Friday, December 29, 2006

Rich Lynes wraps it up

Let's see out the old year by featuring some special art that's come in recently. You may recall an entry to the Academy's blog on July 17 that showcased Rich Lynes and the posters he illustrates for the Walt Disney Company. Rich is a former instructor of ours who stays in communication with us. Here's his latest. A line up of Disney beauties water skiing. Click on the picture for a better view.

Rich created the art for this Disney poster in Photoshop. Rich is meticulous when it comes to detail as is evident in this work. It's great to enjoy an ongoing association with Rich Lynes, and this latest piece of his is a great way to wrap up 2006 and welcome 2007.

To see more of Rich's work, visit his website:

Friday, December 22, 2006

Ho Ho Ho, Artshark !

The Holidays are a great excuse for Artshark to dress for the occasion, and here he is doing just that. If you've been to the Academy's home page during the month, you've seen this version of our mascot. Here's an insider look as to how the latest version of Artshark came to be. Click on the image below and you'll get a better picture.

On the left is the rough concept sketch in blue pencil. In the center is a blue line clean up of the drawing. On the right the finished version digitally colored in Photoshop by yours truly and ready for uploading to the Academy's website.

Coming up with a new version of Artshark is always a lot of fun. There's been more than 60 renditions of the character since I first dreamed him up in the early days of the school. Mascot characters are a great way to brand a property and in the case of The Animation Academy, Artshark has been our best friend in that regard.

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season to all !

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Levon Margaryan's landscapes

As part of their ongoing efforts within the Academy's normal curriculum, our students are encouraged to continually create during the time they're not in class even if what they're doing is not directly related to the assignments they're working on. Such is the case with Levon Margaryan.

Although Levon is studying Character Design, he finds the time to create these enchanting background images. Click on the artwork for a better view.

Levon bases his compostions upon some of the places he's visited during his travels. He imbues his artwork with a surreal atmosphere by using white or colored paint on black paper, sometimes touching it up with color pencils. The magical touch he gives his work also involves his skillful use of a dry brush technique in certain instances. His activity in this area will be very useful once he moves into Visual Development, and will also help in diversifying his presentation as he further develops his portfolio.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thirla Alagala's sketches

A new student to the Academy's Teen Program this past semester, Thirla Alagala had a good start and made a strong impression with the designs she was creating. Thirla spent most of her time in class focusing on drawing female characters. Here's a sample of a few of her designs. Click on the picture for a better view.

Thirla has a delicacy to her work that creates an appealing aspect to the images she comes up with. In the examples above, she renders her characters with a gentle hand while establishing strong tonal relationships in places where it's needed such as the hair and shadow areas. Her subtle control is commendable.

Thirla shows a lot of promise with her art. Looking forward to what she'll be coming up with in the future.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Ariel Acosta shows process

Here's something beneficial to students looking to see how the process of going from a rough concept sketch to a finished colored design can work. Thanks to Ariel Acosta for providing this sample. Ariel's been featured previously on the Academy's blog on September 20.

Ariel started with his blue line drawing of a character he's created that serves as a mascot character for him. In drawing 2, he's develeoped a clean up sketch and scanned it as a digital file. In 3, he's established a gray tone shadow layer. In 4, he's colored his original clean up drawing and in 5, combined the color with the gray scale shadow layer. In 6, he established his highlights. Click on the image for a better view.

Ariel did a fine job with this demonstration and I thank him for making it available for our students and visitors to enjoy and to learn from.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Holiday Greetings from Amy Paulson

One of the most memorable students we've had this year has been Amy Paulson. Amy enrolled in our Adult Program in the summer and made remarkable progress with her art. She's been featured on the blog on August 2 and October 16.

Amy sent a Christmas card she created herself from class art she digitally colorized. She included a sentiment intended for all involved with the school.

"To everyone at The Animation Academy. Wishing you the best Holiday Season Ever." Best Wishes, Amy Paulson

Click on her greeting card below for a better view.

Amy maintains a website through which she offers use of her artwork by permission. To see more of Amy's work, click on the link and visit her site.

Thank you, Amy for your warm greeting and best wishes to you for the Holidays and for the coming New Year from all your friends and colleagues here at the Academy.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Philip J. Felix from the archives

One of the most powerful and beloved artists we've had the pleasure of an association with is the great Philip J. Felix. I met Philip in Kansas City when we were working at Hallmark Cards. Not long after that we found ourselves in Los Angeles working in animation.

Here's a class demonstration he drew while teaching at the Academy a few years ago. Clicking on the image will give you a better view.

Philip is the oldest of the three Felix brothers. All of them went on to great careers in animation. Paul Felix is among the Walt Disney Company's top visual development artists for their Feature Animation division, and David Felix went on to work as a staff artist on the Simpsons before his tragic death in an accident in 1995.

Today, Philip operates his own art gallery in Tucson, Arizona as well as his own tattoo business where he is in big demand for the designs he creates. Philip continues to be an inspiration to many artists.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Lauren Finn steps it up

The result of Robert Gold's instruction in perspective and Lauren Finn's talent. Lauren has been creating increasingly impressive compositions and at 14 years of age, there's a lot more on the way. In this drawing, she's come up with a surreal yet whimsical subject within an urban setting. The sketch was done from imagination. Clicking on the image will give you a better view.

Lauren has been featured twice before on the Academy's blog. The first time on April 26 and again on July 27. Check out what she was doing at that time and compare it to her latest work above. She's growing in skill and in compositional sophistication. Watch out for Lauren. She's just getting started.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Robert Gold lays it out

Here's what it's likes to properly structure a composition in two point perspective. This sketch is by Robert Gold, the Academy's instructor in perspective basics. In the class demonstration below, Robert set up his elements according to the horizon line and vanishing points he's established. After he's got everything working, he then places characters within the composition. Clicking on the image will give you a little better view.

Robert started with us as a student back in the early days of the Academy and has stayed on as a perspective and background layout instructor. He's also worked on special projects that come to the Academy for production. His expertise in perspective is a big benefit to our Background Design students.