Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My OTHER "art" blog

Hello, dear blog followers.
I just wanted to post a quick update to let you 57 folks know about my new blog. While this one will still remain VERY active, albeit sporadic,...I've finally launched my comic strip, (which I've been working on in some form or another since I was twelve), and I just wanted to give it a little shout.
Since comic strips and nerdy fan art are a little bit like apples and oranges, I thought the strip needed it's own platform.
Say hello to Liam the Corgi,...one of the many inhabitants of the fictional little New England town called Autumn Falls.

I hope you'll go over and say hello. You can find the "new" strip here.


Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


As luck would have it this year, I am having some success with completing my annual "Fun Halloween" illustrations! This year's subject,...The Real Ghostbusters because it's badass.

The End.

I was surprised, (well kinda but not really), at the reaction so many of the lads, (and a few ladies, to be fair), had to sexy Janine in her witch costume.

I long suspected I wasn't the only one out there with an affinity for Miss Melnitz so I decided she needed her own stand-alone, (Well except for Slimer).

So I hope you enjoy Halloween Janine!

Off to work up another,....methinks pumpkin carving,....RGB style,...perhaps with a particle thrower. :-P

And again,....HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Now everyone go work on your costumes!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Well hey there, Janine Melnitz!

Because sometimes things flow easier than others,...I sat down the other night to try and thumbnail a few more concepts for some more RGB Halloween illustrations, (because there's no better way to celebrate the greatest season of the year than by drawing all sorts of Halloweeny stuff), and as sometimes happens,....a new Janine illustration literally dropped out of the stylus.
Now might be a good time to mention that odd phenomenon that occurs with all artists on a pretty regular basis and that phenomenon is occasionally,....you draw something as easily as you always dreamed you could and it comes about as easily as you think it does for all the other artists you admire.
When that happens, you simply ride that wave out and when you finish you whisper very quietly to no one in particular, (or perhaps God or the Universe), "Holy crap, how did I do that?"

This Janine illo' was like that.

It's not easy for me as an artist to admit that I struggle but I really I do. I'm a huge fan of pinup art. Bloggers like Shane Glines, Bruce Timm and the like revolutionized design, form and color. I could stare at their stuff all day and still think, "I'll never be able to do that!"

As much as I love it, it doesn't come easily or naturally to me. I was trained on Mice, cats, rabbits, anything Tex Avery as well as a pretty hefty diet of Anime back in the day.

But this is what this blog is about. The eternal struggle for artistic growth,.....demonstrated here, for all to see, warts and all. Because failing in front of people is scary,....but I think that kind of fear provides a motivated push to let go and just do it.

Or maybe it's just a thinly veiled excuse to do a hot drawing of Janine Melnitz in a sexy witch costume for Halloween!

More to come!

Friday, October 12, 2012


Welcome, blog readers to this holiest of holy months,...October and in this hallowed, (pun intended), month sits the greatest of holidays,...Halloween. Now initially,...this Amazing Colossal Movie Art Blog was started with the original intent to explore the concept of turning my favorite live action films into their animated counterparts but sometimes,....a thing simply cannot be improved upon.
Case in point,...one of the smartest written and most clever shows to grace the after-school television screens of my early adolescence.

The Real Ghostbusters.

While the various episodes, (upwards of 130 and change, all said and done and once in syndication), varied in quality, a casualty of the early days of outsourcing to multiple studios, the writing was nothing short of cannon when it came to the look, feel and spirit of the original film.

Before it lost it's way and became Slimer and The Real Ghostbusters, I went back day after day for my daily dose of Peter, Ray, Egon, Winston, Janine and yes,...even Slimer. The Snarf of the series but he still had some very Belushi moments in the first two seasons.

So Above you see my tribute, (perhaps one of several this month if I can sneak the time), to one of the greatest shows of my toon-addicted generation and because I love seeing process,....I also love sharing process.

The image started as the loosest of loose thumbnail sketches that looked like I'd put the stylus in my left hand, closed my eyes and went for it.

I had a rough idea of where I wanted everybody and what I wanted them to be doing. Next up, came the tie-down.

The poses and proportions are tweaked and refined, Slimer is added and I begin to get fussy about the models. Next up, final cleanup line. I am a sucker for the kind of self-colored ink lines commonly practiced by Disney, Warners and Bluth so I always end up putting it in.

And here we see the final line before the final color pass. The "Happy Halloween" is added on the pumpkins and I throw a glow effect in once it's gone. I used a similar process for Slimer's ambient glow as well.

Hope you all enjoy! Perhaps I'll try another one soon! Now get to work on your costumes!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Doing the first thing last!

In the continuing saga of the Cheers office,....ironically, the last thing I ended up doing was the first thing I had conceived of and honestly was the entire scope of the project when I first considered doing it,....
The door.

That Iconic door was just about the apex of my grand plan. I thought,...."I'll just do up my door like the Cheers door!" and as the project blossomed into madness from there, the door fell by the wayside.

But as the project neared completion, the door turned into the cherry on the sundae, so to speak.

I got to work by digitally re-mastering the Cheers logo in Photoshop and having a local sign shop print it onto a sheet of acrylic. I then designed the framing insert to slip the acrylic into.

I then set about finding the proper boards to skin the door with. In dealing with the height and width restrictions of the door I found that six inch wide boards gave the door just about the right shape.

The Cheers door is considerably shorter and a tad wider but I had to work with what I had.

Now while leaving a hole in the wood to accommodate the deadbolt was easy, (though I still screwed it up), It was gonna be quite a different story to make puzzle pieces to account for the awkward industrial door handle and while I considered it, I took the lazy man's way out and simply left a gap in the wood. Because measuring something in one place, and crafting something for it in another can often be a tricky proposition.

It's amazing what a coat of Walnut stain can do.

And after three coats of polyurethane gloss, it was ready for a test-fit!

Here we see the skinning of the door in progress,....and the one board I screwed up. The hole I drilled was 1/2 in too low. :-(
Can you imagine if I'd tried to muddle my way around that handle? I never said I was a carpenter. I'm an artist who builds stuff! Occasionally I even use TOOLS!

OH! And in case you were wondering how I stuck the boards to the door? It's a magic little invention called industrial strength Velcro!

More to come!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Building the Cheers office: Part Two!

Test fitting the bar was a hoot! On a VERY warm Southern California day, I set aside the normal build day I might do for a "couple's hang out day" and a leisurely test fit of the bar on my VERY uneven backyard asphalt.
Now as I said in the first installment of this silly saga, the bar was designed to be modular and fit snugly around a raised, two-piece platform which would also serve to lock the post beams in place. The beams support the lightweight glass rail above and feature six beautiful track lighting fixtures that after an exhaustive search, are the closest, present-day equivalent to the ones they had in the show!


Here's a shot of it at night! Using low-key forty watt bulbs!

After a successful proof of concept, I was ready to move everything into the office! There was just one thing holding me up! The floor! Now with the floor, it  took me even longer to find a close match than the lighting fixtures did but I was finally able to find a very close match in some Armstrong cushion step, (who's stock number escapes me at the moment), and as luck would have it, my 12x14 foot piece came in right before a long weekend. Leaving me the perfect window to come in and set up the space like it was Christmas!

Here we see, (after trimming two feet off of the twelve), the floor in all it's reddish-tinged glory as I fine tune the fit over the carpet!

And the platform is in! With my Swain's desk in place and all my computer stuff back up and in place! I know it look like I don't have a lot of room but I really don't go far. Besides, I have the drop-down to keep me from sliding too far back, (in theory. Assuming I don't go for a tumble one day).

Reverse shot. You can see the fake paneling next to the door that will lock in the partition to come later.

With the platform in place, the bar goes around it like legos. The bar bodies sliding into the bases and the bar-tops sliding into the bodies and all working together to hold the posts in place. At the end of the day, the bar is all dialed in, posts in place and glass rails waiting to be mounted.

But MAN, was I tired! So off home I went, working over in my brain what I could get done the next day!

More to come!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Building the Cheers office: Part one!

It was a show about a "nice little neighborhood bar" that SET the bar for ensemble character comedy and has has every show that came after it trying to beat it at it's own game.
For me it was a point of pride that I was from the town where Cheers took place and when I first moved out here to LA it was my go-to show for an instant remedy for homesickness.
So last year when I found myself, for the first time in ten years, at a new job, in a new place, where I didn't know a lot of people, I was feeling a little,...well, a little unsure.
Like doing a tightrope walk without a net. But fortunately, the people I work for are all about embracing creativity and love to nurture the crazy creative streak.so when we were told, (inspired by some of the elaborate environments the creatives at Pixar transformed for their workspaces), that we were free to transform our offices in a similar fashion I thought,...."AH! Now THERE'S something that'll make me feel at home! I'll create a nest!"
I immediately thought a mini-pub would be a hoot of an idea To transform the office into a convivial outpost of warm conversation and laughs simply for the sake of creating an extraordinary environment. A second later I thought,..."NO! Wait!......Cheers."
Now for those that know, I love replicas and movie props of every kind and I've always pipe-dreamed about having a big ol' cellar someday that I could transform into a brick-by-brick perfect replica of the Cheers set because,....well, because why wouldn't I? :-)
So I thought,....that's it,....it'll be a little proof of concept! So I asked "Can I turn my office into Cheers?" Which turned several heads and raised several eyebrows and smirks. But good on em' for entertaining my crazy. So I went away and started researching. I dug out my old research photos and started researching things like flooring and light fixtures and bar stools and photographs.
In fact I spent SO much time on research I think people forgot I ever said i was gonna do this but as the pieces came together, the test builds began!

Here we see a rough test fit of the initial bar. The office was roughly 10x14 feet with a 9ft.ceiling so I designed the bar to sit in the rear left corner of the room.

My desk would sit on a raised platform, (so those on the stools and I would all roughly be at eye level), behind the bar and the posts would support a small lightweight glass rail above.

Here we see the gorgeous brass I ordered. Here in So-Cal we're lucky enough to have enough of the movie industry that you can get just about anything, especially for set design so when I found out that one of the metal places I go to out here has "bar parts" I made a beeline for it.

And finally, after a year of planning, I was able to test-fit the bar on one very hot summer night!

More to come in part two!