Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Charity & Snack'em Fox Progression

"What, that hurt? Good."
Ren52's Charity

Above is a line-art commission of my good buddy Renee Atkinson's wonderfully hard-edged character Charity. I went ahead and colored it, both because I adore Ren, and because it makes for a nifty example of this type of commission. These fully-colored character busts run for just $35 a pop. Anyone interested in this or any type of commission are welcome to contact me at melmillerartATgmailDOTcom and I'll gladly set you up on the waiting list that'll be sure to snag you a commission slot as soon as they become available.

Speaking of commissions, I'm on to a rather cute one at the moment that I'm thoroughly enjoying illustrating: Karsten's characters Snirf Coyote and BigBlueFox, in their perpetual game of cat and mouse. I'm amidst final color in it now, but thought I'd share some progression images meanwhile.

More again soon,

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Prince of Parkour

Flippin' Fun with Eric Bell

Another commission, this time for my good friend Kat Bongard of her time-controlling Parkour pro character, Eric Bell. Eric's ace Parkour skills were an opportunity to illustrate a pose one would rarely have any reason to draw otherwise, and that in itself was tremendous fun. I also made it a point to utilize a color scheme I've scarcely touched before - starkly combining bold blues with salmon and purple tones definitely hit that mark.

As always, I am currently open for multiple different types of commissions, including these full-color full-body character illustrations with environmental backgrounds. Detailed commission information can be viewed here. Folks interested in commissioning me are welcome to contact me at melmillerartATgmailDOTcom. I look forward to working with you!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Sugar Thieves

Sugar Thieves

Recently, by good buddy Kate NY was kind enough to code my website and get the project live and online. I offered in return a commission image of her choice for her talent, and here are the results. It's Kate's character Trice, and our good buddy Kat's characters Evan and Danne, Trice's significant other. As I told Kate, coloring this image was criminally fun - I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks again, hun!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mel Miller's Resume

Greetings everyone. I thought I'd make my resume available on my blog. A downloadable PDF of this information is available at your convenience on the "About" page of my website. I am currently available for hire for both freelance and studio-based work. Thank you for viewing.

Mel Miller  

Animator • Illustrator


College for Creative Studies          2006 - 2010

BFA, majoring in Entertainment Arts with a focus on traditional hand-drawn animation, character and concept design illustration.


Private SNAFU Golden Classics          2010

DVD cover background  illustration in collaboration with character artwork by animator Eric Goldberg for Thunderbean Animation's Private SNAFU Golden Classics 2010 release.

The ARMSmasters Project          2010-Present

Concept Art and Clean-Up animation for Michigan-based Alpha Omega Animation Design’s ARMSmaster’s traditionally animated project trailer and pitch bible.

Caravan          2009 - Present

Thesis film in production. Animated traditionally, colored in Photoshop, composited in Adobe After Effects.

Raya Sunshine          2009 - 2010

Created a series of character design concepts for "Raya Sunshine," a pitch for a children's television show created by Michigan-based Tickle Entertainment.

Vito's Pizza Commercials          2009

Digitally enhanced and painted a series of 3 backgrounds for two Vito's Pizza television commercials produced by Michigan's Thunderbean Animation.

CodeMonkey          2008 - 2009

Digitally rendered color for 30 illustrated backgrounds in Adobe Photoshop CS3 for this three and a half minute long independently animated music video.

Biore Daily Recharging Moments          2008

A series of web adds for, through Thunderbean Animation Studio. Roles in production include concept art, asset creation, traditional animation, storyboarding, and frame-by-frame watercolor painting.

Mel Miller Art          2003 - Present

Freelance mural painting, concept design and illustration for both companies and individual clients.


Film Festivals          2009

The 2009 Detroit Windsor Film Festival: "CodeMonkey."
The 2009 Psyche-o-Delic Film Festival: "CodeMonkey."
The 2009 Ottawa International Animation Film Festival's Salon de Refuse: "CodeMonkey."

KAFI 2009 Cartoon Challenge          May 2009

A member of the 5-animator team selected to represent the College for Creative Studies at the Kalamazoo Animation Festival International's 2009 Cartoon Challenge.

Scholarships & Collegiate Honors          2006 - 2010

Graduated with High Honors from the College for Creative Studies 2010 with a 3.974 Cumulative GPA
The CCS Scholarship of $24,000.
The 1st place 2010 Stratton Foundation Scholarship of $1,500 for Caravan.
The Alumni Scholarship of $1,500 awarded to students with the highest GPA in their major.

Monday, September 20, 2010

An ARMSmasters Weekend

First off, once again, welcome new watchers, and thank you for viewing and supporting my wee bit of an art spot here on the 'net. I appreciate it :)

I winded up putting a good deal of much-needed focus time towards the ARMSmasters Project this weekend. Above is clean up animation for Tyr's  hammer swing shot - it'll be passed along to my roommate for shading pass, and I'll be doing cleanup on the shadow passes as well.

TYR Clean-Up Stills

As is seemingly the case for every character for this series I've had the opportunity to draw so far, Tyr is absurdly fun to draw. He's a great character as well - both brains and brawn, engineer and warrior. Damn spiffy.

Sekaida, first full-body poses

Full-body shots of Sekaida's outfit. I've altered it from the previous image - buckles and straps have replaced other details, to better reflect these predominate elements in other now-established sky pirate characters' designs. She's also been pushed a bit more "pirate" - hat, boots and blades. I'd still like her to have the giant blunderbus as her signature item, but these blades - a mix of swords and defensive gauntlets - ended up being an interesting and suiting addition to her repertoire of weapons. I've also leaned more towards having her be full-figured: plenty of "junk in the trunk," as they'd say... mostly because it's fun to draw. I'd like to keep the warm-color palette previously posted, as having them against what will often be cool blues of the sky appeals to me. I may re-draw her full-body stance entirely though - I'm still not all that keen on the pose. It worked better in its rougher stages. For now, though, this at least gets the extent of her outfit across :)

Concept ideation for Rune.

My take on Rune, a member of the cast she's finally getting the TLC he deserves. I couldn't resist, honestly - I got rather attached to the fellow working on clean-up animation for him. I absolutely love trickster/Fae type of characters - and Rune strikes me as such a sassy bloke. This is how he appears in my head currently at least, taking into account versions already pitched. I've used predominantly darker colors then have been seen as of yet, with lighter ones to pop details here and there, have him in a two-tone vest that buttons in a triangular pattern across his torso, giving it something of a harlequin effect, have made the purple slightly redder in tone, given him a rusty orange as a secondary "theme" sort of color (with the dark pants, vest and boots, I think it helps "butch up" the purple coat and hat a bit, while still helping him look like a sassy, confident, flamboyant fellow he is) and have maintained the quirky, more fly-away hair seen in the  trailer, be cause it's ridiculously fun to draw.

Completely unrelated to ARMSmasters, I know, but I also ended up getting "Waking the Big Dogs" as far as flat-colors before having to set it aside for other more important things, and wanted to share it real quick. I'll plug away at rendering it properly soon enough.

 Nexus' Kayo & Dominic

I'll be back on commissions later today, starting with Kate's kitchen-bound pirate trio. Looking forward to it!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Waking the Big Dogs

Somebody's Kibble in 3... 2...

A drawing whose doodle started Wednesday night at my roommates and I's usual Buffallo Wild Wings venture, and was picked back up last night with a little dash of insomnia. It's Kayo and Dom again... I'm on a kick. This time, Kayo is in her human form, and Dom in his full-on hulking "werewolf"-type form. I'm not sure who Kayo's waking the ol' boy over to rat out, but I suspect that mystery someone is going to wish he'd gotten a better head start in a moment or two.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Color Pups and a New Look.

Dominic & Kayo

I actually drew this rather quickly months ago, and the sketch fell to the wayside. Between waiting on information needed to proceed with my next commission, having been illustrating so many humans lately, and knowing I have a couple of canine-related commissions coming up, I thought it'd be a good idea to get in some color-practice on something fuzzy. Also was the need to overcome a recent obstacle - my Wacom tablet has been DOA for months: I've been coloring strictly with the use of a mouse for as long, and hadn't yet really had the opportunity to tackle a stylized and timely method of coloring fur at length. This was the perfect opportunity to do so, and I enjoy the results.

A Spankin' New Look

Also, my newly re-designed double-sided business cards, created in eager anticipation for this year's Ottawa International Animation Festival. Last year's theme was a simple Caravan layout - this year, it's mirroring my new website at The print version, I should note, will contain my phone contact on the back as well. 


Monday, September 13, 2010


My ever-changing animation portfolio, as I'm constantly looking to improve upon it in any way that I can. This portfolio is typically 12 pages long. At the moment, this version is sans a page of character design concept work that is still under NDA, as well as a page of animal study drawings, which I'm revisiting entirely as this year's Ottawa International Animation Festival approaches (which yes, I certainly will be attending once again this year, my 4th year running. I'm so looking forward to it - always do!) That said, the portfolio:

Thanks for viewing,


Hi guys! Wanted to let you all know that my artwork and related updates now have their own little home on Facebook as well. Please feel free to drop by and give me a watch if you have a moment, I'd love to see you there! Click the banner below for the link ♥

Mel on Facebook

Said banner will also be getting a permanent new home on my sidebar on this blog, so it'll be here for your convenience at any time. Thanks for the support! :)

More art soon,

Shayne for Jamie

Some characters are just too cool not to be a blast to illustrate - such is the case with Shayne here, commissioned by the talented Jamie Woodward. For this particular image, I snatched up the chance to play with multiple different textures and make them apparent - different woods, metal, glass, liquid. As well as fun, it turned into a great exercise, and I learned a couple of new things as well. Thank you for the commission, Jamie!

Also, welcome, new watchers! Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog :)


Friday, September 10, 2010

Chubby Chicken!

A super-fun commission for Kate for our good buddy Kat's birthday this year. It's Kat's pirate character Amelia as a kiddo, expressing her life-long love for chickens. The image and general palette here was inspired by some of Norman Rockwell's endearing scenes. Anyhow...

Love you to bits, woman!


Monday, September 6, 2010

Imren Character Sheet for Marie

First off - Welcome, new viewers! Thanks for taking the time to visit my art blog, I quite appreciate it.

Above is the third in a set of three character reference sheets commissioned by the lovely Marie.This fellow, Imren, a character belonging to Marie's husband, was a particularly fun one to do, as his skin and hair colors are unusually pale - it was a nice challenge, actually, getting them right where they needed to be to be true to the character. (And any challenge I can get artistically = instant field-day! I love it.) It was also great to be  able to be able to draw three characters with such varied clothing types - Tyra in her more Frazetta-style slinky fantasy female garb, Marthin in full, billowy robes, and Imren above here in full leather and steel armor instead. Thank you, Marie, for the commission work, as well as providing such lovely characters to illustrate!

As always, I am currently open for multiple different types of commissions, including these basic full-color character reference sheets. Detailed commission information can be viewed here. Folks interested in commissioning me are welcome to contact me at melmillerartATgmailDOTcom. Thanks!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

MST3K Meme (Part 2)

Onward with the MST3k Meme! I'll likely continue to post these in pairs as I complete them during my break-time, as that's been working out quite dandy so far... and has been ridiculously fun. A huge plus to this exercise beyond stress relief (and getting to geek out over something I so enjoy) is the fact that I'm getting to play with color - I'm making various attempts to see what I can do with coloring in a manner that is both quite fast and visually appealing. So far, I'm digging the results.

"So, you're an MST3k fan? Prove it by drawing us your favorite episode!"
*...Personally, I think it's next to impossible to pick *one* definitive favorite episode  - there are too many great shows to narrow it down, so, consider "Space Mutiny" more of *a* favorite as opposed to *the* favorite, less we forget the pure levels of awesome seen in episodes like "Pod People," "Manos, The Hands Of Fate," or "The Final Sacrifice." Also - my first shot at drawing Mike. :)

"Ok, I believe you. So, how old were you when you started watching the show?"
*... ok, admittedly, this question doesn't exist in the original survey. It's more of a filler-attempt, given that question #14 is literally, "We're almost done!" (aka, a complete non-question.) Consider this shiny new addition my replacement-14, and an attempt to infuse a bit more substance into these 15 little ditties. That said though, I was indeed a wee pup when I started watching MST3K, drew a whole host of terrible little-kid fan art (Including the above paper bag hand-puppets. I was that nerdy, folks.) One thing I loved about the show is that it can be viewed by all sorts of age groups and still be completely fun for all - the humor is varied and clever enough to pull it off with ease. Kudos.

More of the Meme: 
Part 1

More to come,

Prop Design

Another thing I quite enjoy doing is creating designs for the props that pop up in my own concepts and animation, as well as for various other projects, professional and personal alike. Above are examples of this, including a closer look at the Bogey Family Caravan, as I like the layout a bit better then what the confines of an 8 1/2 x 11 page allowed me to create. :) Thank you for viewing.

More soon,

Environments & Characters

For those interested, here's a current incarnation of my character and environment design print portfolio, sans a page of work that is still under a NDA. Cheers!