Teaching at the PARC

Are you a teenager interested in inventing? Going through the process of finding inspiration, sketching ideas, and making a model.  I will be teaching a six week course on Product Design. It will focus on the artistic processes used by Industrial Designers as they work to create and define a product.  Click on the link below for more information. 

Maple finds a Racoon

Lorene calls me out of bed from the back yard at 5:00am to break up the fight between Maple and a racoon!  She let out the dog thinking she had to pee, but apparently it was because she smelled the critter!

No, big damage just a few scratches, very lucky, lessons learned about how and when to let her out.

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When I meet the Wizard

Listening to Wicked as I work. Loving the soundtrack.  I have not seen this in the theater yet but it looks like it is coming in October.  My favorite is "Gravity" or maybe "Popular" looking forward to seeing this when it comes around. 

Time for a Drink

We went downtown to the library to pick up a movie for the night.  Such a beautiful evening downtown Plymouth. Perfect weather, and people were out enjoying the evening.  As Lorene and I sat talking near the fountain, a little guy was walking with his dog nearby.  His dog was a large lab who could easily lead if he wanted. But this dog followed with each tug of the leash, very cute. They stopped at the fountain. It was like the boy was explaining a fountain and what it was for as the lab silently gestured questions...a nice night out. 

Feeling Anxious

Saturday morning sketch, feeling a little anxious this morning.  Looks like I may need to have some surgery on my leg injury.  Not feeling great about this.  So this sketch was just a reaction to stress. Putting a face to what I feel is coming up from behind.  Maybe it's not so scary after all, just feels uncomfortable now.  Time to get to work, have an Alias(CAD) model to finish today along with concept sketches.  Also need to work on a drawing class for kids.  If you have a favorite podcast or blog for kids let me know in the comments.  Thanks

Ethan's FT-Mig3 Scratch Build

Almost finished and ready to fly, still need battery, receiver and extra propellers and wheels. Flying with the local RC club on Wednesday nights.  Summer is half over and he has been focused.  He is doing a great job.  My trooper!

Natalie's new dress

After shopping with Mom and Grandma, she shows off her new dress. Natalie you are so very beautiful! Dad moment....


Invited up north for a weekend on the lake.  The kids spent the whole time on the water. Ethan caught fish and went tubing and Natalie too........faster! 

lean into the turn, and gun it!!!

You are King, design your Throne!

Designing for yourself, what do you like? ...or design for a character of your own making. How do you communicate personality, emotion, character using color, shape, symbols, materials, forms?....then build it!

We had about 18 young designers from 9 years old to 12ish in our workshop.  We talked about Industrial Design and how we work. How we start by defining "key attributes".  

-Who are we designing for? Yourself or a character of your own making?

-What is important to that person? Features?Color?Appearance? 

-How do you convey these attributes in the shape, color and the forms you chose?  

-How do you build a prototype?



Library Visit tonight

I will be trying out another session with the Canton Library tonight.  I have developed simple paper models as a basis for designing a King or Queen's throne.  These are small four inch tall models that allow for a good deal of creative design freedom.  Students will design a character and identify the key characteristics that they want to embody in the design of his or her Throne. The Public Library has been very helpful as I develop this trial course.  Wish me luck.

No Hobbies ...

After a long time away from this event I went, last night, for a live drawing session.  I am not a young kid, but as I scanned the room, I was feeling 20yrs younger than the rest.  Am I walking into a senior's knitting circle?   Oh well, it's just a couple hours.  One of the members mentioned while munching on a brownie, "well what else are you going to do on a Friday night?" ...really?...But then we did some drawing...  

I met a veteran storyboard artist with tons of great work to share. He was eager to show me his work and all I could think was, this incredible talent (in this mid 70's) thirsty to talk with someone who can relate to topics like composition, materials, techniques.

Showing work to neighbors, " they just stand there for an hour while you draw?" ...yes, yes they really do.  Not making fun, but sometimes I feel so removed from the rest of the world tying to do this type of work.  I don't have "hobbies" ...I don't need to find things to "keep me busy" this is it.  I don't worry about keeping the house "curb appeal" or manicuring the lawn.  I hate small talk.  I notice how quickly the conversations change after mentioning something I enjoy back to "other" topics. aarrrrgh!   I don't want a skill that is predicated on understanding some corporate bureaucracy.  Nothing against those that do...I am just starting to scratch the surface of developing skill in visualization.  This  storyboard guy has forgotten more than I know.   It was a good night.

Morning with Maple

Ethan and Maple in the morning.  Maple (hound dog) has taken to coming up stairs a bit more often at night.  Once in a while she will be willing to get up into bed and sleep with the boy at night.

Another little Adventure...

Another little Adventure...

A storyboard narrated by Natalie about our Dungeons and Dragons adventure.

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A boy and his dog

Just a late night sketch.  Recently joined SCBWI society of children's book writers and illustrators. Had a good conference in Lansing last weekend all about Marketing, cross promotion and building a network.  My concern is getting on a regular schedule of sketching.  I have been very erratic in my work lately. I have to get on track with my schedule. 


Ethan turned into a wizard and Natalie the warrior...our neighbor broke out thirty year old books and figures to entertain the kids in a little D&D...I drew as the kids played.  Here was the initial character studies for their roles.

Drawing Classes

It's a lot of good fun. It starts out a little timid at times but when the juices get going it becomes a free for all.

Our Big Adventure

We played Dungeons and Dragons a few nights ago.  While Natalie made a dungeon and story, Ethan and I played our characters. Natalie was a little light on the descriptions so I began to draw what I imagined...this is the result.  Some gaps in the story and character development but it was fun to try keeping pace with the descriptions and story as we played...

On the Bridge

Working on more dramatic sequences.  Plus simple emotional gestures with simple shading.  Quick studies and fluid sketching to highlight camera shots. 

This drama is all about the moment of letting go.  Camera angles and pushed perspective hope this is working.

This drama is all about the moment of letting go.  Camera angles and pushed perspective hope this is working.

Initial sequence with the idea of the note in hand driving the scene

Initial sequence with the idea of the note in hand driving the scene

A trip to the Park

A quick storyboard for a trip to the park. 

-she asks if he would like directions...he misses exit ...but all ends well with shots of the park.

This references a park in Ohio called Hocking Hills..

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