Gary Kelley

One of the things I looked forward to the most when I was little, was visiting my grandmother. She lives in Annapolis Maryland, and one of the things she would always do with me and my siblings would be visiting the book store. In the Annapolis Barnes and Noble, there’s this glorious mural I fell totally in love with when I was little. It’s Gary Kelley’s Author Mural, usually found in most of the B&N cafes.

The mural is what got me into researching the classic authors and trying out some of their work, however if there was one thing I adored about it even to this day, it’s the atmosphere captured in the work itself. When I was younger, and didn’t quite know who these people were, I always thought it looked like they were having a wonderful time. There was a certain warmth in the scene that made me wish I could jump into it and meet everyone.

After searching for more of  Kelley’s work, I discovered that a majority of his paintings harbored the same welcoming, lively feeling. Not only that, but they all had that same smooth, American Modernism style of painting. This style has always been a favorite of mine, as a majority of the books I read growing up carried illustrations in that same style. It has always been a familiar look, and one I always associate with the pleasantness of childhood, and several good memories. I always catch myself glancing over at the cafe whenever I go to Barnes and Noble , hoping to see the familiar faces of the classic authors in that alluring style.

As for some information on Kelley, he was born in 1945 in Iowa, and also attended school there. He earned in B.A in art in the University of Northern Iowa, and focused his early career on graphic design. His work has been featured in several galleries internationally, and he has won 23 medals from the Society of Illustrators as well as the distinguished Hamilton King Award. He was added to the New York Society of Illustrators’ Hall of Fame in 2007.

Kelley has illustrated a number of books as well, including the Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Washington Irving, 1820), Tales of Mystery and Imagination (Edgar Allen Poe, 1849), and many others as well. He has worked with the NBA and NFL, Rolling Stone, and even with Playboy.

You can read more about Gary Kelley and his work on his website here:


Kelley, G. (2008). Dark Fiddler: The Life and Legend of Nicolo Paganini. [Pastel].

Kelley, G. (1996). Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allen Poe. [Pastel]

Kelley G. The Flow, [Oil on canvas]

Kelley G. Jimi Hendrix Blues [Oil on Canvas]

Kelley G. Springtime in Paris [Oil on Canvas]

Kelley G. Authors Mural [Oil, Mural]





Sneak peak of a candle animation I’m practicing. This was both a hassle and a ball. The fire was made using a 3D fluid container and the candle took about half an hour to model. the biggest problem I’ve been having is getting the glow to be bright enough, but I should have that covered soon.

Hopefully I’ll be able to sneak in sometime this week to get some renders done on the macs and upload all the animations I’ve done this summer.

Jean-Alphonse Roehan


(Two Women Disturbed by a Cat) by Jean-Alphonse Roehn, 19th century.)

I stumbled upon this one while avoiding my current doodle. Reading up on Roehan, I’m surprised to say I can’t find much on him. This is frustrating mainly because looking at more of his his Daily Life themed paintings, the lighting and composition of his work is truly incredible and probably the most natural looking I’ve ever seen.

Roehn was born in France in 1799 to the already known painter Adolphe Roehn. For a time, his father shared a house with the landscape artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. He began attending the National School of Fine Arts at the age of fourteen and studied with Regnault and Baron Gros. Initially, Roehn the Younger pursued more religiously themed paintings, however by 1827, he had shifted to gentler themes of everyday life and the occasional historical piece.


(Roehan the Painter and his Model)

Roehn went on to display his work on and off at The Salon in Paris until his death in 1864. His paintings exhibit gorgeous use of light as stated before, but there’s a certain spaciousness about his scenes that help capture the realism. The viewer feels more often as though they’ve interrupted a moment rather than observed it from their respectful distance behind the gallery line.


(Artist painting herself, Roehn, 19th century)


(A judgement in Paris, Roehn, 1857)

“Jean-Alphonse Roehn.” The Matthiesen Gallery. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 July 2017.

Tinterow, Gary. “Corot” Google books, Metropolitan Museum of Art 1996

Miller, N., Miller, N. and profile, V. (2017). Artist Painting Herself.

Starr, R., Haff, E. and Lamuniere, M. (2017). Jean Alphonse Roehn (French, 1799-1864) A Modern Judgment of Paris | Sale Number 2779B, Lot Number 339 | Skinner Auctioneers.


Smoke test

Playing with maya again and learning how to make smoke and lava. The lava was made using the nParticle tool. I played around with the liquid settings to give it a heavier, lava-like look to it, then transformed the particles into mesh. The smoke was made using the nFluid tool. It was a little more frustrating, but I feel I have a better grasp on it than I did the last time I messed around with it.



Summer Plans

I will not go outside. You cannot make me. Today a bee flew into my hair and I refuse to go through that again.

So this summer I will be playing with character rigging. I didn’t feel very accomplished this semester, so I gotta learn it all again. I’ll be using this good boy, Gengar. He’s a pretty fun pokemon to work with, as he’s mainly one big round shape. I’ll be rigging him tomorrow and then set to work playing with the animation principles.

Life Drawing: Character Design

For the final assignment of life drawing, we had to design a character. Luckily I had one sitting around that I wanted to improve a little bit, so I chose to subject my character Pepper to a little design update.

I first created Pepper last December quite by accident. I was trying to finish a painting for portfolio, and while putting on the final touches, I wound up giving him a backstory and a place in my current webcomic idea.


I loved his innocent look and the colors I chose, and I’ve been working on him ever since.

I started first by very quickly sketching out an extremely basic pose that showed off the color more than the actual design itself.


This was when Mike had us start drawing our characters in class, and I found that while I really loved Pepper’s outfit, it was insanely hard to work with. His massive sweater obscured most of his body, so it was difficult for me to draw any convincing poses. This led to some pretty atrocious attempts to work some action in,

After class, I went to Mike for some advice, and he told me that while the character looked very appealing-bearing sort of a Ferngully style-I seemed unsure of the design, and that I needed to develop a better idea of what I wanted the final appearance to be.

So unfortunately it was kind of back to the drawing board. I did actually take a bit of time to check out the Ferngully style. I only every saw the movie once in my life, so I didn’t remember a lot of how the characters appeared. To my surprise, I’ve found my style is actually sort of really similar. I have very mixed feelings about this.

When comparing Pepper to the Ferngully Fairies, I noticed there was a distinct similarity in the eyes and mouth. Both these features were enlarged to give a friendlier, kinker appearance. I think by studying Krysta’s face, I managed to get a better handle on Pepper’s features. They were also a point of frustration that I had.

Also considering that Pepper is a fairy as well looking at this cartoon style helped me design a better silhouette, a better outfit, and in general helped me figure out how to actually draw me character.

First I started by doing a 3/4 turn, and a front facing view of Pepper in his new outfit and slightly fixed features.



When compared to his  original design, this one works out a lot better if I were to animate it. There’s less unnecessary fabric to prevent viewers from seeing what he’s doing, the new outfit allows room for Anticipation in his movements and exaggeration, and the bulkiness in the boots and socks add a weight to the character that I think will allow some nice squash and stretch once I test a few shots of him. I also feel that Pepper’s face is a little better proportioned as well.


Once I’d gotten a feel for how he looked, it was time to apply some principles of animation. Mike wanted us to do four, so I chose Appeal, Pose to Pose, Staging, and Exaggeration. I chose these four because when it comes to Pepper’s character, he’s an incredibly energetic character with lots of bright colors to draw the eye.

Appeal: The Appeal of the character reflects the charisma and attitude of the character. It’s important that they stand out to the audience and keep the attention.

Exaggeration: With Pepper’s round, wide eyed face and lanky build, he’s able to be extremely expressive in his emotions and movements.

Pose to Pose: This was good practice to help express Pepper’s attitude.

Staging: This was a quick experiment to test color and posing. The first image is an example of that, as the eye is directed by the light and pose to Pepper’s bright face