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22 / Sep / 2017

New web!

Hello guys! As you may have noticed already menguao looks different today! I´m feeling sexy! jajajaa… Thanks to my big friend Juan, from Habitación Desdoblada, who has made an amazing job! Thanks so much mate! With no further delay (this is absurd, you´re already in it jajaja…) I´m excited to share with you my new website! Taraaaaaaaaaaaa…!!! Menguao is now more clear, organized and fuctional than ever. Originally I conceived this as a blog (in Christmas, 2008), inspired by artists like Enrico Casarosa or Ronnie del Carmen whom at the time were sharing extremely interesting material, thoughts and comments about art in the animation industry, with the artist community and anyone interested. So I just wanted to do the same thing and started my own blog so I also could kept a sort of diary of my career and at the same time share it with anyone. It was only a couple of years ago that I decided to add a portfolio section for clients, something I most probably should have done years ago. The neverending portfolio, if you´re an artist too you know what I´m talking about… I want to work in interesting projects, more and more every day […]
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28 / Ago / 2017

Back from holidays 2017

So back from holidays and already fulfilled with energy for the upcoming course. But before looking forward I always like doing some resume of the past course´s most interesting projects. Here you go a little tutti frutti made out of eighther professional and personal work, including a couple of images of upcoming projects mixed in between. Welcome back everybody! Guardar
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04 / Ago / 2017

Painting with light & color with Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi: Week 9 (the end).

Lesson 9: Intro to colorscript. Hi guys, this would be the last post on my path through this amazing schoolism course. It´s week 9 and it´s time to show all the things we´ve learned. This lesson is called introduction to colorscript wich is cool ´cause makes it sound like there would probably be a second part for this course somewhen in the future. Maybe one mainly focused in colorscript? That would be so great… Ey Robert & Dice! Are somewhere listening? A 2nd part for this would be awesoooooooome! Thank you! You never loose nothing for asking, right? 🙂 I finished this course almost 9 months ago and when I did I wrote a good bye letter at the end of it so I´m not gonna repeat myself and say good bye here once again (you can read the letter if you´re interested at the end of the exercise), so I just wanna thank you all for joining me through these weeks and I hope you´ve enjoyed it as much as me. Ok! Back to work! So this week we were provided with a alternate open sequence of The Dam Keeper and we were asked to choose 3 to 5 […]
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01 / Ago / 2017

Painting with light & color with Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi: Week 8.

Lesson 8: Story & color. Lighting in order to tell a story is the main theme of this course and here we are, at week 8 (one more to go and it´s the end) and already putting into practice all the stuff we´ve learnt through out the course. We were asked to paint 3 different still life paintings and use one of them to set 3 new lighting situations (putting the pig character into the scene) in order to suggest a mood, a story… something else than the scene itself. We also had to provide photo references from the life paintings as well as for the lighting variations. This was the first time I moved my laptop from my desktop and I adventured myself into a whole new world: the kitchen, the living room and my bedroom. I´ve tried many times after finishing this course going outdoors with my laptop to paint and I´ve always found it very hard. You have to find an interesting place to paint, it has to be comfortable, dark (at least at the shadows) and more or less quiet to be able to focus properly in your work. I don´t know, maybe I´m too lazy […]
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21 / Jul / 2017

Painting with light & color with Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi: Week 7.

Lesson 7: Lighting, atmosphere and other stuff. Week 7 was similar than week 6 but working with color. We needed to paint 5 different landscapes studies and choose 2 of them. With the first one we had to achieve useful qualities for storytelling using adjustment layers. With the other one we had to light for the shadows and then for the lights using exposure. Once again we were asked to use photo reference to inspire the mood for the scenes. I also used photo reference for the landscapes, taken by my friend Elena Nájar Parente. I tryied different brushes than the Tonko House ones, just to feel the technique was fitting other kind of brushes. I found yeah, it does, but you need them to have some transparency. This is the work, painting from reference la la la laaaaaaa…. So this is the first one chosen. It´s pretty loose, I think I could have worked on it harder but I remember I was more focused on getting the right colors. Anyway the photo is so good I think it makes its job. I almost did nothing with this. Only by desaturating and darkening the image I got the mood for […]
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14 / Jul / 2017

Painting with light & color with Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi. Week 6.

Lesson 6: Telling a story. This week was about using lighting in order to tell a story or create a mood for a scene. We had to choose 3 different still life enviroments and paint them in color, then choose one and convey a story using only values. We were asked to do it in a neutral difused light, black and white, then paint 3 different lighting situations to change the feeling of the story. I got it wrong 🙁 so I painted 3 different scenes, then did the black/white thing and at last I painted 3 different lighting situations for each one of them. Anyway, despite of the fact that I didn´t understand exactly what the teachers were asking (and this is a very important thing when illustrating profesionally, careful!), I got the main point and I worked more than I was sopposed to. And at the end it worth it. I decided to paint from photo reference (taken by myself or friends) to have more freedom in choosing the enviroments. I also decided to use Tonko House characters to “humanize” the scenes (the truth is a wanted to use those characters so bad… ;). Finally we had to […]
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07 / Jul / 2017

Painting with light & color with Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi. Week 5.

Lesson5: Color. Same thing as last week, but this time in color. Painted from life. *It says lesson 4 in all the images: my mistake, it´s lesson 5. Pretty simple. I remember I thought maybe I was pushing myself too much and I felt like I was hidding my limitations by putting too many objects into my paintings (then too many strokes, too many colors…). So I decided that day I would paint only one onion. I found it was work enought. Then I forgot and the next day I went back to old habits jajajajaja… I like the glasess ´thought. Similar colors. Good exercise. Is one of the things that drives me crazy in my illustration since I don´t use too many lines. Working on reflective and transparent materials. One interesting thing Robert said about this, is that many times when it comes to glows and reflections some artist paint them as if they were simbols, like in the comic books, you know? And that´s totally truth. I´ve done it many times. Never came to my mind while painting, that a polished enought surface could show/reflect colors from objects and things around. And that´s something I ovbiously know, but […]
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17 / Jun / 2017

Painting with light & color with Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi. Week 4.

Values for different lighting situations. At this point is when the good stuff starts. Robert & Dice work in animation doing colorscript (among many other things) so there were times when they had to put one same scene into different lighting situations. That´s something we all had to do at some point in our careers and it´s very painful to have to repaint the hole work just to change the lighting. I don´t know if they came to this tecnique all by themselves or they took it from someone else, and honestly I really don´t care, but the thing is it´s a very easy and fast way of working. By using basically hue/saturation masks and playing weather making them overlayed, multiplied, colored… you´re now able to change the basic lighting situation and only having to repaint a little bit. This week was about value and we had to work in a greyscale so it doesn´t look so spectacular, but I think the change between each lighting situation is there. I believe it´s an extremely helpful knowledge to achieve for any of us. Once I got to understand the technique I was able to add it into my working process. Now […]
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19 / May / 2017

Painting with light & color with Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi. Week 3.

Materials. And back to color. I started by painting my first work in this course from natural and this is when I realised the big difference. It´s the first image, a still life of my desktop. Materials: transparent (glass), opaque (cardboard box) and semi reflectant (lamp). I had a lot of trouble with this one. I´m a color blind (awful and unaccurate word) so when hues are similar and with low saturation of color I suffer a little bit. This still life was pretty hard for me and I found the result very poor, but the good thing is that at that point I had already accepted that I was most probably going to do a few shitty paintings so I was open for that to happen… as it did… few times jajajajaja… I found this one of the breaking points I went through during the course. Take my word: acceptance of doing some really bad works is useful and it´s gonna save you a lot of suffering. Same thing works the other way, great success shouldn´t concern you a lot neither. Here are my paintings. See the difference? Color look more accurate from photo reference, looks better but you […]
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12 / May / 2017

Painting with light & color with Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi. Week 2.

Value simplification. So in this week we needed to start the work by only painting 3 values, save this first step and then moving on and finish it. Greyscale: darkest dark, lighter light and predominant value. The spirit for this exercise is rule number one in art: go from general to particular. I think simplicity is one of the most important thing I seek in life in general and so I do the same in artwork. I´m always looking forward to it in my own work and love to see that in others. For me it´s all about comunicating and connecting with others. As I grow as an artist I tend to pay more atention to what I am trying to say and I´m less worryied about myself. This exercise is fastastic for stablishing the painting in the firsts minutes of work: both elements and lighting. It´s more difficult to do when you´re not painting from natural (or photo) and you need to imagine everything. I don´t know how is it for you guys, but for me, when I´m working from my head, I need to construct the image. Doesn´t work like I already have one in my head and […]
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