Been a few weeks since my last posting. I’ve been working hard on finishing up the sketches for one ‘Who Was’ project, and doing finished illustrations for another one on the ‘Civil Rights Movement’ (a few teaser samples below, I usually save the whole project for a few years past the publication date, which is hard, because I’m so happy with how so many in this book turned out). I’ve also been working on another animation project, which will probably not see the light of day for another month or more. I’m also happy to announce I’ve got another book project lined up for a new client over the next couple of months. So hopefully things are slowly looking hopeful again after several months of stress. The above illustration was a quick one this morning for Delaware Today.
It’s been five years since I’ve completed an animated film. The reasons why have a convoluted history. Going back around 15 or 20 years, I first discovered a hidden feature on the illustration program I was using at the time for my work. Corel Painter, along with its many fine realistic brush features, had, in an earlier version, a primitive ‘animation feature’. The feature wasn’t much more than the ability to use multiple onion skin overlays to see the progress of your animated drawing over several frames, and then to play back the animation instantly to check your progress. I did several test projects, and, from 2010-2015 was able to complete 3 animated music videos for my band, the “Jukejoint Handmedowns”, also using Apples ‘iMovie’ for combining animated clips.
A computer upgrade (and subsequent upgrading of my system software), meant that I had to also upgrade Corel Painter, who had, in the meantime, dropped their ‘animation feature’ from the latest version of the software. I have been playing around with various alternative animation software platforms in the past five years, but nothing had really clicked with me, the way that the original Painter tools had.
During the recent pandemic slowdown, I spent some time learning how to use Adobe After Effects and Adobe Character Animator, and put together the above film for our upcoming album release. I had a lot of fun learning new techniques, and stretching my horizons. Each scene was a new challenge, and led to new skills, and have learned even more since its completion. So stay tuned for more.
Finally had a few of the book projects that had been hanging out in limbo make some forward progress this past week. I’m currently working on the sketches for one book and the finishes on another. However, sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night with an image in your mind that you can’t get out, so I woke up in the wee hours this morning and did the following portrait of our monarch under siege. Now back to work.