Monday, November 2, 2009

Pistol For Hire

Weapons have always fascinated me. As I grew up, I was always leading an army into battle, with trusty sword and pistol at my side, ready to defend me in the tightest spots. They were my most loyal companions; and when you're the only one in the backyard swinging a stick around like its some heavy saber, you become extremely attached to your "companions."

My stick and wooden pistol have come through many battles, killed hundreds of men (didn't know that about me, did ya), faced the worst possible situations and come out on top. Remember Calvin and Hobbes? Yep, that's me and my gun.

Then came the idea to actually design my own weapons. Not necessarily draw their inner working mechanisms, just their aesthetic qualities.

Having spent years studying the evolution of firearms, I was able to easily come up with a few concepts, such as the ones presented above. I think that both of them are influenced heavily by European designs of the early 1800s; the lower one has a few Muslim themes. The upper one has a very bulky, somewhat distracting pommel, although it could double as a club. The firing mechanisms themselves are horridly inaccurate, as I learned to my utter dismay. But that doesn't matter, really. They look cool anyways.

Johnny S. Reighard

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Irish Ale

They're always after my lucky charms!!!

Leprachaun or stereotypical Irish, this picture makes me want to speak with an accent, wear green and drink Guinness beer. Perhaps I give my art too much credit...

Originally, the portrait had no beard, and because of his set of full lips, he looked like a girl. So, enter the beard. Looks like it's glued on, doesn't it?

Johnny Reighard

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

AMP: A New Hope

In the process of creating something you've never seen, inspiration from things already in existence plays a big part.

In our quest to develop a unique design, Cory and I turned to those who had gone on before us. We turned to Star Wars. If you want a film that's chock full of robots/ droids, that's the one to look at (forget if they're clunky or not practical: they look cool). From that, we gleaned the pit droid. Small, lithe, agile (kinda), cute (very important), this was a good start. From there, we journeyed down the path of film history, and came to Monsters, Inc., and the short, green, rotund, one-eyed figure known as Mike Wazowski. With these designs to inspire me, I set off, shaving a little here, adding a little there, until I came to my next destination... a complete stop.

From the get-go, I realized that my mindset was in the wrong place. In terms of design, I was stuck on ergonomic, sleek designs from films such as I, Robot; Star Wars; Terminator, etc. However, my thinking wasn't right. I needed to approach this project from the understanding of a 12-year-old. How would a young boy design a robot? So, I asked my younger twin brothers, Jared and Jordan, if they would help me. I told them the design prerequisites set down by Cory, and Jordan gave me...

And Jared gave me...

Just what I needed.

All I had was my feeble effort...

The design below incorporates all the qualities with which we imparted to our seminal creation: cute, functional, sympathetic, and last but not least, animation compatible.

Don't worry, I think Cory is fixing up the shoulders so that he doesn't look like a gorilla. In reality, this last design in only a guideline for the animators to follow.

Along with this final concept, the design phase of the film has ended. In its place, like a phoenix from the fire, rises the task of thoroughly visualizing the film through the use of storyboards. Along with that, the animators will be working to bring the film to its complete and immaculate realization as a finished film.

Johnny Reighard

Thursday, October 1, 2009

AMP: Inception

When in the course of human events an artist is asked to do something he's never done before, things can get kinda scary...

But thank God that's never happened.

In fact, although I've had serious bouts of self-doubt when going into a project, I've always worked with people who were kind and understanding. So, along comes this short film. An animated, short film. Something I've never done before.

So, Cory Taylor asks me to storyboard the movie. Okey-day, no worries; I've done two films before. I've had some experience. Alrighty, whatcha got? Oh, some concept art too? Grand.

The short is about a retired streetlight robot, who's been abandoned in an old warehouse, left plugged into an outlet in the floor. One day, a battery rolls by, just close enough to give him hope for freedom.

So, we begin on an epic journey of discovery (discovering if I can pull it off or not); and from inception to finish, we'll cover all the ideas, concepts and eventual reality of our visions.

We take you now to a little town in East Texas, where Johnny Reighard is trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to pry open his mind with his pen (figuratively) and let the juices flow...

The first ideas that came to mind were predominantly influenced by Wall-E, as my readers will be able to quickly deduce.

Of course, this was before I had even found out what Cory wanted. I just needed to prove to myself that I could draw something even akin to robots.

From there, it evolved, through conversations with Cory and whatever I wanted to arbitrarily do.

I thought it would be very artistic to have a robot with three eyes. Red, yellow and green. The idea was to convey emotion through his light bulbs. But, as it turned out, the concept was too... creepy.

We needed something more sympathetic, cuter...

I think I'll make a series out of this, so that I'll have posts for the future. So, tune in next time to see the further evolution of Amp, from concept to finish.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fantastic Sketch

Fantasy. A genre of literature, art and film that has enraptured the mind and heart of billions of people. Fantasy gives us the oppurtunity to envision ourselves at our consummate best, fending off malicious dragons, defeating insurmountable odds, saving the beautiful damsel, or being saved by the handsome knight.

For me, fantasy is vital. The most influential fantasies in my life have been the magical works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Uplifting, hopeful,and stimulating, I consider them to be brilliant works. One day, I'm certain that I'll probably write a fantasy novel as homage to a few of my favorite authors.

I have always loved drawing fantasy elements, especially the soldiers, arms and armor. This particular concept was only half-finsihed, kinda. My main influence was Teutonic, though that was quite obvious. Then, I went wild and drew anything I wanted to see on the character. I think I did good; well, considering it's only half-finished. But other than that, I think it captures the vision of high fantasy that was in my mind's eye.

Johnny S. Reighard

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I've always enjoyed Science Fiction. I like drawing robots/ droids because it's very intriguing to find that fine line between functional and disfunctional, sleek and just plain dull to look at.
With this particular robot, I think I made him freaky enough to be a shock storm trooper for any new, robot insurrection movie. As you can see, I only drew his profile so I wouldn't have to deal with how his neck or arms would actually move.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


This is a rather good picture, I think. Well, I think a lot of my stuff is good. This was one of my first attempts to render a feminine face without defaulting to masculine. It was done completely by hand, beginning with a pen and then turning to pencil for shade grading. No GIMP tweaking this time.
ng this time.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Uncle Andrew

I told you there would be more posts! Here's a drawing I did rather quickly all the way back in March. As the title expresses, this is a concept sketch of what the character Uncle Andrew from The Magician's Nephew might look like. I tried to convey in the drawing a wizened old man who was somewhat likable at first, while trying to hint at the diabolical evil which possessed him. The first image is the original and the second I manipulated with GIMP to make him more historically accurate. Tell me what you think.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

More Posts Are Coming!!!

Dear Blog Readers,
It has come to my attention through various sources (eyes mainly) that my blog is lacking in the area of staying current. This is in part (or in whole) to the author's lack of interest in scanning pictures and posting a post. Please accept my humble apologies for the author's lack of enthusiasm in his own blog. Someone should knock him over the head with a big stick. With nails in it. And a piece of concrete. Yeah.

Sincerely, (or, as much as I mean it) Johnny S. Reighard