Not Robert Cumberford

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A failed car designer tries to make sense of a flat design world.

A pie in the oven.

Sunbeam 1000 hp Land Speed Record car

You know how cooking shows always seem to have a perfect version of the final cooked dish waiting in the oven? Artists need them sometimes too.

This is my “pie in the oven” for an Autodesk Sketchbook Pro demonstration that I’m giving tomorrow at the Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam. Even though I’ll be doing a real-time walkthrough of my process for creating a digital illustration in SBP, it always helps to have a version that you know will come out right in the end. This illustration of the 1926 Land Speed Record setting Sunbeam “1000 hp” car took me about 2 hours to complete and uses various techniques that I’ll be able to highlight during my presentation if my “drawing hand” doesn’t show up when I do tomorrow afternoon.

Tricks of the trade aren’t just for celebrity chefs.

A Walk in the Snow

A major storm this past weekend dumped upwards of 20 inches of snow on Philadelphia for the second time this winter, causing major disruptions and cancellations for everyone. Despite this, the timing and absolutely gorgeous weather that followed the storm urged my wife and I to take a little walk around the neighborhood to take in the sunshine.

It was such a perfect day that I wanted to record a video of our little adventure as a memory (my wife is 7 months pregnant), but we don’t own a video camera or even a decent point and shoot with video capabilities. Instead, I decided to use my Canon EOS Rebel XSi DSLR to take the video. Only problem? It doesn’t do video. So I decided to do the whole thing as a stop-motion film, taking more than 1200 still photos and arranging them into the little video you see here. I just dropped them into iMovieHD (yes, the OLD version) and then added the titles in Photoshop Extended (yes, Photoshop does video quite well, thank you). The result is the little 4-minute video you see here.

To get the full effect of using an DSLR to shoot video (which many, or most even, are now capable of), jump on over to YouTube and check it out in full 720p HD.

Follow my Christmas card progress!

So last year I dropped the ball on my Christmas card. It was the first time in years that I didn’t produce something worthy of public consumption and it’s been buggin me ever since.

This year will be different.

I’ve started early and I’m feeling good about it. Already have the setting and the car picked out and sketching has begun in earnest. I’m going to try to keep updating this blog with snippets of my work progress until the final card is ready in early December.

As you can see from the sketches, I’ve chosen a 1955 Jaguar D-type longnose (Le Mans winner) as the car. The location will be unveiled in my next post.

Stop back often for updates!

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SketchBook Pro goes mobile

I’ve been playing with it for months on my iPhone, but now it’s gone public – Autodesk’s Sketchbook Mobile is coming to the app store. A fantastic addition to the digital designer’s workflow, this is the drawing app you’ve been waiting for if you’re a professional designer or digital artist.

Check out Carl Alviani’s article about it on Core77, and I’ll be putting up my impressions soon.

Sketching with Brushes

Inspired by Jorge Colombo’s cover of the June 1, 2009 issue of  The New Yorker, I did a quick sketch in my living room using the Brushes app on my iPhone. Although it’s far from cover-worthy, it is fun to play with and a great tool for forcing looseness into your sketching.

iphone-chair-sketch-for-blog

Abruzzo nel cuore.

With everything that’s been happening in Abruzzo recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about Teramo. I have lots of friends I made when I lived there that I still keep in touch with through Facebook, and I spoke to my cousins after the earthquake to make sure everyone was ok (they are, even the ones who live in L’Aquila). All of the Italian community in Philly has been asking what they can do to help, and I haven’t had an answer.

I still don’t, but I saw today that Abruzzese Formula 1 driver Jarno Trulli has started a charity, supported by the F1 community, to help out the quake victims, called Abruzzo Nel Cuore (Abruzzo in our hearts). It’s written on the side of Ferrari’s cars for the race in China today and there’s a website abruzzonelcuore.org where you can donate directly to his charity. Pretty cool way to help out. And it made me think.

Abruzzo is in my heart, all the time. My year there shaped who I am today, molded my personality, and taught me about art, so I thought I’d do a little sketch of Teramo to show that we’re all thinking about them and we’re here to help however we can. I encourage other artists who have been inspired by the region to do the same thing and hopefully we can keep Abruzzo in our hearts, and in the public awareness, until the people of L’Aquila and the other towns affected by the quake have gotten back on their feet.

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More sketching…

Ok, these aren’t really coming in order, but I thought I’d post my favorite recent sketch next.

This is a morning sketch of my office after a night on the sofa. Still just getting back into the groove of sketching with a rollerball in a sketchbook. It’s been so long.

Sketch is done with a Pilot Precise rollerball in a hand•book 5.5 inch square sketchbook (from Dick Blick)

sketch-officemorning

Jumping out of my ‘skine

Ok, so all the cool kids are posting their sketchbook pages these days, so I thought I would too. I’ve been trying to sketch more regularly to get out of my keyboard and mouse mentality, and although the results have been mixed, I thought I’d start to post them when they go well. Here’s the first of several I’ve done recently and that are awaiting posting.

Done in Moleskine 5 x 8.5 inch sketchbook with Pilot Precise Rollerball.

the mantle in our living room.

The Truth About Logos

A commendable car blog called The Truth About Cars has asked its readership to submit logo designs for the site. Typically, I would consider this an affront to designers (and maybe it is), but I have a lot of respect for them and what they stand for (completely unbiased and brutally honest auto reviews and news), so, despite my better judgment, I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring and design a little something for them as well. I can use all the publicity I can get for my designs.

Maybe if I win their contest they’ll buy my Christmas Cards next year to send out.

The Truth About Cars logo proposal

The Truth About Cars logo proposal

Sketchbook Pro 2010 announced

©2009 Andrew Meehan

©2009 Andrew Meehan

I’ve been a beta-testing Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro for years now (since version 2), so I’m really excited to see the new version (2010) is getting released soon. Sketchbook is a lightweight, fast, digital sketching software that I use every day in my workflow. If you’ve never tried it, you owe it to yourself to download the free trial here.

There’s also a great article outlining some of the new features coming out in the 2010 release on Autodesk’s AREA. The ellipse and rulers have changed my life.

This is really a great product that not a lot of artists and designers know about, and that’s a shame. So check it out. It’s cheap, it’s great, and you’ll never go back to sketching in Photoshop.