Wednesday, December 9, 2015

DEC 25th

What does Santa do when another Christmas Eve is in the books? What else?? Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Keep work from fleeing California

Animation peeps, and anyone interested in keeping work here in California- PLEASE take 4 minutes to sign this letter and drop it in the mail:
Animation Guild Member EUC Support Letter
If you can't spare 4 minutes and a stamp, at least fill out this short form and click submit: Animation Guild AB 1839 Support Form
This is important stuff for all of our futures.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

New Website!

I'm happy to announce that I finally have a proper website! You can now view my online portfolio here:
I hope you can spare a minute to check it out and, if possible, drop me a note to tell me what you think!
As always- thanks for lookin'! - Ernie

Thursday, August 22, 2013


This was a going away gift for my dear friend and former mentee, Keiko Murayama. Keiko just started a new gig as a character designer, and I couldn't be happier for her! FOP's loss is Bread Winners' gain. This is Keiko's cat Yuki (and a ukulele... just because I throw them in wherever I can).

Friday, May 31, 2013

Rockin' For The Arts 2013!

I'll say this for my favorite fundraiser- It forces me to update my blog once a year (whether it needs it or not)! Every year we put on a rock concert at our local elementary school, and the proceeds all go toward keeping the school's arts programs afloat. This was our sixth year producing this event, and my sixth year designing the poster. I try to take a different approach each year, and this time around I decided to try designing the poster in the style of a well-known artist. I've always admired Matisse's work- in particular that of his paper-cut period (which- not coincidentally- is much easier to approximate than the style of say.. Renoir or Van Gogh). So here is the poster for our annual event, after the style of Henri Matisse. J'espère que vous l'aimez!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fairly Oddparents Redux

I've always thought that term sounded pretentious- "redux".. like, what? you should be impressed because I speak Latin??? Anyway, we're going back into production on FOP (for those of us too lazy to say "Fairly Oddparents" every time), so I thought it might be a good time to post some FOP models! I hope you like 'em!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


This is our dog- "Max". Short for Maximilian... or Maxwell... or maybe Maximus.. or Maximum Doggage... He came to us already named Max, so the only creative input we get is to speculate what it's short for. Max was a cute puppy. Really PUPPY CALENDAR-cute! But as he grew, he became more like a bad drawing of a dog. Like a drawing someone might do who had never studied animal anatomy or appealing proportion. His body elongated like a balloon animal... his head stopped growing early in the game while the rest of him continued without design or reason... His tail and ears sprouted to Dr. Seussian proportions, while his improbable tongue took on a life of its own.... He's like "The Ugly Duckling" in reverse. A friend, upon seeing him for the first time, said "He looks like a Pokemon!" He was right! "Maximander- I choose YOU!"

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rockin' For The Arts 2012

Whether a lover of music, of kids, or of the arts- MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bluegrass Ukuleles

I just finished a logo design for a swell company out of Louisville Kentucky: "Bluegrass Ukuleles". The company consists of a father-son team (Tom Sr & Tom Jr), who build regular ukes, but specialize in making cigar box ukuleles. Maybe it's because my folks are from Kentucky... maybe it's because of the re-purposed, do-it-yourself, I-ain't-got-no-money-but-I-gotta-make-music-somehow nature of cigar box instruments, but I've always had a place in my heart for these little mojo-monsters. I've never played a Bluegrass Ukulele, but I've admired them on YouTube for some time. and let me tell ya- they are very nice-sounding instruments, which just happen to be made from solid-wood cigar boxes. I'm happy to report that I have one in my not-too-distant future! WOO-HOO! As for the logo, it went through a few permutations (as these things do), and here is the end result. The woman strumming the ukulele is Tom Jr's wife, who also happens to be a flamenco dancer (hence the outfit). So there you have it. I encourage you to check out the company's website, at I also encourage you to take up the ukulele, if you haven't already done so. Thanks for looking! Y'all come back now- hear?

Thursday, December 1, 2011


This is a piece I did recently for Stephen Silver's new iPad app & upcoming book. Stephen has assembled some terrific models, and photographed them in various costumes and poses for artists' reference. A great idea, and sure to be a must-have book. I call this guy "Clancy", 'cause that's just what he looks like to me.
...and some of the sketches that were done before deciding on the final pose

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rockin' For The Arts 2011

Recently finished the poster for this year's Rockin' For The Arts concert (coming up, June 3rd, in case you're in the area)!
4 things I like about this gig:

1) Kids playing musical instruments- always a good thing.
2) All funds raised support arts in the school- very cool.
3) Making music with my friends- one of my all-time favorite activities.
4) It gives me an excuse to design a poster every year.

If you're around, come on out for food, fun, & rock & roll! It's a great event, and I'll be funkin' out in every way.
Hey- that dude in the post underneath will be playing guitar! Hows that for blog synergy?

Monday, April 11, 2011

One from the archives

This is a cover I did for Nickelodeon Magazine's special Fairly Oddparents issue several years ago. I roughed out half-a-dozen or so thumbnails until the publisher was happy with the design (if I find those thumbnails, I'll add them to this post), the image was then cleaned up by Ray Leong, and I did the painting. First cover I ever did, and I must say- seeing your artwork on the magazine racks at your Barnes & Noble is pretty cool!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Anthony Zierhut

This is an image I made for my friend Anthony Zierhut's birthday. He plays some mean blues & slide guitar... and he looks like that, kind of...He's also a terrific artist! You can check out his sketchblog here.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Extras, Miscellaneous, & Whatnot

In addition to designing the central characters involved in a particular storyboard, the character designer has several other responsibilities. Here are some examples of the work that goes into a given assignment: A sampling of incidental background characters, special character poses done to help guide the overseas animators, and a special mouthmchart, designed to accommodate a specific line reading (in this case, by Jerry Trainer- the voice of Dudley Puppy). All of these images were created for the same TUFF Puppy episode: "Doom Mates".

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

TUFF Puppy: Sally Mander

This is one of the earliest designs I did when I was assigned to develop TUFF Puppy. I thought the receptionist for an organization like T.U.F.F. would have to be a real multitasker, so I put her prehensile tongue & tail to use. At the time I was gunning for a 60's look for the show, which explains the pillbox hat. This character seems to have disappeared after delivering one line in the pilot episode (which is why the model sheet was never refined & cleaned up). Ah well- it was fun while she lasted!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cactus + Ukulele = ?

So... I was approached by a ukulele group from Tucson AZ, to design a mascot/logo for their club- "The Saguaro Strummers". It was suggested that something involving a ukulele and a cactus would be in order (turns out a saguaro is a cactus), and since they sought me out in response to seeing my Tampa Bay Ukulele Society logo (which can be seen a few posts down), I guessed they would like something character-oriented rather than an abstract pairing of the two.
I have to say putting the two together was not as easy as I hoped, but I ultimately came up with this idea- going for a little bit of a retro-kitsch-Trader-Vics-Menu vibe, and they seem to be pleased with it. Hope you like it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

TUFF Puppy: Sally Mander

I thought this would be an interesting character in TUFF- the multitasking,

Saturday, October 23, 2010

TUFF Puppy: The Chief

This might be my favorite of my Tuff Puppy designs- the Chief- the Flea who runs TUFF (Turbo Undercover Fighting Force). I wanted Danny Devito for his voice... I pictured him with a cigar, but we couldn't do that for obvious reasons, so I gave him a churro instead. I figured it was his substitute as he struggled to give up cigars. You even still get the falling ash effect from the cinnamon-sugar.

TUFF Puppy: The Chief

This might be my favorite of my Tuff Puppy designs- the Chief- the Flea who runs TUFF (Turbo Undercover Fighting Force). I wanted Danny Devito for his voice I pictured him with a cigar, but we couldn't do that for obvious reasons, so I gave him a churro instead. I figured it was his substitute as he struggled to give up cigars. You even still get the falling ash effect from the cinnamon-sugar.