Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Years Resolutions

I'm really excited that 2015 is here and just like you all, I made some resolutions. I think the more specific the better so here goes nothing...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

CTNx and a Demo

CTNx was an absolutely awesome three days! It was great to meet so many new people and catch up with familiar ones. Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. Here's a character demo from my CGMA class. Have a great Thanksgiving and if you are out here on the East Coast, stay safe!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

CTN Animation Expo 2014

Hi everybody, I'll be at CTN Animation Expo at Table T-10. Come by and say hi. I'll have new prints and my book Musings and Wanderings.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Art of Color and Light - Class Preview

Hey guys!

My new Color of Art and Light Class is opening soon! It’s packed with lots of goodies including demos, tips, and tricks for painting/designing. Here is a short preview of the first class and an overview of topics in the eight weeks we will be working together. If you are interested in Illustration, Games, Film or Animation, this class is designed to take your work to the next level. Class sign-ups can be found at

I look forward to working with you!


Thursday, October 2, 2014


Teaching a new class at CGMA! Sign ups are open here: and this is a witch for halloween. Can't wait for some dry ice root beer!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Secret Project

A little collaboration project we've been working on for February. We just can't seem to agree on the final product...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Sketchbook

Here's a poster I did for my friend Chris William's kickstarter, The Sketchbook. Check it out here:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Making A Successful Portfolio

Thanks for all the great questions about putting a portfolio together recently. I decided it would be a better use of my time to write it all out since so many artists have the same questions. 

These are the first five pages in a series of posts about how to layout a portfolio, including content, images, size, material and everything in between. Part 1 is for the artist still deciding what to do for a discipline. I've catered the last three pages to a visual development portfolio for animation but the principles can be applied to any artistic presentation (illustration, design, even interior design).
These are my opinions and I realize there are many ideas out there which are also fantastic. What I have written are simple truths and tips I've learned along the way. This doesn't represent a studio I work for or will work for. I hope it is helpful and can provide some perspective into a competitive portfolio and help you land your next job!   

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Upcoming stuff!

There's a lot of new things happening in the next few months. I'm humbled and excited to be helping Ryan Lang with his amazing CGMA class, "The Art of Color and Light. Ryan and I were roommates while interning at Disney in 2008. He is an incredible artist and great teacher. I'm looking forward to working with him again and hope I can pull my own weight! And...The super talented Tyson Murphy will be teaching too. Tyson and I went to BYU together!

I'll also be exhibiting at the Salt Lake Comic Con April 17-19, 2014 at Tables H7 & H6

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Peanuts Tease

Sooo excited to finally share the fun things we're working on here at Blue Sky. I can't say too much but you can see the extreme attention we are paying to the work of Schulz in order to stay true to his line. It is deceivingly tricky!

Friday, March 14, 2014

East Coast style

Been practicing some looser style paintings after my favorite artists. This was an attempt to emulate some bristles brushes and processes in oil

Friday, February 28, 2014

Crisium 2

Playing around with some new brushes. I feel like you can never go wrong experimenting with dinosaurs and space chicks. Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Art of Epic Post 6

Forest style guide, neutral light setting 

Story Dust Scroll Concept 

Various color callouts and designs. These went through many hands in different stages before I painted them: Sang Jun Lee, Mike Knapp, Sandeep Menon, Jake Panian, Clayton Stillwell

 Various graphics (tree sketch by Jon Townley)

1 millionth of the sticky notes I wrote for Bomba's workroom!

MK bedroom wall paint

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Art of Epic Post 5

Color concept for the entry way of Bomba's house

Color concept for the hallway leading to MK's room

Open window color concept for Bomba's Surveillance Room

Closed window color concept for Bomba's Surveillance Room

Here are a few color concepts I did on Epic from a few years ago. One of my jobs on the film was to create a style guide and color concept for these different locations. It was a real challenge because the colors needed to feel harmonious but chaotic at the same time. Bomba's workstations were complete disaster areas! In a painting like the library or the surveillance room, I had to really choose what information was important for the viewer to notice and what could sit back in space. I think most of design is making this decision!
I worked closely with the insanely talented Sandeep Menon, who came up with the original concept designs for these locations. Jason Sadler was also involved in the design of the many surveillance gadgets/electronics. There are a ton!

Once again thanks for all your great feedback! I really appreciate the responses. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Art of Epic Post 4

This is a concept painting of Ronin's escape. I did this while still an intern in June of 2011 just before finding out I was hired full time at Blue Sky! It was a great day.

 Wraithwood set and prop design

Wraithwood set and prop design

Wraithwood set and prop design

Mandrake painting over occlusion render, photoshop
My favorite part of Epic was working on the Wraithwood set with Arden Chan. Not only is he an amazing artist, he’s also a great guy. He pushed me to look at set designing in an entirely different way. I’m so happy and grateful I got to work with him! Arden was the head of layout at Disney before coming to Blue Sky and continued in layout for a few years until coming into Visual Development. His film credits include Tarzan, Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, Rio and Ice Age 4. 
The Wraithwood set is basically an old tree that is infested with Boggans. It is also Mandrake’s lair. There are so many awesome artists who worked on the look. Kyle McNaughton came up with the initial concept and cool shape language that felt like flames. Jake Panian came up with some beautiful patterns and shapes in the wood structure and designed the area surrounding. Mike Knapp was the guiding inspiration through the entire thing! If you have the art of Epic book you can see some of this other work as well. I highly recommend it. A lot of it is not online yet. 
The idea is a rotted tree trunk structure that is an entirely organic fortress. The center is hollowed out and the top opened to the night sky. Splinters and termite holes acted like bridges and secret passages allover. Corridors were filled with hanging bats and floors patterned by bark. Everything was dead or decaying inside which made for some great shape language. 
Another fun part of Epic was coming up with a detailed look of Mandrake. Ron DeFelice had painted up a beautiful rough color concept earlier in production. When the 3D model was built, my art director Mike Knapp wanted a “tight” painting over a render to show how Mandrake would look once textured and lit. It was a challenge doing this with paint because the details had to be spot on. I don’t think I’ve ever painted something so tight! In the end, I was really proud of the result and the way he looked on the big screen.  
Stay tuned for more Epic work! Thanks for all your support and sharing! Also, I got an instagram! You can check it out here:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Art of Epic Post 3

Some of my first assignments on Epic were creating color designs for Bomba's gear. This was a blast! Bomba's whole life is dedicated to finding this civilization of "little people" so he built all these tools and gadgets to monitor his backyard, the surrounding forest, in hopes of finally spotting them. These are some of his inventions and tools. Mike Knapp wanted me to make these feel like they'd been handmade and used. Because they are a whole bunch of things slapped together, I made some pieces clean and others worn. I hope you enjoy! More art of epic to come. Original Bomba Gear concept designs were started by my friend Jake Parker before leaving Blue Sky. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Art of Epic Post 2

One of the biggest challenges designing on Epic was creating some organization to the forest. To get the visual look and feel right, while staging for the characters, it was a constant battle to balance the immense New England forest populated by thousands of plant, rock and tree assets.  In a way, it felt like gardening...but I was using a stylus instead of a shovel. Everything needed to be cultivated but not to the point it felt unnatural.

Sometimes I'd take a walk around Blue Sky's campus and walk out into the nearby trees to observe. I'd bring a miniature army man to pose in the plants; This gave me a really good idea of scale. One time, a group of women joggers passed by me while I was laying on the ground taking a picture of my army guy. One woman gasped to her friend, "there's a creep laying in those bushes." Another said, "should I call the cops?" I figured it was too late to explain so I just continued posing the action figure and taking pictures on my phone. I never saw those joggers again and the cops never showed.

Here are some of my set dressing sketches to develop the look of the forest near the final sequences of the Epic.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Art of Epic Post 1

I hope you are having a great new year! I am really looking forward to 2014 as a year for growth and new ideas. So many great things happened in 2013 and among them was the opportunity I had to work on Epic. I'm really proud to have been a part of this film.  

When I started at Blue Sky in 2011, I was wrapping up on Ice Age 4 when Mike Knapp (art director of Epic, IA: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, No Time For Nuts), brought me onto the Epic team (at the time it was called Leafman). I have to admit, I was intimidated to be working with such an incredible group consisting of, in my opinion, some of the best artists in the industry. Working with this team really pushed me to step up my game. When you are surrounded by inspiring ideas and an atmosphere of willingness, good things happen. Everyone freely shared their techniques and process which was kinda like a warm welcome for me. I learned so much from everyone. Mike especially had a vision for this film and guided us all to nail the look. It's no surprise he's been nominated for an Annie! I'm so grateful to have been a part of Epic and our great Blue Sky family. I hope you enjoyed it too!

To start 2014 off, here are some color keys from Epic. 

This set of keys was for Bomba's surveillance cameras throughout the forest.

These are two of my favorite sequence keys.

Stay tuned for more Epic artwork!

Friday, December 6, 2013

New Online Shop! + White Friday Sale

My new online shop is finally up and running!

To kick it off, I'm having a White Friday Sale! Valid today only, everything is 20% off including my new limited edition book, Musings and Wanderings, when you use the code: WHITEFRIDAY at checkout. The first 10 buyers (of any items in the store) will receive a signed, limited edition print, for FREE! The White Friday Sale will end at 11:59 PM tonight. Valid only for US and Canada.
Discount Code: WHITEFRIDAY

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sneak Peak: Musings and Wanderings

I just found out my book is going to be ready for CTN! I'll have about 100 limited edition copies of Musings and Wanderings  for sale. The entire book is split into either a Musing (a painting study from my head) or a Wandering (a painting study from observation).  It is packed full with work from Puerto Rico, California, New York, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Utah and has lots of dinosaurs (including JP references)! Stop by my table T-10 to pick one up!

Premium Offset Printing, 110 pages, full color, limited edition

sneak preview

Monday, November 4, 2013

TCA Travel Prints

It is hard to believe November is here and moving sooo fast. I'm still trying to catch up to October! Thanks to all of your great comments on the CTN post below. Please feel free to keep putting your thoughts there. It is so great to see so many different questions. Thanks a ton for your help!

Well, I've got some great news that I'll be posting later this week. For now, here is brand-new series of prints I'll be selling at CTN.

Monday, October 28, 2013

I want your Questions! For CTNx 2013

Hey Guys! I need your help!

CTN is coming up quick and I've been preparing for my workshop on transitioning from school to studio , called "Become a Professional Student: Landing your dream job. In it, I'm going to be outlining tips, tricks, suggestions and habits for making the successful jump from your place of education to your dream job. I'll be talking internships, portfolio design, and lots of other key insights for getting into the door. There are so many awesome people who can shed light on this subject and I'm honored to share my humble perspective.
I want to get your feedback and questions so I can better cater it to you! Your thoughts are greatly appreciated and will be the basis of the workshop content. Even if you aren't attending, you can leave a comment below. I will be gathering feedback from here, tumblr, twitter, and facebook. You might see your name and question show up on workshop day! Thanks for your help and I can't wait to see you at CTN!

If you haven't signed up for the workshop, there are still a few spots left. Visit for more information. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

CTNX 2013

CTNx is almost here! It is definitely my favorite time of the year. I've been asked to do a a presentation and a couple workshops which you can sign up for at the CTNx website. If you are attending, definitely stop by my table T-10 and say hello. I'll be in the same spot as last year next to my buddy John Nevarez. I'll be selling new artwork and other goodies! I'll have more on that soon and some paintings from my trip to Italy.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Introducing Kevin Yang! A good example of how to land your dream job

I get asked one question a lot, "What advice do you have for getting into a feature animation studio?"

This is such a big and deep question. As an artist you really need solid perspective and direction to make sure all your work is not spent in vein. You need constant guidance as to what is good and what is bad. I feel like my perspective on this is constantly evolving, especially as I work on projects that really challenge me. You need to put in a TON of time. You need to make mistakes and (1) learn to get feedback. You need to (2) learn to use feedback constructively to grow. You need to figure out what makes you improve when nobody else is around. And among many things, you need to (3) learn to persevere optimistically until you land that dream job you've wanted since you watched Aladdin get his three wishes. Kevin Yang is a good example of how to get into a feature animation studio.

When I first met Kevin, he came to my table at CTNx 2012; He asked me to look through his portfolio. I don't know how many portfolios I looked at that year but there were many. A few things stood out to me right away with Kevin. 

He was extremely polite and considerate.  He recognized whilst we spoke that I was still selling my own work. I had a business to run. He respected my time and kept the visit short and sweet.  His portfolio looked professional. It was slick. It was filled with interesting images that made me think and my blood move quick. I could see lots of thought behind each page and its layout. He had done his homework to focus it in one direction. When I gave Kevin feedback, he already had a pencil and paper ready to write down notes. I could see that this guy (1) learned how to get feedback. After each critique, I could see him digest the information in his head and write a note to remember. Even things I'm sure he's heard before were still re-digested and written. He was thorough. When we finished, he shook my hand and bought a large print...not a bad idea to end on :) 

Kevin kept in touch with me. He often sent me updates with his artwork, commented on my social media, connected via professional platforms, and asked very direct, specific questions when he had them. Each time I saw an update on a painting or a revised sketch, there was a solid improvement. Principles we had discussed were being applied. Action was taken to create solutions. Kevin (2) learned how to use feedback constructively and grow.  He didn't just get feedback from me either; he gathered a well-rounded opinion from industry professionals to analyze where he was at. After all, many eyes are better than two.   

Soon thereafter, Kevin was graduating. He landed an interview with Blue Sky during a recruiting visit and it went great! Not only did he score brownie points with a rockstar portfolio, he showed credibility mentioning I'd been looking over his work giving feedback. From there Kevin didn't wait around for an answer, he started working on the Dam Keeper short film. Here is a perfect example of (3) persevering optimistically until you land that dream job. Soon after, Kevin got a call from Blue Sky offering him the summer internship. He came, kicked some butt and got offered a full-time position.  

There is so much to learn from Kevin Yang. Among many things, here are three that I believe are key to landing your dream job:

#1 learn to get feedback
#2 learn to use feedback constructively to grow
#3 learn to persevere optimistically until you land that dream job...then keep growing:)

Make sure to check out Kevin's personal blog here:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Some Graphic Design

Here's a stab at a little graphic design for a campout this week. I've got a lot to learn but enjoyed the challenge. I based the style on some vintage images I found in a google search. Thanks for the inspiration mystery emberstock artist .

Saturday, July 13, 2013