September 2, 2016

Ethel & Ernest

Here is the trailer for "Ethel & Ernest". It was my great honor to work on this film (as key animator) alongside a bunch of tremendously talented artists.

The film is based on the graphic novel by Raymond Briggs which chronicles the marriage of Briggs' parents from the 1920's to the 1970's and will be released in cinemas in October 2016. The guys from Cartoon Brew and Animatieblog wrote an article about it.

June 18, 2016

December 27, 2015

Ticking Away promotional stills

So we've finished my short film 'Ticking Away'. On my other blog I've been posting more regularly giving insights into how the production of a film like this is realized. So please go ahead and take a look.
The going was hard but the film looks to be done now. What's ahead of us now is sending it in to Film and Animation Festivals all over the globe, hoping that it'll get selected. Fingers crossed! 

Here are a few promotional stills that I've lifted from the film to get festivals and audiences interested in Ticking Away.

October 25, 2015

Sesame Street "Boodschap"

A very short animated piece that I made last year for Dutch Sesame Street. The poem was written by Floortje Schoevaart and the read out by Aart Staartjes.

And a work-In-progress is always fun and insightful, I find, so here ya go.

May 17, 2015

Ticking Away

For quite a while now I have been working on my short film "Ticking Away". It's a hand drawn animated short film that's been on my liver for many years and now it's nearing completion. After that it will hopefully enter the festival circuit to finally be seen by an audience.

I've set up a separate blog to showcase the artwork that I, and my collaborators have been doing for this.

Here's the address: 
Additionally, I've set up a Facebook page.

So please head over and click on "Like this page" if you are interested and want to keep informed.

I will be using the "Ticking Away" blog and FB page for updates and news concerning the production of "Ticking Away" and I will keep this blog (SewieBlog) for my other stuff. Just so you know!

April 11, 2014

Character Sketches

Here are some exploratory sketches I did for a 2d animation job that, unfortunately, fell through. Bummer..! I have the feeling that the essence of a character comes out more strongly in roughs.

December 8, 2013

Sesame Street "Naam"

Here's another little diddy I made for Sesame Street in the Netherlands. It's a little poem written by Ben Kuijpers who wrote it for his granddaughter named Isabel. The snappy voice-over is by Sesame Street actress Lot.

For those of you who like a look behind the curtains; here are some explorations I usually do when I try to figure out what I want the characters in the animation to look like. Just sketching away to see what comes up. It can go off in every direction and most of it obviously stays unused, but who knows, these kids may find their use in another production some day.

(I just lifted these doodles unedited from the workfiles I have. I noticed just now that some characters are shameless copies from the work of colleagues I admire. As long as you eventually don't really use them; anything goes when you go exploring, I suppose.)   

The next video is the storyboard that was presented to the client and the one below that is a rough version of the animation. 

Hope you like it. It was great fun to do!

December 1, 2013


This is a selection of illustrations I made for Franconville. An educational program that was set up by ThiemeMeulenhoff to teach Dutch school kids French language and grammar.


October 20, 2013

Pass It On

Some years ago I had the great honor of working under the direction of Joanna Quinn at her studio -Beryl Productions- on one of their animated commercials. This one was for Charmin Toilet Paper. I did the rough animation after which the crew at Beryl took over to do clean-up and rendering. All this was done on paper and cells back then.

I had a great time working on it and after many years I am still very proud to have been part of this production.

October 17, 2013

Animated Zwitsal Commercials

Here are a couple of commercials I animated a while ago for Zwitsal and Comic House. The animation was based on the well-known logo by Zwitsal and I had to animate the rest of the body in the same style and with the same graphic quality, which was a challenge because the logo is very flat and abstracted and the body had to have a somewhat more plastic, or spatial, quality to be able to do what the client wanted.

The result is a bit quirky, I find, but there it is.
(The quality is funky but, forgive me, this is the best I could do.)

March 1, 2013

Sesame Street - Haai

Last season I made a little animated film for 'Sesamstraat' (the dutch version of 'Sesame Street'). I was assigned a short poem about a shark, written by Theo Olthuis, which I wrote, designed and animated.

Here's what I did.


February 20, 2013

Berwtje KPN

Some time ago I was asked to work on a pitch for the Dutch telecom provider KPN. They were looking for a character to make their brand just a bit more accessible and appealing. The main purpose for this character was to help their clients and customers find their way through their services and products as well as to help the client, either through animation, stills or illustrated print, work through the manuals and setting of KPN's telecom products. (Which can be quite a hassle, I can tell from experience!)

I came up with this happy little chap.

The smiley-like round form was a given concept from the agency with which I had to work. 
I chose the graphic look and simple forms of the eyes and mouth to have his expressions read clearly at a single glance and in many different sizes. Putting the face high up in the circle gave the suggestion of a chin and belly which added a bit more character. The gold tooth is an added accent to offset his cuteness somewhat.

I the end this design lost, though. Too bad but KPN and the agency wanted to go for a  more traditional look and opted for a 3D/CGI character designed by some other illustrator/designer.

February 12, 2013


For Factor15 (a magazine for employees of the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice) I illustrated an article about the recent computer woes that the workers have been experiencing. Just a quick little spot illustration that I wanted to show.

January 22, 2013

Speel Je Toekomst

Aegon Insurance company recently launched an online platform where visitors can find out how events and choices in their lives will impact the buildup of their pensions. Here's a short video by Aegon explaining the concept.

The platform environment was developed by Momkai, who asked my agent, Comic House, if they were willing to produce the character animation that was needed; the two main characters, a male and a female, there were three age groups; young, middle aged and senior. The idea was that the player would be appointed an avatar matching their own age group and would then experience, represented through character animation, how the build-up of their own pensions will look like. That meant that every bit of character animation had to be reproduced, exactly the same, five more times for the remaining age groups. All in all it meant that a staggering amount of animation had to be produced in a short time.

To meet this challenge we found a solution by building a character rig in which all six characters where compiled. That way we could just swap certain body parts to change the age and sex of the avatar, for example, a young man into an elderly female. Then instead of reanimating we would just render the animation out for the different sexes and age groups. Quit technical, and  frankly, not very important from an artistic point of view, but it does explain why the characters look the way they do. All the different parts had to fit and not look strange when switched to another age group so that the player would not notice this aspect of the animation.

I believe we succeeded in this; the game environment looks great and the characters seem well integrated. The platform as a whole looks very functional and quite stylish. Have a look on this presentation page by Momkai, where you can see what the website environment looks like and how it is used.

The game environment and background elements were designed by Momkai. The character animation was done by Michélé de Feudis , David de Rooij, Gerben Steenks, Arjan Wilschut and yours truly. I designed all the characters, build the rigs and worked on the storyboards. Comic House produced and provided the necessary facilities.

Here are some early presentation sketches for the characters. We kept the proportions of the different age groups quite close to each other, mostly to not overcomplicate the animation.

The eventual character line-up.

Some extra family members and a rough presentation sketch for various house pets that might appear in the life span of the avatars.

To give the client a rough idea of what the animation would look like, we made moving storyboards, quick, rough and dirty, but it did the job and helped the clients get an idea of what they were getting, visually and timing wise. Here are some that were made by me and Hans Buying.

You can see how the last two rough boards translated to animation here and here on Arjan's website.

Finally here are two standalone pieces of animation that I made. This is how they were delivered to Momkai (except for the blue backdrop which I added for this weblog) who further integrated them into their website application.

All these animations where made with animated rigs using an inverse-kinemactic bone system, I know, more uninteresting technique, but I want to show what that looks like on my screen.

For someone like me, who comes from a tradition of hand drawn animation, this this just looks crazy! But I admit; when used to, it works quite well and for certain projects it definitely gets the job done right and on time, so welcome to the 21st century!

January 18, 2013

Life Drawings Part 1

Here are some sketches from life drawing sessions. Mostly quick sketches; 5 to 10 minutes tops. I've always found it a great way to sharpen my drawing technique and observational skills. It's hard work as it requires all my concentration but at same time it's great fun too.
And to be able to produce a drawing that's somewhat representable once in a while feels very rewarding, because, to be honest, most aren't. For me it usually seems to be hit-or-miss with these quick sessions.