Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Micro Rex Thumbnails
My friend Cat and I were discussing the importance of showing failures, especially the kind that pave the way to final "finished" artwork. Here are some explorational sketches for the Micro Rex paintings, most of which were altered to make the story point clearer.

The Micro Micro Rex: I wanted to see what the series would look like lined up in sequence, so I did these teeny-tiny thumbnails.

The original concept for A Visit from Mr. Odonata was Rex meeting a caterpillar on a mushroom, a little homage to one of my favorite Disney films. Ultimately, a dragonfly was an easier idea to run with (literally).

Unused story ideas include Micro Rex exploring behind a waterfall and an alternate death: swimming with a hungry Elasmosaur.

The second piece, Shoo Fly!, was pretty much the same from concept to execution. The composition was slightly altered to allow for more space.


Dino Soars was originally intended as an up-shot of Micro Rex leaping over us. I changed the perspective when I decided to have Micro leaping over a tarpit wth a Dalorean in it. Ultimately, I ditched the Dalorean (mostly because it distracted from the main story, but also because it was too hard to draw).

I toyed around momentarily with doing Micro Raptor instead (seen upper-left).

First Kill was surprisingly hard to stage. I kept getting notes from my friend that it was difficult to read the dragonfly under Micro's foot, and nobody could tell that it was a leg in his mouth, or what he was looking at in the background.

Ultimately, I had to give the dragonfly a clear silhouette on the ground and use color to pop Micro on the cliff away from the distant pterosaurs on the beach in the background.


This damn piece was the most difficult and the most fun. I really wanted that feeling of a puppy chasing birds on a beach, and that sudden spontaneous commotion of a flock taking flight. I'm not sure if it worked in the final piece, Rex on the Beach, but it was a blast sketching tons of pterosaurs.


The final painting, The Ill-Fated King, was planned pretty much from the beginning, and had the simplest staging of all. The challenge was to make the final painting as clear as the original thumbnail.


Other story ideas involved Micro Rex rough-housing with a bullfrog, and exploring a Triceratops herd.

If anyone's wondering what happens to our little pal after he gets dropped into the Anhanguera nest, don't worry. That's the beach where Voldemort hides all his horcruxes, and the He Who Must Not Be Named came to Micro's rescue. Anhanguera kedavra!



10 days...

7 comments:

Jay said...

Very cool, thanks for sharing these. It's always interesting to see the creative process behind finished pieces. I enjoyed Micro-Rex's adventures. Here's hoping he snatches victory from the jaws -er, at his feet!

Megan Nicole Dong said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing..I love seeing how different artists think things through/create solutions. And btw the series looked awesome in person at the gallery!

Jeremy Spears said...

These are great to see man! Your pieces were so awesome in the show! Wish we had more time to hang out!

Sam Gilmore said...

I love, love, love seeing sketches. It's always revealing to see the creative process at work. Cool stuff Austin.

Drie said...

Very cool - I loved seeing your ideas and progress. And I LOVE your sketch of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named!

Munchanka said...

Jay- You're welcome. I love seeing artist sketches, too. Especially at the back of graphic novels. As for Rex's victory, see the bottom of the post!

Megan- Thanks, it was great running into you and Chris. Feel free to contribute to the Chades Challenge any time!

Jeremy- Definitely! Next time I come down, we need to go sketching.

Sam- Thanks! I'll have to post more rough work in the future.

Drie- Grazie. I actually have a few more drawings of him. I went on a Dark Lord tangent one morning in Cars 2 dailies.

Courtney Pearson said...

I've really enjoyed watching Micro-Rex's journey unfold! I also have a real love for dinosaurs and your work is definitely a favourite of mine!

Thanks so much for sharing!! ^^