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Viewing Blog: Anthony VanArsdale Illustration, Most Recent at Top
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1. Big Hero 6


I went to see Big Hero 6 last week, and it was a truly fabulous film!   If you haven't seen it you should go soon.  The movie stays on point never wandering, building steadily on a message that is made very real as you see the characters respond to the action that whirls into their lives.  I won't give anything away here, but you get to see the distinct results of two decisions as the characters are paralleled.  Big sacrifices.  Great stuff!

Also in an art related thing, I was glad to find that Jin Kim has a new tumblr page.  His blog had shut down some time ago, but the new page has some cool Big Hero 6 work on it.  From what I understand, these are sketches Jin Kim created translating the finalized character designs into multiple angle drawings for the model builders to reference.  Over the last few years I've really taken an interest in sculpture, so I enjoy these quite a bit, and I'm a big fan of Mr. Kim's work.

And keeping with the animation theme of this post, you should check out the short film Duet, by Glen Keane.  I had seen this a few months back and I recall reading an article where Glen Keane expressed an interest in exploring the possibility of keeping the integrity of the drawn line in animation.  Most completed films have the inked lines and colored cells, but the raw beauty of the gesture sketch is lost on an image refined to that point.  This film is one of the most beautiful things I've seen in animation.


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2. New Sketchbook

A few evenings back, while my drawing buddies were sketching neat pictures of Audrey Hepburn, I was breaking in my new journal with "Portrait of a Man."


Harpo Marx - pencil


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3. Retiring My First Palette


I'm trying out a new camera and varnished the painted area after this photo.  It looks richer now and I'll try to update the picture with a new one tomorrow.

This was the first wooden palette I ever owned and it has seen me through quite a few paintings.  I may put more colorful globs around the edge, but right now I think she's finished.


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4. Irene

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5. Classical Head Sketch of a Child

This is one of several preliminary drawings for a project I'm working on.

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6. Oil Portrait

Here is a portrait painted earlier this year of Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, which was sent to the North American College in Rome a few months after the portrait of Pope Francis.


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7. Elves and Orcs and Things

The pencil drawing for this one is here, because sometimes it looks better in simple line.

And just because I couldn't make up my mind,
here is the elf in various autumn orc hunting colors.


Earlier this year I played a game mod for Lord of the Rings which had a real good feel to it.  Reminded me a lot of the books.  You could even be an orc although I ran into trouble.  Playing as "Spuds" I was not inclined to do orcish things.  Savage orcs turned on me, and the race of men wouldn't accept me.  Stay in the middle and I'd be killed!  So Spuds did the only next best thing.  Join a group of roaming heroes to fight against the darkness that was coming upon Middle Earth!  (Okay I embellished a bit on the end but hey!  It did lead to some crazy drawings, of which these are a few.)




I had some more serious Lord of the Rings drawings, but I think they got buried somewhere.


In other news... I'm jumping between paintings, illustration covers, and finishing my studio.  More coming soon.

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8. Skinny


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9. Digital Studies


Here are a few digital studies for work.  Most of what I'm doing now can't be shown until later.  I speak the truth but it is a pretty bad cover for my lazy blogging habits.  I haven't been drawing outside of work for a few weeks, and what I did intend to post then, I forgot about by the time the weeks rolled by.  Maybe this post will prompt me to update more often.


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10. Wimple Lady


This could really use a few more coats of paint, but it was just a small experiment for fun.

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11. More Heroes


Gryphon warrior with Heavy Saber.

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12. Dancin' Boots




Taking some time off for the 4th of July weekend with a little digital painting.  I've been drawing this bucktooth, freckle face, country girl for fun ever since I did an outdoor magazine logo back around 2004.  This sketch of Irene just happened to make it to color...  "Ireeene!!!"

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13. Elf Blade


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14. Trustworthy Mercenaries from the Northern Mountains.

...or not trustworthy.
They're in need of money!  Will you hire them for Adventure!!!


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15. Men of Bounty - More Character Drawings

A few new and old character sketches and drawings for Men of Bounty.  Andrew and I still don't know the best format for telling this story.  So we'll just keep drawing and writing.


Duchess and Cyprian


Random Sketches


A few of the roughs and sketches done for the drawing above.




Above are some new head sketches for Duchess, with slightly softer features than before.  She's the only female in the story, besides Brandy who's just a little wacky!


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16. Sketch


Pen and graphite sketched scanned into Photoshop.
Unaltered sketch here.

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17. Beleg Strongbow

A quick sketch of Beleg Cúthalion with the sword Anglachel,
from The Children of Húrin by J. R. R. Tolkien.

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18. Coming back soon


Hand study for some cover roughs done a few weeks ago.

I'll be posting here again soon.  This year has been particularly crazy, and not just for me but for many people I know.  Alex pulled through his ordeal okay and we are all very grateful.  It makes you realize how life hangs by a thread.

I'm finally in the studio now but the trim and woodwork still need to be completed.  It's looking very nice.  More coming soon!

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19. New Pencil Sketch - Captain McQuaid


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20. Disney's Movie Frozen



I saw the movie Frozen last week.  Due to a crazy work schedule, I took some time off for spontaneous art this weekend to play with color, since all of my work lately has been in black and white.  The studio has been held up so I have no room to paint (I'll get to that in another post).  The above image is one of several I got carried away with this past weekend.  It was fun.  The movie wasn't really for me though.  I think the story had some holes, and I hate bathroom humor.

And I know I'm just throwing this out there, but maybe the villain was framed by a shapeshifter.  It is a magical world after all, and the trolls looked like rocks half the time for crying out loud.

Actually to make myself feel better, I put together a satirical analysis of the movie (Spoiler alert!)  in addition to the images over on the Harken Blog. (I would really only recommend reading it if you have already seen the movie, so like... Don't read it if you haven't!)  You may view the movie differently from here on out, so read at your own risk!

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21. Historical Dress Sketches

I watched A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott) a few days ago, and observed how clever the creators were with the clothing.  This was the first time I noticed how the attire in Scrooges past matched more of a 1700's style dress (knee breeches and spencer jackets), while the older Ebenezer had an early 19th century style.


I realized yesterday, after poking around some files on my computer, how many period clothing references I have.  The style for the bottom drawing was inspired by the self portrait of Rose-Adélaïde Ducreux.  What a lady!

And I can't leave without saying just how much I enjoy the previously mentioned production of A Christmas Carol.  The interaction between Scrooge and the ghost of Christmas present is superb... but then again I love all the acting in the film.  If you haven't seen it, you should definitely watch it soon.

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22. Merry Christmas

A small Epiphany sketch done today for a painting to be completed later next year.

Special thanks to everyone who has followed my work and been supportive this year.  I really appreciated it!  Happy Holidays!

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23. I'm Still Here

Or "there" considering my absence from this blog for four weeks.  It's been an insane last three months.  I'll have to recap sometime if I remember everything.


Here are just a few sketches from Friday night.  It's been roughly three weeks since I've had a chance to draw.

I've been revisiting old anatomy books and notes lately, and feeling more responsive to what I didn't grasp years ago regarding anatomy and form. It has been fun revisiting a lot of the basics and I should do it more often. 

I've made invaluable art book discoveries too.  I found a J.W. Waterhouse book misplaced in the photography section at Books-a-Million (probably the only reason it was still there).  Also I found Andrew Loomis books at a local art shop that I love to frequent.  They cover design, composition, color, and more.  A great addition to the art book collection.


Pdf versions of these books can be downloaded, and what is funny is I've had copies on my computer now for almost a year.  The only problem is I hate to sit and read something lengthy at my computer.  Drives me nuts!  I was ecstatic to find these.


I also found some great anatomy models over at Anatomytools.com.  If you're studying anatomy for drawing or sculpture it would be a good idea to check it out (Warning: the site is for artists and medical students and does contain some nudity).

I found these through the blog of the fabulous sculptor David Lemon.  He's a real inspiration!

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24. That's Positively Medieval!



The work schedule this year has been crazy, and I've had poor results the several times I've tried to pull aside and draw something for myself or for the blog.  There may not be a problem at all, but I'm just not feeling it.  After several attempts over the last few months, I resolved to put all my energy into my work, especially since it was impossible to get to some of the things I wanted to create, either because of delays in building the studio or the project I wanted to get going was too big to jump into.  The only problem is doing this can lead to a creative burnout.

Anyway enough talk about that.  Here's a medieval dress sketch I did last night with a little tinting in Photoshop.  Been really interested lately in animated character development drawings and movie color keys.

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25.

This blog will be down for awhile.  My brother Alex went into the hospital about three weeks ago, was released, and because of a gross misdiagnosis had to go back in for another emergency surgery.  He's been in a lot of pain and family and I are trying to help the best we can to get him through it.

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