Concept art

Much of the work that I have been involved with in recent years falls into a category of what I would call “concept art”.  This broad form of illustration can be applied to the development of many different things.  Motion pictures, entertainment and resort venues, stage shows and productions, and other illustrative media such as books and printed media.

Illustrative rendering that presents the concept for a marina restaurant.

This illustration shows a restaurant at the marina.  It is concept art because at the time this art was done, it was nothing more than the presentation of an idea, one possible way that the developers could approach this particular resort plan.  Because it is only an early proposal, it is assumed that many other ideas may yet come and go before the final plan is given the green light.  Therefore, the amount of time spent on this particular idea must be limited.  You can’t afford to blow too much of your budget on one particular idea, but you must present something to look at that communicates the possibilities.  In all probability, this idea came after some discussion.  We can assume that the verbal phase of idea exploration has preceded this phase.

Another concept illustration, a water park with a country western theme.

Another concept illustration, a water park with a country western theme.

Because these renderings must often be done quickly and cheaply, the artist must find ways to execute them with great efficiency and speed.  They are sketchy, imperfect, and sometimes even sloppy.  The challenge is to develop a technique that achieves a certain appeal even when not taking the time to perfect all of the many elements that are going on.

Detail from the water park sketch.

In this detail from the water park sketch, you can see how loose and sketchy the rendering really is.  You can also see that some photo scrap has been utilized, as well as a lot of free hand work.  When photo reference is used, it must be drawn over enough to make it blend in with the rest of the work.  I find this kind of work frustrating.  It can be so much better in so many ways, but time does not allow for the refinement.


A more polished rendering (detail).

Sometimes, as the ideas become focused, so can the artwork, and a higher level of finish can be indulged.  In this detail from a statue/fountain rendering, I had time to make it work as a finer piece of artwork.


I have found that the more I can strengthen my drawing abilities and instincts in the basics such as composition, the better I can do this sort of work.  I draw more than ever nowadays.


Sketchbook drawing helps me a lot.

Good thumbnails take practice, so I keep practicing.

Thumbnailing crowds. Crowds present special compositional challenges.Good composition takes practice, so I practice.

Thumbnails provide options to explore. Much of what we call creativity is simply being able to choose from a set of viable options.

One of the things that tends to frustrate me the most, is when there is a difference between what pleases my eye and what pleases the eye of the client.  One may assume that when it looks good to you , it will look good to others as well.  I haven’t found this to always be the case.  My client was very happy with the following image.  I wasn’t.

Concept art example.

Here’s one that I was rather fond of, yet none else seemed to get too excited about it.

A ukelele man in a ukelele shop.



Traditional Animation

I am excited to share a little animated short that I played a part in.  This is for Golden Street Animation Studios.  I did all the layouts, and the background painting for the opening shot.  If you please, you may link onto to facebook or view it on Youtube.

Unfortunately as of late most all of the work I have been doing is highly confidential.  Some clients tend to be very secretive about their projects.  I won’t say what these projects are about or who they are for, but I will show some snippets (partials and details) of my recent work.

Concept sketch for a themed area.


Detail from a book cover.

Some celebrity mouse guy.