Sunday, March 10, 2013


     The concept of robotics has always been a fascinating topic to me. My first collision with this mechanical concept was via Star Wars. Droids, of course. Not technically robots, but robotic nonetheless. Imagine my surprise when it turned out that modern technology had not even come close to developing AI as, uh, intelligent as the droids of the Star Wars franchise.

Although I have absolutely no understanding of engineering or mechanics (or robotics, for that matter), I have a (somewhat) vivid imagination whose only limitations are the galaxies of far, far away. Which is a long ways away.

Robotics has a varied history in science-fiction. From Isaac Asimov's 3 laws of robotics to the Butlerian Jihad to participants of the Clone Wars, robots have featured highly in that genre that marries technological advancement to fantastical environments that may or may not be populated by grotesque alien races.

Now, before you start saying stuff like, "Oh, that's not practical, his arm will never move like that," let me say something... you're absolutely right.

Also, due to my limited vocabulary, you will not be treated to such highly esoteric terms as "auto-gyration", "circumlocution" or "gradation-based-sensor-chips." Actually, I'm not sure if any of those terms are actually part of the canon used in the arena of robotics engineering. But they sure sound intelligent.

Please, don't be alarmed. He's friendly, I promise. Although he may look somewhat intimidating, he's actually quite helpful. Well, I think he is. I'm not sure what he does. Perhaps he's a home services droid, or something... Anyhow, ever since I began seriously considering robots, there comes the concomitant issue of locomotion, or, how the robot moves. In an attempt to improve the range of appendage-movement, I tried to develop a somewhat functional metallic muscle. And yes, that is a skull to the left. 

Those of you who are familiar with that masterful seminal work of Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, will perhaps recall that haunting literary nightmare, the Mechanical Hound. These are studies in how the head would be designed, with it's freakish hypodermic needle protruding from its cold, hard visage.

This is a development of the Mechanical Hound, although not quite a hound. Rather a velociraptor, or something of that sort. The Mechanical Raptor. Yes, I rather like that. As you can see, I was attempting to give it a somewhat bird-like look. It kinda looks like a bald chicken... Also, the one to the bottom-right is merely a shadow study (and a poor one at that).

The Mechanical Raptor, 2.0. As you can see, though, it is somewhat off-balance, or else is in motion. However, the lack of a second leg detracts somewhat from the illusion of motion.

Of course, any robot is going to have scary qualities about him (it). Some are just, er, scarier than others. The image to the top-right is a profile of the dominant spider-octopus image thingy. And the others are doodles.

This is... a study... Of, uh, cylindrical shapes. And a little robotic swallowtail.

Aww... Isn't this just too sweet? Look at that, it found a flower. 

Well... that's it. I would have more to say, but as I said previously, I know nearly nothing about anything I have drawn. So, that precludes any practical comments I could make on these robotic concepts.
Disclaimer: You will have to excuse the unemotional stares of these robots. They did not intend to appear so. Their designer is entirely at fault. 

- Johnny S. Reighard

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Steampunky Thoughts...

This post is for three reasons:
1. To detail a few of my thoughts on the design category of Steampunk
2. To publish my thoughts in a public format so as in order to garner criticism and comments
3. To finally add another selection to the compendium of art-related posts on Illustration
3a. To perhaps dazzle someone with my genius

Also, this was rather haphazardly thrown together. Forgive me if I repeat myself, or leave thoughts half-complete, or if I do not create a comprehensive view of the subject.

I believe that the most basic urge to man (in spite of Freud) is the urge to dominion. Dominion is a fact present in both fallen and regenerate man, in that both desire to build kingdoms that will endure, only the Christian builds the Kingdom of God for the sole glory of God, while the fallen man builds his own microcosm kingdom for his own glory.

Steampunk is about dominion. Steampunk is about everybody being an inventor, a genius, with a desire to make a better world. Steampunk can illustrate the true motives of men because it provides a method for everyone to bring their deepest thoughts into total reality. This last part holds true to science fiction in general, but within the realm of the Steampunk Dominion, everyone has a chance to let their most secret fantasies to light. Steampunk is about artistic inventiveness.

From what I have seen, steampunk is typically used to illustrate rugged individualism, radical hippiness, or merely express avant-garde artistic impulse, aside from the general science fiction aspects of the genre. This needn't be so, and the genre can easily be redeemed by a quick mind and a nimble literary skill to write stories that are about family, loyalty, truth, goodness and faith.

Anyways, just a ramble of thoughts.


Thursday, March 15, 2012


Yet another project that I've storyboarded, my second this year. This was for a book trailer that was just recently produced by Gillian Adams for her Out Of Darkness Rising novella, which comes out this summer.
 Interpreting a script is one of the funnest things that I do. It's also one of the most frustrating things I do. Fortunately, this project didn't require high frustration levels. The script was straightforward and had some notes from Gillian expressing certain angles that she wanted, but overall she let me have creative reign. This is really cool, because then I get to be a sort of pre-production director.
 I was actually fairly busy when this cropped up. I had two other projects pending that I knew were going to require a ton of work. But it had swords, serpents and capes... How could I pass it up? Practice drawing my favorite genre with an extra helping of publicity? Yes ma'am!!!
 Here are a few examples...

This sequence was fun because it's simply one dolly sequence. It was fun to be creative and come up with cool shots. Not that they were pulled off, but hey, they were fun to draw.

A study in silhouettes and lighting.

This scene was cool to do because of all the framing opportunities. I wanted the dudes in black robes to be ominous, imposing and always present, conveying the fact that no one can get away. 

Overall, a fantastic experience. I absolutely loved every second I spent drawing these.

I can't believe I get to do this.

By the way, if you want to find out more about Gillian and her new book, click here:


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Talent Is Never Enough

For those who weren't aware that my family is highly talented...

I have two brothers who are identical twins, Jared and Jordan. Besides sharing similar physiological features (and similar names), they also share extremely talented drawing abilities. Therefore, as my blog is an arena to showcase art, I decided to utilize it to showcase my brothers' genius. Below are a few pieces of their handiwork...


Also, aside from his more realistically based drawings, Jordan also dabbles in the more fantastic side of sketching...

Jordan has meticulously studied human and animal anatomy in order to more fully detail his drawings by understanding the placement of bone, tissue and muscle (not to mention that his drawings are well-proportioned).


Jared is by no means afraid to tackle the big things in his sketches. Posters or proportions, emotions or entanglements, he's ready to take on anything. 

So... pretty excellently awesome, huh? They're light years ahead of where I was at their age.

I am very pleased that my brothers are so artistically inclined. For one, I won't have to look too far for assistants on future design work. Secondly, I just get a kick out of anyone who develops their artistic skills.

Hope you enjoyed this. I'll most likely be posting more of Jared & Jordan's work, as they're always drawing something new and amazing and exciting and adventurous and heroic!!!

Until next time,

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dystopia: 2

Again, some more of the drawings that I've done for the recent feature film project on Christian, and a little behind the design of the concepts I developed.

When it comes to film design, the icing on the cake for me is to find out why the designers chose a specific color, texture or symbol for a certain role. For instance, in Kung Fu Panda 2, the personal colors of the Lord Shen (whose plan it is to take over China) are RED and WHITE. Reminiscent of any island nation's flag who tried to conquer China within the last century? Anyways, little things like that make me giddy...
So, in the same strain, I like to sing my own praises somewhat so that you can understand the brilliance behind my choices. Besides, what's an art blog for if not to showcase the art of the author?

So, to sing my praises... the first couple of thoughts concerning the Enforcer's design was to make several costuming winks at Nazi Germany, found  within the high boots and long trench coats of the first couple that I did. I also wanted to marry the idea of a legal terrorist with the shock troop/policeman concept.
After considering this route, I figured that most soldiers out in the cold and snow would prefer to stay warm, but still agile, and thus would wear snow-pants instead of a trench-coat.

I am very pleased with the hoodie on this one. Not because it's realistic or anything, but because it looks really cool. 

 One of the more heavily-armed designs, although it's rather similar to the one I did in the last post concerning this project.
Here we have another slight nod at Nazi Germany, with the sub-machine gun and the backpack straps. He looks kinda like a paratrooper, too. 
And another terrorist/Nazi/Enforcer, except he's dressing 'casual' with his hoodie down.

Of course, these are all within the same thread of design: small arms units with a few heavy arms for large firefights, but overall light, blitzkrieg troops.

Any similarities to the badguys from Inception, Assassin's Creed and Snow White are completely unintentional, and the parallels exist within the mind of the reader only.

Make sure to check out the movie:
Yeah, they're making it. Awesome, I know.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Future/Sci-Fi/Dystopian Feature Film

So, on Christian, Dallas Lammiman  presented this project in the Art forum. I decided to throw my hat in the ring.

The idea is a futuristic, winter dystopia. No budget, no crew, and 6 months to make it. Exciting.

Here are a couple pieces I drew up. More will follow...

A civilian of this bleak future state.

An Enforcer. I thought that most of the Enforcers would be lightly armed due to their extra clothing. They would want something that allowed them to remain dexterous and agile.

An off duty Enforcer enjoying a cup of... what do they drink the future? (he also looks like a Russian sailor from the early 1900s, but don't tell anybody).

A heavily armed Enforcer. Rather the opposite of the light-armed Enforcer.
A lightly-armed Enforcer running... and jumping... over something. An invisible something. (Actually I was too lazy to draw what he was jumping over).

I did all these with pen on copy paper, then scanned and printed doubles. I did this because when I would draw over them with my gray-scale markers (Prismacolor), they would cause the ink to bleed. By making duplicates with our laser printer, I had a dry, clean surface to color over. Worked out okay. 

These of course are mine only, but I think I might post some of the other artists' work as we go along (that is, if they let me). 
I am rather excited about this project, and am anxious to see where it goes. There's bound to be some other crazy guys who are looking for something to show-case their skills. 
We'll see what happens. I'll be posting more on this topic. 


P.S. A big thank you to Dallas Lammiman for allowing me to post about this project. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pain of Death

This little project here is a first by filmmaker Jeffrey French . It is a very small project, but has the potential to be dynamic.

This is a film that explores Christian persecution set in a dystopian future. It's actually kind of reminiscent of Fahrenheit 451. Only it's Christians, not books. And they're not burned.

I will give you absolutely no set-up. All I will show you are the actual storyboards; then, I want to see how many of you can figure out what's going on. If you can, then I've done my job right. Storyboards should be readable without a dialogue line.

Okay, I'll give you a hint: the girl is looking for her mother.

Here it is...

Tell me what you think.


P.S. By the way, here's a link to Jeffrey French's blog: