George Berlin’s Art Blog

Delving into the mind of one of those weird artist people

Archive for May, 2009

Railroad trains! (woo woo) part 3

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on May 31, 2009

Seems I designed this train backwards- starting at the caboose and heading forward.

So now we move on to the locomotive design:

railroad trains locomotive engine childrens kids art licensing animation George Berlin

This is my first design. Well, not really my first- I’ve probably drawn this train a billion times. It’s my first drawing

once I decided how I wanted it to look and what elements to include and so on.

It’s cute and fun and all… but it’s a little too bulgy at the front- and the wheels aren’t straight on the ground. Since I’ll be putting all these

cars in a row, it’s kinna important to have them all hit the ground at the same spot.

So I made this one-

railroad trains locomotive engine childrens kids art licensing animation George Berlin

Basically, it has all the elements of the one above (and I remembered to add the bell this time!)

but it’s drawn tighter and a bit more level on the bottom. That top one looj

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Railroad trains! (woo woo) part 2

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on May 30, 2009

So… I showed you some train squiggles the other day

Well, I’ve worked on them a bit- and here they are!

railroad train caboose locomotive kids childrens art licensing animation George Berlin

We’ll start at the back with the caboose.

I’m still a little back and forth on the little rail at the front and back- you can’t really tell what it is. Hmm.  Gotta figure that one out.

Also not sure if the stairs are too big and honking. I’ll kick it around some. But I like the feel of it.


Here’s a flat top car with some lumber on it.

railroad train caboose locomotive kids childrens art licensing animation George Berlin

I like the big logs and the simple wheels on these. Real trains have all this stuff over the wheels that’s just too complex for the kiddies, I like

to think. I also believe I had a great affinity for the logs on some little train set I had as a kid. That and- Lincoln Logs! Loved ’em.

Here’s the box car:

railroad train box car caboose locomotive kids childrens art licensing animation George Berlin

All we need is a little cartoon hobo sleeping inside! I went for real simple colors on these to appeal more to the kiddies. I figured most

boxcars are some boring brown color. Blaah.

Here’s the whole train together to get a feel for how they look in a row.

Not bad, eh?

railroad train caboose locomotive kids childrens art licensing animation George Berlin

As you can see, there’s no locomotive just yet. I started with the caboose, because I had a good sense of how I wanted it to look even though I was  a bit unsure.

Then the other two cars were a little easier to work out. I still have an open top car to make (for grain, dirt, coal etc) and the engine of course.

I think I wanted to wait on the locomotive, since it’s sort of the ‘frontman’ in the train band, if you will.

More next time!

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Doggie collections! (part 1)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on May 29, 2009

No no no… there’s not some dog who owes me money…

I know better than that.

It’s just that, I’ve been showing collections of  unicorns and lady bugs and dinosaurs and so on…

And well, I think it’s time I designed a doggie collection. For a few reasons…

1) I love dogs

2) I’ve got a million dog paintings I’ve done

3) People who also love their dogs buy them all kinds of $tuff with dog$ on them.

cute dogs art childrens kids animation George Berlin

I’ll be the first to say, some of these drawings fail spectacularly!

That one on the upper right just doesn’t look dog-like enough. I like the lower left one,  he’s looking  pretty much like  ‘dog mooching a treat’.

The one on his back just isn’t posed quite right somehow. I’m still working on that one, but I like the idea of the pose. I just haven’t quite hit the pose, yet.

A few more:

cute dogs art childrens kids animation George Berlin

This is a variation of the sleeping pose in the other drawing. Some parts of each of these work, but I’ll be honest, he’s too realistically proportioned in the top drawings- and he looks  like a little pig in the bottom one! Better proportionally, but just not right still.

I’m trying to capture that look when a dog is sleeping, where his nose is laying flat on the ground or on his front legs. Unfortunately, my style of dogs have pretty short stumpy legs.

So I’m still working on it. Eh.

And last, but certainly not least- here’s some goofy doodles I did a few weeks back thinking about my dog collection:

dogs in cars motorcycles cats animation art licensing childrens kids George Berlin

Dogs and cats riding together! I particularly like the cat in the bike basket (although the cat in the sidecar is great, too)

I’ll post some more this week (it’s one of my next projects)

Until next time!

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Railroad trains! (woo woo)part 1

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on May 28, 2009

So, we’ve seen collections of construction vehicles and rescue vehicles and so on…

Now, for the next one on my list- trains!

railroad trains caboose choo choo animation art childrens kids licensing George Berlin

I’m still working out what’s going to be what here, so a lot of this is rough or up in the air altogether. I like to start out too realistic and then simplify things.

If you recall, I joined Gallery 203 in the Flat Iron building earlier this year… well, anyways part of my duties as a group gallery member is to work there one weekend a month.

Sometimes it gets pretty slow. So, I bring along my handy little pocket sketchbook and work out licensing ideas.

Two birds, one stone if you will…

This drawing is just getting an idea of what’s going to be in the collection. I figure a full train, maybe split the train cars up for patterns and then some accessories.

So, I have the RR crossing sign and I’m thinking maybe some tracks, going in circles or Y shapes or some sort of design like that.

I decided to work out some of the details of the trains first- simplifying them is harder.

railroads trains art childrens licensing animation choo choo box car caboose George Berlin art

I decided on 1) an engine 2) a boxcar or maybe an open car 3) a flat bed and 4) a caboose. I figured those would read ‘train’ for most people. On this one I’m still deciding on the look and style of things and also how tall or wide things will be, etc.

The open cars (on the left side) look a bit too much like they’re hauling mashed potatoes in this one! I like both of the box cars, though. Nice and simple.

Some more trains:

railroad trains caboose choo choo art animation childrens kids licensing George Berlin

These are after I’d doodled some and I was getting an idea of how I want them to look. I’m still working out the caboose design, but I like where it’s headed.

The flat car is looking good for me. The low simple design is working, and the logs are simple enough. I’m also pretty settled on how the wheels and the whole wheel assembly will look (drawing on the top in the middle).

Okay, last one- more details:

railroad trains caboose choo choo art animation childrens kids licensing George Berlin

I was playing with the possibilities of making them more stylized here, but I think I might go more kid friendly looking. This was more about the feel of the line on the wheels and the stylized nature of the caboose than anything else.

I’ll be working on these this week (in between projects) so hopefully I’ll have more of them shortly.

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Even MORE animated doggies!

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on May 27, 2009

Okay, so I showed you a few dogs and cats doing their thing yesterday…

Here’s one more going all nutso!

This guy runs over to his bowl, over shoots a bit, then does his happy food dance…

and then, of course, since it’s “TV Commercial Land” he gets magically transported to a pet store

where some guy starts petting his head.


I’m pretty proud of the way he slides in all goofy, and also how he morphs from standing to sitting nearer to the end.

Those are still drawings, made to change into one another, folks.

Fancy computerized stuff. And you thought TV had all the magic…

That’s all for now. I’ll have more art stuff this week.


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More animated doggies (and cats)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on May 26, 2009

Yeah, so I’ve been gone a few days…but hey, I’m workin’ right?

And here’s what I’ve been workin’ on:

Some happy doggies! Since I’ve got one of them there happy doggies, I seem to do a lot of these

kind of shots. Can I write him off as a work expense now?

You’ll remember, I did some other dog animations for a certain pet store a while back…

This is a nice shot for me not because it’s Disney-quality or anything but because it captures the doggie spirit so well.

We were instructed to ‘add a lot of love’ in this commercial. And as you can see, we did.

Here’s a snoozing cat rolling over.

My dog had a kitten that grew up with him. The kittie used to hiss and walk around the dog all mad for the longest time.

Then one day, I came home and the dog didn’t meet me at the door. I knew something was up.

I tiptoed into my room to find him sleeping on the bed- right next to the cat!

They both looked up with that  “uh, dude it ain’t what it looks like” face.


So I’ve had a fair bit of cat research, too. It was my previous roommate’s cat, but that little bugger used to sleep

on my desk right next to the keyboard while I was animating for the longest time.


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12 little tiny paintings!

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on May 20, 2009

Why, I think this may be the first post that’s not linked to anything I’ve done before… imagine that!

A *gasp* original idea!

Actually it’s just, well, 12 little tiny paintings, as the title says:

miniature paintings cartoon art animation kids childrens licensing George Berlin

Just so you know, these are all about 2 x 2 inches- the “wide” ones are about 2 x 2 and a half inches. Huge, I know.

Anyway, if you read the post yesterday, you’ll remember I was having a bit of fun just making silly watercolor paintings for fun.

Which led me to make a few silly ink paintings on canvas for fun, too.

Just crankin’ ’em out off the top of my head, basically. No pre-drawings or fancy sketches or blown-up computer images. Just grabbing a

brush and throwing some ink around. Pretty fun, really.

A f ew notes…

I like the cranky cat in the first picture. The tape on the tail is in homage (that’s ‘oh-mage’) to Tom and Jerry, one of my favoritist cartoons ever.

Whenever they wanted to show an ‘alley cat’, they’d just draw Tom, change his color and slap a piece of tape on the end of his tail.

Genius, I say, genius.

That one all the way on the right on the top row is actually a worm in an airplane. Yeah, I know…weird, right? I still like it.

The dog in the second row is the culmination of a few hundred drawings trying to capture the perfect mindless dog expression. ‘Cuz let’s face it, even the smartest

dog anyone’s ever met is still a bit dim. But I love ’em anyway!

I like the drippy ice cream cone- that’s just how ice cream is. It’s melting or it’s gone.

As for the banana, well I animated a video about Andy Warhol’s life for Getting to Know, a children’s educational media company I work for. And I guess it just influenced me

more than I thought. I’m sure he took the idea from someone else to begin with.

I like the weird shark thing, even though I’m not sure why he has feet. Anybody remember Jabber Jaws? I think I still do…

The hearts in love is part of an idea I’m kicking around for some Valentine’s day licensing ideas… see some other licensing stuff here.

Romantical, ain’t it?

And the snake is just something I’ve wanted to work into a pattern on a painting. I have this idea to do the ‘every critter I’ve ever painted’ painting one day.

There’d be snakes, for sure. And every other thing you can imagine (and some only I could).


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Dog Paintings (cont’d)!

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on May 19, 2009

See, I told you I wasn’t going to post for, mmm, 10 days or so.

I’m back on the merry-go-round of work shortly but I’ll post some in between.


I showed you the sketches here of li’l Zebo as the dog of a thousand disguises…

Now, we have color!

dog painting commission cartoon lawyer pirate cowboy knight detective animation art George Berlin

In case you don’t remember… I did a few paintings of this little rascal for a patron of mine…

And I wanted to make this piece you see above a sort of a ‘thank-you’ gift. I really like  it!

I went out of my way to get a lot of texture on the watercolor (some of that may be lost in this scan)

which is evident mostly in the letters, the lawyer’s suit and some of the rockstar’s hair.

I’m very fond of the blue hair on the rocker, the belly button on the pirate and the cowboy’s hat, personally.

While working on this, I got a bug to paint some more watercolor. I work mostly in acrylics for my fine art, but I use watercolors for the background

paintings in the videos I do for work (which I mentioned here).

That, and watercolors are a bit more fun and relaxing to use- not to mention that it somehow feels like the 3rd grade again whenever I use them!

So, I made a little dinosaur just for fun…

dinosaur watercolors animation art childrend kids licensing George Berlin

You may recall, I have a thing for dinosaurs…

I was going for a wash-y sort of  ‘kids book’ feel for this. And, of course, I just wanted to play a little bit.


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Lady Bugs and Bumblebees collection!(part2)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on May 5, 2009

So, I showed some of the Lady bugs bumblebees and stuff here…
But yeah, I’m a bit busy this coming week- so I’ve only got one lonely product

mock-up to show you.

: (

Ladybugs bumblebees art licensing girlie girls kids childrens animation George Berlin

And maybe not many more in the next ten days. I guess it’s not a bad thing in this economy to be too busy working.

: )

Whatcha think? I went big on the bumblebees on the larger bag. Just for variety. I like the little lady bug border on the second and hey!

That pattern is fun, too. I wasn’t sure if it would be.

By the way, just to ask some opinions- that random leaf thrown into the pattern isn’t weird, is it? I like it…

And I really enjoy the tight pattern on the wrapping paper. It’s a million cute bugs to the square inch!

Okay, back to work- more PetSmart commercials (like this one I did a while back…)

See ya on the flip side!

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Lady Bugs and Bumblebees collection!(part1)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on May 2, 2009

So we showed some boy collections here and here…

And then I went all girlie on ya…

Well, we’re going to stay girlie for a while longer, I’m afraid…

bumblebee lady bugs girlie animation art kids childrens licensing backpacks George Berlin

Lady bug and bumblebee patterns! Yeah!

I like the left one… feels like strawberries to me somehow. I like that the heart and the lady bug are about the same color and size- kinda

blurs the line between them. I used leaves as part of the pattern because that’s always where you find a lady bug, and they make nice motifs.

The pattern on the right is a TAD bit too geometric for me, but everything is really tight together on it, so I can’t alternate too much on it.

I think it’ll redeem itself by the fact that it’ll look good rotated 45 degrees, too.  Makes it more versatile.

The message of this pattern is fun- basically that bees and flowers are all in lurv with each other. Ahh, nice right?

bumblebee lady bugs girlie animation art kids childrens licensing backpacks George Berlin

And why, yes… that IS the same bumblebee from the sketches for my next short film… go see more about it in this  post.

I recycle!

I like the tightness of this left pattern- I try to do some tighter ones and some more open ones… just to show I can and for variety’s sake. Some things work better one way or the other.

The right one I wanted to work in a honeycomb pattern, since y’know, it’s a pattern already and bees love it and all.

So I went for a sort of “picture frame” look for that one. And then snuck some little bees and hearts in the smaller spaces. I like it.

bumblebee lady bugs girlie animation art kids childrens licensing backpacks George Berlin

Here’s some borders for cups and bags and wall coverings and such. I wanted to use the leaves in the pattern on the top since they’re such a good image for that.

I like how the lady bug seemed kind of speechless to be face to face with the bee in the middle one.

More later- product mock-ups for sure!

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