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Moment of Realization

Here's a rough sketch/layout idea I did for Brother Bear.

But first, a little back story. Originally, Kenai was a little bear, and he met up with an older bear called Grizz. The father son relationship is similar to the final version that audiences saw. In the final version, the Kenai character was switched, having to step up to the plate and become the father/mentor. It was a very interesting twist and an improvement to the original story.

In this scene, Kenai (the young bear version) wanders into an abandoned human village. Longing to be human once again, he goes into one of the dwellings. Feeling trapped in this bear's body, he collapses on the floor in resignation.

Grizz sets off to find Kenai and discovers him in the dwelling. But, as he arrives, he's contrasted between the scary version of a bear drawn in the petroglyph, and himself in the same shot.

My intention was to have the camera start with Kenai feeling trapped, and then pan over to reveal the petroglyph on the wall ... and then Grizz steps into the frame.


Fighting Bears

Again, here's another one for Brother Bear. It goes along with my explorations of the animals in the land.

This drawing was drawn with Prisma Pencil on Clearprint vellum.

This particular image made it to the Making-Of book, but it was reproduced so tiny that it wasn't worth the ink! So, here it is, a little larger so as to see how I figured out the structure of the bears.


Brother Bear "Character Designs"

When I was working on Brother Bear, I was asked to draw a lot of animal designs. I hesitate to say character designs, because I wasn't given the task of designing any one character in specific, but rather the Disney wanted to pick my brain as to how I would design the animals in this world.

The drawings I did would then be interpreted by the animators, and that version was the final version we saw on the big screen.

Here's my take on the bears. I was surprised and flattered to see that my design for the baby bear ended up pretty close to what the final result was for Coda.

I drew these out with ink and Pantone marker. These were drawn on lazer print paper because the marker ink sits on the surface of the paper, instead of being dulled by absorbing into the paper.


Introducing Paul Lasaine

Most of you are probably familiar with his work, but didn't even know you were looking at it! That's because he's done matt paintings for the past 17 years so seamlessly, you weren't even aware the scene you were looking at was a matt painting.

In other words, you are looking at the work of one of the best artists in the industry.

More than a matt painter, my good friend Paul Lasaine is also an accomplished designer. He was the production designer for Surf's Up; and has worked on many other feature length animated films. Paul was also the visual effects art director for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy!

Paul Lasaine’s film credits read like a cornicopia of visual effects films and Feature Animated films.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, he has started his own blog! Please welcome my friend, Paul Lasaine.


Brother Bear Rough Drawing

Here's a rough from Brother Bear.

When I got the assignment from Disney, they weren't sure I could draw bears! So, they purchased a small block of my freelance time to try me out. They were so excited about what I did for them; I stayed on the project for a year!

Initially, they would tell me what sort of animals they wanted me to draw for them, and I would give them a series of rough drawings using prisma pencil on newsprint paper.

The irony is that whenever I start on a project, I get known for doing that particular work. Hence, if I'm doing backgrounds, they forget that I can draw characters, and vice versa. Some project teams or producers still only remember me as the character-guy, while others still only think of me as being able to do backgrounds. That's why the Brother Bear crew wasn't sure I could draw animals to begin with, because they remembered the background vis/dev work on Mulan.


Is It Life, or Memory?


Here's another posting. You decide, is it a drawing from life, or from memory? Is it charcoal, or prismacolor?


Sketchclub Posting!

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Here's another posting for Sketchclub!

This is only a portion of the sketch, so please stop by and visit the Sketchclub site if you want to see the entire image.

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This Is NOT A Figure Drawing!

That's right, this is not a figure drawing, but rather a memory drawing.

One of the things I routinely did in order to better assess my skills were memory drawings. Years ago, when I started drawing the figure, I would test myself to see how well I understood the anatomy. During the drawing session I would make a mental note to myself about a particular pose, and then -- the next day -- draw that pose from memory. This drawing you see is a memory drawing.

Doing this exercise was incredibly helpful because it allowed me to spot deficiencies in my work. If I had a problem drawing shoulders, feet, or hips, I could immediately spot the problem in my memory drawings. I would then compare the memory drawing with my original figure drawing from the night before in order to see how close I could get to the original. How well did I remember the pose.

Sometimes the poses I drew from memory were slightly different, but the information in my memory drawings had to work nonetheless. The memory drawings had to work in and of themselves, not just a copy.

One of the things that motivated me to start this exercise was noticing other artists that were really good at drawing the human figure when it was in front of them, but would literally fall apart when they had to draw a human figure from memory. I vowed that was not going to be me! Wherever I spotted a problem in my memory drawings, I would pull out my anatomy books and concentrate on that specific part of the anatomy. Doing this, my drawings improved rather quickly.