Monday, December 12, 2016

Shows

The recent influx of animated shows dealing with other dimensions surprises and delights me. Every time I envision a concept where the protagonists travel into other dimensions, I have to remind myself how that has already been done in so many ways. For those who don't know, the shows he's referring to are, in order: Penn Zero: Part Time Hero, Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Gravity Falls, and Rick and Morty. All good shows I tried to do justice to in just a single panel each. Also, I'd like to say that though they all have similar features, they are all very original and differently handled shows each with their own strengths.

I think my best panel was the Gravity Falls one, which is unsurprising given that the show is my personal favorite and its style is the one I've practiced the most. This comic is the first time I've attempted to write words into the panels instead of outside it. It went better than I expected. Someone recently asked me how long this sort of think took. In this case it took me a little over an hour to draw this comic, but I loved every minute of it. Also to whoever draws anything in the style of Rick and Morty. Don't expect to be able to dabble in the art style without being corrupted by the dark concepts of this twisted show. You've been warned.

Also if anyone has any tips on seeking the Kingdom of God first before everything else I'd love to hear them. I've hit a roadblock in that department even though I feel like it's the next step.

Here's all the dialogue in case you can't read my horrible handwriting.
Panel 1:
Okay guys! I've got an absolutely fantastic idea for a TV show! It's about these kids that travel to a different dimension each day!
Um, that's actually already a show.
Panel 2: 
Okay fine. So what if instead the girl of the group was from another dimension and came to earth?
That's... that's already a show too.
Panel 3:
Just stick with me- this can work. What if the kids stayed on Earth, and everything else came from a different dimension?
Are you...? Is this a...? That's also a show!
Panel 4:
Alright, forget the kids. What if instead it was just one kid and his grandpa going into other dimensions!
That's still already a show!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Belated Pearl Harbor Day

Well, Pearl Harbor Day was yesterday. I wanted to honor the occasion with something like this. I got busy yesterday so I drew this today.

God bless the people who are still affected by that attack. Thank you God for using that event to spurn us to action as a country, and for making the world a better place through it. Lord guide us however you want today, and show us the way forward. Lord you know best when we as a nation need a wake up call and exactly the right amount we need. Thank you that we are still a nation under You in spite of our best efforts. Amen.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Happy Face

I've been feeling a little down on not getting enough practice. So instead of attempting to draw the intense, photo realistic images I want to be able to draw but can't- I decided to draw this happy duckling with a disproportionately large head and impossibly small feet. It's a habit of mine to draw happy faces when trying to feel happy, and it works really well. Mirror neurons and all that.

This is actually the first time I remember trying to draw a cartoon duck. It's surprisingly easy (at least for me). I thought the elongated grin was going to throw me off. I also remembered to re-trace the drawing so it would show up on the printing scanner before I got up! Yes. The cut-off bit at the very bottom is part of another sketch I didn't include.

On an unrelated note, who else is hoping Jesus comes back this Christmas? Of course earlier than that would be great. I'm looking forward to Christmas too of course (and a lot of other things if I think about it). I just really want Him to come.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Light

The text on the side says:
-Hey, Wil! What are you doing here in the-
sound effect: click
-dark?

This is an experiment with lighting I did before I started taking art classes. Given that shadows and lighting are such a big part of the story, I decided to use an environment I was familiar with. This is based on an actual room in my house and the kinds of shadows I've observed. It's a good first try, and it accomplishes the desired effect.

I'm kind of sensitive to light, so when other people walk into a room and automatically turn on the light I sometimes wish I could do this. I don't know if it's an actual problem, if it's the nocebo effect, or if I'm just not getting enough sleep. Whatever the case I really like the expression on the tall character in this picture. Thanks goes now and always to you God, for helping me to get this posted tonight.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Let the Games Begin?

Happy After Thanksgiving everybody! I hope you all are having or have had as great a holiday as I'm having. I drew this a long time ago, but I haven't taken the opportunity to share it until now. It was back when I was only really confident with my ability to draw characters Gravity Falls style. All and all I'm pretty satisfied with it. The words are pretty legible, and you can tell who's talking. The character designs are original as far as I know. Any resemblance to actual or fictional persons, living or dead, or actual or fictional events is purely coincidental. Looking between the scanned image and the one in my sketchbook I'm amazed at the stark contrast between the lines you can't see at all and the lines that look way too emphasized. Ah well.

There's a bit of story behind this one too. PING here is a sentient arcade game machine and (as you might expect) these two are the only ones that know about it. They're not hiding it, but no one they've talked to about it cares. The kid there is trying to get PING to do something for him, but it's not having it. They're both also completely misunderstanding the phrase "no quarter given".

May God bless all your holidays and may God bless you.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Backyard Pieces


As you can see from the date, I drew this a long while ago. I've heard the best way to learn how to draw nature is (not surprisingly) to practice drawing nature. So I went out into my backyard and practiced drawing different parts of it. There's part of the porch, the bricks at the bottom of the steps, the shed, the trees, and a leaf. I'm experimenting with how to draw bark on the trees- how much realism to include on a brick, and the shadow of one fence part on another. I think I nailed the leaves in this particular picture, that's a good sign. The trouble of getting in enough practice isn't going outside- I do that all the time. It's remembering to bring my sketch book with me. I'm lucky I've got so much time before I'm expected to have these habits down. It will also help when I have a schedule and other people are counting on my work getting done. 

It's amazing how much detail is in the world around us. Of course it's easy to notice, but not to duplicate. C.S. Lewis pointed out though his deceptively named book "The Great Divorce" that artists draw what they see in landscapes or even people because they see a glimpse of heaven reflected in it and want to share it. Not only will I spend the rest of my life trying to imitate God in moral uprightness, I'll also spend my whole life trying to imitate the beauty of his work- his original, all-encompassing masterpiece. Worth it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Face in the Dark


The latest experiment in an ongoing project idea. This time with highlights. I've been learning about highlights and I tried to incorporate them into this one. I'm fairly pleased with how it turned out. I tried to get the highlights on all the obvious parts of the face: the bridge of the nose, under the nose, the sides of the eyes, around the mouth, and on the eyebrows. It's not perfect, but it's a start.
I was mostly doing this to experiment with lights on the eyes and how that changed the direction they appeared to be facing. I think if the pupils were pointing in a more obvious direction they wouldn't be so easily governed by highlights. If you look just at the pupils but not the highlights, you can tell they're actually looking to the right. The highlights change this.
Personally, I like the dark. I feel God's presence there with me more than I do in bright areas. Natural sunlight is okay, but today it seems like every light bulb and blinking light are extra intense. It's nice to get away from it all. I intend to get better at lighting as time goes on.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Spanish .GIF



Of all places, I got to present a PowerPoint about animation for my Spanish Honor Society. They were interested in what I was up to, so I answered honestly. I learned how to make a .gif today just to make this tiny image. I was planning on learning that to make a fencer .gif, but I will do that later.

The caption in the PowerPoint read "Rápido, dices algo en español," which translates to "Quick, say something in Spanish." I drew this small animation in one day just to show some of my own work that would be somewhat relevant to the PowerPoint.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Tachy's Time Pizza

It's done! My "Tachy's Time Pizza" animatic! It took longer than it should have. Now that school's set in I still feel productive even when I don't work on something like this. How horrible! I didn't think I was going to get it done tonight, but I did! I'm so happy it's finally up! God sure helped me pull through. I'm dedicating this animatic, as I try to dedicate all my good works, to You my God. Amen.

As it says in the credits, I did all the images, voices, and story myself. There are a total of 32 hand-drawn frames (including the credits) even though the characters stay in mostly the same positions. I got carried away and I actually made more slides than I needed for this animatic. It took me about 6 hours over four days. I tried to center the images more so they flowed together better and I think I succeeded. Oddly enough the video of the slides isn't as good a quality as the scans of those slides. Window's Media Player has some strange quirks. One of my only regrets with this animatic is that there's no moral, but I suppose it's only a minute and forty-three seconds long. My other regret is that I can't get the voices quite right with my microphone. This was even funner than the last one because it was all my own ideas. It's a good start I think.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Concept Proof

 
I did this drawing for an idea I had and rediscovered it just recently when trying to decide on an idea to make an original animatic out of. I haven't stopped again, I've just been busy working on this. I drew this before I was confident in my ability to draw any other style besides Gravity Falls or stick figures, so the drawing styles of both my animatics will look similar. I'll save going to a new art style for the next animatic. I'm excited, this will be my first original animatic. I'm only thankful God reminded me of this concept art.

As you may have guessed, it's called Tachy's Time Pizza. In the future where everyone can 3D print their own food, how does a consumer pizza business stay ahead? With time travel. Incidentally, that's why this character's suit and hat look weird, because they're made of future material (which gives me the ability to draw his eyebrows where an opaque visor would conceal them). Unfortunately you can't see his earpiece very well in this drawing, but that will be better in the animatic.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Comic on Everyday Christian Thinking


Often things are much funnier in retrospect. I'm still not sure whether the writing on this one communicates the right ideas, or if those ideas are even ridiculous enough to bother drawing. At least I nailed drawing that tuft of hair that sticks out on my head.

When I drew this comic, I was in a time where I really only thought about Christian themes and ideas when my choice didn't matter all that much. So instead of thinking Christian thoughts when deciding whether to, for example, be nice to my sister, I thought about what flavor of yogurt to take from the fridge or not. Whether to take the yogurt I randomly drew and be satisfied or to put it back and take out a different one. The character specifically struggles with whether to accept his random yogurt as a gift from God and deny his own desires or to go ahead and give in. The thoughts are serious and good, the subject is ridiculous. God's will be done.

Written Out:
Panel 1: Hm. I pulled out another blueberry. I kinda wanted strawberry right now.
Panel 2: In C.S. Lewis' Perelandra the Eve figure cannot comprehend stored food because she always takes whatever God gives her- which would otherwise seem like chance.
Panel 3: Self-denial too is a pretty big need for developing Christians.
Panel 4: I wish I thought like this about any other topic.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Ideal Election


After a severe animation depression, of course it would be these two shows that God used to motivate me out of depression (with me kicking and screaming). The two election candidates in this image, for those who don't know, are Mabel Pines from the brilliant show Gravity Falls and Ferb Fletcher from another brilliant show Phineas and Ferb.

I drew this sketch while I was thinking about the current election campaigns. As the title says, this is my ideal election. You can't lose! On the other hand, this election might be as hard to decide for some people as the current one. This picture isn't my best drawing of Mabel as an adult, but I've done plenty better ones I hope to share soon. I also need to work on my perspective.

The story behind the art: I think Mabel here would be one of Ferb's only debate opponents who didn't give in to his views and encourage everyone to vote for him. She would- however- ask him after the debate if he had any plans for dinner. He would respectfully tell her he was in a committed relationship, but thanks anyway. As you can see the political parties of our country have changed their symbols somewhat. They're each the pet of the candidates shown: Waddles and Perry the Platypus respectively.

Thank you God for getting me out of my distress. I mean it.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Hand Drawn


Many artists realize the ease with which they can sketch their own hand. I discovered it during artist's block, as illustrated. It's sometimes really difficult to find the time and interest to draw every single day. The important thing is to make a habit of it and don't break it. God's grace is the only way I maintain habits no matter what. I sketch lightly, so sometimes I redraw parts of my sketches to get the computer to see them better. Ironically it's my signature in this sketch that needs to be redrawn. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sketch Book 16


As the title implies, this is actually page 16 in my sketch book. It's a lot of miscellaneous sketches. There's a character directly drawn from the wonderful PIXAR short "Day & Night," as well as another character drawn in the same style, some experimental stick figures I often use to determine the energy of a pose, circles for practice, rough drawings of two faces from a series of "Principles of Animation" YouTube videos which are certainly not my own (and are extremely helpful), and a rough sketch of the AXIOM from WALL-E. The Axiom looks like I drew it from memory, but I am not sure.

If I had a choice, I wouldn't live in any other time period. The wealth of free, open ideas in today's world which God permits is (while sometimes flawed) beautiful and amazing. What better time to pursue this media?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Crazy Idea


As many crazy ideas as I've had (who hasn't?), whenever I've approached this particular idea it has always had this title. It's about the internet becoming sentient and developing a crush on some poor, unsuspecting girl who's made the internet almost her whole life. You can see her reaction. It'd be a good wake-up call for her in the end. I think we'd all agree that if the internet ever did achieve sentience, it would be crazy bonkers insane. And this girl, in this case, can see her part in it. It knows a little more about her than she'd like to think, and she can't get away from it. I drew "Net" many different times to understand the different facial expressions he would need. Oddly enough, this idea wasn't based on anyone I know. God just gave it to me suddenly.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Feeling Pixar

One of my favorite characters ever is Joy from PIXAR's Inside Out. So at one point I copied some of the simple concept art of Joy (and Sadness of course). Every artist uses references of some kind (be they material or mental), and every artist can benefit from the work of other artists. Art styles like this are, I think, becoming a big part of my own developing art style. I know I'll be able to work with a computer really well at some point, but pencil and paper will probably always be where I'm at my best.

God is good- all the time.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

More Characters


These are more drawings from my sketch book. The two characters on the bottom I just thought of while I was trying to go to sleep. The top character is actually a reinterpretation of my house's smoke detector. It made a face to me. You can't see the picture bottom right character as well as the real thing, but it's still worth sharing.

I usually only get character images like this (and better ones I can't draw) before I go to sleep. I'm pretty sure the Devil tries to let me have these images to try to get me to procrastinate before bed. Thank the Lord that God gives me the strength to both fall asleep and remember these images in the morning. It's a pretty great existence for me. Thank you, God!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Train of Thought


Another comic! My mental response to any time anyone around me complains about walking into a spider-web (including myself). I really wrote it for the final panel, but I like the expressions and characters anyway. I know it's good, but I like to think it could be better. Humor, like almost everything else, needs to be practiced. It's good that it's not lost to everyone who's not born with it, and it's good to earn things. So I can't very well be sad I still need to work on it. Oh, well. If God wouldn't have it any other way then it should be more than good enough for me. Anyway here's the script for the above comic:

Panel 1: Oh no! Another spiderweb!
Panel 2: Why can't they build these things somewhere we won't walk into them?
Panel 3: I'm sure they would if they knew how, just think how it must feel to have your home stomped through.
Panel 5: Confound it- I stepped in another human house.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ape Scientist

Another character which popped into my head one night, but without the coloring. It took me a while to figure out how to draw his head how I wanted, but I think I've got it. He doesn't look particularly villainous to me, just angry at the moment. But who knows?

It was good to have this prepared. I just got home from a short trip and I've got a lot I have (and want) to do. God had this ready for me when I got here. His mercy is truly without limits, even the smallest things He's got covered if we trust in Him.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sketch Book Page 1

I probably should have put this image up sooner. These are drawings from the very first page of my sketch book. Looking at the many lines and eraser marks around the faces- it amazes me how far I've come since then. At least I can draw circles much better now. But it's all experimentation.

This isn't actually the first page I've put on this blog of my sketch book. The cartoon characters from earlier and a lot of other drawings are from my sketchbook.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Animatic






It's finally done! My first animatic ever. It took me about nine hours over three days (which were split up). I decided to start with something like this because it seemed like a good way to begin animation itself- particularly storyboarding- my favorite field. This is a storyboard version of one of my favorite scenes from the first season of Gravity Falls. Obviously I didn't write/produce/design any of the original show. The characters, story, and lines belong to Gravity Falls. One of the big reasons I like this scene is because it's one of the most humorously realistic portrayals of two people's reactions to switching bodies that I've seen. As you can probably tell, I did all the voices and sound effects in this animatic myself (with a webcam microphone). There are a total of 39 frames hand-drawn by me in this animatic. If I was doing this professionally I probably wouldn't put as much time into the background for each frame, but I needed there to be some context. Anyone watching this side-by-side with the real version or with a good eye can see I didn't get each frame exactly right. I obviously need to work on my proportions, but that's what practice is for. This was so much fun to do, and I'm looking forward to doing more original, similar animatics in the future.

Update 4/29/18: I should have mentioned this a lot sooner. You may have noticed there's a line Dipper says in this that's not in the original. In my life I've often had trouble bending the truth or adding to it (read: lying) because I thought it would be more interesting. I try to not do that anymore, and I'm mostly successful. The only place I still feel comfortable doing it is with stories. Stories are meant to change and evolve. We try different things and experiment with them to see if it makes the story better. The only story that needs the reverse, where we try to get as close to the original as possible, is the Bible, because it's the perfect story. And also it's the only historically accurate story ever, so there's a bit more importance in telling it correctly.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Portrait


An overly-quick, cartoonish portrait I once did of my sister that looks absolutely nothing like her. Then I drew stick figures all around her. I can only imagine what her reaction would be if this really happened. Anyway I'm posting this because I'm not going to finish what I've been planning till tomorrow. I was looking for something lighthearted to post tonight and this jumped out at me. Even when she's not doing hardly anything, my sister's the funnest drawing subject I know. God bless you and keep you safe sister. Get home soon.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Christian Cartoon

A cartoon I did a few years ago after reading Matthew 7 with my youth group. It's actually one of the pieces of artwork I have that's already out on the web. As my dad pointed out, this parable especially lends itself to cartooning. I think illustrating it gives an added ridiculousness to the hypocrisy of humans. Also, I believe this passage applies to everyone, no matter how big your neighbor's problem is. Some of you may recognize Munchkins artwork as references for the characters.

As before I'll rewrite the words here.

Matthew 7:3-5 Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Happy Birthday to Us!

Today's a big day! This is the last day I'm 16 years old. In a couple hours, I'll be an aspiring animator at 17. This is the plan/draft I made for the card I'm giving my twin sister (yes, God's blessed me with a great twin sister). She doesn't like Gravity Falls quite as much as I do, but honestly who could? For the sake of her privacy, I won't name the other show she enjoys mentioned on the inside of the card (but other crazy fans of the show might be able to figure it out from the pictures).

I just know today's gonna be great. Happy Birthday, Sis! God bless you today and always!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Clipboard Animation

I know this blog is called "Aspiring Animator" not "Aspiring Illustrator". So here's a picture of me animating. Nothing advanced or fancy. I just used regular paper, a straight cutter, clear plastic clipboard, and a flashlight held between my knees to trace what I need of each previous drawing. I know, very improvisational, but that's the point. To any artists out there who read this, you don't need digital drawing tablets or lots of computer software to do great animation. And don't listen to anyone who says tracing skills are not as cool or necessary as drawing skills, because tracing is half of what I'm doing right here.

And this wasn't hard! It was the easiest, quickest thing in the world. I should have this particular animation finished by the end of the week (if God helps me as much as he did today)!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Toad and Alien

A couple of cartoon characters from my sketch book. The left one was inspired by a pattern on the floor (and science fiction I'd been reading, not to mention people's posture). The one on the right drew from other frog-like characters I had been drawing (and also possibly the antagonists in Thumbelina, but that was a long time ago) as well as PIXAR's Underminer. Obviously he has some sort of visor over his eyes. However, he was just an image in my brain, so I don't know exactly where it came from. I've been picturing him as a space character.

God eases my fears about putting my artwork into the world like this. It's like putting pieces of myself on display. I'm an animator. I like to act- but through someone else I can perfect ahead of time. I've had stage fright my whole life, but God has blessed me to be able to do even this.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Comic

This is one of the comics I've imagined and felt the need to draw. This particular one is how I feel when I tell people I don't drink caffeine. I don't remember what year it's from. As I said, this is one of a couple comics I've come up with, but I'm still happy with how it turned out. Especially the first and third panels. The body language is pretty spot on in those, as are the proportions I wanted. The subjects of these kinds of comics are always people I can identify with and either can see myself becoming or admire. For example the main character here is a software developer, as is his caffeinated friend. The symbol on the coffee cup is another coffee cup. It's all easier to see zoomed in.

The dialogue is a bit hard to puzzle out so I'll rewrite it here.
Panel 1: Geez, you look awful. Panel 2: Here, you need this. Panel 3: No thanks. I don't take coffee. Panel 4: Look at yourself! Seriously are you in pain? Panel 5: Pain doesn't necessarily need to be suppressed. It lets you know you're alive in a world where that's not a given.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Perspective

Then for reference, these are the sort of eyes I can draw nowadays. I used to be terrible at faces and expression so it's an important field for me. Also when I started drawing the mouths at the top I realized they made faces all by themselves. I've experimented with perspective a little more since then.

For example the 3nd face down from the top on the left, which can be seen as a smiling face pressing against something or a frowning face with a nose (or something else I haven't considered).

First Post



Aspiring Animator at 16.

Finally getting some art off the page and into the world.

This drawing's just one of my first sketches with a serious intent to improve my drawing and without a reference. It may or may not be obvious from the style that I love the animated show Gravity Falls. It's actually on Alex Hirsch's advice (as well as many other animators and artists I respect) that I'm putting this on the internet.

May God bless this post!