Friday, December 21, 2007

One Over Par

Here's Humphrey Bogart.
I really like drawing with ballpoint, but the problem is you can't erase. After I was too far along, I realized I made a mistake having the bottom of the nose, and the far cheek bone jut out at almost exactly the same angle. Also I wish I had handled the shading on the other cheekbone differently in order to match the structure of the far cheek bone. It's easy to exagerate things that have outlines, but much harder (yet just as important) to exagerate things that are only defined by shading.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The infomercial

As my previous post pointed out, I recently discovered if you Google "How to get an attractive girlfriend" I am the ONLY result.

And my plan to cash in has begun. I've already made an infomercial for my DVD series.

The cast:
Adam Sacks - Adam Sacks
Attractive Girl - Andrew Kennedy
Guy - Sean McBride
Steroid Guy - Jon Renoni
Taryn - Taryn Crosby

Friday, December 14, 2007

I'm #1 on Google!

I have a stat counter on my blog, and one thing it tells me is what search strings lead people here.

Not surprisingly Adam Sacks is a big hit. But quite surprisingly, someone arrived here by searching "How to get an attractive girlfriend"

Confused and intrigued (but not in that order), I Googled the phrase to find out what other web pages I am grouped in with, and I made a shocking discovery:

Not only am I the first search result that comes up, I am the ONLY result that comes up. Don't believe me? Check it out! No other website caters to the oft overlooked demographic of singles seeking attractive females for relationships (and presumably relations).

Maybe I'm crazy, but I believe I've discovered an untapped and potentially lucrative niche market here. I am currently looking for investors, advertisers, and attractive girls who want to become attractive girlfriends to those searching the internet for attractive companionship.

And if you're wondering why "How to get an attractive girlfriend" leads you here, it's because my initial reaction after seeing the movie Knocked Up was
Average guy gets hot girl by getting her pregnant. It sorta seems like a misguided fantasy a loser would come up with for how to get an attractive girlfriend.
I stand by that statement. There was an interesting article on Slate recently about whether Knocked Up was sexist. It might be, but unintentionally so. More I think it falls into the guys version of a romantic comedy which goes something like:

I'm able to look past your bland personality and appreciate your appearance, why can't you look past my bland appearance and appreciate my personality?

Which is what my retooled blog will be all about! Get in on the ground floor and invest now! In a year Rupert Murdoch will buy us out.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Katherine Hepburn

With this caricature, I'm continuing three themes.

1) Classic Hollywood
2) Women
3) Last name Hepburn

Better Scans

Here are better versions of Audrey Hepburn and Robert Mitchum. Two very timely caricatures.

Friday, December 7, 2007


I realized I've been drawing a lot of dudes lately, so I felt I should rectify that imbalance. And if there's one thing you need to know about me--if even that much--it's that I'm an Audrey Hepburn fan.

Drawn at work in ballpoint pen. Also scanned in at work, so excuse the weird streaks. Maybe I'll take this one home and scan it properly.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

More Ballpoint Pen Drawings

I know what you've all been wondering about: What has Adam been doing while waiting for After Effects to render at work?

Ballpoint pen drawings of course. Here are a few. The scanner at work isn't very good, so bare with the weird streakiness.

Robert Mitchum. This one took a while.

Steve Carell. This one didn't take me a while.

Steve Buscemi. Medium time commitment.

Self portrait. Not a great likeness...maybe if I had spent more time on it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Dr. Stephen T. Colbert D.F.A.


I really meant to go to bed at a good time tonight, but I saw this photo of OJ Simpson that had great lighting on his face, and I got inspired.

Done on my Cintiq in Photoshop. I love my Cintiq.

Norman Mailer

I did this one entirely in ballpoint pen while waiting for After Effects to render a scene at work.

I've been watching some of the digital podcast Joe Bluhm does and it's inspired me to try actually rendering a face instead of doing simple line work. It's been a really long time since I've seriously tried drawing with values instead of black and white. I think this came out okay, but ballpoint pen is really unforgiving, and it's hard to make hatching look like midtones instead of lines scribbled on a face (after scanning this in I erased some of my more glaringly bad lines). The illustrator James Jean does shockingly fantastic sketches in ballpoint pen, I guess he just never draws a bad line.

Also, just to be honest here: I've never actually read anything by Norman Mailer. He's on my (embarrassingly long) list of well respected authors I haven't gotten around to checking out.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Javier Bardem

Here's my first shot at Javier Bardem from No Country For Old Men. I used some photo reference with this one, but none of the images are this exact angle.

While drawing it I thought I was pushing the features, but now it looks really tame to me. I'll have to give it another shot.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

No Country For Old Men

A nice thing about living in New York City is that a lot of movies get released here before they go wide. I saw No Country For Old Men today, and I think it's really great even though it did have three endings.

But while watching it I kept thinking what interesting faces all the main actors had. So when I got home today I drew Tommy Lee Jones from memory (though I did get some reference on the hat).

This is the first Photoshop drawing I've ever done. Before this, if I've draw in a computer, it's always been in Flash. The brush options in photoshop are really deep, but I don't really understand them that well, so I started trying to do a charcoal-esque drawing but got frustrated and reverted to pencil/hatching style I'm more used to.

Also I bought a Cintiq, so this is my first Cintiq caracature. I love it, but the colors on my cintiq are nothing like the colors on my other monitor. Anyone know how to fix that?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

In Defense of Moving Crap Around in Flash

So I guess there's been a big debate about the merits of Flash over at Cartoon Brew.

This was the inflamatory line "Forget honing your skills and mastering the craft of animation like those classic artists, just cheat your way into thinking you’re an animator by moving some crap around in Flash."

I will admit that I personally prefer hand drawn animation, but drawing and animation are not the same thing. Consider stop motion, or 3-D animation. Apparently some of the best Pixar animators can't do tradition animational. That doesn't make them bad animators, it just means they are not great draftsmen (or women). If you wanted to play devils advocate, you could argue that stop motion, 3-D, or any cut-out style of animation is more pure than hand drawn animation. Animation is movement, not drawing, so if the medium eliminates draftmanship from the equation, you can't hide behind nice drawings. Your work lives or dies by how well it moves.

And finally, in defense of moving crap around in Flash, check out this Yo Gabba Gabba music video directed by Justin Fines (who I don't know) and animated by Andy Kennedy (who is a good friend). You can do some awesome stuff in Flash by just moving crap around.

I'm hardly impartial, but I think this is the one of the best piece of animation I've seen done for Yo Gabba Gabba. The only other short that has impressed me as much is Nick Cross's "Kites Are Fun" piece.

Of course, what I like about Kites Are Fun, are the drawings and design more than the actual animation (which is still really good, and MUCH better than what his budget should have allowed, I'm sure), whereas what I like about Andy's piece is the animation more than the design. So the dichotomy continues!

Friday, October 26, 2007

After Effects

I've used Flash for over three years, and by now I pretty much know what there is to know when it comes to using the program for animation. However, for my new job I have to use Flash and After Effects. I'd used After Effects a few times before, but I had no idea how amazingly deep the program is. It feels good to be a beginner at something again, I really enjoy learning new things, and there is a TON to learn with After Effects.

For my down time at work, I've been going through some excelent free on-line After Effects tutorials, put together by Andrew Kramer. I highly suggest checking out his website,

Here's a little logo animation I did in After Effects using some tricks I picked up from the on-line tutorials. Click on the image to see the quicktime.

What is Faux-Kour, you ask? Why, it's the next inovation in Parkour, aka freestyle running. Here's a quick teaser. There will be much more to come.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

They Might Be Giants

Ealier this year I was lucky enough to work with illustrator David Cowles on a They Might Be Giants music video for a TMBG children's CD/DVD called Here Come The 123s. We worked out the concepts and storyboards together, David designed the characters, and I was lead animator.
I can't show you anything from the video, but you can order the album from Amazon.

I should also mention that I got a lot of friends to help me with the animation. I owe all them all, big time.

Joe Apel
Pedro Delgado
Nelson Diaz
Jeff Fletcher
Aya Fukuda
Casey Leonard
Jonathan Renoni
Thomas Sebasian Smolenski
Joe Stucky
Joe Quinones

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Flight of the Conchords

I just discovered the show/band Flight of the Conchords. It's amazing. Also, one of the leads, Jemaine Clement, has one of those faces that you just have to try drawing. His features, as described in one episode, are "too deep set to be considered classically handsome," but are quite fascinating.

So, I ended up doing an embarrassing number of attempts (many of which are not shown here). He has a really unique nose, which I think I got okay in the front view, but in the 3/4 and profile angle it's just not working.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Comedian Caricatures

I don't read Harry Potter, but I do listen to them on audio books while I work. The problem is, during the final book I ran out of work, so I decided to do some caricatures while having Jim Dale read me the Harry Potter finale.

I started with Sarah Silverman because I had recently seen seen Jesus is Magic

And I thought Brian Posehn was great on the Sarah Silverman Program. So he was next.

At this point, I figured let's stick with comedians that had shows on Comedy Central, so I moved on to Stella and Michael Showalter.

My David Wain attempts didn't really exaggerate much.

My Michael Ian Black ended up looking more like Tom Cruise.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A bit of animation

Wow. I did a bit of animation I can actually show. How weird.

My friend Sean McBride does a weekly animated short for Salon that explores the interesting dynamic in the friendship between Sean and his friend Tony. Last week I helped out by animating the Sean character for the latest installment. It's not the most impressive thing I've ever done, but it was fun. Check it out.

Sean's on a roll. He also just got mentioned on Cold Hard Flash, and before that was on the front page on YouTube for his Student Academy Award winning Junior year animation project. He made this in one semester, how crazy is that?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Random drawings

I felt the need to do some purposeless drawings, so I jumped around Myspace drawing random people. I have no idea who any of them are.

I also saw Knocked Up. I thought it was very funny, but I do wonder about it a bit. Average guy gets hot girl by getting her pregnent. It sorta seems like a misguided fantasy a loser would come up with for how to get an attractive girlfriend. I saw the movie with all guys, I'm interested in what woman thought coming away from the movie.

Anyway, here are two drawings. The Hot Girl, and the Average Guy's friend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Flash Tricks

I just started a blog that will explain some Flash tips and tricks I've figured out over the years.

The first two tutorials show how to make looping, panning, multiplaning backgrounds.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

More Caricature

I think I like doing caricatures because I'm new to them and I feel like I have permission to do bad drawings. Most of the time, even when I'm just quickly thumbnailing stuff out, I feel guilty if the drawing isn't "good."

Here are two friends of mine. You probably don't know them, so just trust me, they are spot on perfect.

And when I say spot on perfect, I mean they have some issues. I made Joe (the top guy) look quite a bit older than he should, and when Matt saw his caricature, he asked if it was a really mad Barak Obama.

So I drew Obama
I tried to make this drawing more structurally sound than the others, but the problem with doing that is the tendency to make a stiff drawing. I'm also not sold on how I did his forehead.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


While watching Lost tonight, I was struck by what an interesting nose Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) has, so I did a drawing of him. And if you draw him, you gotta draw Hurley (Jorge Garcia).

I played around a ton with Hurley's eyes, and ended up going with really small ones to make his face seem that much bigger.

Sayid (Naveen Andrews) has a really interesting face because he has feminine eyes, but still looks very tough. I got tired of drawing dudes, but the hard part with doing Lost caricatures is that the woman don't have as distinct faces as the men. I tried to do Sun (Yunjin Kim, and no I didn't know these actors names, I had to look them up), but it came out pretty terrible. I include it only to stay honest.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I'm not so good at caricature, or really nailing a likeness in general. But John K put up a post on the subject recently and it made me feeling like giving it a shot.

These are both supposed to be the same person. My first attempt, on the left, didn't work at all. I like the one on the right, but I don't know if it actually looks anything like Penelope Cruz. Looking at my first attempt, I thought it looked a little like Nancy Pelosi, so...

But I think it's more a challenge to caricature woman who are known for being attractive, rather than those known for having a horrifying smile. Which brings us to...

The problem here is that I didn't really do much. I made the eyes a little bigger, rotated the mouth to an unnatural degree and didn't try to make her symetrical, but it's not really a caricature of Salma Hayek so much as a lazy drawing. So moving on..

My first attempt on the left just looks like generic cartoon character to me. I like second try more, but I think I gave her too much forehead. When I think of Heather Graham, I don't usually think of high foreheads. But I can get tired of drawing women (that's a lie), so I decided to try drawing a guy...

While doing this one, I kept thinking of that famous Frazetta caricature of Ringo Starr. He did a better job than me. Funny thing though, I had a really hard time finding any picture of Zach Braff that wasn't him looking straight on. Which is weird because I feel like his nose is an important part of his image, but when looking straight at him you don't see how interesting it is.

Drink & Draw & Drink

Every other week there's a bar near me that has figure drawing. Not the good place to make great drawings, but a great place to make okay ones.