Monday, December 13, 2010

-The Invincible-

Now that I have something that you could call a basic storyline, I wanted to get a better feeling with the first 10 scenes of the first act. I am not trying to fall in love with these scenes;) but I'm just trying to get a sense if my story is taking the right turns. This thumb is one of two images where an emotional change took place. A positive change to be exact.

This is a sketch for my main character, as he finds himself in a carriage with his father after (!) they have been robbed.

Friday, November 12, 2010

-The Invincible-

The last couple of weeks I've been working on the story outline. And I have to admit. Writing a good story is really really really really hard work. The toughest part for me at this point is identifying the weak parts, how to spot them and how to make them stronger without getting too emotional attached to the story and the characters. Especially to the 24th version;)'s some visual development for the girl in my story!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

-The Invincible-

There are a lot of other characters in this film. This character is one of the gatekeepers of the city. Needless to say that there is a lot that can go wrong when 'the going gets tough' when your job is mainly about sitting around and killing time...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

-The Invincible-

So I've been working on my story for a couple of weeks now and things are really coming together. What has 3 weeks of story development done for me? Well, although I'm constantly rewriting it and probably will be for the next coming months, it made a few things very clear for me. I now know what I want out of my main character. And this is really important for me, because this makes it a lot easier to spot weak elements in my story.

I'm leaving story for what it is right now and I'm going back to the drawing board. I have to get a better understanding of where my story is taking place. I need to get a sense if my story fits the size of my locations. And the other way around. I still don't have a clue wether my main character has to travel and how far. If he has to travel miles and miles before he arrives where he needs to be, maybe I have to double the size of my setting.

Stay tuned...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

-The Invincible-

I'm still in very early development and you understand I won't be posting everything I create but here's a sketch from a scene somewhere very early in the film. Our main character has to escape from an angry crowd inside a tavern. At the moment I'm still working on the story so my guess is I won't be posting new artwork very frequently the next coming weeks.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

-The Invincible-

I'm planning on beginning working on the story when my historical research is finished. There is a lot in history that can initiate or help my story so I don't want to begin a complete ignorant.

Not only am I using artwork to straighten out some historical issues, I'm also planning on using a lot of visuals to challenge or define my story. There is a section that can be very dangerous or scary. These visuals help me to get the answers I need. How dark and how scary do I want this be? Do I need real monsters or do I want it to be realistic? After all, anything can happen in feature animation...right?

For your consideration, my plan is to aim for 90 minutes and I want the piece to be ready somewhere around 2016. So that should give me some time.

So stick around, it might get real...

Monday, September 6, 2010

-The Invincible-

Like I said I've been doing some historical research and there is very little known about a lot of stuff from the period around 1600; The period where my story is taking place. Simply because it isn't there anymore and there seems to be very little documentation. I've created some artwork to check for historical accuracy. This is one of them.

I will be talking to some people who are (so I'm told) the only people that can help me with this...I'll keep you posted.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Color Keys -The Invincible-

Couple of weeks ago I decided to create my own personal animation project with the working title: "the invincible"

At the moment I'm doing a couple of things at the same time:
I'm doing some historical research, I'm working on a story and I am creating some keys that illustrate the dramatic key moments and locations that are important for the project. I am in still in very early visual development phase and I'm not worried about touching different styles so I can still move freely through the story.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Color key for a new "Delicious Memories".

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Late august in holland

This is how one of my holiday afternoons looked like yesterday. It's just a color and paint excercise, but I wanted to share with you some 'late august in holland' because it is just to beautiful to let it pass...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

NIght in a museum

This is a detail from a bigger scene. Just wanted to show you because I like the lighting that is coming from the back and the atmosphere it creates. It's the same kid from "color palettes" (2 posts back) only a bit older...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

And a view from the ground...

These backgrounds will not appear in the game as they look right now. You have to buy the game if you want to know how they will look;)

View from a tree

Something I'm working on right now for a game called "HEART-Medicine" which is a working title. It's a view from a treehut in the backyard. It's a background so bear with me;)
Enjoy the view!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

color palettes

It's been a while since I posted something but that's just summer I guess...In the meanwhile 'm working on something right now for which I'm putting together some color palettes. I'll be posting some more from this in the near future.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

surface & texture

Light these days (on the edge of spring) is just plain awesome! Just before the sun sets, the magic just comes pouring in through the windows. I'm going to do more of these simple color sketches.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

From drawing to painting

(sketch by Dirk van Dulmen)
Lately I've been discussing the differences between a sketch and a painting. With this one I tried to stay as close to the sketch as I could. I picked this sketch out of a dozen other faces on the same page, because it had something I liked. By staying so close to the sketch I hope that it keeps that something I liked in the beginning.

Example: As you can see his face (on the sketch) has no eyebrows. When I'm adding paint, should I decide on adding eyebrows in the final painting? I think not. I'm not discussing how one should use a sketch or how to interpretate a sketch.

I'm just thinking: If you want to stay close to the 'magic' of a sketch it's best to stick to the original creative decisions. So, no eyebrows.

Another thing I tried to do is to push the character's personality and translate it in the painted version. His reddish cheeks with little highlighted spots enhances his innocence and with that, still fit the sketch but communicates his character in a stronger way.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Contour Continuation

I created some visual development background art for a game that was never released. As you can see, it goes from a paradise like forest on the left going to a more evil place on the right. I thought I was pretty happy with some parts of it, until last week I found an interesting post on contour continuation by Frederick Gardner that I just wanted to share with you. If you look at my background pan after reading his post you can notice some weak spots.

"I started using this "Contour Continuation" technique as a background designer at Warner Bros Classics. Contour Continuation is the lining up of shapes to continue a contour (or directional element) across the composition. Sometimes this technique is extremely successful and beautiful, other times, it is subtle and almost invisible."
"I have used "Contour Continuation" to create a flowing rhythm to the composition. As the camera pans through the scene, the landscape "flows" by the camera like water so lacking in the environment. Pay particular attention to the dead tree branches hugging the contour of the hills behind them."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

How to become awesome! part 2 (and in black and white)

One thing I noticed in the last few weeks is the excitement with a lot of people on the internet about working from B/W and adding color later on.

I learned this from Bobby Chiu as well, and I have to say that I immediately started working with this, but I did it the other way around, because I never got the colors right after adding them to a B/W image. Instead, I use(d) it to check the values of the colored image. In my opinion the only reason to start in B/W; Because of the values.

The values of your original B/W image are different from the colored image (I prefer to check values of your colored image by adding a black layer on top and the blend mode on color, instead of turning the saturation down). Just check it yourself.

Experimenting with technical theories is what you should do. Understand them. Don't expect these kind of trics to do the magic for you. Make it work.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Back in milk business

I've been trying to get that feeling that you're really in the scene. I began working on the car and especially how the car feels when you're looking at the house alongside when you're standing in the shadows in front of a big mansion.
If you know what I mean. Again, first draft. Below, previous version, above, new version. Also, somewhere I have to make a decision which part needs the most detail, contrast and/or saturation; What should attract my attention? I think I'm going for the house right now. Or at least the entrance of the house. The front door.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In Between Jobs

I wanted to do something more stylish for a change. Comments are welcome.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Next version.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Animated Life

This morning I got "My Animated Life" by Floyd Norman in by mail. This guy worked at the Disney studio from Sleeping Beauty until ToyStory2. This must be one inspiring story!

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Even without the logo on the bus, this is more like it. It's still not finished yet and I think it's great fun; Painting without having to worry that it's not done in half an hour. I'll just take my time. Spring will be around for a few months more.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

MILK! doodles

Last night I did some doodle work on the logo. And I say doodle, because after doodling for an hour, I came to the conclusion that doodling doesn't get me anywhere.

Apart from coloring and lighting I have a story that envolves a milkman that goes to 'visit' some big mansion (That's why he's parked his car in the shade and not right in front of the mansion). Maybe the milkman goes visiting the lady of the mansion while whistling his favorite tune (without milk bottles-and with his hands in his pockets) or maybe his just leaning against his milk car and smoking his cigarette.

Anyways. If I give the logo such a prominent position I'd better think twice about the name in the logo. So, it's back to the drawing table...

Monday, May 3, 2010


I don't know if I'm happy with it -maybe I'll change a couple of things- but here's a first draft.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lady and the Fox revisited

I did some adjustments on the dress. First of all, her dress has 2 components. The dress itself and the top layer. The top layer had 2 different functions. One was to make the dress less static by underlining the 'frightened' emotion (like it is blown up and back at her because of her encounter) and the other was to use it as an arrow towards the fox.

In the second place I made the left line of the dress a lot stronger than it was before. This line also emphasizes the 'frightened' emotion. It really pushes her back more than in the original.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Compositional reading

There are a few reasons why I flip my artwork horizontally during the process of creating a painting. In this case I wanted to share my thoughts about compositional reading. Or in other words: Do I tell the same story if I flip my painting and secondly: Does it matter?

If I'm 'reading' the picture from left to right, the original top painting would say: 'The fox frightens the lady' or in the flipped, second version: 'The lady gets frightened by the fox'.

The thing with this painting is that I want the lady to be the protagonist, the eye-catcher of the painting. Should the lady then be also the first one to see? Should I've positioned the lady left from the fox? Now it seems that I want the story of the flipped version to be the story of my original painting. Does that even work?

Francis Glebas talks about compositional reading in his book 'Directing the story'. Which by the way is a fantastic book. According to Francis compositional reading is very important if you think of an image as a joke. Then you would want the punchline to be last. Not the first thing you see.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lady and the Fox!

No it's not a new movie...It's a painting I did for my oldest daughter´s fifth birthday. It was her own idea so the credits should really go to her. She's hasn't seen it, because she hasn't turn 5 yet, but if you like it I bet she will too.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

How to become awesome!

...and 5 reasons what blogs have to do with it.

• The first reason: You get to see tons and tons of inspirational and extraordinary artwork from artists around the world, when that same inspirational and extraordinary artwork can really get you down. It’s too overwhelming. There's so much really great talent out there but the amount and speed at which it comes at you, makes it hard to analyze why there are so many amazing artists out there and you feel you are not one of them.

• The second reason: Institutes like Bobby Chiu deliver such a huge amount of information on their blogs that I personally feel it´s hard to see the wood for the trees. Even if it’s valuable information. There’s sooo much that it keeps me from focussing; The key issue in growing.

• The third reason: Then there’s the fans on forums and blogs. And the time it takes for you to realize that “I love your work” never gets you anywhere if you need constructive criticism. And believe me, a lot of people do.

• The fourth reason: Another thing I've noticed is that if you (like I do) have a few bookmarked blogs you visit everyday before starting your working day, the attention and time you give to the art presented, is brought back to a minimum. Like you treat the artwork with disrespect or something, like it becomes some sort of disposable. Just think about how fast you scroll down a new blog in search for something great which makes you pause and be amazed. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can stop reading now..;)

• And last but not least, even if you have a succesful blog, with a lot of followers it's hard to focus on the right thing. It maybe even harder...

That's why we, at the ZylomGameStudio, decided it was necessary, in order for us to develop our skills in a structural way, to create a plan that breaks down your artwork into smaller aspects and with that helps you focus. A plan that gives you the tools to understand how to develop your artistic skills and tools that help you analyze afterwards. So basically how to become awesome and better yet, how to create awesome artwork!

Therefore we (the talented artist Dirk van Dulmen and me) developed a -theory and guidelines- which we use for the studio’s Master Assignment. A very complicated assignment described in two simple steps.

Step 1: Write a story.
Step 2: Make sure every aspect of your drawing supports your story.

In the months to come I’ll write more about this on my blog. If you want to follow our artists Master Assignments check out the ZylomGameStudio blog.

If you are interested in working with these steps and want to know more, let me know.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

sketching in color part 6

Just a moody setting for a swampy story!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Children's Book part II

A small glimpse of my main character.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010