Thursday, June 29, 2006


Posted by Arna.

Today kids were practicing their skateboard moves on our street. I love the sound of the board hitting the pavement.

In an unrelated note:
This one is Jane, of the Peter Pan sequel 1998, from a scrap panel...

Girl, sketched last winter...

Watercolour of Tink, our first cat. Doing what cats do...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Yorkville images...

Out for a walk in the Yorkville neighbourhood in Toronto, we happened upon these interesting sights. A glass sky...

...and three ladies deep in conversation.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wayback machine: Family Dog boards...

Posted by Arna.

Story artist Jenny Lerew, who writes clearly and with much insight on animation, posted this recently: A short rant on mediocrity

Jenny's post generated a lively debate and a plug from Cartoon Brew. The series THE FAMILY DOG featured fairly prominently in the discussion. THE FAMILY DOG special, created for Spielberg's Amazing Stories series and directed by Brad Bird, was glorious! However, the short lived television series that followed was less so. Since I worked on said series I decided what the heck, I'll post a sample of my boards, done approximately 1993. The episode title is HOT DOG AT THE ZOO.

Looking at these boards, I'm struck by how square and small the panels are compared to the wide screen format we're working in these days. The closeups look much too close! However, I remember that I really enjoyed working on this sequence. Tim Burton was consulting designer and he did some moody inspirational designs for the zoo. Three artists split the 21 minute show. The other two-thirds were handled by uber-talented story artists/directors Alan Bunce and Robin Budd. The thing I liked about the storytelling was that as much as possible it was from the dog's point of view. However, this was also the tragic flaw of the series, since it was often hard to tell what was happening and what the canine hero was thinking.

Well anyways, here's some of it. Hope you enjoy! And thanks Jenny for the great discussion.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A little Sci~Fi Skyland...

Posted by Arna.

A few panels from the Sci-Fi series Skyland, a motion capture show that I storyboarded on in the fall of 2005:

And here's a bit of homemade leica reel that I assembled in Flash, from the opening sequence of the same episode. SKYLAND is a sci-fi series and a France-Canada coproduction. The designs were done in France and have an elegant quality you don't always see in television animation. This sequence was much revised after my turn on it (as can happen), but I have no complaint about the way it turned out. It ended up even more dramatic! Although my version is unpolished, I had some fun importing it into Flash and doing this quick edit. John and I set it to a piece of music by Sweet. Heavy rock seems to suit the action. I didn't have access to the dialogue tracks so I used subtitles, which gives the clip a comic book feel, and that's all right with me.

The episode starts with a flying chase and a firefight as two children in a stolen airship try to evade the bad guys. The kids' parents were the leaders of a rebellion against 'The Sphere', which is an evil (of course) organization that runs things after the world is blown up.

Please click here to see this excerpt of Flash leica posted on our website.

Updated with a new link, July 3_06. If you want to know more about Skyland you can:

click here to go to the Skyland TV Website. Looks like some interesting stuff on this site.

click here to go to the Nicktoons Skyland page.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Pussycat portraits...

John painted these 'portraits' as part of a birthday card he made for me recently. Thanks, sweetie! Wish I could show the whole card, but there are some characters on it from a show we are developing, so you'll just have to wait to see them. These are Jasper and Kiki, and they really do look like this.

Monday, June 12, 2006

More Pop Poppies...

Breaking down the shapes with Photoshop, I like the happy accidents. The way the flowers are suspended on the almost too thin stalks:

Posted by Arna.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Poppy Power!

We have a big fat poppy plant in our front yard. The flowers came into bloom two days ago, but they don't last long. They are about 7 inches across. These shots are pretty much as they came out of the camera, not touch-ups. The scarlet is so saturated, it almost repels the green at the edges!


Top one: afternoon, JvB.

Second, third: 8 am, Arna.

Fourth one: afternoon, JvB.

Bottom one: afternoon, Arna.