ET

The Hundred Acre Woods’ Mightiest Heroes

This mash-up of Winnie the Pooh characters and Marvel’s Avengers heroes was one of the top nine liked posts in 2016 on my Instagram feed, @monstergram7. On top of that, it was the #1 liked drawing from my June 26 session of “What Shall I Draw Today?” I chose to use the Avengers line-up from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Let me break down the shoot-from-the-hip top-of-my-head mash-up combinations:

Captain A-bear-ica (Winnie the Pooh / Captain America) – The primary character of Christopher Robin’s friends matched up with the assumed leader of the Avengers is a natural fit.

Iron-Tigger (Tigger / Iron Man) – The bouncy tiger with double-“guhs” who’s slightly more popular than Pooh Bear matched with the tech-armored wise acre who’s slightly more popular than Cap.

Eethor (Eeyore /  Thor) – The gloomy donkey with an rain cloud above his head matched with the good-time legendary Asgardian God of Thunder. Less a good match, and more the leftovers after some of the following better matches.

The Incrabbitle Hulk (Rabbit /  Hulk) – The irascible rabbit matched with the anger triggered rage monster. Yes, Rabbit would hulk-out more than the others.

Chris Fury (Christopher Robin / Nick Fury) – The boy who returns to the Hundred Acre Woods to  help his friends and have adventures matched with the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who helped form the Avengers.

Kanga-Noir (Kanga / Black Widow) – The singular female denizen of the Hundred Acre Woods match with the first female Avengers. 

Owleye (Owl / Hawkeye) – The friendly know-it-all bird matched with the down-to-earth archer with a bird in his code name, and arguably neither part of their respective core groups.

Falc-let (Piglet / Falcon) – The timid best friend of Pooh Bear matched with the flight enhanced best friend of Captain America (on the Avengers). As much a left-overs match up as Eeyore & Thor with an as awkward mash-up code name.

Under-Roo (Roo / Spider-Man) – The high-energy young son of Kanga matched with the young hero-in-training web-slinger. The mash-up code name just works, provided that you saw Captain America: Civil War, enough to push past the fact that Spidey isn’t a member of the Avengers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Lilo and Moana

Black India Ink and water color on water color paper.  
27.9 cm x 21.6 cm (11.00 in. x 8.50 in.)

In this double-Disney-movie-crossing and time-crossing image Moana and her pet pig, Pua meet Lilo and her pet “dog,” Stitch. Inspired by a suggestion offered during one of last year’s “What Shall I Draw Today?” sessions, this unlikely meet up was one of the top nine liked posts on my Instagram @monstregram7.

In it”s creation, I thought that Pua’s abundant cuteness would instantly win over the young Lilo. Meanwhile, alien Stitch turns his destructive impulses on the oar of island princess, Moana. The choice to put Lilo in her hula costume was to help her visually align to Moana’s costume.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Joker of the Club Made for You and Me

Color pencil and black ink on Bristol Board.  
6.35 cm x 8.89 cm (2.50 in. x 3.50 in.)

From a suggestion submitted during one of my “What Shall I Draw Today?” sessions, this DC Comics / Disney mash-up was one of the top 9 liked posts on my Instagram, @monstergram7

As some mash-up ideas come to be, this is The Batman villains The Joker and Harley Quinn dressed as Disney’s perennial Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse I’ve drawn more or less in the style of early seasons Batman: The Animated Series animated TV series (1992).

At least Harley’s red, black and white costume could accommodate Minnie’s often seen white polka dots on red motif. With The Joker, he’s pretty much unchanged except for Mickey ears and a tuxedo color close to Mickey’s of the Disney theme parks.

I think these two dressed this way looks like it could have been a visual gag or Easter Egg snuck into an episode.

Hidden Figures

Conceptual drawing
Water color and black India Ink on watercolor paper. 
12.7 cm x 17.8 cm (5.00 in. x 7.00 in.)

In making this poster for the illustration of my review of Hidden figures, I kept thing as simple as possible by focusing on portraits of the main characters. Circles are always powerful focusing elements and the NASA logo/ insignia is basically a blue circle. Of course, in it’s simplicity, I allow myself to more quickly move on to other things like house cleaning and working on the next art piece.

Link to my 5-point review of Hidden Figures @ That’s Good Spam

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Rapunzel: The Usual Morning Line Art

Rapunzel with Pascal
conceptual sketch
Walt Disney Consumer Products
Red pencil and black ink on paper
March 2015

One of my basic responsibilities of a character artist working for Disney Consumer Products, is to create art for licensing. While such art may be custom created for specific pieces of products, more often the character art is conceived, developed and finished as “ready to go” art to be included in style guides, collections of themed art and design elements.

At the start of the process of making style guide art, artists like myself will make as many pieces of conceptual art (commonly called “concepts”) as possible in some given amount of production time. Rarely, do these concepts look like the beautiful, inspiring Artworks presented in “art of” books that celebrate the artistic contributions on beloved animated productions - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Frozen for two examples. Typically, a concept for Consumer Products might be little better than a stick figure gag drawing. A concept might be scribbled flowers in the hands of princess art that already exists. Yes, for the benefit of having more concepts from which to choose, the process sacrifices the crafting of ideas and art.

A close-cropped picture of this Rapunzel concept was one of the top nine liked posts on my Instagram, @monstergram7, in 2016. The composition survived the layered deliberation process and a final, color version is included in a Disney Princess style guide.

As far as developing concepts, I’m thankful to the Tangled filmmakers for the song sequence “When Will My Life Begin” in which Rapunzel sings about and demonstrates about 22 different activities in a series of quick cuts. This is a good list from which to pull answers to the initiating question, “what would (can) Rapunzel do?” The addendum to that question is “… that looks good on a tee-shirt” is often an initial qualifier as what gets into a style guide. 

When Rapunzel sings the line “I’ll play guitar” she strums a power chord on the instrument. However, from just that short scene (in animation a “scene” is what plays between cuts or edited transitions), we reason that Rapunzel is a good guitar player and can play and sing a variety of tunes and performances.

post script: “Line art” for what ever the origins, is generally a drawing consisting of lines without color or gradations of shade. For example, the black printed art in coloring books in line art.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Beauty and the Beast: Bittersweet and Strange

Water color on water color paper.
21.6 cm x 27.9 cm (8.50 in. x 11.00 in.)
Here’s another 1 of the top 9 liked pieces posted on my Instagram feed, @mosntergram7, a painting commemorating the 25th anniversary of the premiere of the beloved Disney animated feature film, originally posted on Monotonae Nov. 24.

Personally, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is one of my top 5 favorite of their animated features, and it’s my number 1 if I answer from my gut without internal deliberation. None of the continuity errors or the weaknesses of the young animating crew detract from the essential message of the film, “true beauty is what’s inside.” Plus, Disney was still building on the success of The Little Mermaid (despite The Rescuers Down Under) and it happened to be the right film at the right time for me and my Disneyland friends.

By now I’ve drawn Belle and Beast a lot. I have had the opportunity to do so professionally on Main Street of Disneyland Park, and with Disney Consumer Products. This new piece was done from memory inspired by a moment in the ballroom dance sequence. If any one thing makes this different from my work for product art is the choice to have Belle’s eyes closed. Sure she closes her eyes in the film sequence, but folks on the production side want to hedge their sales bets by establishing a character connection with the consumer/audience with open eyes and better yet eyes directed at the consumer.

As a watercolor painting, the making of this brought memories of my aforementioned time working on Main Street making personalized original character art that were reproduced for wristwatch faces. I still self-describe my efforts with paints as a “colorist” rather than graduating to that of a “painter.”

The logo is included as a mark to signify the anniversary. It’s nothing official and probably would be very different if I spent more time developing it.

[The Top 9 of 2016]

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Rogue One

Conceptual poster design
Black India Ink and water color on watercolor paper.
12.7 cm x 17.8 cm (5.00 in. x 7.00 in.)

Here’s my poster to illustrate my review of the movie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on That’s Good Spam, my “bookmark” blog.

Similar to the design conceit for many movie posters, this one features almost exclusively the film’s characters. I attempted to weight the character scales pretty equally, with the primary protagonist, Jyn Erso played by Felicity Jones, at the top and centered. All the rest are members of the resistance/rebels if not of the team of the film’s name. I didn’t go far for reference, as I did base all of the character images off of the same one poster used in actual marketing. The vertical, scratchy lines was initially inherent of the fine quill tip ink pen. Rather than going in with solid back areas, I kept the tight hatching liking the overall rough, unfinished appearance as if it contrasted with the sleek polished aesthetic of the film’s galactic empire.

I chose to only reference the galactic empire by the partial Death Star weapon at the top. No Darth Vader. No AT-AT’s. This by no mean signifies that I have planned a contrasting sister poster of Imperial characters. It was entirely a decision of economy.

[link to my review of Rogue One]

[link to That’s Good Spam]

The Nightshade Before Christmas

Color pencil and black ink on Bristol Board.  
6.35 cm x 8.89 cm (2.50 in. x 3.50 in.)

This is one of the top nine liked drawings posted on my Instagram @monstergram7, Sally with a jar of deadly night shade.

If you’re a fan of the film in which she appears, The Nightmare Before Christmas, or a fan on Disney film in general then you are probably well aware that Tim Burton not only wrote the story that served as the basis for the stop-motion animated film but created the designs for its characters. His art style is rather sketchy with an almost etching appearance. Some of this were pickup as design cues with raked textures on the sculpted environments, Jack Skellington’s pin-striped suit and Sally’s hair. Rather than copying Tim Burton’s style, I based this drawing on stills from the film and then applied hatching for shade and texture typical of inked comic art. The steps went 1) “I’m going to draw Sally”; 2) find a picture of Sally; 3) draw Sally in pencil; 4) ink Sally including suggest her hair texture with uneven lines. No other agenda than that.

If murderous intent were ever entertaining, then the way Sally continually attempts to execute the end of her mad scientist creator, Doctor Finklestein, is one of the best filmed examples of that. One such plan in the film involved deadly nightshade is a common name for an actual plant. More importantly, the name clearly lets you know that it is poisonous, and that’s perfect comic stuff. And here, Sally is so please to have her little hands on a jar of it.