Girl on Fire: A Drawing Exercise
The Hunger Games trilogy really surprised to me… when my wife & daughter told me I should read the books a year ago, I smiled and said “You know, maybe I will” but in my mind I was thinking “I really don’t have time to spend reading a teenage girl romance novel.” And so I didn’t end up picking up the first book until about 2 or 3 months ago… and then it was only because I was incredibly bored, and figured at least this would pass some time.
Once I started reading, I was almost immediately caught up in the premise, and the story moved at such an easy pace that I was 1/2-way through the book before I knew it. I ended up burning through the triology in about 4-5 weeks (which is unusual for me, as I tend to read at a more leisurely speed.)
By the time I finished reading the books, the teaser-trailers for the movie had hit the Internet and I had a few weeks to digest what I’d read, and to wonder what the film interpretation would be like. I’m not going to review the books, or the movie… all in all, I’ll just say that I really loved the books, and thoroughly enjoyed taking my wife and daughters to see the movie, so the Hunger Games is ‘win’ in my book.
Got Walking Dead? Kill the Head!
The Walking Dead on AMC. Sweet.
I was turned on to the comic (or graphic novel, I guess… I’m never sure) around a year or so ago. I loved it right away.
The combination of the brilliant story written by Robert Kirkman, and the striking illustrations by Tony Moore, just really does it for me. Both the story and the drawings in The Walking Dead are direct and efficient, without ever appearing to be anything less than Kirkman’s and Moore’s very best effort… on every page and every panel.
Maybe it was foolish of me, but I was a caught off-guard when Frank Darabont’s TV version chose to use a different opening sequence than the one from the comic. I guess the opening sequence in the book worked so well for me that I couldn’t imagine anyone feeling the need to rewrite it in any way. I mean the screenplay AND the storyboard/shotlist were all right there… why wouldn’t you just USE them?
But once I got over my surprise – and reset my expectations – I was able to thoroughly enjoy watching the show.
I mean, when was the last time any of us had the opportunity to watch a TV series about Zombies? And this series is going to based on some top-notch source material… it would be a real waste not to enjoy the ride.
Here’s another Zombie drawing, in honor of the Walking Dead on AMC. DVR – RecordSeries – Check.
Remember… always kill the head.
When They was Fab… (work in progress)
The Beatles are a great story… ever since I was a kid I’ve had a fantasy about being there with Paul, Ringo, George & John scrappin it out on stage way back in those early days in Hamburg. Here is my interpretation of that fantasy.
This is a scaled-down version of the work in progress – the actual drawing is 19×25 inches… looking forward to having a print made and framed.
Here are some close-ups of the Boys (where you can see a little better how unfinished this is just yet)…
The Z Team
Wow – it’s been a busy summer/fall for me in my non-artistic life! I’ve only recently started doing some drawing again… and it’s been a reinvigorating experience. Creative expression really does help my state of mind.
I’ve picked up on the Zombie project idea again, and started designing some of the non-Zombie characters who are going to have to survive in the world of the living dead.
So, here are a couple of pics of * THE Z-TEAM *… work in progress.
1ST DRAFT w/storyline & dialog ideas overlayed
CAST OF CHARACTERS + a bit more definition
BACKSTORY w/WORKING NAMES:
college student… was on a canoe trip when the Zombie outbreak swept through the cities, towns, and well… campuses. He got back to the dorm… had a look around… and decided to head for the hills… literally;
art-school dropout & vagabond… was crashing at an acquaintance’s hunting cabin when the dead came to town… and that’s right where he was when Marcus found him;
biker/mechanic… stays on the move riding with his motorcycle club and kicking Zombie asses along the way… “Live to Ride, Ride to Live” has taken on new meaning… while running for their lives from a pack of TEETH, the boys are saved when Hoops and Co. happen on the scene… suffering a broken ankle in the scrum, Hoops decides to stay with the boys for a bit while he heals;
USMC Combat Rifle Company squad-leader whose team was eviscerated when a call to “quell a riot” in Trenton NJ put them in the path of several-hundred Zombies tearing through the city… after barely escaping across the river, Val comes looking for provisions at the mall.
That’s it for now… look for more… sooner or later.
And remember – Kill the Head!
The Heavy Hand
When business gets messy… they call in the Heavy Hand…
Somebody is not going to be happy to see this face tonight…
I’m a World-Famous Animator… sort of
It’s only natural that my love for drawing and my love for music would come together as a love for animation, and – – – Oh… I didn’t mention that I dabble in animation…? And I forgot music too? Huh – weird…
Historical Note: I’ve been told that the KO Title Sequence was the first ever Animated Theme Song intro of any YouTube Channel… And while I’m not at all not sure how true that really is… it’s still really cool that I’ve been told that!
===> * * * WATCH THE VIDEO… IT’S SHORT, I PROMISE! * * * <===
Well, I guess I just figured that the Opening Sequence for KatiesOpinion made that kind of obvious… I mean, you do remember KatiesOpinion – right…? What… NO…?!? Why that’s preposterous!!! EVERYONE knows KatiesOpinion! On what planet do you spend most of your time?!? I mean seriously – WTF!?! Why don’t you try pulling your head out of your – – – !!!
I know, I know… of course I’m just kidding. I know KatiesOpinion was never THAT big… But it was kind of popular… back in the good old days… waaaayyyy back when in the olden times of 2006-2008
. . . cue flashback . . .
My buddy Craig has a really big head.
Presumably that would mean he’s got a really big brain too – wouldn’t it? Maybe that’s why he writes so many damn blogs. His big ol’ brain just keeps churning out idea after idea… and blogging gives him a place to dump them all.
Lately he’s been siezed by a fit of Beatle-Mania which <sarcasm>surprisingly</sarcasm> has resulted in several more blogs.
His latest one is a response to some folks who questioned whether or not it’s productive for someone in his business (the DJ business) to spend time writing blogs about the Beatles.
The blog answers that question, by posing another question (a nice Socratic approach)…
What is a DJ SUPPOSED to Know About…?
Craig goes on to argue that music is a DJ’s stock & trade… you want your DJ to be knowledgeable about music… and researching and writing about one of the greatest music groups of all time is therefore consistent with what a DJ OUGHT to be thinking about.
He sent me a draft of his blog… asked for my opinion on it… and then asked if I would be willing to provide another illustration [see Octopus].
But, he said he didn’t know what kind of picture would make sense…
So I whipped off this little doodle here…
The sketch above is the one I sent Craig for his blog.
I had cranked that one out real quickly right before running out the door… so I didn’t spend too much time staring at it (which I usually DO)… so when I looked at it again later that night, it was kind of “new” to me.
I really liked it… and I couldn’t stop looking at it.
Turns out… I wanted to play with it some more.
So I re-opened the file and started resizing… adding backgrounds… throwing on filters and effects…
Eventually I tuned in on this “poster” treatment… which makes me laugh… which is good.
Make sure you click it to see the full-size version (and press ‘F11’ to go to fullscreen view)
Zombies NEVER Knock… how rude
If there’s one thing I just can’t stand about Zombies it’s gotta be how damned inconsiderate they are…
Ya know – it doesn’t make one bit of a difference to a Zombie what plans YOU may have had for the day, oh no…
The ZOMBIE wants to rip your arms off… the ZOMBIE wants to tear open your skull-bucket and devour your brains… It’s all about the Zombie… ZOMBIE, ZOMBIE, ZOMBIE!!!
To hell with your important business meeting… or your long-awaited vacation… to hell with your lunch date with grandma… to hell with your stupid wedding reception… GAH! See what I mean??? SO friggin selfish!
Seriously… I mean half the time they can’t even be bothered to use DOORS…
“Nevermind… I’m coming through the WALL!“
What a bunch of JERKS…!!!
CLICK TO VIEW PICTURE FULL-SIZE
I think this may be my favorite of all my Zombie sketches so far. It captures the look and the style I was after throughout this exercise. I’m really satisfied with this one.
As a matter of fact… this is the last Zombie sketch I think I’ll be posting…
At least for a while… I’ve got some other doodles that I want to give a little time to.
But you know Zombies… you can’t ever really get rid of ’em… not really.
So You’ve Got Zombies, eh?
In a world following a massive-scale Zombie outbreak… lots of things will change… many sights that would surprise you today, will become commonplace…
Traditional law enforcement and military forces will likely be otherwise occupied with securing strategic infrastructure (or protecting the “important” people) or they may even no longer exist… except maybe as uniformed Undead
Bands of citizens will have to organize and pull together for their mutual survival… groups like the one in this sketch won’t be uncommon at all…
These guys look like they’ve survived quite a bit and know what they’re doing… they also look like “good guys”…
Which brings up a good point – even if you’re alone and on the run from flesh-eating Ghouls, a roving gang of armed men isn’t necessarily a good thing to run into… but I think these guys would help you out… if they could…
I decided to combine 2 pix in this one post. Though they’re not exactly related, I think they go well together visually.
Not too much to say about this next one… I think it tells its own story…
You can fill in the details however you want… but one thing is for sure… some shit is about to go down, and it ain’t gonna be pretty…
The “Zombie Whisperer”???
Zombies are mindless animated corpses, operating strictly on the simple instinct to pursue and devour… no external force affects or influences their behavior… right? Well what if something, or someONE, could? What if some sinister figure had the ability to coordinate–to direct–the legions of the Undead? How would that change the playing field?
So, I’d sketched up some ghoulies, dreamed up a hero and carved out a back-story for her–partially setting the stage for the overall story in a spontaneous fit of creative writing (don’t worry… that doesn’t happen often.) So what next…?
Well, I’m the kind of person who craves balance. So once I’d defined the hero, it became important for me to come up with an Anti-Hero. “Protagonist… meet Antagonist. I’m sure you’ll hit it off famously.”
To be honest, I never did come up with quite as clear of an idea about who the Antagonist was, or where he came from. Maybe I was being lazy, but I decided that he would at least start out as a complete mystery… and I figured I could sort out the rest if it ever became important. And knowing that I was doing this as a creative exercise, and never really planned to actually MAKE a movie out of it… I figured that was good enough.
The Antagonist as far as I did define him was a man… probably incredibly old, but with no appearance of physical decline… grim, but not unattractive… absolutely fearless and intimidating beyond belief. In fact, I modeled the basic idea off of my memory of Stephen King’s ultimate villain Randall Flagg, from one of my very favorite books ‘The Stand.’
Like I mentioned previously… my main goals in this series of drawings were:
1) move quickly – don’t spend too much time on details
2) experiment with framing
3) work on color schemes to convey mood
On that score, I think I did well with this one. Although, I’m not exactly crazy about the face, or the figures in the background (truthfully, I’m not even sure what they were supposed to be… but I’m calling them Zombies now… weird, lumpy Zombies) I do like the framing, the colors and the overall sense I get when looking at this sketch, so… I’ll call it a keeper.
In a Cephalopod’s Back Yard
Craig from Cutting Edge Entertainment does a blog on music-related subjects, and he recently got on a Beatles kick. He’s been reading a bunch of books, and I guess, a bunch of blogs.
Sometime last week he came across a blog posting that offered one particular person’s list of the Worst Beatles Songs ever. On that list was Octopus’s Garden – written and sung by Beatles’ drummer and lovable comic-relief… Ringo Starr.
Craig didn’t think that seemed right… I mean, bashing on Octopus’s Garden somehow seems to be in the same class with screaming at cuddly kittens. So Craig decided to do a blog of his own in response… and he asked me if I’d do an illustration of an Octopus to go with it.
I don’t think I’ve ever drawn an Octopus before… and I happen to be a big fan of Ringo Starr (not so much the musician, but more the persona)
…so I said yes.
And here it is…
And for what it’s worth… I’d tend to agree with Craig on this… Octopus’s Garden is just too damn cheerful to be placed on any “Worst Of” list.
Thanks for the smiles, Ringo.
* * * more of my drawings * * *
Zombie Killer – Qu’est-ce Que C’est?
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
How about I start off this post with a meaningful (pretentious?) quote…?
Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
~~ William Shakespeare ~~
Yeah – nice one… that’ll do.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
So… WHY would anyone be afraid of greatness? I mean wouldn’t it be… I dunno… great??? OK, then consider this… What if you were born great, but didn’t know it? And then at some point–having made no effort to achieve greatness–it was suddenly–and violently–thrust upon you? And what if this all happened to you when you were less than 10 years old??? Hmm… yeah. That could be just a little scary – don’t ya think?
So, there you go – that’s the basis of the back-story for our hero, Blue. Fleshing it out a bit more I figured it went something like this…
The Zombie outbreak surged to a global crisis just before the girl’s 9th birthday, and the defenses which had been keeping her community safe, abruptly and completely failed… As all hell broke loose, the Emergency Broadcast System announced that the Catastrophic Incident Evacuation Plan had been initiated, and so her family set out for the nearby waterfront in hopes of escaping aboard one of the Coast Guard-commanded vessels that had been prepared for this contingency…
At the waterfront, instead of finding salvation they found nothing but chaos and horror… The Coast Guard and their evacuation craft had been overwhelmed by the Walking Dead, and throngs of arriving civilians, caught up in the desperate stampede for survival, found themselves swept forward into the jaws of a nightmarish feeding-frenzy… Panic-stricken people ran blindly in all directions – bodies slammed violently into one another and the world moved at dizzying speed… Clutching his daughter in one arm and holding onto his wife with the other, Blue’s father struggled to keep his feet as he sought an escape route for his family… And suddenly – time slowed…
Blue felt the massive jolt that spun her father completely around… She felt herself slip from his slackened grasp as she was sent airborne… she saw the awful look in his eyes as–still reaching out in an attempt to save her–he went down under the pile of bodies…
On the ground now, she staggered to her feet… she glanced around wildly but could see no sign of her parents… her tear-filled eyes began to burn with heat… a high-pitched white-noise filled her head… her limbs and spine stiffened… and from the pit of her stomach to the tips of her fingers and toes a bright tension drew steadily, relentlessly inward… and just when she felt as if her body was on the verge of collapsing in on itself… the tension released in an outward rush of brilliant light and wind…
Blue felt like she was falling from a sky-scraper, only horizontally – and without moving… she could see nothing but brightness, and though she was sure she was engulfed by flames, there was no heat… no pain… only a deafening roar… through which she imagined she heard horrifying shrieking…
OK, wow – I wasn’t expecting to write all of that. I’d said I was going to keep these posts short, but it looks like I just can’t be trusted. At any rate…
Some time later, Blue opened her eyes and found herself strapped to a stretcher in the back of a military helicopter flying over the ocean. The rescue team had found her unconcious at the scene of the massacre… the sole survivor, surrounded by hundreds (possibly thousands) of incinerated corpses. They’d decided there must have been a chain reaction of explosions which had ignited the thousands of gallons of marine diesel stored at the site… but damned if anyone could explain how this little girl had survived… it could only be a miracle.
Oh by the way… if you’re one of the friends who’ve been reading these posts, but you haven’t been clicking on the pictures to see them at their full-size… well, that’s just not right.
Please go back to the beginning and re-read every word of every post, and this time follow instructions and “CLICK FOR FULL-SIZE” like the nice blogger said to.
* * * more of my drawings * * *
ZOMBIES!?!? What WE need is a hero!
The DEAD walk the earth!
NO living soul is safe!
Can ANYONE save us from the ZOMBIE hoards?
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Alright… so, I’m thinking this is a good time to stop and clear something up…
I DO NOT JUST DRAW ZOMBIES & other creatures of the night!
Yes, I know… if all you have to go on are the pics I’ve posted to this blog so far… well, I can see how you might get the wrong impression.
But the truth is, these pictures that I chose for starting off my blog, just happen to be based on a theme… which just happens to be a hypothetical Zombie Movie.
The fact that Zombies are the subject is really just a coincidence… I mean – I draw all kinds of stuff… seriously. Don’t believe me..?
Well then, just look at the picture in this post!
That’s not a Zombie – now is it?! No… no it is not.
OK, granted… so this IS another sketch from my “Zombie Movie Concept Art” series… BUT… there are NO MONSTERS in sight! Not a one!
So there you go then… proof-positive that I’m a pretty awesome guy, and you think hanging out with me would be pretty cool… and not creepy… or disturbing… and stuff.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
So this sketch is another quick character study.
I had decided that the hero of the story should be a young girl, and that she should have a slight melancholy mystery about her (faint emotional scars from a past she doesn’t talk about, maybe?) and the subtle suggestion of a deep strength–possibly a dormant fury–not to be taken lightly.
This one has a destiny, oh yes… and it’s bad news for the Zombies. Ooh… dramatic… right? Shades of ALICE…? Perhaps…
Though I honestly didn’t realize that until I saw RE:E for the 1st time last week.
Now, it probably shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that this drawing began with the eyes. In fact, the eyes are the only part of this drawing that I spent any real amount of time on… looking to convey that mystery-quiet-danger-girl thing.
Craig saw this picture and started calling her “Blue”… which seemed fair enough.
* * * more of my drawings * * *
And ZOMBIE makes III!
Not every Zombie is of the vacant-expression, shuffle & moan variety. In fact, some of my favorites have been the ferocious, screaming & hurtling sort, like the ones in the 2004 ‘Dawn of the Dead’ remake.
<< NOTE: Fast Moving Zombies (FMZ’s) like those in the 2K4 DOTD, should not be confused with the rage-virus-infected ‘Ragers’ seen in flicks like ’28 Days Later’! FMZ’s are undead… ‘Ragers’ are alive. These are 2 very different threats, which require very different tactics if encountered (educate yourself) This has been a PSA from seangallo_designs… we now return you to your regularly-scheduled blog >>
It occured to me that my first 2 Zombies–while they were certainly ghoulish enough–just didn’t look as though they’d be all that difficult to escape from. Either one of them on their own, or even both of them together, probably wouldn’t pose any sort of urgent threat.
Of course as the world slowly & steadily fills up with more and more of these shambling, starved-for-brains creeps… well, at some point it doesn’t matter how fast you can run, cause wherever you run… there they are. And of course it’s exactly that slow but exponential escalation of danger that’s the real genius behind the traditional Zombie flick.
But then… seeing an undead creature that wants to eat your brain (and your leg… and your face) sprinting at you at top-speed… well, there’s something very special and immediate about the kind of primal fear that speaks to.
And so, that’s where this guy comes from… here representing for all the FMZ’s… Zombie number 3.
* * * more of my drawings * * *
ZOMBIE!!! Too (2)
I thought about it for a little bit and decided to do one post for each of the Zombie-series sketches, and to post them in the same order that I drew them.
Not a huge decision, I know… but maybe seeing these in the order they came to life (or is it death…?) will mean something to someone… maybe not. Either way, now I won’t have to spend any time thinking about which one do I post next, and then which one do I post after that… I hate unnecessary thinking :|
What can I say…? I’m lazy. But don’t mistake that for a bad thing.
“…prepare your mind and your body for any contingency you can anticipate. It’s the lazy person’s way–and I do hope you are wise enough to be lazy…”
~ Chuck Jones quoting his father, in my favorite autobiography, ‘Chuck Amuck‘
I also decided that, like these drawings–deliberately done quickly & w/o too much thought–these posts will be brief and more or less off the cuff. But I tend to ramble once I get started, so we’ll find out together how well that works out.
So without further adieu (ah-doo?) here is the 2nd of my walking corpses…
In this one I feel like I got a little too distracted by playing with some of the little details… like the slobber, the cracked window, & the earring… and as a result, I missed the target a bit… something is off with the whole. The balance, energy, motion… kind of “meh”.
But in the end, I like some of the things I did here… I surprised myself with the color work, for one thing… and it reminded me to be more immediate, and to let the details take care of themselves.
* * * more of my drawings * * *
So I was talking with my friend Craig, from the KatiesOpinion project (blog on that soon) and we got to jawing about Zombies… which isn’t really all that unusual, since Zombies have been a serially-recurring topic of conversation between me and Craig since like… forever.
Now it’s not like Zombies are our primary common interest… I mean, we don’t talk about Zombies everytime we hang out or anything like that. But it’s also not random or strange for one of us to just spit out a question like “OK – so what’s the best weapon in this room, if the Zombies came right now?”
And please keep in mind… it’s not a question of whether Zombies might come… cuz they are coming, alright.
It’s only a question of when will they come… AND when they do come… will you be prepared?
So anyway, me and Craig got to jawing about Zombies, and he was telling me again (cuz he’s told me before) about how much he would love to make a really great Zombie film.
Now Craig has some really sharp ideas about what would make a really good Zombie flick, and so we ended up spending the next hour or so going over plot devices, settings and storylines for the world’s BeSt EvaR ZomBie movie.
On the drive home later my head was filled with images of the Living Dead, so when I got home I started in to sketching, and this gentleman [below] is pretty much the 1st thing that came out.
Now in the interest of full-disclosure, I did come back to this drawing and clean it up a couple of times after the initial sketch, but I tried to leave it pretty much the way it was born.
I liked this one so much, that I followed it up with a few others… not all Zombies, but all character drawings based on the very loose storyline Craig and I whipped up that night. I’ll post some of the others soon.
* * * more of my drawings * * *
My Wife is a Blood-Sucker
I can’t remember whether Kim read ‘Interview with the Vampire’ before or after the movie came out, but what I do know is that her natural affinity for dark fantasy creatures combined with her love of a great novel was kicked into overdrive when she saw that jerk-off Brad Pitt…
(and for the record, I call him a j/o simply because I feel that any guy so rich & famous and so universally adored by the women of the world NEEDS to be hated on by his fellow men… otherwise he’d eventually go completely insane and become a danger to himself by taking up activities like attempting to walk from his yacht to the shore or levitating from his penthouse apartment to the street below… so I’m just doing my part to keep the guy’s feet on the ground, so to speak)
…when she saw that jerk-off Brad Pitt play the part of the dangerously-sexy yet irresistibly-compassionate vampire Louis on the big screen alongside that jerk-off Tom Cruise (now HIM I call a j/o for altogether different reasons.)
After ‘The Vampire Chronicles’ I think there was a long dry-spell… but then came the ‘Twilight’ series, which spawned its own movie, and somewhere in there HBO gave us ‘True Blood’ (a fresh new season just started up last night) and then most recently Kim became madly addicted to the Vampire Wars game on FaceBook.
At this point, I think it’s clear that it’s only a matter of time before I wake up to this sight…
She does make a hot vampire though, doesn’t she? I’d let her bite me… I think?
* * * more of my drawings * * *