Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Toto Sapore" 2001 (© Lanterna Magica)

In 2001 I got contacted by Lanterna Magica and Maurizio Forestieri (in Torino, Italy) to design a film based on a traditional napolitan story called Toto Sapore. It was great fun to create all the visual language for that film. Here are a few samples of that, four interior and exterior architectural studies for some of the characters locations.
And we are wrapping up a year... Happy 2011 to all of you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Again like in the 'Near Miss' case, since I spent quite some time going about details, here is the full illustration plus a few close ups.
I don't know if this will be my last post before Christmas... but just in case it is, Merry Christmas everybody! I hope you enjoy this time of the year in a nice and safe place with your loved ones.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Saying Hi

Just an improvised sketch to say 'Hi' with. It's been hectic around here lately, not much time to dedicate to this blog. Hopefully things will get a bit more relaxed around Christmas.
By the way, if you live in Southern California I hope you are managing to stay dry!

Thursday, December 09, 2010


This crowd passed by my Cintiq. Next thing I knew they were gone...
(The more it goes, the more I love this tool by the way)

Friday, December 03, 2010

Near miss

Near misses, how many of these do we have in life?... Hopefully none as dramatic as this one.
I spent quite a bit of time on the detail here, so I include the magnified sections to have the feeling it was actually worth it!
Have a good weekend everyone.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Things one can run into when walking around at night...
Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Runaway turkey?

They call him Mr. Panics.
Anyway, maybe he just saw the turkey he was going to have on Thursday break away from the cage and make a run for it? ...don't blame him (the turkey I mean). Whatever it is, it looks like the guy had better days.
-Happy Thanksgiving everyone!-

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Eyes reading other eyes, ...and going to take action next.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Swords and daggers

A bunch of mean spiritet people... or maybe they aren't?
At least one of them is armed though, we know that.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Huntington / Culver City (more memories)

The peace of Huntington Gardens in Pasadena on a February morning in 2009, and lunch time sketching in Culver City two years before that. Two very intense experiences indeed...:)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Old project, new review

Years ago I already started with the idea of writing a book on composition. This double page spread is a sample I did back in 2003 while exploring ways and options for the project, pretty much establishing the basic principles I would eventually use in 'Framed Ink'. As you can see though it was based on the idea of illustrations, not so much on 'continuity/narrative art', as it ended up being.
By the way, Fernando Caire from CGChannel wrote a really nice review about the book on his blog just yesterday. Thanks Fernando!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Also during the Sony days, Marcelo had a great idea, let's do a comic book together, one page at a time, one continues where the other one left the story! It was Marcelo, Armand and myself, we had lots of fun for quite a while with this pirates story called 'El Pacifico'.
Here are some character sketches I did for the story, plus the first panels of my contribution to it.
(Dinga-Man character © Marcelo Vignali 2010)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


When at Sony we spent many many lunchbreaks with Marcelo and the sketchclub guys drawing people, ...some were passers by, some were in line to order lunch, some were already seated and storing enough energies to face the rest of the day properly. Here are a few that fell into this last category.
The second image is a little fragment of one of the pieces I have in 'Moonshine'.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


So it is out there! Moonshine is the book that Dreamworks Animation has helped put together after a fantastic initiative by production designers Pierre Olivier Vincent and Cristophe Lautrette (Angela Lepito being the link with production) to gather the personal works of a bunch (47!) of us at the Studio's visual development department. The publisher is again Design Studio Press, and the presentation is, also again, up to the great standards of their art books. My admiration as well to everyone involved in the original concept and materialization of the project, it is a tremendous job to combine the efforts of so many people for a common purpose such as this, and to come up with such a brilliant final product!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Academy of Art University lecture (San Francisco)

It was great to be there last Friday 15th from 4:00 pm on (...we went all the way up to 8:00!).
A few weeks ago I got a nice invitation from teachers Daniel Cooney and Chuck Pyle to give a 'Framed Ink' lecture on composition for the pupils of the Center. I had heard of the Academy so many times but never actually been there, so I was certainly not going to miss on the opportunity. Great turnout on such a great theatre on a Friday night. Thank you guys again.
(In the pictures: Daniel, the wild group of pupils that actually stayed until the last minute, and the location).

Monday, October 11, 2010


Just don't ask me what these two are doing!... any ideas? :)
(Btw, it was like back to summer today here in L.A. Nice...)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

New book reviews

I very recently got two new reviews on "Framed Ink", from 'Parka' and Charley (Lines and colors). Thank you guys!

Also posting today, two new shots from our last visit to CA 92328 this last summer. We almost did melt...

Monday, October 04, 2010

The Box

And the box seems to be hers forever now... let's see.
The page with the faces started off as ..."I'll draw a face here". All of a sudden there were dozens of them. I did get carried away!
Great week ahead to everyone

Monday, September 27, 2010

Getting there

The two pages before last. The nightmare seems to be close to over...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

LAAFA sessions - UPDATE

Just finished a five sessions course at LAAFA on composition for visual storytellers yesterday based on the book. It was a really cool group of students, some of them already professionals, which were a pleasure to interact with!
I'll be starting another set of (8) sessions on October 9th on the same subject. Hope to see you there!

UPDATE- The classes will start on Saturday, October 23rd. Thanks!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Comics n' movies

More Hollywood trouble, conquistadores and vikings for today.
First, two more pages of the comic story ...two less to go! and getting closer to the end of it.
The two shots of the horsemen in the jungle come from what used to be called 'workbook' in the good ol' days of 2D animation. They are Tulio and Miguel riding Altivo in their search for the mythical City of El Dorado (Dreamworks).
Finally, an interior layout shot I did for 'Asterix and the Vikings' (A-Film). This one belongs to the Chief's kitchen, all drawn in separate layers to make things easier for the animation process.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Death Valley

Quite a place. I had been there several times already in the late nineties (first with my wife this last weekend). On Sunday we were told at some point at the Furnace Creek store, it was 124 ºF (51.1ºC) in the shadow... Who needs the sun anyway!
I remember another time that I was at the same store, I believe it was in 1998, it was even hotter, around 3 pm we came out of the place and got a taste of how a sudden raise of approximately 50ºF (30º C) in temperature tastes like, as we were coming out of it.
Anyway, honestly, ...incredibly beautiful place. The sense of space, silence, and subtlety of color and shape everywhere around you is hard to believe and surpass. We were saying that 'I hope some day they bottle Death valley silence, because I'm going to buy it'.

-(1) Sand Dunes (Stovepipe Wells)
-(2) Zabriskie Point
-(3,4) Bad Water (notice the tiny figure in the horizontal shot)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Corridors of mystery

Her strong will and enduring of all sorts of tricky situations finally starts paying back! will she make it all the way through the end though? ...more to come (but not -many- more) in next posts!!
As far as the sketches is concerned, these were made in Palm Springs and Culver City some time ago now.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Shipment on the way - UPDATE-

I just got this email from Amazon. Exciting! (I ordered my own copy of the book so that I would know exactly when people started receiving theirs)

"We have good news -- the order is now being shipped! You should receive a shipping notification shortly, within the next business day, for the following item(s):
"Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers"

Rock 'n roll! :D

As Brian (cromasketch) is mentioning in his comment the shipping of the book to the people who ordered it from Amazon slows down from time to time. I apologize for this fact, which in itself implies good news as the book is selling fast and they run out of it intermittently, as I see after talking to Amazon last night.
I want to thank you all again for your understanding of the situation. If you guys have the chance, please let me know when you start receiving the copies.
Thanks a lot!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Second floor it is

More action, plus some of the original sketches I did back then as inspiration for the character an her Hollywood apartment.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Goin' up?

Sometimes taking a step up in life is not necessarily a good thing...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Meanwhile, back in Hollywood...

...Life goes on for Miss Trouble.
Also, I just got the latest issue of CHT (comic / historietas / tebeos) this time dedicated to Hal Foster's 'Prince valiant'. Incredible work by this team, once again, displayed along 100 beautiful pages!
I hope summer is treating everyone nice.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

San Diego 2010!

Just back from San Diego Comic-Con. It was great, certainly always an occasion to meet up with friends and also to finally put faces to names I heard so many times or that, so far, I had only been in touch with through blog or email.
So thanks to everybody who showed up and specially the 'Design Studio Press' guys that put together once again a wonderful stand for everyone to enjoy.
The signing of my book went great, and I'll say that today Saturday around early afternoon the supplies of 'Framed Ink' that were available for this festival got sold out. Right now they are taking orders for August, when the book will be finally released.
It was a pleasure to talk with everyone and share the interest we all Comic Con nuts share on everything related to comics and movies in general!

Photos (left to right, at the top): Tinti Dey - Scott Robertson - Alfie

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Great news

I just got a phone call.
After all and thanks to the efforts of DSP and the printer, 'Framed Ink' will be ready and available for sale during the San Diego Comic con. So if you guys are around it will be great to see you there, I'll be at booth #1701 on Saturday 24th between 1pm and 2pm, when I'll have a book signing.
Thanks everyone again.