The LOWEdown | The Official Blog of Casey Lowe.

Blog

May 25, 2011

Jack & the Lost Beanstalk

I had a lot of fun a year ago working on the classic tale of Jack & the Beanstalk for my Visual Elements of Story class.  So much fun, in fact, that I decided to keep working with it and began another composition after the class had ended.  A move and a long job hunt left me without enough time to see it through, but I was recently cleaning up my digital workspace and thought I'd share the rough comp I developed:
I will definitely be creating a few pieces like this as I develop a body of work for my Thesis projects.  Stay tuned for more on that subject this summer.

May 23, 2011

Character Design - Final Portfolio

I think I've posted most of this stuff as the weeks went by, but here is what I turned in as my final portfolio for Michael Buffington's Character Design class.
















And also, here's the in-class sketches from the final class:

May 21, 2011

Developing Story Class

With two studio classes and my midpoint presentation this semester, I knew that I wanted my third class to be one where I didn't have to draw so much.  So I decided to take Developing Story from the Motion Pictures and Television department.  And boy was that a great move! (no sarcasm implied)  As you might suspect, Developing Story focuses on story telling and development.  Simple story structure.  I've got so many great handouts on story, now!  Totally worth it.  The instructor, Donna Laemmlen, was also incredibly warm and supportive of all the class's crazy ideas, as well as being a fan of animated films.  During the semester, she actually won an award from the International Family Film Festival for the animated feature screenplay she wrote, "Sheila, the Gila Monster", and was kind enough to show it to us, along with some of the character sketches she had had created.  Very cool!

The class itself, as far as assignments go, was composed of developing two short film stories, both of which had to be pitched to the class and one of which had to be pitched as the final to two "industry insiders" (whom were just teachers at the school, come to find out).  For the pitches, I actually developed some visuals, so I thought I'd post them here, along with a brief synopsis of the stories themselves.

"A Little Dastardly"
Logline: A dastardly, reformed villain wants to settle down with his family, but his old nemesis isn't ready to move on.

A little backstory: two super villains (above, left) were frustrated that their evil schemes to thwart the city's resident hero (right) never came to fruition.  Tired with failure, they get drunk and grumble of their misfortunes.  The night leads to unexpected relations, and nine months later, a child (little dude in the middle, right) comes to be.  The villains realize that this is their chance to reform their evil ways and hopefully be more successful with a "normal" domestic life.

The story itself begins with the child, now grown a bit, playing in a suburbia backyard sandbox.  We quickly realize that this child is a real devil child, making a mess and terrorizing the neighbor's cat.  When the neighbor complains, the child is sent to his room.  The parents cram into a closet to discuss their choices in giving up the super villain life.  The closet, it turns out, is actually an elevator to a secret sub-basement where the villains have created a museum of sorts to remember and preserve their old evil memories.  As they're discussing the possibilities of the son of two super villains ever not being villainous, there is a knock at the door.  The villains go up to answer it, assuming it is yet another neighbor coming to complain of their son's misdeeds.  Just before the villain can grab the door knob, however, BAM!  The door flies open, blasting the villains to the ground.  In flies the hero, shouting his catchphrase: "Justice has found you!"  He begins pummeling the villains, who are simply no match, having been caught by surprise and being years out of shape.  As the hero is about to deliver the final blow and final bring these evil doers to justice, ZAP!  The hero falls to the ground.  The villains, look at each other in shock, then turn their attention over the befallen hero to the other side of the room.  There, they find their son standing with a laser gun.  He was able to achieve what the two of them never could, and they realize that maybe being bad isn't so bad after all.
Original Sketches

"The Truth Was Out There"

Logline: A world-famous archaeologist is about to finish writing his memoir, but not everyone wants the details of his life's discoveries revealed.
We open inside a massive, "Citizen Kane"-like mansion where there is a knock at the door.  An old man slowly makes his way to answer it.  In walks a middle-aged man who questions why he has been called in at such a late hour.  We discover that the old man is writing his memoirs, but his age prevents him from being able to type, leading to the hiring of the younger man as a transcriber.  As the two men walk to the old man's office, we learn that his partner, another famous archaeologist, has just passed away.  The old man has decided that he has some new things to add to the memoir he has almost finished.
We flash back as the archaeologist dictates the story of what would've been his most famous, world-changing discovery.  It was the big fish that got away, though the old man can no longer recall specific details of the discovery.  His age has gotten the best of him.  But he does know that the discovery was quite revelatory, because as the two archaeologists were leaving, they were confronted by a man in a black trench coat.
Revealing little of who he was, who had sent him, or how he found out about the two men's work, this man made them an offer they couldn't refuse.  Giving them the choice of life or death, the man in the black trench coat claims he will make them rich and famous if they simply leave this site and never return or speak of it again.  The two men accepted his terms, and his promises held true.
At this point, the transcriber stops the old man short, and believing him to be delusional, tells him to get some sleep.  He says he will return in the morning to discuss the additions further.  The old man begrudgingly agrees and sees the younger man off.  He heads to his room to retire for the night.
The old man crawls into bed and turns out the light.  From the shadows steps forth a man in a black trench coat.
Original Thumbnail Sketches
Both of the stories were well-received in class and I hope to one day work on them more.  Maybe I will put together a short story book that I can illustrate?  Only time will tell.

May 20, 2011

Figurative Concepts: Final Class

"I attribute my success to this: I never took or gave any excuses."
- Florence Nightingale (via Nicolas P. Villarreal)


The final collection of drawings from my Figurative Concepts class:
And here are a few pages from the week before:
This was a great class.  It was nice to be able to look back at my work from Head Drawing and Clothed Figure Drawing (from my first semester in Fall 2009) and see how far I've come.  I hope I can carry the momentum and knowledge over to Fall's Clothed Figure 3 class...but I'm sure I'll completely forget it all over the summer.  If you don't use it, you lose it. :^\

May 19, 2011

Figurative Concepts Final

The final project for my Figurative Concepts class was to draw a clothed model.  Done it before (in Clothed Figure class), will probably have to do it again (in Clothed Figure 3 next semester).  I can't say I was too thrilled to have to do this--it probably didn't help matters that I stuck with the same reference photo shoot I had used before--and I have been itching for this semester to be over for some time, but I powered through and came up with something I like to call "Good enough."

Here's the final, matted work:
Meh.  "B" work, at best.  And Nicolas will know it, too.  Here's the reference photograph, taken by me back in 2009:
And here's the Animated GIF of Progress:


May 13, 2011

Let's Get Political?

We got to do two one-hour poses in Figurative Concepts this week, which I always find fun.  I'm a bit rusty with longer poses, so the focal point isn't as clear as it should be.  The model really liked them!  He even said I've got a future and that he wants to be in my comic book.  Not sure what comic that is...he also said that he looks like one of Moammar Gadhafi's men and added "No wonder they wanna kill him."  I laughed, as I assumed it to be a bit of topical humor.  Anywho, vine charcoal, 2B charcoal pencil, and smooth newsprint:

May 9, 2011

Your age is showing...

For the last new assignment in my Character Design class, we had to show a character's age progression from toddler to child to adult to old person.  Since I've been busy with the maquette that I also have to do for that class, I didn't have much time to toy around with this assignment.  So I went with something simple and graphic, inspired once again by the awesome Aurore Damant.  I really enjoy her simple style and shorthand for anatomy.
 All drawn and colored in Photoshop based off of this quick sketch:

May 5, 2011

That's [Also] So Bouguereau!

Once more, my Figurative Concepts homework was to copy a master painting, and once more, I chose Bouguereau.  This time, however, we got to keep the clothes on.  [click here to see previous, nude attempt]  Unlike before, however, I really didn't have the time (or desire) that I had once had.

This time, I chose Bouguereau's Little Thief painting from 1900:
(She stole the pear, I guess.)
I believe I spent a little over 10 hours on this one, though not as consecutively as before.  I ended up with this:
Most of that time was spent on proportions (proportions, PROPORTIONS!), which I think are pretty much correct.  At least they were before I had to rush the value and started adding details/folds too soon and had to go back and try to adjust values without losing detail...and it just became a real mess.  Truly wish we were given more time on these things.  I mean, one week to draw 30 sketches in a park and then one week to copy a master painting?!?  Very frustrating.


Anywho, I again took pictures of the progress as I went along and compiled them into an animated GIF, for your viewing pleasure: