Thursday, December 24, 2009


First off, I must say that was a $500 million well spent in developing motion-capture animation technology. Props, Mr. Cameron.

The art direction was pretty much flawless, the colours were lusciously gorgeous, and the mesh between CG-world and live action film was fairly seamless (except for a few shots in the beginning and a couple near the end when they showed people fighting in the robots and their motion was just a touch jerky and not as weighted by gravity -- but that's just me being a prat)
I loved the design of Pandora as a whole; the creatures believably belonged with the "people" race (who, as Wikipedia tells me, are called the Na'vi) and felt like they were supposed to look that way in that world. I even almost got over the subtle hints of "furry" laced in their overall design because they embodied such a graceful balance between clean, elegant lines and an untamed wildness in their look. Their neon-mint-and-aqua-blue world punched with shots of magenta, electric plum, and pure cad yellow was to die for. It also worked really well in contrast to the flat, dusty yellow-grey-green of the invading army. The CG on Jake Sully's legs was especially convincing of his existence in a wheelchair without getting too obvious about it.

The story, however, was a different matter.

In terms of storytelling technique, I will not deny that I was completely absorbed into the moment of what was happening. The choice of shots and camera angles, lighting, colour design, etc. were stellar decisions in terms of revealing and concealing to maintain interest in the plot.

Unfortunately, I have to be completely honest in saying that the story was a little unoriginal. There were scenes in there that looked like something straight out of Pocahontas (specifically a couple scenes in the beginning with the male and female protagonists walking on tree roots and learning about each other's worlds). Take the idea of invasion and clashing of worlds from Pocahontas with The Matrix's fantasy technology, add a dash of Tarzan's theme of nature vs. human greed, throw in an extravagant budget, and voila! you have Avatar.

There were also parts in the script that removed me from the narrative a little, when it got a little corny with the over-the-top one-liners and catchphrases.. though I guess I should have seen that coming from the guy who directed the Terminator (which I have absolutely no qualm with). Not that there's anything wrong with over-the-top one-liners, but they always seemed to pop up in the middle of an otherwise very moving moment.

The characters were also a tad cookie-cutter. I think Cameron could have pushed character complexity a little with such a fantastical story setting. The character hierarchy almost too closely resembled the one in Atlantis.

Overall, the movie was pretty excellent for production and art, and the message is congruent to the current trend of environmental themes. But take away all the glitz and glam of the latest and greatest in CG, and you'll find that the story substance and content has kind of been done.

I give it 7.5/10 just because it was so beautiful to watch.

Friday, December 18, 2009


watercolour, gouache, and pencil crayon on paper

last painting of the semester! final assignment for a concepts class called style & substance, taught by fred lynch in which the class, after seeing a semester's worth of your work, chose a word that they'd think would be "impossible" for you to illustrate. you then have to illustrate that word but make it your own. they gave me "angsty"

Saturday, December 5, 2009

fish food

oh me
oh my
finals are here:
i want to die!

maybe i should just be a poet instead.
dr. seuss would have been boss at rapping.

an unfinished painting
watercolour on paper
mid oct 2009

playing around with images for a story i'm working on
watercolour & gouache on paper
late oct 2009

an apple

some still life studies
acrylic on paper
early oct 2009

an orange

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ratatat lip sync

robyn's first lip sync exercise!
november 2009

hope you enjoy

puppet made of modeling clay and painted sculpey replacement mouths and bottle;
high chair sculpted out of foam & painted with acrylic


15 replacement mouths & phonetic chart to keep track

my set up in the corner of risd's puppet studio in the basement of market house,
where i spent the night


other work to come (paintings!)
i just haven't had a chance to scan them yet

ooh la la

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

darrel gets dressed

darrell gets stuffed and painted with foam and acrylics

... as well as a new sweater, hand sewn; pants & eyewear to come.

sweater close-up

still deciding whether or not to actually give him eyes or just paint them in;
i'll have to see after i make the glasses

Sunday, October 18, 2009

making puppets

making our first puppets in the basement of market house with joohee, amanda, and jose!

the basic armature
made with aluminum wires, brass tubing, propoxy, jb weld epoxy, barge glue, and foam

hands; fully functional with movable fingers
made of wire, wrapped in bandage cloth tape stuff, and dipped in latex
i still need to add a final coat of latex with acrylic colouring

scale of puppet

i think his name will be darrell. or ernest. or markel. he's suppose to be really dorky-looking.

Friday, October 16, 2009

store special: 2 for 1!

raining cats and dogs, ver.2

watercolour, pencil crayon, & digital

Thursday, October 15, 2009

rush rush rush

just some stuff but i really need to get back to studio and get work done holy molars

animologies illustration: raining cats and dogs (ver.1)
pencil & digital

for some reason, all the work i've been putting up on blogger lately turns out really desaturated online

juggling. i don't know what else to say.
b&w (and yellow) watercolours with black conte pencil

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

the beginning of an enlightening semester

i have been very blessed this semester to have the privilege of being taught by such awe-inspiring teachers as Mary Jane Begin, Fred Lynch, and Agnieszka Woznicka. every class with them has brought enlightenment and reassurance and growth.

but, without further ado:

1. new animations!

videothe rest are posted on my youtube account

2. new art! (finally)

self portrait for Colour Works class taught by Mary Jane Begin - the darling woman who is opening my eyes and bringing revelations of colour into my life

finished piece

b&w finished draft > colour studies > watercolour on arches > scanned and touched up in photoshop

and still to come are more reviews on materials (i started the post but it's taking me a while to get myself sorted out)

Monday, September 28, 2009

stop motion adventures

i started taking stop motion this semester with Agnieszka Woznicka, and so far it's been a whole lot of fun.. sometimes animating gets tedious but in that same way that makes knitting so popular. anyway, here are my two homework assignments for wednesday. i spent all sunday and today in a basement, and i've learned a couple things:

1. never have long nails when animating with sculpey
2. remember to focus the lens before and not halfway through animating.


homework part 1


homework part 2

Friday, August 7, 2009


sketched at the toronto zoo with donald today:

posted in order of completion; you can see by the end of it i was getting tired haha. it was blistering hot and uncomfortably sunny today, and it probably didn't help that we went during peak sunshine hours :9

i used derwent coloursoft in black C650, and i have to say it is an excellent pencil for quick sketches. i'll write a proper review on it later

also, sorry for the crappy image quality.. my sketchbook is too big for my scanner so i had to take photos and it did that weird light thing on me

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

review of materials (rom) 1: prismacolor & pelikan

ok, i'm going to start reviewing materials/brands of materials here because every time i find a particular pencil that rides well with me i can never remember the brand or where i got it from. i swear it's like some tragic romance with art supplies and i, and it ever only ends in debt and disaster.

so, let's get to it shall we?

prismacolor verithin
pencil crayons - made in u.s.a
. not greasy, which i like for thumbnailing and sexy! clean! lines! because they don't smudge and can be erased if you don't press down too hard
. wide variety of hues; think parade in a box!
. hard to lay down solid, opaque colour
. the dry, hard lead shatters quite easily. this is what sharpening prismacolors feels like

. i used these for my artistic anatomy final and they tend to have a sheen even when you work in thin layers instead of pressing down hard, so it scans funny

pelikan opaque watercolours - made in germany
. as advertised: pretty friggin opaque. the love child of gouache and watercolours, these aren't as elusive as watercolours yet doesn't have the graininess of gouache
. bolder saturation levels than regular watercolours - good for people like me who tend to be afraid of colour and always end up with really washed out watercolour paintings. it forces you to explore without making you uncomfortable
. relatively inexpensive (just under $20 for 24 colours) at the risd store of all places, which is usually overpriced
. compact and travel-friendly
. not as smooth as regular watercolours; harder to get nice blends because they dry faster
. colour lifts a little too easily. even after i let it dry, if i go back on top with another wash, the pigment comes off a little and taints my brush


currently trying:
. derwent coloursoft in black - made in england
. conté a paris pastel pencil in black & white - made in france

stay tuned for!
stores (in toronto/new york/providence), inks, & paper

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


FINALLY! a post! it's been a while, eh?

i've got a ton of sketches and stuff to put up, but i'm still waiting to get my hands on a decent scanner.. in the mean time:

avatar: the last airbender
digital painting in ps

character belongs to brian konietzko & michael dimartino

i love avatar, i love brian, i love michael - but can someone PLEASE tell my why they approved the cast they did for the upcoming live action?? the cast looked completely inappropriate to the depictions of the characters in the animated series. anyway, i won't get too into it or this post might not end.

and yes. i realize that my goals for the summer were to improve my portfolio and get myself ready for "the real world", and instead i find myself making fanart..... i mean.. movie poster sample >__>

don't judge me.

Friday, May 29, 2009


just went to a midnight showing of up and it was the most beautiful storytelling and production work i've seen. i think this is by far my favourite pixar film yet, but probably more to do with personal reasons than anything though it was an incredibly crafted animation. but anyway...

i really really want this movie poster.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

last stretch

artistic anatomy final: physical ideals

coloured pencil on chipboard; 20x30"?
poorly scanned and shoddily pieced back together in photoshop

pen & ink

i'm officially done junior year! it's been a crazy year. in every way possible...

Friday, May 8, 2009

mommy, do you love me?

click on the image to view in full

pencil & digital colour

Monday, April 27, 2009

feat o' feet

foot study in pencil from model

Sunday, April 19, 2009

legs legs HANDS

finally, an update!

coloured pencil

ballpoint pen

ehhhh i'll post more news later.. i'm trying to organize a portfolio right now.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

umbrella gliding

ballpoint pen, coloured in photoshop

coloured and ready for adding to my portfolio! that's another thing crossed off my weekend to-do list muahaha >:]

i received the suggestion to add graffiti texture and asian text on the you think it needs it? i tried writing some japanese on a couple signs, but i was finding it hard to make it not overly noticeable and to just blend into the world.. i dunno.. comments, insight, etc?

ahhhh it's 7:21 on a saturday morning what's wrong with meee -_-

Thursday, March 26, 2009


red roof city wip

just something that's been floating around in my head that i wanted to start working on before i lost interest. welcome to my spring break.

movie marathons, work parties, sassy tats, and baking more cakes than anyone's business. it's been good.

also, for clarification: the way i've categorized the links is such that "blood" are my family.. as in sister and cousins, "comrades" means beloved fellow illustrators, and "allies" are awesome people who are not in illustration but are just as awesome (including graphic design, film/animation/video, and a couple industrial design kiddies thrown in the mix).. it doesn't mean i love one more than the other.. (and heroes are... well.. heroes. pretty self-explanitory)