Forest Practice by Christopher Downes

Another fun 30 minute speed paint :) I think I might use my lunch breaks at Reading Rainbow to do some fun speed paints just to keep up the muscle. Nothing fancy - I was just using the standard brushes, since that's probably all I'll have at work. I haven't really done it in a while, and I'm happy how quickly my instincts have returned, and even evolved. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this one, because there could be many more to come! :D

Forest Practice

Imagining Brad Poster Design by Christopher Downes

Hey all! Thought I'd share this poster I designed this week for the play "Imagining Brad," opening next Wednesday and playing Wednesdays for the next couple of months. Please go check it out!

I'm pretty proud of how I made this design... I was provided the main picture by Stephanie Mathis, of Stephanie Mathis Photography, then literally just took a picture of my hand in this claw shape (featuring my bent ring finger :), cut it out in Photoshop, painted it black, and shone a spotlight through it in After Effects for a better shadow effect than I could get natively in Photoshop. And the rest is pretty much just text placement in Photoshop. Hope you like it! If you'd like me to do a poster or album cover for you, visit my contact page and let me know!

Some Current Work... by Christopher Downes

Over the past couple of weeks I've been storyboarding some animated opening titles for a pilot in development, and I thought I'd share some bits I'm pretty proud of (with permission, of course)...

These are just plain screen caps, of course, but I like the way the orange background (chosen to illuminate the white fills of the characters) really makes them pop. These could be great pictures in their own right, and it's just cool to be able to recognize some of the incidental art that occurs during the production process of some greater piece.

Should be moving to color and animation shortly, after a few more tweaks to the animatic. Looking forward to being able to share this with everyone! Hopefully the show gets picked up :)

Work Update by Christopher Downes

Just put the finishing touches on my background animations for one of the pilot projects I'm working on. Should have some more work to do on that one after it's composited in New York...then it's off to Adult Swim for the Yea or Nay! :D

Also beginning a second draft opening titles animatic for another series being shopped around! This one with a few more show-specific details added and many more characters. Looking forward to approval so I can start on the final art!

The comic is on hold due to the aforementioned workload. I'm having a blast, working on it when I can, but outside commitments have to come first. Still not sure which project will actually make it to the public first...

I also got a new idea for how to crack this screenplay I've been working on for ages...but that's for the far distant future. As in, it probably only exists in the Star Trek universe.

Doctor Roboto Color Test by Christopher Downes

Finally decided to color in one of my rough pages for Doctor Roboto's Neighborhood, just to test some design theories, color ideas, and speech bubbles. Some things obviously worked out better than others, and changes will definitely be made; but over all I think it worked out as I expected :) Look forward to more tests!

Workin' Man! by Christopher Downes

Oh man...I love being busy! I am also very conscious of how little I update this blog...which should hopefully be an indicator of my workload :)

I've been having a blast turning my old animated sitcom pilot into a comic book/graphic novel! The script has just been sitting around for ages, and I just finally decided I wanted to see it and share it, in whatever form I could manage. Animation would've been ideal, but would take me years and years, so... This comic is also taking a while, but I've decided to not give myself a deadline, and just focus on turning out something that is the best I can possibly manage. Currently doing a test coloring of one of my rough pages, just to test out a visual style. That should be up shortly!

Professionally, I'm in the process of wrapping up one project, and doing some boards on another. Can't share any details now, but be sure to look for links here, as soon as they're publicly available!

24-Hour Transmediathon starring Dock Doyle! by Christopher Downes

Hey all - I'm sure most of you are aware that from 4pm today through 4pm tomorrow I will be writing, voicing, and animating a piece for my buddy Steele Filipek's 24-Hour Transmediathon for the American Cancer Society. What is a transmediathon? Well, essentially, over this 24-hour period, I and several other (mostly NYC-based) artists, writers, and creatives of all stripes will be creating bits of the Dock Doyle universe over a wide range of media (thus "transmedia"). It will be as if this character has been around for most of the past century in all the forms of media that have existed in that time - radio plays, books, comics, music, cartoons, poetry, etc.

My piece will be a short cartoon in the style of 1970s Hanna-Barbera classics - mostly because they took a lot of shortcuts and I'm pretty confident I can get out one or two minutes of animation in that style done in a day. Also, since it's going to be a complete production, and not just animation, I will be playing the role of producer as well! I'd like to thank my friends Brian Carroll and Stephanie Tait for agreeing to help out with recording and voices, as well as my friend Nick Zingraf for helping out with some funky 70s-style bass licks to help complete the illusion. Ideally, this will end up being indistinguishable from a Hanna-Barbera cartoon actually produced in the 1970s.

However: As this is for charity - the idea of which being to raise funds to help fight cancer - I will not be posting this cartoon on my website or anywhere else online. If you'd like to see it, I strongly encourage you to donate as much as you can via our Crowdrise page. For as little as $5 you will receive the Dock Doyle ebook containing EVERY bit of the Dock Doyle universe created this weekend, including my cartoon.

As a bonus, I will also attempt to record a time-lapse screen-capture video of the entire production process - from writing to final edit - both as a window into my creative process and proof that I actually did this in the allotted timeframe :) This "behind the scenes" video may make it onto this site...

Anyway, thanks for reading all of that! Time to go take a nap and do some last minute wrist stretches...

The Show Reel is done! by Christopher Downes

Finally finished putting this together. Learning After Effects has increased by orders of magnitude what I am able to accomplish, both creatively and professionally, and this is the first real example of that. I felt it was huge enough both as an accomplishment and as a thorough compendium of the various artistic media in which I work that I gave it its own page (and made it the landing!).

Look forward to a lot more animation in the future, now that my workflow speed has been drastically increased, as well as live action special effects shots for various clients.

Anyway... Stop reading and start watching!

I feel like a magician :)

LightSpace // Store by Christopher Downes

Hey guys! So I just completed a run of designs I'm calling "LightSpace," based on actual Hubble images of nebulae and galaxies - treated and processed to look somewhat like watercolor paintings. It comes from an earlier attempt to do actual watercolor paintings of nebulae, but I just couldn't improve on nature :) I also opened up a shop at Society6 to display and produce them.

The designs are on dozens of products from art prints to t-shirts to iPhone cases to shower curtains. I hope you'll take a look and share or purchase if you find something you like. Enjoy!

Click the image to visit the store!

Click the image to visit the store!