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Always Animated



BOBBY DOGS was over around 11:00 pm, and the evening was not over...THE BIG CHILL PARTY was next on the agenda. THE BIG CHILL was shot in Beaufort twenty five years ago. So to celebrate a party themed after the film was held at the PRINCE OF TIDES house which overlooks the water. The party had been in progress since 9:00 pm- so it was winding down by then...but it was still very lively!

We ended up having a 40 minute tour of this historic house from the owners Gwen and Scott. The entire house so incredible...the lower level was built in the 1700's!

J.W. Rone emceed the evenin and it was lively, quirky and a really fun. The night ended with more food, coffee and J.W. playing a wicked harmonica with the band.

It was a great weekend! I have to thank Liz Mitchell, J.W. Rone, Christine Hipp, J.W.'s wife Jennie, Ron Tucker and everyone at the Film Council, the Arts Council and Habersham for their hard work, dedication and positive approach at time when the weather did not cooperate.

The Beaufort Kaleidoscope was really amazing!!!


Animation from Character Design for Teens from the Jepson Arts Center

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Heres some animation from a CHARACTER DESIGN FOR TEENS workshop held at the Jepson Center for the Arts - a part of the Telfair Museum.

The students had a great time exploring different aspects of animation from 2D to Stop Motion. This represents the work of 4 classes.

Many thanks to each of the students (Charish, Olivia, Stephanie, Kelsea and Jeremy) for their hard work and talents.

Thanks also to the folks at the Jepson, especially Studio Coordinator, Torrey Stifel and Kent Braun from Digicel and the FLIPBOOK software.

A very SPECIAL THANKS to Michelle Armstrong (Lauria) - an excellent musician and daughter-in-law for her wonderful music and singing.


Cartoon Hand Demo

Someone emailed about our upcoming ONLINE lessons and asked specially about cartoon hands and how to construct them. So here is a demo - hot off the camera - on the topic.

Our online lessons will be out soon...

Thanks for asking!

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We received notification that OUR WORLD was one of FOUR finalists in the animated short category at the Beaufort Film Festival- a part of a four day event called THE BEAUFORT KALEIDOSCOPE in beautiful town Beaufort, South Carolina - less than an hour from Savannah.

Beaufort has a rich film history as a location with THE BIG CHILL, THE GREAT SANTINI, FOREST GUMP, PRINCE OF TIDES and THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER being shot in that area. In the BIG CHILL, when Kevin Kline and friends take their morning jog - it is through downtown Beaufort, SC.

Here's a look at one of their posters....

A recent OUR WORLD card...just found out last week the producer and good friend Alexandra Ohlsen is engaged to be married.


Animation Freek Boy Head Demo

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Here is a brand new character- for now, he is Animation Freak boy. Here is a demo of his head construction beginning with simple forms and then just adding and adding and adding.

The expression on the Freek Boy allows me to demonstrate the facial mask and how the brows control the eye shapes.

These characters will be used for handouts and demos for our new online animation course.


I am Teaching Animation Workshops at the Jepson Center in Savannah

Character Design for Teens (Ages 13-16) New!
Experience the art of animation in this overview session for teens. Participants will explore the basics of animation, weight, speed, timing, etc, through the creation of flipbooks, stop-motion projects, clay character-animation, and drawing. The student will be the animator and director!

Instructor: Larry Lauria
Materials included. $80 members/$90 non-members
Limit 15 students
Thursdays 4pm-6pm

Character Design for Adults Ages 17+ New!
Based on the Jepson Center exhibition Leadership: Oliphant Cartoons and Sculpture from the Bush Years, Character Design will teach you techniques to sketch and design cartoon characters. Hailing from the Disney Institute, seasoned animator Larry Lauria will guide you through the basics of animation and cartoon character development.



Okay, so I'm a bit late with the New year greetings. We spent Christmas and New Years in New York City with our son and his wife.

It was the first time we had two weeks to explore NYC - most of the time it was quick trips to recruit or use post-production facilities. As the saying goes, "I love New York". We had a wonderful two weeks exploring Queens and Manhattan. No better place to be in the U.S. during the holidays than a large city.

This first sketch is an early compilation of our New York activities.

We stayed in Astoria, Queens and it was an easy 10 minute subway ride into "Midtown". It reminded us so much of Europe- we were smack, dab in the middle of the Greek section - it was aterrific holiday.


Another Christmas Bumper from the Past

Here is another Christmas bumper we did as part of a package of holiday bumpers....long ago. The Currier and Ives look was achieved by our art director/ B.G. artist, Michael Lowery. These were early in his career and Michael always did a terrific job of translating into color some of our wacky ideas.

By the way...that final shot trucks out from a 10 field to a 23 field on the Christmas bulb.



As Requested...Here is the two-legged character demo from way back and MY Christmas List of Best Animation

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Here is My Christmas list of My Favorite Holiday Animation....enjoy...

Peace on Earth by MGM's Hugh Harmon and Rudolph Ising (1939) nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

Cosmic Christmas by Nelvanna directed by Frank Nissen

A Wish for Wings that Work (1991) Universal TV Animation, director Skip Jones

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Chuck Jones

A Peanuts Christmas by Charles Schulz Produced by Bill Melendez

Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Disney Studios,1983, directed by Burny Mattinson

Ziggy’s Gift directed by Richard Williams (1982)


A Pencil Test from the TONY seq. of OUR WORLD

This is a pencil test of the TONY sequence from the animated film OUR WORLD. It was not included in the final because we had enough sequences between longer pieces of animation. If OUR WORLD is an ongoing project- then it will be added later...

All of my animation was shot in FLIPBOOK software by Digicel.

This is RUFF animation and the timing was changed in certain areas after this test...see if you can find what we changed...


Freddy's Christmas

Sometime last century, a small animation studio on the outskirts of Washington D.C. was a hub of activity. This animated clip motivated their entire process. It was the first animation produced by the Animation House, Inc. in Alexandria, Virginia.

The staff grew from 1 to 6 in about three weeks and on to about 40 artists. keep in mind this was back in the animation stone age when animation was draw by pencil in hand, those drawings inked onto cels and those cels with their beautiful hand-painted backgrounds shot under a camera stand one frame at a time....ahhhhhhhhhh, the good old days.


Raul O Leary, filmmaker

Here is a cartoon sketch of a filmmaker friend of mine Raul O Leary. We first worked together on the North/South of Ireland project ANIMAGIC! The idea of ANIMAGIC spawned from the CINEMAGIC Film Festival in Belfast and Derry (known as Londonderry to some folks.)

Anyhow, Raul was instrumental to the animation that appeared between the animated sequences. Raul was GREAT! He never complained and just did his work.

The cartoon sketch here depicts him in his new role from his new live-action project IN SEARCH OF OSAMA.

Hopefully, I can get a hold of some footage and place it on the site or give a link to his site.

Raul spent three years on his quest, it is ALL shot POV (point of view).


An Answer to a Question about Cute Little Girls characters

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This the answer to an email I received today regarding the construction and design of Cute Little Girl Characters.

The request wanted a simple character that could be made into a CG character.

As always I began with 3D type construction to breakdown the character into simple forms and then "play" from there.

Besides the sketch I drew for the demo- I added a few more ideas...

It came at a good time for me so I jumped right in and there you go...


Sitting in the Underground

Cafes and Coffeehouses!

I really enjoy a good cafe or coffeehouse - not particularly for the beverages - but for the scene. They are great places to people watch and to sketch people. With practice, it is easy to glance at someone- get their attitude or pose or face and transfer that via pen and waterbrush to a sketch book.

Here are a couple pages from the UNDERGROUND coffeehouse (on Main and Coffee Streets) in Greenville, SC.

The Underground IS underground. A wonderful basement level cafe with tables and chairs and couches and a stage for night-time events, films  and performances...and they are expanding!

It is a great place to draw!

More to come...still animated!


More Art from the Holiday

Our holiday was very relaxing and it gave me a chance to enjoy "being lazy" and having some fun with my sketching...

everything from ink and watercolors to different types of pencils.
Here are a few more....

The blue thumbnail in the upper right corner is now a Christmas Card.

Another sketch that turned into a Ty B. Bear Christmas card

More art later...


Thanksgiving Holiday in the Mountains

The second part of the trip was to Greenville, SC. We stayed at a hotel and reserved tickets for the national traveling troupe of MY FAIR LADY at the Peace Center. Greenville is such a beautiful town- with a natural waterfall downtown and then there are the cafes, shops and galleries strewn about the city. The town featured an old fashioned Christmas Market and a Festival of Trees (decorated Christmas trees throughout the city). It was a great way to ease into Christmas Holidays.

More art on the way!


Happy Thanksgiving Day to Everyone!

My warmest wishes to everyone for a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

Here is my latest painting - just completed a couple of days ago... two more in the hopper and more on the way. The Thanksgiving break will give me more time to be with family and to draw...

While living in Ireland we had to go to the butchers, choose a bird (hanging in the window) with feathers and the parts still on...have it plucked, gutted, cleaned and dressed.

We would ALWAYS have Irish friends and students over to celebrate our American Thanksgiving!

Enjoy your Turkey Day!


The Importance of PLAY

This week has been dedicated to painting...and some real progress has been made with two paintings finished this far.
With that said, I have been receiving a bunch emails about character design and construction.

With character design one of the most important elements is PLAY.

Ward Kimball once told me he did about 300 designs to get Jimminy Cricket...The character began very much as an insect and worked it's way to the little dude with the tophat.

Here are few fun sketches I found as I was going through some drawings...these are play sketches with no particular purpose in mind except to just play with some character ideas.


Anticipation - a different twist

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This recent video is a natural demo for ANTICIPATION...well not really, but it's a cool trick my son, Matt came up with...

I added some animation and a short video of the individual drawings- just for the heck of it!

Keep in mind, ANTICIPATION accomplishes:

1. An anticipation the audience with you...

2. An anticipation prepares the audience...

3. An anticipation helps build momentum for an action or movement...

Remember: most movements should begin with an anticipation...

For more info go to:


An Event Honoring Walter Lantz and Woody Woodpecker

A few days ago I received an email regarding this event in Los Angeles on July 11th

Here is the link to a site for FREE tickets and more information....just click here

The text of the email follows....wish I was in L.A. on the 11th....

Headline: An Animator’s Grand Salute to Woody Woodpecker! Guess Who!

On July 11, StoryMakers Studio brings several of the biggest names in the cartoon world to the Grauman’s Chinese Theatres Complex in Hollywood:


Annecy’s Love Affair with Paper Airplanes

Ask yourself,” What happens when you get hundreds if not thousands of animators in a theater before a screening- with a few minutes on their hands?”

The answer: Paper Airplanes!!!

The object is to see if you can create a flying vessel that will guide all the way to the stage of the main theater at Annecy.

And…if others take up a supportive role in your efforts to reach the stage- that’s okay…because it’s Annecy!

Everyone in the audience joins in- whether you are the great Italian animator Bruno Bozetto (70 plus years) or a wide eyed student in attendance at the world series of animation.

What do you expect from all those animators who are given sheets of paper before the screenings.


A cool video about the Animation Festival at Annecy

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Here is a very cool webcast from Annecy 2006. It gives the flavor of the event along with some animation...their site:


Yes, I am NOT there this year- Annecy 2005 was my third time there- I am already planning to attend next year.

I love that festival and the town.

On Monday the films begin - in 2005, we attended 5 screenings - almost overload. Our last screening of the day was a Frederick Back retrospective what began at 11:00 p.m. at night in a venue in the old part of the city....amazing!


Sketches from the River Run Film festival and Beyond!

This past week was another "burner". We drove up to Winston-Salem, NC. for the River Run International Film Festival and our son Matt was performing as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at NCSA. Both events were amazing!

The River Run Festival was VERY, VERY well programmed. It opened Wednesday night with Paris, Je T'Ame a wonderful film with 18 vignettes from the different sections of the "City of Lights". The actors were wonderful! Animation Director Sylvain Chomet even did one of the live-action vignettes about how 2 mimes meet.

There were documentaries, shorts, animated shorts and some morning talks at local venues and cafes with a focus on animation. OUT OF OUR MINDS ANIMATION STUDIO hosted many of the programs. Folks from PIXAR were there to participate in a panel discussion and to host their own event. Other animators from R & H, Blue Sky also participated.