Saturday, December 22, 2007

Holiday Break-2007

After a fairly long stretch of intense work, I now find myself with a few weeks time ahead of me with nothing to do but relax, spend some time with my wife, see some friends, and draw whatever pleases me.
As it happens, I've been writing and building a short comic book project, tentatively titled "All City" which I hope to have all roughed out by the time the holidays conclude. Below are some samples of conceptual work I've been doing for it. Just rough ideas right now, to locate tone and style, although these are hardly indicative of either at this stage. Hopefully these next few weeks will broker happier results.
I want to wish all of you who regularly visit, and those just stopping by a very happy and safe holiday season. See you all in 2008.

Best wishes,
James Robertson

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Daniela Strijleva

As some of you may have noticed, a while ago I added a link on the right to a Dani Strijleva, whose new blog is getting populated with some really fun, insightful and just plain awesome drawing. I'm glad now to have a moment or two to give it it's proper due.

I met Dani back at Sheridan where even then her talent for doing things right, was well developed and in full bloom. To the point:I have yet to see her make a truly bad drawing in the 7 years I've known her.
Her stuff is specific, yet loose; well constructed, yet character rich, and the stuff on the blog is just the tip of the iceberg, I assure you. I think I can say all this with reasonable certainty as she's also my wife.
Go check out her fantastic blog, you'll be glad you did.

Here's just a small sample.


Welcome to the blog world Dani!


Friday, November 23, 2007

A tiny break's nice to have a little free time.

- James

Thursday, October 25, 2007

More B.A.R.T.

More stuff drawn on the bart, and a recent trip to the Ferry building with Emma.
It's in pencil, so it's from a few books ago, when I was into that.



Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Abandoned-for now

I'm going to to try and update more regularly, since I've been falling behind in the posting the last few months. Here's a photo taken at home of some work from a comic book project I've been developing. I've been inspired as of late by some fellas here as well as some favorites, old and new to do a small comic book project of my own, just to get the ball rolling.
I've settled on something now, but it took a few discarded ideas to get to, this being one of them.
I think I may return to it, once I solve a few of them problems I had with it, but for now it's going in the vault.
This photo was taken with my new digi-cam which should make photo posting on the blog more common.

Also, I have a few things I'd like to talk about on the blog once I get a bit more time to dedicate to it. In lieu of that, Ted has written a great post about composition which I think is worth reading, so please head over to Rose and Isabel and check it out. When it comes to food for thought, Ted is a fine chef. You'll find it here.

UPDATE: Tom Gately, a great animator, character designer and gesture sketching teacher has started a blog. Go there NOW. Big news.

Thanks to all those who commented on the last post. It's much appreciated.


Thursday, October 04, 2007


I celebrated my 28th birthday on Sunday... so much has happened in the last year and I still feel behind, struggling to process it all. Since last September 30, I got married, landed a spot here at Pixar, moved to a new country, and changed some life paths. It all happened so fast. I often thought when I was really young, that adulthood came on with, or as an attainment of some kind, as though adolescence ended with an epiphany that set you up for the responsibility of living well among others and potentially raising a well adjusted, loving family.
Looking back on the last few years, I've realized that IF that epiphany is coming, it'll come so slowly I'll never notice it, and that we all have to live well now, and that that will always be a challenge.
Looking ahead, I have much to learn; some that involves pen and paper, some that involves heart and mind, sturdied that all things take time and that life is a process, a series of successes and failures that allow us to whittle ourselves down to who we are , and what we want.
At 28, here's to clear thinking, and strong feeling.
I received a real treasure of a gift from my parents this year in the form of Ronald Searle's Paris sketchbook. It's a case of right book, right time and it has lit up the furnace of inspiration.
Some pen and ink drawings from a new new new sketchbook, taken from the BART rides, the only time I have nowadays with run free with line.
They're kind of a step back I think, but what can you do?
Thanks for reading,


Thursday, September 20, 2007


It was my good friend's Ruth last day at Pixar yesterday, as her internship ran its course. We're all sad to see her go here, (she's awesome!), so I made her this card as a going away present. It hardly seems like fitting tribute, but maybe some brunches will make up for that.
Best of luck for the future Ruth, not that you'll need it.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

New sketchbook 2 and an anniversary

The new sketchbook I mentioned in the last post is now sitting, finished on my nightstand, and I've been working through the new, new one. This is all stuff from my morning and nightly commutes on Bart, and Ritual sittings.
Also, the blog turned 2 last month. Time seems to fly so quickly these days, but sufficed to say I'm amazed how far I've come in the 24 months since starting The Iron Scythe.
I thank all of you who stop by the blog and read daily.
Here's to another great year.
Again, the sketches.

Monday, July 09, 2007

New Sketchbook

Some new stuff from the sketchbook.
This is the third one since I've been here in San Francisco, with the other two sitting on my table, remaining to be scanned. I'm trying not to be lazy, but it's hard to stay on top of it.
Some sketches from the coffee shop.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Copyright Disney/Pixar 2007

When I started working at Pixar, Ratatouille was nearing completion of animation and large chunks of the film had already gone through the mysterious processes that make it look as it now looks, in its finished form. I was lucky enough in my first month here, to get a look at one of said chunks, the 4th reel to be exact.
As I staggered out of the theatre here after the reel had ended, I remember thinking something that I'd thought once before, while staggering out of a darkened cinema that had just shown The Incredibles.
"This is going to change things."
And that was just one reel. Having seen the film twice since then I can offer this:
Anyone truly passionate about animation, art, sincerity and craft, and life outside of it will find a home in this film.
Brad and Jan's vision for this film is gloriously realized and incredibly insightful, and I'm glad to offer my admiration and praise to the amazing crew that saw it through.

Friday, June 01, 2007


More of Duncan.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Look out world...

...because Bill Presing has started a blog.
Go visit him and say hi at Daily Peril.

Go Bill!


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Monday warm ups

More monday warm ups. I'll try to get some stuff from the commutes and cafes scanned this week. Until then,this.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Irma La Douce

Just a quick sketch from work.
Also, this Saturday is the 14th Worldwide sketchcrawl day. Enrico has been up to great things organizing people and getting things in motion for this to be a great event. All the info can be found on his sketchcrawl blog, or on his personal blog.
I'll be turning up at the ferry building on saturday. See you all there.
Again a quick sketch inspired by the Billy Wilder film.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

More sketches

Some recent stuff from commutes and a day at Dolores Park.