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Viking Thrall for Tomb Raider Underworld

Some say an artists work is never done, perfect example. I never liked how I painted these designs back when I did Tomb Raider. So I wanted to redo it now. I always imagined the skin on the Viking corpses stretched and sinewy, covered in glowing goo, but this time I wanted to try it more localized on the inside of them as it was supposed to be their life force. I only spent a couple of hours on this but I like the potential of where it could go.

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Full image

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Crop of the upper body and head. 

 

 You can see the original sketch on this page in the bottom right. 

You can see the original sketch on this page in the bottom right. 

Son of Jaguar Color Script

we wanted Son of Jaguar to show up as yellows and warm tones and Lord Calavera to be represented by greens. So the color script reflected this. In the story we have a battle in the ring. When lord Calavera is winning, green takes over. When SOJ starts to regain his angle on the match, the yellows and warm tones get stronger.

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most of the images from the original color script.

 a style frame for the look of the film. Trying to kill two birds with one stone on this one. It's not about the cinematography as much as showing information about the integration of the elements and plan for the lighting. The look is very geometric on purpose and we had limitations we needed to plan for. For example, we could only have 4 lights on at a time. Some of the elements are goin to be sprite animations on cards like the fire on the ring etc... it was helpful to get the discussion going.

a style frame for the look of the film. Trying to kill two birds with one stone on this one. It's not about the cinematography as much as showing information about the integration of the elements and plan for the lighting. The look is very geometric on purpose and we had limitations we needed to plan for. For example, we could only have 4 lights on at a time. Some of the elements are goin to be sprite animations on cards like the fire on the ring etc... it was helpful to get the discussion going.

SON OF JAGUAR Pitch roughs!

Almost 2 years before e actually made the Son of Jaguar VR short with Google spotlight stories, we did these shots for the beats of the story that Jorge was brewing up to help illustrate the ideas. As usual with these things, we had to work fast and get ideas across quickly hence the rough nature of these. I like what the spontaneity created. 

This thing was Jorge's idea through and through and we were just trying to help him tell his story as best we could with the new and limited medium of VR. It ha to render in real time on a phone, the google pixel 2. And one of the challenges with VR is that you can't frame compositions like we do in film,  it's like a mix between a game and a film that way. But he wanted to tell a story in this medium, because why not!? There are no rules to VR and in a lot of ways it's still being pioneered which is a fun challenge. One super creative solution he had to that was to isolate the story to the inside of a ring, as if you were the viewer looking on. You could look around if you wanted to, but like a real wrestling match, you want to look at the action inside the ring. So I thought it could eb a good solution to help the viewer feel like we were inside the lights of the ring, by darkening and blurring the background, so maybe you could just see lights of cameras and the first couple rows of people in the crowd. These shots are really the first take on that idea. 

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SON OF JAGUAR POSTER DESIGN

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This is the final Son of Jaguar poster design I did for Google Spotlight stories Son of Jaguar Virtual Reality piece. It was a total collaboration with master designer/ Director Jorge Gutierrez. I was Production Designer for the piece. It was my first time working in the VR medium but reminded me a lot of my time in the video game industry with using a build of the piece and constantly updating it. We even used perforce to manage the assets and the build which I used while working at Activision years ago.

Arctic Code series book 3

Latest cover for the Arctic code series with Harper Collins!

 Final Cover. They wanted a ship crashing next to stonehenge with the sun peeking through. It was a bit limiting in what you could do with the vertical measurements but I was still happy with the results.

Final Cover. They wanted a ship crashing next to stonehenge with the sun peeking through. It was a bit limiting in what you could do with the vertical measurements but I was still happy with the results.

 Roughs

Roughs

 Rough color/ lighting options I sent in.

Rough color/ lighting options I sent in.

Archie Greene Book 2 process

 Usually do these super fast after a long day of work, so try to get ideas out the quickest way I can and keep them super rough so I can make changes quicker and easier. My Art director at Harper Collins is a total dream to work with and usually makes it easy on me because she is so professional and such a good communicator.

 This was my first pass with the cover, they wanted Archie next to the big book which seems easy enough. I was feeling like #3, 4 and 5 were working and leaning towards #3. 

This was my first pass with the cover, they wanted Archie next to the big book which seems easy enough. I was feeling like #3, 4 and 5 were working and leaning towards #3. 

This image probably speaks to my process more than anything, I like to just throw down a few lines in a super small thumbnail that dictate the general composition and go from there. 

 This is the rough with some notes to add the hourglass in the book pages and adjust the aspect ratio to fit their dimensions, as I didn't really do that in my first pass.

This is the rough with some notes to add the hourglass in the book pages and adjust the aspect ratio to fit their dimensions, as I didn't really do that in my first pass.

 I did a quick pass of color thinking that I wanted this to be more subtle and desaturated. The feedback was to really amp up the color and saturation overall, so after some back and forth we agreed on the below image. 

I did a quick pass of color thinking that I wanted this to be more subtle and desaturated. The feedback was to really amp up the color and saturation overall, so after some back and forth we agreed on the below image. 

 The new color rough.

The new color rough.

 Here's the final image with more details added. I had my friend Talexi visiting from England while working on this and didn't want to take too much time away from hanging out but he helped me figure out some ways to do the warped text on the book and pages that I think added a lot to the piece.

Here's the final image with more details added. I had my friend Talexi visiting from England while working on this and didn't want to take too much time away from hanging out but he helped me figure out some ways to do the warped text on the book and pages that I think added a lot to the piece.

2nd book in the Arctic Code series. Published by Harper Collins

 This book cover was a lot of fun and went super smooth. I LOVE working with Amy Ryan, Art Director at Harper Collins. She communicates clearly and is professional and encouraging. So refreshing.  The above sketches were done in my sketchbook as an idea dump that I would show as options to get the ball rolling. I am only concerned with general composition at this point because it allows me to get that idea out and move on to another idea before getting too attached to one and forgetting about other options.

This book cover was a lot of fun and went super smooth. I LOVE working with Amy Ryan, Art Director at Harper Collins. She communicates clearly and is professional and encouraging. So refreshing.

The above sketches were done in my sketchbook as an idea dump that I would show as options to get the ball rolling. I am only concerned with general composition at this point because it allows me to get that idea out and move on to another idea before getting too attached to one and forgetting about other options.

 Taking those roughs to the next stage, I made them a bit more presentable for this initial idea pass.  They liked the first one and after addressing some notes I moved to the next stage.

Taking those roughs to the next stage, I made them a bit more presentable for this initial idea pass.  They liked the first one and after addressing some notes I moved to the next stage.

 I tried 3 color options one skewed warm, one skewed green and one kind of in between, but still pretty close to the idea of green rich color.

I tried 3 color options one skewed warm, one skewed green and one kind of in between, but still pretty close to the idea of green rich color.

 This is the final cover image, I haven't seen the book yet but you can find it on amazon and Barnes and noble!

This is the final cover image, I haven't seen the book yet but you can find it on amazon and Barnes and noble!

 Book in hand!

Book in hand!

Island of the Sun (Dark Gravity Sequence)
$9.65
By Matthew J. Kirby

The Book of Ember series with Penguin Random House

Process for a series of covers done for Penguin Random House book publishing. 

These book covers were done for a Penguin Random house re-packaging of the Book of Ember book series. Here are the final images front and back without text added. We had quite the journey with these babies to say the least, I can just say that I learned a lot about myself as a professional illustrator and hope to take that knowledge with me in future endeavors. I ended up with the above 4 finals as I promised them before I left on a long trip to Europe. While I was away they decided they changed their minds (again) and wanted to re-do books 2 and 3. At this point I was way beyond my time on this series and on to other projects, so we hired my awesome and amazingly talented buddy Bryan Lashelle to finish the new versions of books 2 and 3 while I art directed and did paintovers. 

 

Below are some Roughs I did for the series. I did around 40 total but here are some of the most significant and some I personally like better than the final direction. 

 Some examples of the roughs for book 1

Some examples of the roughs for book 1

 Another rough from book 1 on the left with a rough from book 2 on the right. We were going to show the conflict that happens in book 2 between the two worlds colliding.

Another rough from book 1 on the left with a rough from book 2 on the right. We were going to show the conflict that happens in book 2 between the two worlds colliding.

 More people of Sparks roughs showing the conflict. I'm glad I didn't have to paint all of those people...

More people of Sparks roughs showing the conflict. I'm glad I didn't have to paint all of those people...

 This was my favorite idea for the people of sparks cover.  But they didn't want to show the characters faces.

This was my favorite idea for the people of sparks cover.  But they didn't want to show the characters faces.

 Some roughs from the 3rd book, "The Diamond of Darkhold.

Some roughs from the 3rd book, "The Diamond of Darkhold.

 Roughs for the last book in the series, "the Prophet of Yonwood" This book seemed to go the smoothest.

Roughs for the last book in the series, "the Prophet of Yonwood" This book seemed to go the smoothest.

 Here are the final books printed

Here are the final books printed

 They ended up doing a nice gloss ink on the bulb area and matte finish on the rest. The back cover pretty much got darkened and covered with text and images.

They ended up doing a nice gloss ink on the bulb area and matte finish on the rest. The back cover pretty much got darkened and covered with text and images.

Study of the human figure... thoughts

Here are a collection of various figure studies from the years, mostly pretty old. The study of the human form and anatomy has been a huge inspiration in my work and one of my favorite things to draw and study over the years. I started studying anatomy on my own at the age of 16, while I didn't understand much at that time it helped springboard me while taking college courses with a more intensive and precise approach. I believe that if you can wrap your head around how our anatomy works, you can apply that same puzzle solving approach to understanding how most anything works, at least convincingly enough to make it believable in your work.

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 5's to 20min figure studies from 2005

5's to 20min figure studies from 2005

 2-5 min studies

2-5 min studies

 15 min

15 min

 from 2009

from 2009

 15 min from 2008

15 min from 2008

 20 min from 2005

20 min from 2005

 from 2008 Dreamworks figure session

from 2008 Dreamworks figure session

 15 min Figure session at Dreamworks 2008

15 min Figure session at Dreamworks 2008

 Figure session @ Dreamworks 2008

Figure session @ Dreamworks 2008

 A painting study of the first model in the post done with primaries and white in oil.

A painting study of the first model in the post done with primaries and white in oil.

Designing La Muerte's Castle

Here is a step by step of my process for designing La Muerte's Castle for the animated film The Book of Life. 

 First we had to get something quick for the Reels. I was very busy Art Directing and trying to find the time to design this. I really wanted to do this design from the beginning of production because I knew there would be a lot of opportunity for beautiful colorful design in the Land of the Remembered. I really wanted to make a strong beautiful silhouette that at first read, looks like the traditional mexican tree of life.

First we had to get something quick for the Reels. I was very busy Art Directing and trying to find the time to design this. I really wanted to do this design from the beginning of production because I knew there would be a lot of opportunity for beautiful colorful design in the Land of the Remembered. I really wanted to make a strong beautiful silhouette that at first read, looks like the traditional mexican tree of life.

 This was the first rough sketch for the composition that was going to be in the film. I had to design and compose to a 2.35x1 aspect ratio so it was important that the castle was much wider than it was tall so it read as a grand final place to end up at the end of the parade

This was the first rough sketch for the composition that was going to be in the film. I had to design and compose to a 2.35x1 aspect ratio so it was important that the castle was much wider than it was tall so it read as a grand final place to end up at the end of the parade

 I did this drawing based on the overall shape of the initial rough sketch. I wanted to flesh out more of the design ideas in the castle. I was playing with the idea of including Klimt's tree of life elements and elements of Antonio Gaudi and more specifically Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia in spain. The concept of organized chaos was all over in the Land of the Remembered and this idea is very apparent in Gaudi's work as well.

I did this drawing based on the overall shape of the initial rough sketch. I wanted to flesh out more of the design ideas in the castle. I was playing with the idea of including Klimt's tree of life elements and elements of Antonio Gaudi and more specifically Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia in spain. The concept of organized chaos was all over in the Land of the Remembered and this idea is very apparent in Gaudi's work as well.

 this was to see how it was playing off the dark backdrop as that was the plan in the film. Jorge our director was very protective of this design and I really wanted to make sure he was included in every part of the process to give his feedback and make sure I was hitting the look he was expecting.

this was to see how it was playing off the dark backdrop as that was the plan in the film. Jorge our director was very protective of this design and I really wanted to make sure he was included in every part of the process to give his feedback and make sure I was hitting the look he was expecting.

 Next was the color rough, I tried to get the colors looking nice first before going into all the detail, much like how you would approach a plein air landscape painting traditionally. I really had fun with this one, and spent about 45 min to an hour getting it to this stage. Once I get this where I like it, I feel a sense of relief because the rest is just cleaning it up and drawing with the colors that work.

Next was the color rough, I tried to get the colors looking nice first before going into all the detail, much like how you would approach a plein air landscape painting traditionally. I really had fun with this one, and spent about 45 min to an hour getting it to this stage. Once I get this where I like it, I feel a sense of relief because the rest is just cleaning it up and drawing with the colors that work.

 This was where I left off before using it in the film. The rest of our team took this painting and detailed much more and put it in the film. This design was one of my favorites that I was able to work on.

This was where I left off before using it in the film. The rest of our team took this painting and detailed much more and put it in the film. This design was one of my favorites that I was able to work on.