Saturday, August 31, 2013

Something of a self portrait

This September marks what will be the most pivotal month of my life so far. August took it's sweet time finishing up and I worked diligently from beginning to end. Gesture drawings, ideas for new animations, new character designs, trying new techniques to add versatility to my style, etc. On numerous occasions, despite the urge to continue working at 6 AM in the morning, I forced myself to sleep the rest of the morning with the knowledge that it would benefit my health, both physically and mentally. And truth be told, I don't regret a thing.

But enough about that, here's a picture of the anticipation driving me nuts. Enjoy!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Surfer experiment

I'm always striving to improve as an artist. Lately, I've been watching some photoshop videos detailing the artist's process with the coloring and lighting, and trying to apply the techniques into my own work. For the lines of the surfer, I lowered the opacity so it would blend in easier with the color layer. Then I padlocked and duplicated the color layer, and gave it a dark blue overlay. I did this piece in two hours. While I'm not satisfied with water itself, I do like the splashes and the trails in it. It was an experiment with a different method, and I'm going to keep working with it.

1 Minute Gesture Drawings

The theme for this batch was sports.





Sunday, August 25, 2013

Introducing Jose Bendera

This little picture is the result of playing too much Jet Set Radio, buying back Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, a childhood memory of mine. Jose Bendera was actually the created skater of a friend of mine in 5th grade. I fell in love with name immediately. Since it was my game, I took over his character design, and I've been making him in every skateboarding game for the past 12 years now. I've redesigned time and time again and I consider him one of my early brain children.

 I took after the concept art of Jet Set Radio when drawing this, not cleaning up my blue lines and keeping the look nice and gritty. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A sneak peek

A little detail of what my next animation project is going to be. I am going to animate a female, it will be a dialogue piece, and for this one, I will be puppet animating. I've been on an old school feel as of late, particularly looking at old international star, Josephine Baker. She was the reference for the character that I will be animating, pictured below.

Stay tuned for more!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

More pen gesture drawings

Some more of my pen gesture drawings. 

Poses from a  female dancer, two minutes a figure, just to get warmed up.

My one minute gestures, I was watching Muay Boran tutorials which served as my reference.

 These I did in pairs. Conversation pieces, a minute a figure.

The Grandmaster

For those of you that don't know, I come from a martial arts background. I grew up watching Bruce Lee and the Shaw Brothers movies of the 70s and 80s. I've dabbled in the styles of Capoeira and Xingyiquan, and I intend to dedicate myself to studying martial arts when the opportunity presents itself.

That being said, I'm hyped that The Grandmaster is getting a theatrical release stateside! I remember watching a bootleg of it once with some friends of mine. It features styles like Wing Chun, Bajiquan, Baguazhang, and Xingyiquan. I haven't seen a film depict Xingyi since Jet Li's The One. Now I finally get to watch a clear print of it and with subtitles. I quickly made this as a spur of the moment thing and I figured, why not share it?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Jett "The Jaguar" Langford

As I work at my cintiq, I tend to my TV switched onto channels showing K-1 and MMA marathons. Naturally, this seeped into my thinking process and I decided to make a character based on it. The roughs of this character were sitting in a photoshop file for a few weeks, and last night I finally decided it was time to finish him. My kickboxing mixed martial artist, Jett "The Jaguar" Langford. I can't remember exactly what brought about the cross tattoo, but I felt it added a little bit more to his character to make him a man of faith.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pen gesture drawings

This is my first time doing gesture drawings in pen. I'm enjoying the looseness of it and the fact that if you make a mistake, there's nothing you can do except keep going. It keeps me from over-thinking and helps me improvise.

3 minute gestures


2 minute gestures

1 minute gestures

30 second gestures

Life Drawings

Hello all, here are a few life drawings for a change of pace.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Friday, August 9, 2013

Donnie Baxley - The Actor

While making my demo reel last year, I noticed a glaring problem. While I had action scenes, there was an absence of dialogue pieces to show off my acting capabilities. Donnie Baxley, an obnoxious movie star that you love to hate.

For the character design, I sought the feedback of one of my professors, who is the client. The design went through many iterations, 


The one that resonated with my professor most was the one below. This one seemed to capture the arrogant side of the character more. It also has a bit of Hugh Jackman feel.

I'm currently finishing the final frames of the dialogue animation, the post will be coming soon.

Cody Rockwell - The Skater

As a child, I was into many things, one of them was skateboarding. While I never learned how to skate, many hours of my life were sacrificed playing Tony Hawk games, and the create-a-skater mode became the factory for many character designs and ideas that I would revisit in adulthood. One of these was Cody Rockwell, a real cool 80s dude. Here's a quick turnaround I did of the character, his color palette reminds me of Capri Sun.

Originally, Cody was going to be a background character in my student senior film. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I wasn't able to add him. But I was adamant on making something with Cody, so I made a quick animation of him performing a nose-slide grind down a box. For the piece, I decided to clean up with the pencil tool rather than the brush, separating the pieces of the character by layers.


Hello visitor, welcome to my blog. I am Jaron Johnson, an aspiring animator fresh out of college, trying to make his way in this amazing world. Here I will post many things, from animation tests to character designs and model sheets. Join me as my career unfolds, and my skills further develop.