Monday, September 25, 2006

More Life Drawing

These are a couple drawings from the Life Drawing session two weeks ago. I'm hoping to go again this week.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sketch post AND a couple reviews

On Saturday, some of my co-workers and I took part in the Sketchcrawl that was happening around the world. Still not knowing Atlanta well enough, I could only think of a couple locations that were not only free, but had a good amount of people and animals to sketch.
First we went to Piedmont Park. There was the threat of thunderstorms all day, but we never saw a drop. Instead it was 85 degree weather with plenty of sun. It really was a great day to be in the park and not only that, the Skyhoundz Disc Dogs competition was going on. Having only seen Frisbee catching dogs on TV or in the movie, Flight of the Navigator, I thought this was really cool. Unfortunately, I was more caught up in watching the dogs competing, than actually drawing them. I did sketch a little, and these are the few drawings I thought were ok:

Next we went to the Lenox Square Mall Food Court to sketch some folks. I really felt like I was able to draw a little better here, maybe it's because I wasn't too distracted.

These first two guys were sitting near each other. The old man, was intently eating a fruit cup or some pudding.

This guy had a great face. The second drawing I really felt I caricatured him well.

On Friday, a bunch of us went to see Jet Li's Fearless
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I've never been a huge fan of martial arts films, but I do enjoy the fight sequences in most of them. I also should say I have never been a huge fan of Jet Li either. His acting is usually very stone-face and stiff.
Jet Li's Fearless brought a whole new light to how I feel about these films and of Jet Li.
First off, Jet Li can actually act. He showed a wide range of emotions and I believed every one of them.
Secondly, this movie has a really good story, although I felt the title of it was a bit odd. The story centers on an actual person, Huo Yuanjia (Jet Li), who created the Jin Wu Sports Federation. Yuanjia fought the western influence that was happening to chinese culture, by simply trying to unify the chinese people.
The reason why I feel that the title is odd, is that it's Jet Li playing an actual person. Do we call it Mel Gibson's Braveheart or Jim Carrey's Man on the Moon? I think it's enough for the studios to say that the actor is the star of it, they don't have to declare it as if Jet Li IS the film.
Nonetheless, it was really a well-made film, with great fight sequences and telling a story of the history of a person and culture I know very little about. I would definitely recommend this film.

Ok, my last review is actually for a book. One of my favorite movies of all time is Robert Altman's "The Player" (I should note that Robert Altman's name is not included in the title of the movie, he was the director of it). Michael Tolkin, who wrote the original novel and the screenplay for the movie, has written a new book where we revisit the character 15 years later.
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Although I felt that the book's design was a little too simple for my taste, when I saw it in the bookstore I just had to buy it. Overall, I'm glad I did, There were some great moments in it and I really enjoyed just reading more about the characters so many years later. I do have to say, the majority of the book, read more like a film about a dysfunctional family, rather than the story of a Hollywood executive and the dark secrets he keeps. It's even strange that he welcomes sharing these secrets to many people, something that he would've never done before. I think that was the point of the story though, telling the story of a man accepting many of his mistakes and coming of age in his mid-50's. If you're a fan of the movie "The Player" like I am, you might want to pick up the book, it's a quick and easy read, but with some fun, dark moments in it that actually made laugh out loud.

Ok, enough of my babbling. I expect to have a few more sketch posts up later this week. Until then, take care!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Insomnia and Me

I've been having a really tough time sleeping lately, so here's some more of my late night drawings.

I really liked this drawing, simply because it looks different from the style I usually draw in.

I drew a full figure picture of this cowboy, but I really wasn't happy with his legs or feet. It's definitely a drawing that I think I might rework and see if I can tell more of a story with it.

Years ago, when I was going to Wayne State University in Detroit, I did a caricature of myself as a Muppet for an art project. So this is what I feel I look like today as a Muppet. When I'm back in Michigan in October, I'll look for my original caricature, so I can post that as well.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Movie Reviews

Ok, so I watch A LOT of movies. I figured I'd start doing movie reviews in between my sketch posts (I kind of got the idea from my friends Ernie and Gabby... separate conversations). So anyway, here goes....

First up.. Brother Bear
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Ok, yes I rented it. I liked the first one, mostly because my friend Tom Dow did layouts for the film, and gave me and Stephanie a tour of the studio while they were making the picture, but I also liked it for the solid animation, and simply because it featured the McKenzie Brothers, aka Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis, as the Moose Brothers, Rutt and Tuke.
Well I was happy to see that they returned again and were featured more prominently into the story. Not only did Thomas and Moranis return, but they now have female moose love interests, played by fellow SCTV alumni, Andrea Martin and Catherine O'hara. I have to say, that's inspired casting. Rutt and Tuke remained funny and true to the characters they originated on SCTV, so many years ago.
As for the rest of the story... Blah. The Direct-To-Video filmmakers decide to introduce to us a female character, Nita, that Kenai (the Native-American that was magically turned into a bear in the first movie, and remains a bear in this one) fell in love with, when he was a child. I won't bore you with the story, but Nita (Mandy Moore) and Kenai renew a love they had together years ago.... BUT HE'S A BEAR AND SHE'S HUMAN!!!!! Just a tad weird.
Patrick Dempsey (Can't Buy Me Love, Loverboy ... oh yeah and that show Grey's Anatomy), is now the voice of Kenai, and well he sounds NOTHING like Joaquin Phoenix.
The animation is still solid, thanks to the Australia studio (that Disney decided to shut down last year).
I really don't have a "rating system" as of yet, but I'd definitely say, don't bother with this one.

Ok, next movie... The Last Kiss
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A somewhat slow moving dramedy, but I really did care for the characters and connected with some of them. If you haven't seen the previews, Zach Braff plays a 29 year old that has been dating Jacinda Barrett for three years, and she is 3 months pregnant. As everyone in their small universe suddenly finds their relationships deteriorating, Braff reevaluates his own life when a 20 year old college student, played by Rachel Bilson, hits on him at his friend's wedding, as his pregnant girlfriend is not far away.
Although it's hard to believe that so many relationships can go to shit all at the same time, with the magic of movies, we can suspend some disbeliefs.
I definitely was cringing over stupid mistakes that characters were making, but I think at some time in everyone's life we are all put in a position where we question ourselves if we should or shouldn't, and aren't quick to rationalize the implications that may come after.
There are many truths that the story tells, and I think that this movie will really only speak to people in their mid to late 20's and older, middle to upper-middle class.
Overall, I definitely find it worth seeing, but it's really not a good "date" movie, no matter if it's your first date, or you're in a "healthy" relationship, unless you're ready to talk about relationships immediately after.
Not a bad movie to see in the theaters, but it can wait to be rented.

Ok, so those are my movie reviews. I'll have more in the future, and maybe even a book review or two, since I also bought a couple books today as well.

Check for a sketch post tomorrow... Later...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Late Night Drawings

I'm REALLY happy with these two drawings that I did late last night (and when I mean late, I mean around 3am).

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Barnes and Noble again

I went to Borders tonight to go drawing, unfortunately they're refurbishing their cafe, so my usual spot was unavailable. Besides that, there was barely any people in the store (probably because they couldn't get any coffee). So instead I went to Barnes and Noble. Their cafe just doesn't have a good seating arrangement, so I just wasn't able to sketch as many people. Anyway, I'm glad I'm going out sketching more again.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Zoo Drawings

So I went to Zoo Atlanta today with Ralph and Stone (it's not the Atlanta Zoo... it's Zoo Atlanta... don't know why..). Anyway, it's a decent zoo, too bad my sketching hasn't been too decent lately. Here are some of my better sketches from the day. The Orangutan, Allen, is my favorite.

From the Reptile house. The Komodo Dragon was enormous.

The Rhino was pretty cool, but it barely stayed in one place and he constantly was hiding itself from the crowd.

So this is the Orangutan, Allen. There's so much character in his face. He reminded me of Harry from Harry and the Hendersons and Chewbacca.

This was a mother gorilla with her back to me, she was holding the newborn baby that was just born at the Zoo in July.

A Kangaroo head. It was really cool how close we were to the Kangaroos.

The lemurs were cool, but we were standing above them, and there's an annoying fence you have to look through, which really strains your eyes after awhile.

The first exhibit when you walk into the Zoo, are the flamingoes. I was drawing these, while Ralph was attempting to get an iced coffee.