George Berlin’s Art Blog

Delving into the mind of one of those weird artist people

Archive for February, 2009

Character Design: Kids! (part 3)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on February 28, 2009

Here’s a few colored images, from the sketches I showed earlierGeorge Berlin illustration animation art

First, the kids drawing in school!

I’m pretty happy with this, for my first ‘illustration-y’ attempt.  I made a point to stick with very bright, primary-ish colors and to keep from making too many things the same shade in the same area.

Ahh, takes me back to the days when just doodling with a pal was the best thing there was…

These were all painted digitally, for expedience and of course- ease of revisions with clients!

Next, the sandbox…

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Character Design: Environments!

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on February 27, 2009

So here, we had ah-dults…

and here were kids, more kids and babies!

But hey, they all gotta live somewhere, right?

Illustration George Berlin animation art

This was my first foray into drawing places for the little peoples to be… you can see the car here that I stole (from myself) in the design for my next short film “The Bee’s Knees”.

Then, I made a diner:

George Berlin illustration animation art

I’ve always loved diners like this. Long story short- my Dad used to take me with him as a kid to go run errands on Saturdays and we’d always end up at the little cafeteria they used to have at K-Mart back in the day (anyone else remember these?) They even had this thing- pop a balloon and the price inside the balloon was how much you’d pay for a banana split!

I just loved going there with him. I know, sounds corny- going to a crappy little cafe at K-Mart. But I was a kid and my Dad is gone now and I really miss him a lot…

That and this is based a good deal on my current favorite diner- The Cozy Corner!

If you’re ever in Chicago (or live here) and don’t go… you’ll never forgive yourself.

Here’s my favorite, perspective-wise:

George Berlin illustration animation art

I might do a couple of these, with more going on. Sort of a ‘sights and sounds of the big city’ kind of thing. Add in people walking down the street, hanging out the window, stores, buses, etc etc.

It’ll be fun!

More later…

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Character Design: Growed-ups!

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on February 26, 2009

I showed you some kiddie designs here and here earlier…

On to the ah-dults!

Illustration George Berlin animation art

I spend a lot of time on buses and trains- so this was an easy choice. I like the slightly glum face on the guy. Nobody’s ever happy to be on the bus. They zone out with some tunes or a book and wait it out.

The girl is a bit 1950’s, I think. I may have to do some style studying to do some hipper young folks. I like the background, however.  I’m really into things with gaskets and edgings and shiny trim and rubber and funny little details.

Illustration George Berlin animation art

I was aiming for something a little weirder here. You never know what people will want illustrations of- one I saw in my virtual travels was of a guy spacing out on the couch with some pizza boxes and other junk cluttered around his living room and a few cats and a beat-up old TV.

So who knows? I like the guy and his goat…

And lastly- the coffee shop!

coffee shop Illustration George Berlin animation art

That guy on the phone- love his pose and attitude! He’s in every coffee shop I’ve ever been in! And that hipper guy, in his hoodie and jammin’ out to some tunes while he slooooowly sips that java and uses the free internet is great too.

And there’s always one guy who’s just sort of lost, like the one on the right. Like, wait, this is just a place that sells COFFEE, right?

Next time- some illustration environments!

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Character Design: Kids! (part 2)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on February 25, 2009

We had our first group of kids here– now I’m refining them a bit more…

Childrens illustration George Berlin animation art

Did I mention that I really like sandboxes? This is one of my favorite drawings so far.

Although, I tried rounder corners on the sandbox and I think I’ll make them squarer- looks like they’re playing on a peanut butter sandwich.

The boy’s good, but it was pointed out by my darlin’ that the girl looks a little ‘June Cleaver-ish”. Man, I hate when she’s right! I may have to do a bit of research on what cool little kids are wearing these days…

Childrens illustration George Berlin animation art

Here’s a little girl on the beach. Aww, she’s so cute with the flippers and the water wings!

Uh, still a bit ‘June Cleaver’ with the hair, though. Hmm. I like the starfish, too.

Childrens illustration George Berlin animation art

This is my most ‘kid’s illustration-y’ yet, I think…again, I like the story it implies.

They’re helping each other out, it’s raining outside and they’re inside drawing flowers. Just makes ya feel all warm and fuzzy inside, don’t it?

Reminds you of when you were young and anybody your own age was an instant buddy…

Next time, some growed-ups!

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Character Design: Kids! (part 1)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on February 24, 2009

So, last time I showed you some new character designs of little babies…

…that I’m working on to get into doing some illustration.

Now, we move up the age range a bit into little kids (and a few older ones):

Childrens illustration George Berlin animation art

This was one of my first drawings. I like the feel, but the kids are a bit too stumpy here. But cute!

Next- the sandbox!

Childrens illustration George Berlin animation art

I loved the sandbox as a kid. Playing in dirt- does it get any better?

I like the short story in the upper left of the little boy giving the other boy who hurt his hand a toy truck to play with. Kids can be nice, sometimes…

Childrens illustration George Berlin animation art

This is a slightly longer kid riding a skateboard. I like the proportion here.

I also put him in that shirt with the ” ! ” on it to give him a little more modern look to his clothes. I put some of the other boys in little shirts with collars and buttons, and they looked a bit too much like Little Lord Fontleroy the dandy, playing in the sand on his family’s manner.

Next time- more kids!

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Character Design: Babies!

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on February 23, 2009

So, I’m kicking around the idea of getting into illustration- y’know, for print or advertising or maybe even kiddie books too.

I’ve actually spent 6 or 7 years working with children’s author Mike Venezia on a series of educational art videos which I mentioned the process of in these two posts (1 and 2) so it’s not TOO much of a stretch.

That and I draw like a 10 year old already.

So I’ve been looking into this sort of thing. It’s not a bad idea to diversify in these lean times.

Anyway, I notice all the illustration portfolios I’ve seen have people in almost every image. And, uh, my art is a lot of ponies and dogs and weird critters and things like that. The few people I feature, well, they look sort of like the critters, really.

I says to myself, I says… we gotta design some humanoids!

So I figured I’d start at the beginning- with babies!

cartoon babies George Berlin animation art

The very nice children’s illustrator rep I spoke with Maggie said I should have a portfolio of “children of various ethnicities in action poses.” So I whipped up a few kids of different ages, wearing various outfits and so on.

I really like that they just look like little jelly beans. Babies ARE kind of just little blobs like that.

I also like the kid in the tie- looks sort of like when they dress you up for church as a young-un. Clip on tie and all…

Here’s a little kid with a hammer…

Cartoon babies George Berlin animation art

I was thinking about that thing where you have a couple of pegs that you hammer into a board with holes the same shape, but I don’t think I drew this from a good view to see it well, so I opted to make this “Shop class”.

I think this kid is a bit older- they don’t usually give nails to babies…

And now, my personal favorite- the running little kid:

Cartoon babies George Berlin animation art

Jolly little chap, isn’t he? Maybe next I’ll work on some ah-dults.

So what do you think of my fantastical new kiddie designs?

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Work Stuff! (more Edgar Degas)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on February 22, 2009

So, last time, I showed you a scene from Edgar Degas…

Here’s another:

In this scene, we show how Edgar did really well at the first show… selling 7 out of the 10 paintings he brought!

Wow, I wish my shows did that well. Anyhoo, I digress.

And of course, the rest of the Impressionists not only didn’t do very well, but most people either hated or just plain didn’t understand their work! So Edgar’s counting cash, while the rest have had their work trashed.

Just stretching the truth a little for humor’s sake…

For this shot, we’ll start with a close-up on Edgar saying “wow, I did great, how’d you guys do?” Then we cut to a wider shot of all the guys beat up and dazed and grumbling.

This also has a watercolored background and watercolored canvases for the artists.


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Work Stuff! (Edgar Degas)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on February 21, 2009

So, I showed a bit of work-related stuff here last time…

Now for some completely different looking work.

This is work for Getting to Know, Inc, an educational media company I work for most of the time which produces art videos about the lives of famous painters  based on this series of best-selling children’s book by Mike Venezia (who, I’d like to add, is a really great guy!)

This is some rough animation (with finished backgrounds and color) for the next video in the series “Edgar Degas”

Here we have a bunch of Impressionists painting outside, something Edgar wasn’t too fond of apparently (he’s the cranky fellow in the long yellow coat).

You see, although he was “the leader” there were a lot of things he didn’t care for that the rest did. Like painting on the spot.

This is just basic animation- no voice over or “finessing” really.

I’m rather proud of the design on this shot. The main thing I like is the background.

It’s watercolored (by me, as well) in a bunch of sections and then scanned in and digitally cut out and layered on top of or behind people in the scene to create the feeling of depth.

Here’s some of the parts before they were cut up:

Edgar Degas George Berlin animation Mike Venezia art

I like that the finished version just looks like one big painting, rather than the 20 or so parts it’s ACTUALLY made up of.

Next time- another scene from Edgar Degas (the disastrous first Impressionist Exhibit!)

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Work Stuff! (Moths and Candy bars)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on February 20, 2009

Yeah, yeah, we all gotta pay the bills- right?

Here’s some of what I do. As you can see, it’s much different from most of what I’ve shown you on here so far. What can I say- I’m a multi-talented lad…

These two shots are composed of a couple of things.

First off, the little moth dude is several hand-drawn illustrations (made by an outside illustrator). By several, I mean his wings and head are separate from his body, etc.

These are scanned in and computer-colored by the same illustrator. Then us animators get our grubby paws on them. Moohoohaha!

I animated his body swaying this way and that, and his facial expressions by tweaking some nifty little morphing parameters in AfterEffects. Just as a flat animation.

Then came the fun part! I first went to the store and bought me several candy bars. I know, rough job, right?

One to chop up and scan so I could see what the inside looked like, and one to build a 3D model of the outside. And yes, I ate both of them afterwards. Animation perks.

Here’s the inside of the bar, in case you care…bf-side-texture2

Then I made me a 3D model of the candy bar. Uh, like this!

George Berlin animation art 3D

My favorite detail on this- that little ‘blob’ at the spot where the bar meets the floor where the chocolate kind of spreads out a bit. This is basically just a box which has the ends tapered (you can’t see that part) and had some fractal-based noise added for those organic bumps like the real thing.

Then we add some little tiny bumpy texture on the chocolate and split it  in half and add the texture from earlier to the  inside .


The lighting is this nifty volumetric 3D light, with a smidgen of blur added (the blur is based on the brightness of the image, so it gives it that nice ‘bloom’ effect to the lights.

And there you have it…

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Gods and Monsters! (part 3)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on February 19, 2009

Last time, I showed you some gods sketches…

Here’s the finals on a few of them.

First- Pan!

Pan gods reimagined George Berlin animation art

I originally was going to give him a ‘Pan flute’ (which is named after him- duh!) but I didn’t like the way it looked in his hand. I dig that he’s sort of just a naughty, hairy little goat boy here.

I wanted a scene reminiscent of the ‘Pastoral’ scene from Disney’s Fantasia. He’s always shown very at one with nature, etc. so I added a flower, some grass a much too happy little bunny.

However, after seeing it, I think it was a bit more inspired by the following image (which used to be my profile picture for a while…)

Curious George and bunny George Berlin animation art


Here’s Ganesh- such a happy guy!

Ganesh gods reimagined George Berlin art animation

I decided to skip having him with a mug of booze- thought somebody might get offended. I did, however, stick with the bag of peanuts- y’know like the ones you get from the circus.

I mean, c’mon, god or not… if you have the head of an elephant you’re going to really crave a bag of peanuts every so often. You just couldn’t resist!

I also wholeheartedly stole the rainbow background I mean… “added the rainbow background in homage to”… an artist whose work I own and really admire- Alice Dubois!

I own the piece entitled “Ghost Finch” on that page- go buy some of her awesome stuff!

Next time… more gods and monsters!

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