Monday, August 3, 2015

Elite Lakeside Sketch Outing.

My Elite Animation Academy (8933 Conroy Windermere Rd, Orlando, FL) class always finds a way to get students sketching out in the community. On this balmy day we made our way to a small lake near the Academy. The goal was for students to sketch the scene and do drawings of the many ducks who call the lake home. We found a spot under a shady tree and got to work.

The ducks were on the far side of the lake but eventually they became curious and they swam towards us. I'm sure they figured that we must have food. We didn't have any. The days lesson included looking for simple shapes. That is why the hedge across the lake became a perfect circle. I'm always fascinated by south paws. An artist who is a leftie has to twist their wrist in a unique way to see what they are drawing as they put lines on the page.

I can't always find events for the students to draw although the high school sports field often offers games and practices to sketch. Being an artist is much like training as an athlete. Every day we need to exercise our eye to hand coordination. If one day is missed, the artist quickly becomes rusty. A former Disney colleague named Sam Ewing started a blog called Rusty Pliers and the title is starting to make sense. While working in the bustling studio we were tools with a defined purpose. When the studio closed, it became easy to become rusty. We had to re-invent ourselves to discover a new purpose for our skills. Part of what keeps me productive is to always look forward and never look back.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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