Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Last Days of Summer

More architecture sketching while exploring Los Angeles . . .

 '8 Bit' beach house at Marina Del Rey

Culver City High School

Culver City Theatre

 L.A. School of Performing Arts, Downtown

Sacred Heart Chapel, LMU campus

 Downtown Los Angeles

 Arts District

Little Tokyo

Dennis Hopper's old pad (designed by Frank Gehry)

 Vista theater, Silverlake

 Wolf's Lair compound, Hollywood Hills

 Hollyhock House, Barnsdall Park (Frank Lloyd Wright)

 Manhattan Beach

 'Snow White cottages', Los Feliz

Ballona Creek Bike Path, Culver City

Friday, August 28, 2015

'Noir' architecture L.A.

More exploring Los Angeles with paint. I had 2 architectural targets this weekend: first the 'Spadena House' or 'Witch's House' in Beverly Hills, another example of 'storybook' architecture. 
A quick sketch to familiarize myself with the architecture and figure out any tough perspective problems. I'm also looking for detail: both to include and exclude. The property has a very interesting garden but I had to pare down the detail to the fence, the bridge and some choice flora and foliage.

I've noticed the curb markers in Los Angeles and this address has an apt design.

 Leaving Beverly Hills I wound up Sunset Blvd into the Hollywood hills to find the 'Dietrichson House' from Billy Wilder's 'Double Indemnity'. "It was one of those California-Spanish houses everyone was nuts about ten or fifteen years ago; this one must've cost somebody about thirty-thousand bucks...that is, if he ever finished paying for it." - Walter Neff

I made a quick sketch of the building to wrap my head around the architecture. There are some tricky planes and decorative elements in this one. It also makes me focus mentally on the colour choices I might make; taking note of the multiple greens in the shrubbery, what colour may work for the shadow area, the accent of the painted window frames etc. 

A resident told me the house opposite was where James Dean lived before he died. I made a quick sketch before heading home. I'll come back to paint that one again. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Original Force

It has been a crazy week with a third screening of our film in progress 'Duck, Duck, Goose' AND an official announcement to the media of the studio's upcoming slate of films. The Los Angeles based studio feels like a small 'start-up' company but its backed by the 1000 strong Original Force studio in Nanjing. I've been drawing ducks and geese for the past nine months and helping to craft a small story that we hope will reach a big audience in a couple of years.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Since storyboarding is now done digitally these days I have no production sequences saved on paper. In the flurry of activity that is the day-to-day race to draw sequences for looming deadlines thousands of drawings disappear into 'the system' never to be seen again. It's not really company policy to allow that material out of the building anyway. All I have are scans of paper thumbnail sketches I made when figuring out how to approach the staging and acting for some sequences. I did some early work on the 'Abstract Thought' sequence and you'll see below that the Train of Thought passed through it at one stage. Here Joy is separated from Sadness and, with Bing Bong, escapes Mind Construction Workers by hitching a ride aboard the Train of Thought . . .

After a briefing from the directors where I make notes directly on the script page I'll start scribbling down small thumbnail sketches of any visuals or staging that spring to mind immediately.

These are more like 'beat boards' exploring a Brainstorm, Abstract Thought and the Train of Thought.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Plein Air

The fine weather and light of Los Angeles is inspiring me to paint on location more this year. There are so many beautiful spots down the coast and hidden architectural gems within the city. These are pretty quick sketches - no more than 40 mins each.

'El Segundo'

'Point Vicente Lighthouse' Watercolour sketch below and gouache study above



  The Lawrence and Martha Joseph Residence, Culver City

Hutchison Ave, Helms District

Two angles of a modernist home on Helms Avenue.

'Fay Street'

'El Baron on Washington'

'Baldwin Hills Oil Field'

Modern beach-front house on 'Venice Beach'

 The 'Samitaur' building in the Hayden Tract designed by architect Eric Owen Moss (Culver City).

I stopped on the way home at Marina Del Rey and found this fishing boat just returned -at least it smelled like a fishing boat. Its crew were swabbing the deck which attracted a mob of gulls and small pelicans.