I watched a lot of cartoons and movies. I draw incessantly and carry a sketchbook everywhere. I work in animation and self-publish my books. There are monsters in the streets, don't wear red. Mad bulls and monsters hate that color. I still watch cartoons.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sketchtravel: Page colored and done

Above image is cropped but it links to a larger view. See? It takes a while for me not to be all shy about showing bigger images but I come around.

PENCILS DOWN! Well, you have to stop, push away from the drawing board and say, "That's it! Anything I can do to this from here on will have to be conjecture."

As always I am liking the work more and more the longer I stay away from it. Dice Tsutsumi and Daniel Lopez Muñoz saw it first as I was scanning it for my files (it goes away, see. I'll not see it for a long while). They were very nice and made me feel real good about the work. Artists, we're forever chastising ourselves for not being better and better every time out of the gate. Or is that just me? Shrinks are expensive, fortune cookies are free.

Anyway, my thanks to all involved and the book is now about to be handed to the next person in line. Dice will arrange the photo shoot of that hand-off. Onward!

Sketchtravel Blog

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sketchtravel: My page in progress

The finished pencil page. Color will be added.

Backstage. Deadlines are great motivators. I had the one weekend to finish and that was it. Things will get busier, what with the Italy and Paris trip just around the corner. And I'm wary that the idea I had might just turn into mud as I try to realize it. The window of two days got whittled into one day, then into an afternoon. Actually a handful of hours.

Marker study on a pad of Muji newsprint from Japan

Start already! I had a thumbnail I worked up weeks ago, even before Enrico had the Sketchtravel book. I like it, it should work. Next was to do a rough on tracing paper to work out the composition.

That rough done, it seemed that it could hold together. The meter is running. Oops, we gotta run! We're due at Pixar to welcome our close friends to a Ratatouille screening in the best screening theater in the east bay. The sound in the Pixar theater is just truly amazing. You are forever spoiled for any other theater experience. Well, after leaving our guests there I really should be getting back to my drawing. But, well, you gotta have coffee, right? Off to Peets on Piedmont Avenue.

I used a coffee press for the composition but this coffee urn had so much character, so in it goes

They have a collection of antique percolators and coffee urns. I've taken many photos of these over the years but I don't have time to hunt through my un-tagged photos in my computer. I took a snap of one that catches my eye. Then I was thinking, hey, I'm a little sore from working out last week, when was the last time I had a good steam? We schedule a steam in the early evening--just to relax the anxious drawing brain.

I also collect these large wood block letters, likely used for headlines, and I thought it looked neat and complimented the urn. Seemed like fun, so in it goes.

Back to work. Oh, look at the time. I trace the drawing onto the page. I can't see the page too well, I should go outside to the back patio to draw. Natural light. Okay, now I can draw it for real. Pencils, HB, 4B, 6B. I'm careful not to smudge the page with my hand. Oh, fudge, look at the time. Honey, we gotta go. Time for the steam!

Ahhh, that made me sleepy. It's an hour later. Man, I gotta hustle. The light is dying in the backyard. I watercolor the coffee urn with a round sable and let the colors puddle and dry on their own. Takes time. I run inside to finish coloring.

Then it's a lot of staring at it.

After a great deal of squinting I grab the pastels to unify the whole thing. The focus of the piece is pulling to the left. It has to be all about Nina. That's what the pastels do. I do a lot of retouching the pencils and chase down some smudge I made of touching wet color. It seems to be holding together, but I do the diligence of touching it up here and there. By the time it's time for bed I will have resolved to wait till daylight again next day to truly judge it.

The finished piece in color to be posted tomorrow.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Sketchtravel handoff!

Alley-oop! The handoff happened weeks ago really. We got to take the picture only last week when Dice Tsutsumi started at Pixar. He took the picture with Enrico's fish-eye lens. Enrico already finished his weeks ago. He got the book after Lou "Linguini" Romano. Here's their hand-off.

That sealed it. The deadlines keeping me from the book is done and this window of relative quiet won't hold for long. I had to do the drawing quick. Dice says he would love to have it by next week. Yikes! I have a thumbnail rough of an idea I want to do , but will it work? What if I mess it up as I attempt to make it for real?

Stay tuned.

Sketchtravel Blog
Enrico Casarosa
Lou Romano

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Pixar man of the hour: Lou Romano!

Above link to New Yorker Lou Romano cover--its available as a print!

Genius! I just love this! Pixar producer Jonas Rivera says that,"It's probably a record. A man starring in a major motion picture and having a cover to the New Yorker published all in the same month!" He's probably right. This is amazing not only for the unique confluence but it points to how good Lou is on many fronts. People who've worked with him know he's a very good actor which is now getting a major showcase as the voice of Linguini in Ratatouille; and this alongside the fact that his art and design work is of caliber right up there with the greats. All that wrapped in this humble, self-effacing genius. He'd demure heavily if you direct a compliment his way.

Congratulations, Lou, on Ratatouille and the New Yorker Cover!

Lou Romano
Lou Romano on Wikipedia
New Yorker
Ratatouille on Rotten Tomatoes

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Monday, June 11, 2007


Moveable Art Feast. Sketchtravel is a simple but awesome concept, really. Pick 50 artists and send the one book to each in turn wherever in the globe they are, have them do artwork however they please on one page and pass it along to the next one on the list. Created by Daisuke Tsutsumi and Gérald Guerlais, the book project has been coming along, traveling from Paris, New York, Japan and is now in San Francisco. I have it now.

The distinctiveness of this sketchbook is that artist will not have to send a sketch, a drawing or a painting to a publisher : instead, a real sketchbook will travel from one artist to another during one year.
So, step by step, invited Artists can be inspired by what previous artists have done before in the Sketchbook.

It's not only about skills and abilities it's also about creativity, ideas and friendship. The original sketchbook will be exhibited at the Arludik Gallery, Paris. It will finally be sold at auction for a Charity Association, selected by the artists.

I love the case lavishly constructed by Daniel Lopez Munoz, who is not only a master artist but is handy with tools, too. The book pages are already adorned with amazing art (I'd post some but that will ruin the surprise for all of you, right?). Quite daunting for me to now add my work in this same line. Check out the roster of artists involved here.

And lookee here! There's a short clip of a movie Gerald and his band of talented friends over in France made. Whoa! This is awesome! And ad for a book? A book not even completed. The French rocks! Check it out.

This is so amazing! I'm going to France for the first time this July and hope to see a lot of Paris. I hope to bump into many of youse guys whom I correspond with it over there. I don't know a lick of french but I hope sign language and grinning a lot will help. I will indeed by traveling and sketching over there, so there, that ought to bring it all home.

Oh, and I do have to finish my page before I leave. Heh.


Sketchtravel Video Commercial
Sketchtravel Blog
Daisuke Tsutsumi
Gerald Guerlais

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Old Manila

Nostalgic for what could have been. The fuzzy video "Old Manila" has that hot summer afternoons of my childhood feel about it. Some of the scenes are familiar: an Intramuros gate in silent sentry from the old Spanish rulers, Roxas Boulevard has a continuous stand of trees that was gone by the time I was a child there, bridges going over Pasig river. And there is a scene of trams (trambia) ferrying people through the streets that I only heard about. A city on its way to gaining it's full identity in the world, given the promise from our custodians, the Americans, that we were being groomed for independence someday. All this before the war. Google video here.

I really love the video. I keep playing over and over. I just wish my dad was still around to watch it as he would love it just as much as I did. I remember my dad telling me how beautiful Manila was at that time and this video showed what my dad said was true.

--Comment on the video by Boly SM. Linsangan

The country today, as ever, is faced with many challenges too complex and enormous to even take in. Time and history has not been kind, but we muddle through. I was very happy to see many things have improved as well as see more things stay the same. Still, there is much to be hopeful for.


Trolling the net I found this flickr album by brownpau. I hope he doesn't mind that I link to them. The photos are amazing. You can find them here.

Another small gallery of old Manila here.
Austrian-Philippine website has a gallery of even older images here.
Wikipedia on Manila.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Trader Vic's art

Tiki Art. The Trader Vic's in Emeryville is fun place to celebrate work milestones over a mai-tai--the stirs, mugs and glasses are worth the trip along with the decor. Let's not forget the drinks are neat,too. It's over by the marina so the view of boats and the ocean calling you to some south sea adventure of abandon can seem within your grasp. Surely you deserve to go.

There is a room there that is home to mementos from patrons past. Artists leaving artwork or notes in appreciation of the good times had. This one by Hank Ketcham referring to a time in 1982, when "Vic" was apparently an adherent to Pyramid Power and Mr. Ketchum loved to down gallons of "happy water." All translates to good times, I say.

I have to go back more to snap more pictures of other art there. I can't seem to find the images of previous visits showing, if I remember right, Disney artists drawings from way back.

"Mai Tai, Roa Ae!"


Some art found on the net of Trader Vic's.

Trader Vic's
Trader Vic's in Emeryville.

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