Friday, December 23, 2011

Naughty or Nice?

A bit of Christmas Cheesecake for the Holiday season.
All the best, and may you all have a safe and Happy New Year's

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Donald Family Pic

This one's been on the to-do list for a few months, but I've been a bit busy with fulltime work, freelance and parenthood. My son's kinder teacher and her husband are big Disney fans and asked me a few months ago upon learning that I used to work for the House of Mouse if I could draw them a picture of Donald Duck and his family.
During my time at Disney I never actually drew Donald, the only classic character I touched was Mickey, but hey, I'm up for a challenge. It helps that I've got a nice collection of model packs from my time there and Donald and Daisy were amongst them. What I was surprised to learn was there's very little in the way of model sheets for the nephews.
Anyway, I've finished this pic just in time, as it's my son's last day of kinder for the year tomorrow. This should make a nice Chrissy present.
Here's the rough below for those who're interested. Initially roughed in pencil, then assembled in photoshop and a second pass done, before redrawing in pencil for the final piece. I did a little adjust on Daisy and Donald's heads in the final version above.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Santa's Apprentice experience

The French-Irish-Australian Animated Christmas movie “Santa’s Apprentice” that I worked on has finally been released.

For me, to work on this film as an Animator was an opportunity to reunite with some of my ex-Disney colleagues and to extend the Christmas spirit for about six months.

The film achieves a hand-drawn animation look with digital software Toon Boom Harmony so that we were creating paperless animation. This was a new experience for the twenty or so of us Animators who were used to animating pencil on paper now drawing directly onto a tablet monitor. I’d used the software previously at ettamogah but not in the same way. It was a great experience and chance to update the skills- no longer did we have to collect all of our drawings and head over to the linetest machine, we could do it instantly at our desks. Repositioning or adjusting drawings was an ease with instant feedback. The transition from traditional to digital was a relatively smooth one with useful tools available to us in the software.

Whilst most of my colleagues were Sydney-based, and I did spend some time in the studio there to acquaint myself with the project, I was able to work from home with a VPN connection and Skype to communicate regularly. Ahh, the wonders of the internet.

The work-from-home experience was a new one for me, well as a fulltime gig anyway- adjusting to the freedom of working my own hours, not having to commute or be in a studio and dealing with the distractions that come from working at home; and all the while still having to meet a quota. Once I set myself a routine, everything fell into place. It was a fun experience to share with my daughter and see her taking an interest in what I was doing. She would come up into my attic in the morning before school and ask and look over what I was working on. She would come up again at the end of the day and see finished scenes and get a great kick out of seeing these drawings I was making come to life before her eyes. That made it such a special experience. Oh, and she never considered it work for me.

Check out more on the film at the official "Santa's Apprentice" website.

Following are a collection of coloured stills and linetest frame grabs from scenes in the film that I animated.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Even more Etta Art

Back to some artwork posts...
More here from my time at Ettamogah. This is all pre-production artwork from the series "Wakkaville". At the top there is a hero pose of the four main characters which was then inked and coloured and used for promo material.
Following is a bunch of episodic character and prop design artwork done initially for the storyboard artists as they commence boarding their episodes, but also for the character builders and background artists who need to create the assets for each episode prior to animation beginning.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pink Bundle

Sorry, been busy with our new addition to post an update (and picture).

Yes, the stork brought us a pink bundle, a little girl, Jade born on September 20 and she is being adored by everyone, particularly her now big brother and sister.

Sorry, no photos to share here- I have facebook and private email for that. It appears though that I've had one rather persistent visitor looking for just that, and if it is who I think it is then she really has no business looking here.

Monday, September 19, 2011


The Stork pays us a visit tomorrow. Whether it's a pink bundle or a blue one we haven't much longer to find out.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Santa's Apprentice

I've just learned that the last animated production I worked on, the Feature film "Santa's Apprentice" has finally announced a release date- November 10, 2011.
I worked on this film as an Animator in Late 2009, early 2010 with a bunch of ex-Disney work-mates and it's great to see our work finally hit cinema screens.
The film came out last Christmas as a French language release (as it was a French co-production) and faired quite well from all reports.
Also, at the Annecy animation festival in France this year, the film won the special UNICEF award.
More about the film here
Check out the teaser trailer here-

I'll discuss it some more shortly...

Friday, August 19, 2011

More Etta Art

Time for some more Artwork from my time at Ettamogah.
As I have previously mentioned, I was initially hired as a Storyboard Artist on the new series "Wakkaville" which followed the adventures of a young girl relocated from the city to live with her Aunt in a small country town. Basically, a fish-out-of-water story.
Midway through my first board, the Director quit, and I was asked to take the reins. What I had noticed on my board was that a lot of the setting was at best loose, we had about six pieces of concept art for locations for the entire show, and some of these required amendments.
Following is some of the art I created to help lock down key locations within the show.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Business card narrow down

It's been a while since I've printed personal business cards. Well, the last time I had some done email was unheard of and telephone numbers in Australia consisted of seven numbers instead of eight, and mobiles were a luxury item.
Anyway, the time has come to do a new set and I figured I'd showcase some of my artwork with what the fine folk at Moo can do. I thought I'd go for a selection of ten images and need to narrow down these 15 that I'd settled on.

Wanna help? Thoughts?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wonder Woman Pin-up

At last, she's finished.
This piece was going to be for a fanboy exhibition with a comic book theme. Unfortunately from when I heard about the upcoming exhibition to the submission date, I only had a couple of weeks and with fulltime and freelance work, this one fell to the backburner. But I wanted to finish it anyway, so it became a not-so little lunchtime activity.
With the comic theme I thought rather than do an almost literal fan image of a comic book character, I'd give it a bit of a twist and do Wonder Woman in a pin-up style.
This was also an opportunity to try a different technique with rendering in photoshop.
As this was going to be a piece in an exhibition I was going to have a high-res print done on fine art stock. However, if there is sufficient interest from this post I will do a limited run of 16 x 12 prints on the same fine art stock (sans watermark).
Hope you like...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Stitch for Ash

A girl I work with is apparently a big fan of Stitch from "Lilo and Stitch" and a few days ago after learning I worked on the sequel dashed over to ask for a pic. Despite it being seven years since I worked on the film I'm surprised how well I remember how to draw him. He's a lot of fun too.
This one will become a tattoo...

Here's the couple of roughs I did exploring some ideas and working up to the final image.

Friday, June 17, 2011


This article from The Age a couple of weeks ago reminded many of us former employees of Leigh O'Brien, CEO of Ettamogah Entertainment that for many, the saga is still not over.
For a number of us union members, last Christmas heralded a double celebration as we received cheques for 80% of our entitlements some fourteen months after being unlawfully "stood down" from our jobs. This constituted a payment of 90% of our entitlements to solicitors acting on our behalf less 10% in legal fees.
But it wasn't without a protracted and frustrating fight. After months of unsuccessfully seeking a resolution through Fair Work following being "stood down" in October 2009 so that the company could sort out story and production issues on its second animated series "Li'l Larikkins", the MEAA took the matter to court with Mr O'Brien agreeing in July 2010 to pay all outstanding entitlements. A premature cheer of celebration rang out from the union. Premature because the stalling that had delayed progress previously continued until a payment of 90% of our entitlements was made in September '10 with the remainder to follow a couple of weeks later. Well, that never happened. Other creditors were lining up and on November 16 the company was placed under external administration. Paperwork sent out to creditors by administrators Hall Chadwick detailed amongst other things a debt of over $6 million, curiously $3 million of which Mr O'Brien claimed he owed himself. Additionally the day beforehand, the company changed its name because of an apparent "breach of licence agreement" despite operating for 11 years and owning the rights to Ken Maynard's cartoons.
In December, the union in light of the amount of creditors chasing unpaid debt conceded that the remaining 10% would not be forthcoming and proceeded to disperse funds held in trust by the solicitors.
On February 2, 2011 following the granting of an extension to prove that the company was indeed financial, creditors met at a hearing with administrators Hall Chadwick and voted to have the company wound up and placed into liquidation.

With the saga now well and truly over for me and given that several episodes of both series have aired on TV thereby nullifying any NDA, and given that there is effectively no company to threaten legal action I thought it about time to share some of the artwork I created during my time there.
I was originally hired back in March of 2008 as a storyboard artist for their new series "Wakkaville" and in my first few weeks, prior to starting any storyboards was asked to create some character artwork.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sneak peak

Here's a sneak peak of something I'm working on at the moment for an upcoming exhibition.
More soon...

Oh, and that last post was my 200th post, how about that?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Something really different

A couple of months ago I was asked to contribute artwork to a rather unusual project. A young Perth boy had passed away from cancer, and as he had been part of a large fundraising campaign a rather large funeral was arranged. I was asked to create some artwork in the style of E.H. Shepard famed for the original "Winnie the Pooh" books, which the boy loved, for a funeral booklet. It was a very tight turnaround, but the family were very happy with the result.