Miss Violet Hand Drawn Animation

This is a little bit of animation that I did a little while back. Miss Violet is based on my old dog. She was such a sweetheart and so much fun. This story was developed by myself along with the incredible Vedanta Sproston and my business partner, Nick Burch. I had so much fun putting this together. I hope you enjoy it.

The plan is to fo more of these in the near future.
Continue reading Miss Violet Hand Drawn Animation

Wolfwalkers Early Design Work

Hopefully by now you have had a chance to check out the amazing, award winning film Wolfwalkers directed by Tom Moore and Ross Stewart.
If not I encourage you to stop reading this and go watch it! (I’ve embedded the trailer below)It’s available on AppleTV+ which you can get on pretty much any streaming device with a free trial.

It was developed by the amazing team at Cartoon Saloon over in Kilkenny, Ireland whom I was fortunate enough to get to visit in 2019 on one of my last international trips before the pandemic. While I was there I was working with the team doing some animation demos & lectures and I was treated to a behind the scenes look at the progress of the film. It wasn’t finished yet but it was clear already that it was going to be something very special.

Myself & Nick Burch with Tomm Moore and some of the Cartoon Saloon Crew in Kilkenny, Ireland. 

My history with Wolfwalkers goes back a little further than that though. ¬†In 2017 the team at Cartoon Saloon reached out to me to get some tips on wolf animation and design. At the time I provided a few small demos for them and some wolf illustration ideas. ¬†From there it evolved into them wanting to see some takes on how I would approach designing the two main characters of Mebh & Robyn in their wolf forms. ¬†I was sent an early draft of the script and had a go at some designs.These were just meant for exploration. The model sheets were my attempt to find a middle ground between the flat graphic design of the film and a more 3 dimensional look. I was trying to strike a balance between a more “realistic” wolf and the beautiful 2D style that Cartoon Saloon is known for. ¬†I’m glad they stuck with the more graphic look. ¬†Ultimately, I think the final look of the characters in the film are much stronger than these early concepts but I wanted to share them with you. In the end, I was only on the project for a few days but it was great fun and I was happy to help.


Flash forward to December 2020 and my jaw hit the floor after watching the film. Both because of how beautiful of a movie it was but also I was shocked to see my name listed in the credits. There I am under the Visual Development/Concept Design section. This is a huge honor and a was a truly unexpected surprise. Most people don’t realize that simply doing work on a film does not guarantee you will get a credit. Film credits are not handed out like candy. Typically it is a negotiated part of a contract and requires some substantial contribution. In my case I did not request a credit and certainly didn’t expect one.

So a HUGE THANK YOU goes out to the directors  and to everyone at Cartoon Saloon for producing such a beautiful film and for allowing me to have be connected with it in anyway. Now go watch the movie already!

Lightbox 2020 Event Replays!

Well, Lightbox 2020 was a huge success but has now come to a close.
Below you can find replays of each of the four workshops I did over the weekend! You can also view SIX New prints that are now available and never before published online!

My Lightbox Event Schedule: (Replay Videos)



    Friday 1:00 pm – Friday 3:00 pm EST (GMT -4)

    Presenter(s): Aaron Blaise

    Watch as Aaron shares his approach to design believable and lovable animal characters!



    Saturday 1:00 pm – Saturday 2:30 pm EST (GMT -4)

    Presenter(s): Aaron Blaise

    Animator and Director, Aaron Blaise walks you through his approach to how to animate 4 legged animals. He explains his thought process and animates for you in Real Time!



    Sunday 3:00 pm – Sunday 4:00 pm EST (GMT -4)

    Presenter(s): Aaron Blaise, Manny Carrasco

    Join Aaron and Manny as they recap a recent Camp and Draw trip to Yellowstone. Learn about some of the parks’ wildlife, get some sketching tips and a listen to a few hilarious stories about a group of artists seeking adventure in Montana.



    Sunday 4:30 pm – Sunday 6:30 pm EST (GMT -4)

    Presenter(s): Aaron Blaise

    Aaron Blaise (Brother Bear, Aladdin, The Lion King) is a world renowned digital artist. Watch as he shows you his tips & tricks for digital drawing that looks like a frame of a finished film!




Hippo Dance!!

Well due to my busy workshop and speaking schedule lately this has been a while coming but, I am glad to report that my “Hippo Funk” Animation is now complete. This was great fun to put together and work on over the past few weeks.

I’m going to be¬†breaking this animation down for an upcoming “How to Animate to Music”¬†video lesson. Also,¬†this hippo guy will be return¬†in my Character Design Course that I’ll be releasing soon.

I also have plans to release this animation for other uses so that artists and musicians¬†can set it to their own music… But more on that soon. In the meantime, ENJOY!

Interested in Digital Art & Animation Instruction? I offer a line of tutorials, videos and lessons. CLICK HERE to Learn More.


Cecil The Lion Portrait & Time Lapse Video


Like many people around the world, I was extremely moved by the recent tragedy surrounding the hunting and killing of the beloved lion know as Cecil. (Read More) – As you may be able to tell I am a HUGE animal lover and¬†it drives me crazy when I see these beautiful creatures destroyed for no good reason. In fact, I’ve decided to get personally involved and hopefully our efforts can help educate people and prevent these horrible things from happening in the future.

As some of you may also know I was one of the animators on “The Lion King” – When I heard the news about Cecil I got inspired to create a tribute image. It’s not much but hopefully it will make people think.


I also created a time lapse video of the creation of this image which you can see below:

Continue reading Cecil The Lion Portrait & Time Lapse Video

Disney Animators Share Artistic Advice

Recently I was invited up to Nashville, TN to attend the second annual “Taught By A Pro Weekend” which was presented by TaughtByAPro.com – While there I got an opportunity to give a lecture, do some demos and speak with my good friends and amazing animators Tom Bancroft (Mushu from “Mulan”) and Eric Goldberg (Creator of the Genie from “Aladdin” and co-director of “Pocahontas”).

I had a brief chance to sit down with them and record some of their insights and wanted to share them with you. Enjoy! Continue reading Disney Animators Share Artistic Advice

Hand Drawn Animation – “Trunk Troubles”

I’ve been excited more and more recently by the possibilities of TVPaint. It had been a little while since I had sat down and created any original animation so I got the itch to do something fun. This was just a quick little piece that I created in 8 days using my Wacom Cintiq and TVPaint. I was thinking about elephants when I got the idea for this character name Cyrano. This short animation shows some of the hijinks he gets into with his trunk. I hope you like it… I think I’ll do more with this character soon. Continue reading Hand Drawn Animation – “Trunk Troubles”

Timelapse Digital Painting of Yao from “Mulan” in Photoshop

Lately, I’ve been having a blast revisiting my “old friends” from the Disney films I worked on.¬†Yao was a character I designed and supervised the animation for the film “Mulan”. Here I’ll take you through my process as I paint him in Photoshop.

Below is a time-lapse video of the process and the final image:

[youtube_sc url=”TpnIk_VZ5Wc” width=”750″]

Interested in Digital Art & Animation Instruction? I offer a line of tutorials videos and lessons. CLICK HERE to Learn More.


You can also see my take on the Beast from “Beauty and the Beast” HERE and my Rajah from “Aladdin” HERE

Time Lapse Video of Digital Painting of Rajah from Aladdin in Photoshop

Rajah (from “Aladdin”) was the first character I was ever given the opportunity to actually design and lead the animation. It was a huge deal for me. I was 24 and I remember being very nervous. It was fun to draw and paint him tonight after so many years. Thanks to¬†John Musker¬†and¬†Ron Clements¬†for having faith in me way back then.

Below is a time-lapse video of the process and the final image:

[youtube_sc url=”LuaMG0_-xWw” width=”650″]

Interested in Digital Art & Animation Instruction? I offer a line of tutorials videos and lessons. CLICK HERE to Learn More.

You can also see my take on the Beast from “Beauty and the Beast” HERE

Painting Rajah from "Aladdin" in Photoshop

Digital Painting of Beast in Photoshop

So my friend and¬†¬†I were talking and he thought it might be fun and interesting to take some of the characters I’ve animated in the past and do realistic renderings of them in Photoshop using my painting techniques and photographic textures. I agreed and so I decided to do The Beast as my first one. This was the first major character I ever animated thanks to¬†Glen Keane. I’ve always loved drawing him.

Below is a time-lapse video of the process and the final image:

[youtube_sc url=”C6Dk7EEFTG4″ width=”650″]

Interested in Digital Art & Animation Instruction? I offer a line of tutorials videos and lessons. CLICK HERE to Learn More.

ImagineFX Cover Issue – ON SALE NOW

Hi Everyone,

I am so excited and extremely honored to announce that the latest issue of Imagine FX Magazine features a cover story and new video tutorial by me. It was a lot of fun putting this together and the whole team over at the publication did an outstanding job. They are based in the UK so it hits news stands there today, November 7th and it should be in USA and other international book stores soon after! In my area I know it can be picked up at Barnes and Nobel bookstores. 

To celebrate I am offering a limited time 30% OFF promo code for my site. Just enter “ImagineFX” at checkout to receive 30% off your order.


Below¬†is gallery showing the final cover and a sneak peek at the interior article. I’ve also included a number of alternative cover sketches that I did. Continue reading ImagineFX Cover Issue – ON SALE NOW

New Disney Inspired Art

I’ve often been asked what my favorite movie was to work on while at Disney. With the exception of my experience directing “Brother Bear”, I’d have to say that it was working with Glen Keane animating the Beast on “Beauty and the Beast”. Glen was incredibly generous with the scenes he gave me to animate. He got me to elevate my game higher than I thought I was able to do. Because of that… it launched my animation career to new heights. I owe a lot to Glen.

So the other day I say down and got inspired to draw the Beast… It has been years since I’ve drawn the character and I wanted to see if I could still do it. After that I started doing a few other characters as well. ¬†I’m also posting these and a lot of other images over at INSTAGRAM so please follow me there if you want. Enjoy!

Art Story Production Poster Released

Well, it’s hard to believe that it’s been a full year since our “Art Story” Kickstarter campaign was successfully funded. This is the first of many milestones as we slowly bring the film to the big screen. To celebrate I create a new poster image which we are using for inspiration at this stage of the production. I hope you like it!

Art Story Production Poster

The first thing to do when beginning any animated scene is to thumbnail. Thumbnailing is to do little drawings exploring the posing and acting of a character in a scene. Here are some from early in my career.

In the movie Beauty and the Beast one of the sequences I animated was Beast in front of the fireplace having been wounded by the wolves. Belle is trying to clean his wounds and they get into a fight. I spent three weeks figuring out the sequence before doing any animation. I did piles and piles of thumbnails working closely with Glen Keane.

Continue reading The first thing to do when beginning any animated scene is to thumbnail. Thumbnailing is to do little drawings exploring the posing and acting of a character in a scene. Here are some from early in my career.

Old Animation Design Drawings

In packing my home, I’ve come across some old animation design drawings I’ve done over the years. These particular drawings are from Aladdin, The Lion King, Mulan, and Brother Bear

These are a few life drawings I did of tigers in preparation for creating Rajah from Aladdin

The next few were from early in the design process

Here is where I finally hit the design that ended up in the film.

These are few life drawings I did from lions that were brought into the studio at the beginning of production on The Lion King

These next few sets of drawings I did were from the design process of creating Young Nala

These drawings are from creating the Ancestral Ghosts from Mulan

These were little pen and marker thumb-nails I created in trying to find different compositions for a mountain climbing scene in Brother Bear.

Legend of Tembo Pencil Test

Here is a pencil test I did early in the development of “The Legend of Tembo”. I wanted the riggers and animators to see what I had in my head as far as movement and personality for young Tembo:


Here are a few old Mulan designs I found…

Here are a few drawings from when I was doing some design work at that beginning of Mulan. I ultimately was the supervising animator for Yao and the Ancestors but I helped on a number of different things in the beginning. These were a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed the charcoal. This is not even a fraction of the hundreds of drawings I did.