Thursday, December 09, 2010

Arthur Christmas Teaser

The teaser trailer for Arthur Christmas is out. Click on the image above to watch. It's the first collaboration between Sony Pictures Animation and Aardman Production and I worked on the early development of this film. Below is my own "teaser" image, an early concept of the ship you just saw on the trailer. Enjoy.

All images ©Aardman/Sony Pictures Animation.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

CTN Animation Expo 2010

Photos (Clockwise from left): During my talk on "The Power of Thumbnails"; Good ol' Mark McDonnell; Kim Mackey; Dan Daly; Mitch "Skelanimals" Bernal; Joe Gilland and Jay Schuh. 
Colleagues with me at the Sony booth: James Williams, Judy Thomason, Mike Kurinsky, Luc Desmarchelier and Ken Maruyama.  Other friends and colleagues I saw: Jill Culton, Robh Ruppel, David Colman, Craig Harris, Ed Ghertner, Peter Mohrle, Ronnie Del Carmen, Lee Gramling, Nicolas Villareal, Betsy Bauer, Tuna Bora, Christopher Denise, etc. Overwhelmed by so much talent present in one single event and reviewed close to a hundred portfolios in a couple of days. Very nostalgic weekend for me specially seeing my  ex-Disney Feature Animation Florida colleagues. Looking forward to next year.

Again, special thanks to Tina Price and her crew for making this year's animation expo a success. More power to CTN.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Lighthouse: A Visdev Process

Last weekend I had the pleasure of doing a talk on visual development at Hyndol Art Academy. This Lighthouse sample was part of the presentation and thought I'd share it here on the blog. These artworks were done in actual pre-production but eventually never used.

Online research on New England lighthouse structures.

Shapes and Patterns Studies

 Often the simplest shot like this is more challenging since there's not much elements to play with. That's why thumbnail sketch is extremely valuable and most of the foundation is laid out in this stage. On this location, I purposely washed away a chunk of the island to break what could have been a boring shape. On a bigger note, it created a history for the island and paved way to putting the structure on stilts making it more interesting.

Values to Color
This is the shot layout that got a nod for exploration. I had to take the house structure on stilts out. Story revision calls for the character to live on top of the lighthouse. Its imperative to get the values squared away before getting into color.

Shape Revision

Style Exploration 
I was asked to try an Edward Hopper style for this.

Since exterior is somehow established and there's enough story information, I started detailing the top of the lighthouse primarily the interior.


Exterior Revision
Based from a story revision, I had to add more stairs outside. No need to repaint since we can still allude to the painted version for reference. 

After a month exploring this location, the whole story was scrapped in the end and this lighthouse never saw the light of day... except in my blog of course. Enjoy.

All images ©Sony Pictures Animation.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hyndol Art Academy

I'll be speaking at the Hyndol Art Academy Workshop in LA on October 2, 2010, Saturday at 2 pm.

Also, I be speaking at the CTN Animation Expo in November. More details coming.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


A doodle while taking a break. Done in PS.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Jon Schneck Website

My friend Jon Schneck gave me the privilege of illustrating the splash page for his newly "reskinned" website. The concept is creating a comic book cover absorbing everything about him: All-Star Converse, skinny jeans, red flanel shirt, trucker's hat, favorite guitar, guitar shop, a penguin, skateboard, Nashville, and a passion for Rubiks cube. Just for fun, I did a caricature of his band, Relient K, which I ended up using. Done is PS.

Check his website at

All images ©Armand Serrano & Jonathan Scneck.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

iPhone Paintings 8


Quick Brushes app painting while bored waiting at the dental office.
@Armand Serrano.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

"Lilo"-cized Environment

Location designs I did for my friend Tony Bancroft on a project he worked on a few years ago. The task is to "Lilo"-cize (or add a Lilo & Stitch flavor on) the environment. So I grabbed my good old prismacolor pencil and vellum paper (and a touch of PS of course). There were two different location design styles. The first four illustrates the "real world" where shapes and silhouettes are more rounded and friendly. The last two personify the "fantasy" world where it's sharp, pointed and dangerous. It was fun. 

All images ©Armand Serrano.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Woke up early  morning and had the urge to paint. Done in PS.
©Armand Serrano.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

RIP Frank Frazetta (1928-2010)

I would like to make an exception and post a master's illustration in memory of this genius. If there's one artist we greatly admire and keep trying to emulate, it's good old Frank Frazetta. Sad day...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Website Update

I finally updated my website two years after last one that I could remember! Since I was on it for a couple of late nights, I decided to go for a new look and overhaul the entire site. I embed a simple flash gallery that would make postings not a chore for me to do in the future. Click HERE to have a glimpse and enjoy.

Monday, April 19, 2010



Some environmental designs from a prehistoric neanderthal/cro-magnon project I was involved in at the studio three years ago that eventually got cancelled after almost a year in active development. Done in Photoshop. All images ©Sony Pictures Animation.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Sherman

A quick doodle while waiting for a production meeting. Old tanks has always been a fascination and a favorite subject to draw as a kid. Done in Painter X. 
©Armand Serrano.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Alice In Wonderland: Jabberwocky Concept Designs

©Armand Serrano.
A couple of years ago when Sony Imageworks was ramping up work on Disney's Alice In Wonderland, Visual Effects supervisor Ken Ralston invited myself and Marcelo Vignali to do some concept designs on any character of our choice for the film. This was just a one day gig for both of us and here's some of my quick takes on the Jabberwocky.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Something Different: Maryoku Yummy

©Armand Serrano and American Greetings.
Dug while organizing my hard drive. Three years ago, my friend Paitoon introduced me to Kelly Grupczynski, the creative director at American Greetings while they're starting on the Maryoku Project. Obviously totally different from what I do everyday. Viewed it as a challenge and did some designs for them to create the world where these cute, tiny creatures live in. Honestly it was a stretch since I'm not used to this cutsie, appealing-to-little girls kind of style. Hey, I learned from these and happy how they turned out. Enjoy.
@Armand Serrano and American Greetings.