Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Adventure Time" Storyboard Test

After finding out that I did not receive the storyboard revisionist position on "Regular Show" I sent out all my "thank you" emails, thanking everyone for that incredible opportunity. One of the people I thanked, Brooke Keesling, informed me that "Adventure Time" was looking for a storyboard artist, and asked if I wanted to take a test.

I said yes.

For this test I was given a short paragraph and told to construct a scene based on it. Even more than the "Regular Show" test I was allowed to improvise and create something unique and new. This was no simple task, and I tried my best to pull stuff from my own subconscious and plug it into the sequence. The result is something that I'm still very proud of.

Here's a link to the Scribd version if you'd like.

Much like with the "Regular Show" test, I didn't get the job, but I still made it one step closer to working on "Adventure Time" than most people. That does an ego good.

Special thanks to Brooke Keesling and Patrick Seery for all their help. And to Pen Ward for creating such a brilliant show that I had a chance to play with for a bit.

"Adventure Time" is copyright Cartoon Network and Frederator.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Regular Show" Storyboard Revisionist Test

A few months ago I got the opportunity to do a storyboard revisionist test for Cartoon Network's "Regular Show." A storyboard revisionist, for those of you who don't know, is responsible for cleaning-up the storyboard artists' drawing and preparing them for the animators in Korea. Revisionists also storyboard new scenes or sequences the producers deem necessary for the episode to truly work.

Being a huge "Regular Show" fan, this was an incredible opportunity and I had an absolute blast putting it together. I've been told my submission made it to the final round of consideration, which I can assure you, is the nicest rejection I have ever received.


The first part of the test was the thumbnail section. I was given a brief paragraph that described the basic outline of the scene and I was charged with writing the dialogue and staging the action in 40 panels or less.

Scribd Link

Thumbnails are a little rougher than storyboards and are more about getting the basic pacing and staging down.

Cleaned-Up Storyboards

After the thumbnails, I was asked to provide 10 cleaned-up storyboard panels, much as I would do as a real storyboard revisionist.

Scribd Link

There was also a written test, which I'm declining to post in respect to Cartoon Network and "Regular Show." I was entrusted with this material, and I don't want to give it all away. Where's the fun in that?

I'll do another post in the future where I talk a little bit more about the process of putting the test together. I figure it might be useful advice for anybody doing a test like this.

All in all the whole test was a fantastic experience and I'm absurdly lucky that I even got the opportunity. I want to thank Brooke Keesling, Marcy Mahoney and everyone who looked at my test for all their help and guidance.

 I'm posting this on the permission of Cartoon Network. If, for any reason, Cartoon Network or other "Regular Show" employees want me to take this down, please let me know.

"Regular Show" is copyright Cartoon Network.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Every once in a while I start to feel guilty that I don't do enough to vary up how I draw characters and I get really paranoid about my abilities. So the other day I sat down and drew a whole bunch of people, trying to vary shape and size as much as I could and be loose as possible.

It was a nice break from writing and animating and it reminded of the simple joys of the line.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Name is Barnabas Collins...

In honor of the Tim Burton's"Dark Shadows" the folks at Deviantart decided to hold a contest for the best portrait of Barnabas Collins, the vampire famously played by Jonathan Frid and now Johnny Depp. As fun as that might be, the real kicker was that the top ten entries were going to be judged by Tim Burton himself.

Here's my entry.

I've been a Tim Burton fan for a long time so there was no way I was going to pass this up. Unfortunately, I found out about the contest three days before it was over, so I had to work fast. My initial concept was a traditional three-quarters portrait of Barnabas in a stiff and elegant pose. To contrast this sophistication, I was going to paint blood splatters all over the painting, implying that Barnabas had killed someone and the victim's blood got all over his fancy portrait. How annoying!

As I was sketching this concept an idea came to me of Barnabas staring straight at the viewer while in the background there was a mixture of crazy '70s colors. I really enjoyed the pop-weirdness of the "Dark Shadows" trailer so I decided that was the way to go.

For reference I primarily used these two photos that Warner Brothers provided in the contest kit:

(these two images are copyright Warner Brothers 2012)

I tried to mix and match elements from both Barnabas in creating my own. And in case you're wondering, I started from scratch. There's no copying or tracing to create my final image.

Here's mine right after inking:

I've been playing a lot with line width recently and I think that really helped out the artwork, especially in differentiating the various layers of clothing.

Here's the final line art. I went in and fixed any areas that needed fixing and eliminated dirt. The biggest change was increasing the size of the cane. The initial version was far too small, so I had to go in and scale it up. I also fixed Barnabas's eyes. Minor stuff but it all adds up.

I also used the flip test and found out the illustration was skewed too far to the left. Using Free Transformation - Skew I was able to make it look perfect. Now, color!

Color turned out to be trickier than I expected. The only idea I had was "70s Colors!" But what did that look like? This wasn't it.

 Neither was this.

Nor this.

In a fit of desperation, I started looking at 70s movie posters on Google Image Search and find these:


Yes, that's right, "The Holy Mountain."

The colors on these two posters were fantastic! I straight up copied the colors directly into Photoshop and created this:

Almost there! I played around with hue and saturation and pumped up the colors even more:

And there you go! The finished piece.

Alas I didn't make it to the semi-finals (these talented folks did instead) but I had a great time doing it. I'm very proud of the final image and I think it might be the most technically polished thing I've done so far. That alone made the competition worth it.

See you in the theaters on May 11th!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Many, Many Monsters

Hey folks, sorry for not posting much. Life's been throwing a lot of stuff at me and the minute one thing ends, another begins. Thankfully it's all very exciting stuff that I hope I can talk about soon.

But I haven't been completely neglectful. For the past few months I've been running, Many, Many Monsters, a blog dedicated to publishing my monster art.

The whole thing is an opportunity to try out new techniques, play around with photoshop and plumb the depths of my mind. I try to get them done a fast as I can; I really want them to come straight from my subconscious without too much intellectualizing. Because of that I've posted some truly strange stuff that occasionally makes me ask, "Where the hell did that come from?"

Here are some miscellaneous favorites:




Joe the Monster Bartender

The Debt Collector

If you like 'em, check out more at Many, Many Monsters. If you're hipper than I am, you can see them at my Tumblr.