VeggieTales Concepts for “Merry Larry”

I was hired by Big Idea to do some character concept art for their latest VeggieTales DVD, Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas (Amazon link). This episode features a guest narrator, Uncle Si from the runaway hit cable series Duck Dynasty.

Here’s a few rough concepts and final turnarounds, followed by some screen captures from the episode. Bob’s glasses were removed for the final show (I suspect because having unobstructed eyes makes the acting a bit clearer), but overall the end result stayed pretty close to what I submitted.

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Bob Turnarounds for "Merry Larry" Christina Turnarounds for "Merry Larry" Larry Turnarounds for "Merry Larry" Mr Lunt Turnarounds for "Merry Larry" Miss Lewis Turnarounds for "Merry Larry"

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New Pose Drawing Sparkbook Ad

"Pose Drawing Sparkbook" Ad for CTN Animation Expo

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I’ll be officially launching the Pose Drawing Sparkbook at the CTN Animation Expo in November (although you can pre-order now). I just submitted this ad for inclusion in the conference book that will be given to all attendees. It was a lot of fun to work up these sketches.

If you work in (or want to work in) the animation industry, the Expo is a must-see. Tons of terrific speakers, exhibits, booths, and networking galore.

In addition to launching the Sparkbook I’ll also be giving a workshop called “Be Your Own Boss: Freelancing Tips and Tricks”. Sign up when you register.

‘What’s In The Bible?’ Vol. 12 Now Available To Order

What’s In The Bible? is the latest DVD series from VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer. Volume 12 has just been released, covering the parts of the New Testament written by the Apostle Paul. I got to design the character of Paul and it’s neat to see the animators bring him to life. What’s In The Bible? is a really fun, well-made series for kids and grown-ups alike. You can watch sample clips and order DVDs or digital downloads at whatsinthebible.com.

VeggieTales Concept Art for MacLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle

A new VeggieTales episode recently landed on store shelves, MacLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle (Amazon link). The story is built around a battle of escalating practical jokes between two rival tribes, sort of Braveheart meets Gladiator but with cream pies. I was hired by Big Idea to do some character and costume design for the episode, including designing two new characters: Chog Norris (who plays Larry’s dad) and some Turnips.

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Concept art for VeggieTales episode "MacLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle"Veggietales-ChogNorris-TurnsVeggietales-Turnip-turns

I also did a few illustrations for the episode. For example, this map:

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Here’s a trailer for MacLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle:

Sparkbook Snippet: Personality and Emotions

(This excerpt is from a rough draft of  the Pose Drawing Sparkbook, a super-charged sketchbook designed to help you put more life and personality into your drawings. Think of it as acting exercises for your sketchbook.Read other snippets here and here.)

As human beings we all experience the same basic emotions, but everyone has their own unique personality through which those emotions are filtered. This can make for interesting results.

Sometimes emotions and personality can overlap. For instance, everyone has situations in which they feel confident but there are some people for whom confidence seems to be a defining characteristic. They are up for any challenge and not easily discouraged.

Likewise, when a naturally confident person begins to feel nervous they may demonstrate it differently than a timid person who is nervous all the time. The confident person may try to hide their nervousness whereas a timid person may wear it on their sleeve for all to see. Both are experiencing the same feeling but it comes out in very different ways.

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Here are two boys waiting for the bus. Let’s call the Tommy and Timmy. From their poses we can tell that Timmy is shy and insecure. His back is hunched over, his chin is down, and his knees and elbows are pulled in. He is taking a clear posture of submission. Tommy, on the other hand, stands strong and confident. His feet are apart and his back is arched. He is the more powerful of the two and he knows it.

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Now lets take that simple set-up and turn it on it’s head. A snake slithers by and the usually-confident Tommy is suddenly gripped with fear. Drawing Tommy climbing onto Timmy’s back not only creates a comical visual, but it is also consistent with their personalities. Tommy is still pushing Timmy around. He’s forcing himself on Timmy and using Timmy as a sort of shield. Timmy, on the other hand, is clearly not afraid. He is curious and even excited, yet he is still accepting a submissive role. Either that, or he is so excited about this wonder of creation that he is oblivious to Tommy’s bullying.

In this short little scene we see each character expressing both confidence and fear – but those same emotions are revealing themselves in different ways, consistent with their overall personalities.

Read two more Sparkbook Snippets: “Action Reveals Character” and “Acting With The Entire Body”. The Pose Drawing Sparkbook is now available for pre-orderAlso, don’t forget to download your free list of 100 Sketchbook Ideas as my gift to you.