Mr Leon Taylor - Artist

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Auckland, None, New Zealand
I am Mr Leon Taylor Artist/ Illustrator / Designer/ Character Animator / Musician . I work for myself as a freelance artist. I am open for commissions and collaborations, contact I post my creation process and experience here.!/mrleontaylor , ,

Mr Leon Taylor's - Blog Archive

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Adding colour pencil to my quiver.

I had always admired people who worked with colour pencil. But I had never really known how to use them. I had read books even owned roughly 100 of them. The biggest problem. I was using them wrong. I needed to know, learn in person. It is what best suits me and how I learn.

I sat next to people at school who used them. Jaw dropping in their images and they sprung off the page. I wanted to add this soft realistic appeal they had to my own drawings. Characters, especially people. Just popped off the page at me and anyone who looked at them. I got some great advice from a friend I sat next to and talented artist for half of my second year. Siobhan showed me a way to hold the pencil no one had shown me before. Close. In fact very close. But not comfortable.

The thing is I was using them to colour in. When in actual fact you are actually building your drawing from the inside out. You also have to really stare at the image and see what other colors make up the main colour. For example a White male. Is not a perfect shade of white, he is tanned even just slightly. If you look super close you can see green or most likely subtle hint of purple. Build your drawing from the light to dark starting with basic construction. Then using intense construction for wrinkles, hair, eye lids and drapery. I also always do my pupils last. Cause if my drawing looks at you. Without a pupil. I am doing well and the drawing is living.

Derrick Rose of the Chicago bulls won MVP 2011. He is an amazing player and very humble and a friendly leadership style I look up too. This is my first drawing with colour pencil after great advice. I also applied the same technique but with a 2B.





Saturday, 24 March 2012

Animation School Year 3 term 0ne - WIP (work in progress)

I am currently at freelance animation school in Auckland New Zealand studying traditional animation in my 3rd year. In other words I am making my show reel. That's the goal. :).

After two years of learning the principles of animation like timing, squash, stretch, balance, line of action. You hold that Richard Williams tight because as you train it only makes more sense. Trust me. It's worth the time to know what and how he does animation. I am also lucky that my school is totally focused on the traditional aspects of what makes animation work and believable even if it is in 3D. I also have awesome tutors with very special qualities and have always given great feedback from my first day.

Even though it is traditional animation it is very digital these days. Using photoshop for concepts and toon boom harmony for animation. The only thing is. ......... I have only used photoshop for 5 months and toon boom harmony for 4 days. This is going to be fun. The best thing is. I learn. With passion want and desire to deliver professional work no matter how long I may have been using it. I am shooting for the 3 pointer. Sometimes the whole in one.

Here is some of my work and design for the project I am working on. We are called THE RUST BUBBLE. Myself, Ally, Luke and Gary. 4 people wanting to make the best they can. If not better. Ally did the original of this. I have modified it to have a more north by north west feel to it. Also are some of the character designs and how the are coming along. We are currently learning toon boom and designing and rigging our characters. This is a work in progress so there will most likely be changes. The story stays the same. Its how we tell it and the people that tell it that may change. I will up date how our progress is. The entire story I will not tell you at this stage. Enjoy.

Perspective and having a passion for detail.

Perspective I love detail. Or do I?

The longer I study character animation the less detailed backgrounds I seem to be drawing. I was now drawing people more from more angles doing even more crazier things within minutes or an afternoon it can be so inspiring. Only to do a believable background takes more patience than most have, I later found out. So I looked at the way I draw had progressed. From very heavy lines, dark pencil and way to many lines. To confident measured researched patient line work. But in some cases I feel a charm of how I used to draw and can probably never do that again.

The "Zen" of drawing is hard to master I still am but think I know how to focus or stay on track for me as a artist and animator in training. Even when you are juggling life as it happens. You work at it each day. Finding inspiration, finding balance of your body and what it needs. Like water not coffee sometimes. So often I feel I am Cataloguing a life and many around me in so many mediums, styles and textures that when I look at the picture I am there. You are there. Every time you look at it. I can then use the catalogue and other reference to build worlds that do  not exist. I  know there is so much to learn still. But knowing I am learning every second of my day. Its apart of the "zen" I was talking about. Never stop searching for more because fear of the brick wall means you sometimes draw them ; .

 I spent my second year of animation with one of my talented and skilled tutors Luis Lamco. His backgrounds are INSANE . Worlds you can only look at for so long because they blow your mind. I wish he had a blog. I wanted to draw that good and believable. no matter what the realm. These are in chronological order to see the progression I hope you enjoy it.  I sure do. 2009-2011

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Life drawing and me.

It is a tough subject. So tough. But even more challenging. It's something I think I am slowly getting the hang of. When I first sat down just over 2 years ago. I realized how many angles , females, ethnicities and different size people I HAD NOT drawn before. This made me worried about my future as an artist in general. I felt low. Like I had made a bad decision to be an adult student. Looking around at other peoples work and they are amazing. I didn't even know how they did it. But knew I wanted to be able to draw the human figure just like the classical paintings of the day. Determination is what is in me. It keeps me optimistic and super positive and focused on my goal. Which is draw and draw well. I understand I am only just getting used to life drawing. I can see improvement. It motivates me. As an artist it is important to hold on to that as some days will be tougher than others. These are ones from 1-19/03/12

Thursday, 15 March 2012


Awesome sunny day today. It is going to be full to the brim. Drawing for family research for "the rust bubble" 2d animation and working my part time job too. A photo I had taken last week.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Loving my new blogger app.

So I can blog with more frequency ,the life of an full time worker now currently adult student turned full time artist. I like to attempt the 3pointer in life, you have to understand that you will not make every shot. But knowing you have the skill to make it is half the journey. Creating is my way of making a mark on the world how ever small it maybe. Just to make people smile when they see or hear what I have down. Means a job well down for me.

Monday, 12 March 2012


I love music.

Its like how smells can transport people back to there childhood with the smell. mine is music.