Anthony Zierhut

Storyboard artist and animatic artist for feature films



Finished another sketchbook!

This was a good one: from September ’05 to yesterday. So between this sketchbook and its predecessor, that accounts for just about every sketch on this blog since the beginning. This one had fairly large square pages – which was interesting compositionally, if I decided to use the whole page; and it had slightly yellowish colored sheets, which show up more or less depending on the mood of my scanner I guess. I got a fresh new sketchbook, this time one of those famous moleskines I’ve been hearing about. I like the size of it, the paper, the feel, so we’ll see how that goes. I think I’d like to try some different media too. In these last two sketchbooks I purposefully limited myself to a very soft, dark 2mm 6b graphite pencil and a #2 refillable Tria marker and/or a smudge stick. Let’s see what happens…


This is a “photograph” of my great, great, great grandfather. His name is Richard Garstang and he was born in 1802 or 1806, there are two conflicting accounts, in Preston England. I figure this image is about 150-160 years old. He was my grandmother’s great grandfather. Anyway, we took the picture down when we had the house painted and one of my daughters knocked it over, breaking the glass, but not damaging the picture, thankfully. I got some museum quality UV protected glass for it and re-framed it in its ancient frame. I took the opportunity to make a high quality scan of it while it was out of the frame. The 1850s were early times for photography, and the image is heavily retouched with what I guess is watercolor. That’s why I put “photograph” in quotes. It’s almost more like a drawing. You have to look closely to see the faint photographic image behind the brush strokes. Here’s a detail to show what I mean:

The back of the picture says he was the “foreman of a weaving establishment, Blackburn, Eng.” I’m currently reading David Copperfield (the version I’m reading here, and the Amazon link for reviews, etc. here.), and it’s interesting for me to think about great, great, great Grandpa here living during those times in England, and being a contemporary of the author, Charles Dickens.

Richard is rather stern looking and my wife is a little spooked by Mr. Garstang’s steely gaze, so this complicates the issue of where we hang the picture. I hope he was happy. I know virtually nothing about him. The picture is an interesting thing, though.

Update 1/30/06: I did a little research on Blackburn and weavers during the mid-1800s and got this. It’s no wonder he looks a little surly. Those were horrible times: machines replacing human weavers, unemployment, riots, child labor. Perhaps that had something to do with his son coming to the United States? I may never know.

Jack Grievous

Just as a follow up, here’s how Jack’s Halloween costume turned out. I swear you can make just about anything from upholstery foam and spray glue. He was a little disappointed that I didn’t make the extra set of arms that the “real” Grievous has, but he was happy with the results overall. Lucas would make a killing if he actually produced costumes of this character.

So long, old pal…

Today I finished the last page of my current sketchbook. This is a semi-big deal only because I have shelves full of half-finished sketchbooks in my studio. This was a particularly good one: soft, smooth high-quality paper, stitch-bound and with a leather jacket. Virtually indestructible. And just about every sketch uploaded to this blog came out of it. I used to use those spiral-bound sketchbooks you get at the art store, but the spirals bend and pages come out, or it pokes you in the arm giving you tetanus or something. Or the cheap paper covers rip off in the backpack. I’ve got of few of those on the shelves too. No, this was a good one. I think I got it at Borders for about $ 12 or so. The new one replacing it is a bit bigger, hardbound in good fabric and with excellent paper. The pages are square, too, which might yield some interesting results. Got it from one of those fancy paper stores in Old Town Pasadena. A long time ago I got quite intimidated by hardbound sketchbooks. I thought, what could I possibly draw that’s good enough to go into a book like that? But I came to realize, it’s not about “good enough”, it’s about not falling apart after a couple months’ use. That’s all, no big deal.

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