Thursday, September 30, 2010

★ Movie, Music & Game Review ★

Legend of Ga’Hoole: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

★ 1/2

A.K.A The Owl Movie. This film feels exactly like living your favorite fantasy novel you read as a kid; it might not win the Pulitzer but it makes you happy. The visual aspect of the movie is breathtaking, but I feel the film could have used six more months of polish time. A clearer direction and better pacing would have helped, as well as a more restrained use of slow motion. However, if you enjoy adventure, brave animals going into serious battle and a movie with a big heart (and OWLS!!) The Legend of Ga’Hoole is worth your pennies at the box office.

Hmm... and I can quite decide if an Owl City pop song can live alongside a Lord of the Rings wannabe score...

Florence and the Machine

Amazing. Beautiful. Fantastic.

Listen to these and judge for yourself!

Disney Fairies @

Disney Fairies online now offers a new gaming experience. You create your fairy character and explore the world of Pixie Hollow where the fairies live. Although it is obviously geared to kids 13 and under, I am “proud” to announce that I’m experiencing my first gaming “addiction”. I work in the gaming industry so this is monumental. I never quite understood how people would want to spend hours a day gaining achievements in an imaginary world. Scratch that, I never understood how on earth it could become an addiction. Now, I have to make sure that I stay in the ‘I play only an hour a day at most’ zone.

I love the Bubble Bounce Game!

The graphics are extremely beautiful, and as an artist I am grateful for that. I personally have trouble investing myself in a world that I don’t find aesthetically pleasing in some way. All the little assets in the game are well considered, sometimes even above the visual bar that is standard for kids’ games. I highly recommend this!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Late Night

I never went to Catholic School, except for that brief period in first grade before my parents began dragging me around the world, but I have had the privilege of being fed by a number sisters and nuns in the past few years.

St. Therese of Lisieux was a French Carmelite nun who died at only 24. She wrote a beautiful book called, 'The Story of a Soul'. It was her autobiography and it spoke of her thirst and desire to be completely poured out for the love of Jesus. Pope John Paul the Second declared her a Doctor of the Universal Church. One in three women have been given that honor. She called her life with Jesus her little way because there was nothing grand or prestigious about her approach to a life of sanctity.

This color sketch I did the other night did not necessarily spring from deep reflection about the lives of religious sisters, however I find their lives to be a bold statement and it makes me excited to depict them!

... And their habits have a great graphic quality, which makes them wonderful to paint.


Fun Fact

A 'nun' is different from a 'religious sister'. A 'nun' is a type of 'religious sister'. What someone is is dependent on the vows she takes and the type of community life she enters into. But don't worry about offending anyone, any religious sister will be happy to let you know if she is a nun and why or why not.


Monday, September 20, 2010

St. Joseph and The Little Lamb

This St. Joseph painting was a late night personal project that I did after work in about three days. Fr. John Gerth* was quick to point out that Joseph would never wear this, but I just shouted back indignantly at him, "It's symbolic!" And then he pointed out that he was a little huge... "It's symbolic!" I said my face red with frustration... (This memory is really funny if I pretend to be mad in it, but I wasn't very, alas.)

I'll take you through a short version of my step by step process to getting this kind of effect, but there are no fancy secrets. (You have to know basic Photoshop to understand this, but if you have a question feel free to ask me.)

1) I made a pencil drawing in my sketch book, keeping in mind my main the simple concept of St. Joseph being a protector of Little Jesus.

2) I scanned it and imported into Photoshop and put the drawing on MULTIPLY.

3) I colored in all the different sections of the drawing with a 100% opacity basic brush. The colors aren't the exact ones I used but enough so I had an idea of what color everything was.

4)Then I went to town and just played with lighting so I knew what I'd be working with. Again, the colors didn't have to be perfect but quick so I could get many different variations in a short period of time to pick from.

5) After that I began my "finish" mode. I gave the ground colors texture with a gritty brush and varying colors, all the while refining my color decisions.

6) I then built up the light from the different directions I had chosen. It's best to vary the color of different light sources (warmer or cooler).

I don't follow exact step by step methods very well, I like jumping around as I see things that need to be addressed. Don't be afraid to play around and mess up (I hate messing up, it hurts my fat pride), but it's the best way to learn new skills.

Hope this was even slightly helpful!


*Fr. J is a cool priest better known through

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The First

Hey Peeps,

Welcome to my new blog project! I hope you have fun browsing and looking at whatever interests you most. You can expect posts related to my faith and art life, but many other random things as well.
The joys and sorrows along the path of Jesus Christ are many and funny things happen sometimes. The other day a co-worker came up to me and said, "So you're like hard-core Catholic right?" and I said, "Well, I suppose." (I think we had different definitions of what hard-core means, I think "super-saintly" like Mother Theresa and I think he really just meant, "you believe in all that stuff.") Anyways, we talked about that for a while and then he said with eyes lit up with fascination, "You're like an anomaly, you know that?" To which I responded, "I suppose." Again, I think of people who are way more Christ-like than me, but I think he meant I was an alien from mars. I couldn't help but laugh to myself the rest of the day. Being Catholic is colorful to say the least.

Now get off the internet and do something awesome!