19 May 2017
16 May 2017
14 May 2017
12 May 2017
|Elaborate miniature design studies for the animated short The Old Mill|
They Drew as They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney's Golden Age
The book is a companion volume to the earlier book on Disney's concept art: Before the Animation Begins: The Art and Lives of Disney Inspirational Sketch Artists
11 May 2017
03 May 2017
via Studio Bowes Art Blog at http://ift.tt/2qFEum7
27 April 2017
Plein air painting is one of those things I've been interested in but truthfully never really tried.
Bill Robinson and I go way back (we first met in 2009 when I was curating a Maurice Sendak tribute art blog called Terrible Yellow Eyes). He has a decorated career in children's books and animation and currently works as a visual development artist at Sony.
I thought I'd invite Bill over to share a little of his experience and expertise with plein air painting.
Paper Towels, Spray Bottle, Artists Tape - These seems like add-ons, but they are essential! Paper towels especially, for getting the right consistency when mixing gouache. Too much water on your brush and you’ll be struggling. Spray bottle is good for keeping your palette wet.
Brushes - I mostly use 2-3 brushes on a painting. Mainly a 1” flat and then maybe a ¼” flat for details. Once in awhile I use a round for smaller details. I love my cylindrical brush carrier, which keeps them from getting bent bristles in my backpack.
Palette - I use a Sta-Wet palette for and it changed my life. I used to hate working with gouache because it dries out so quickly, especially in heat or direct sunlight. The Sta-Wet palette has a wet sponge and a special palette paper that keep your paints full of moisture, even days later. I also use a small spray bottle of water to refresh the paint if necessary.
Paper/Pencils/Eraser - I work on a variety of surfaces, but mostly either cold press watercolor paper or hot press illustration board. I have started to prefer illustration board, mostly because you don’t have to worry about buckling or warping. I’ve always got a pencil and kneaded eraser in my kit for laying in quick sketches. The boards in the photo are from Cottonwood Arts.
Water - I use an old pill bottle with a screw on cap to hold my water. It’s tiny, lightweight, and watertight.
Masonite board - If you are using a small painting surface, it’s good to have a board to tape it down to.
Pochade Box - I bit the bullet and bought a fancy STRADA easel. It’s lightweight, strong, super portable, and easy to use. No complaints. There are definitely cheaper options (including many homemade ones) for people just getting started.
Tripod - I’m using a cheap old tripod I had lying around the house, but it would probably be a good idea to use something a little more sturdy. Just be careful of how heavy it might make your pack.
Travel Toiletry Hanger/Paint - I had this old toiletry carrier and found that it is perfect for holding my supplies. It has a hanger hook up top, which I can hang on to my easel for easy access. I use gouache for my plein air paintings, mostly because it’s waterbased, opaque, and dries quickly. Also, the tubes are very small and easy to transport! I am fond of Holbein and Winsor & Newton, though there are other good brands out there.
Backpack - This Kelty Redwing bag is huge, with tons of zippers and pockets for all your supplies. It’s a serious backpacking kit, so you trade off a little more weight to use it. Sometimes I switch this out for a lightweight gym knapsack if I don’t need all the gear.
Yooo, Hot Topic is having a flash sale so you could get my Doctor Mew shirt for cheap! Today only! Five hours left!
I'll have to base these writings on a couple of assumptions.
The first is that it's not very likely that in the near future -or ever - I am going to be conducting brisk and informative tours of my at-home studio.
The second assumption, and a possibly even more far fetched one, is that there are actually people out there who would willingly partake in such a bold enterprise.
So, throwing caution to the wind, and going along with the second assumption - I will try and give a little tour of the tools of my trade, the place where they gather and the part they play in my actually getting anything done.
This little jaunt is only available because not much else is. I am embarked on a couple of creative voyages that forbid me to show anything, and to speak of which, would spell some awful kind of doom. At least for me.
So, cup of tea in hand, I make my way down to the cellar where my world sits waiting. Trying to be a little bit chronological, it is my brain that kicks off the process. The same for most of us I suspect. Those flashes of inspiration and tantalising flashes of what might be. So - paper, before they fade. Assuming that I have filled pages of layout pad with scribbles, and progressed on to things that could be called sketches, and then managed to nail the sketches down as something that I would love to paint - it is over to my light table.
It is an ancient, metal monster that bares the brunt of my struggles to make sense of all the scribbles, squiggles and occasional sketches. Once the hard part of defining and drawing the characters is done, I enjoy physically juggling and jigsawing them into place. Suddenly I can see the relationship they have with each other and have a clear mental image of how they will relate to the background. Being the Creator, in my own world, I can toy with my subjects and play with their sizes. The pretty ordinary copy machine that I have is about as hi-tech as I get in my quest for beauty. When dealing with a gaggle of goblins, being quickly able to up and down their individual sizes a few percent to gently push the composition along is invaluable. Not so hi-tech are books. Pride and joy for many of us. And so necessary, for both sparking ideas and checking that a horses' back leg actually looks like you thought it did.
Risky, though, spending too long looking. Too many ideas, and you can visually short circuit, getting lost in a tar-pit of seductive images.Too much relaxed flicking of pages and it,s suddenly lunchtime (no bad thing). It,s best to do short raids. Know what you want. Get in there. And get out again.
The final jigsaw of characters is then drawn up onto my water colour paper using the light table again - and then it is left alone to dream of whatever it is that light tables dream of, until it,s services are required again.
Stretching the paper requires water from the tap next door - not the neighbours - the room next door. They have big cellars in Denmark. I know there are a lot of assumptions being thrown out here, but I feel relatively safe in assuming that you all know what a tap looks like, so no photo.
However - here is a photo of that little area where, I suspect, like many of us, we spend most of our time - in spite of persistent requests to pay attention to things that need dealing with in the other world outside these walls.
Again, like I suspect many of us, my walls and shelves are covered, some might say cluttered, with all sorts of visual stimulus and emotional supplements, to help oil the wheels, and occasionally push the creative juggernaut I,m trying to steer. It,s all stuff I love.Some things go back years, without having lost any of their appeal - visually or emotionally.
This huge Conan poster, I pleaded with the staff at Londons Forbidden Planet to give me. They had it folded up under the counter, and were happy to get rid of it - for free! More than 30 years ago. It,s seen a lot of things, in a lots of different places over the years, hanging on different walls!
The Siberian tiger is a more recent arrival. Helps remind me that a big part of my own artistic quest is simply trying to make something beautiful. His beauty helps put on hold depressing thoughts about all the crap going on in the world. The sheer aesthetic perfection of a full grown Siberian tiger very quickly puts mankind's stupid and arrogant fumblings on a back-burner - even though, sadly it is those consistent fumblings that threaten such beauty and conspires to make it even more poignant. Don,t get me started……..
Unless you are one of theses digital folks, it's the same stuff going on in my play area as there is in yours. Pots of brushes. Tubes of paint. And from that tap next door - water.
The paints just live communally in an old box - the warmer colours at one end - the colder ones at the other, though the front lines can get a bit muddled sometimes.
The brushes, of which I have far too many (because you never know - do you?), are sorted vaguely in sizes. They are on constant rotation, as it is quite a job targeting one that will behave and do exactly what I want it to do. At the moment I am stuck in a kind of vicious, hogs-hair no-mans land. The brushes, that through time and use, have evolved into the perfect partner, have recently reached a collective point where they have simply given up. Instead of a willing and eager tool, a rather alarming number of them have seemingly reached a point where they thought it would be better to turn into something that even a dwarf wouldn't use to clean his chimney. So, my entire A-Team of front rank brushes, have opted for career changes, and my all too new recruits are simply not up to the task.
|Even the ones on the left had a perfect leaf shape once - many paintings ago. But they are still more useful than the ones on the right!|
So - a lot of time is spent picking upon brush after the other, trying to find one that can be bent to it's masters will. Brush-rage. You heard it here first. Not a nice state of mind when you were enjoying yourself and things were coasting along.
I make light of this, but it is a problem. New brushes, in spite of their seductive bodies and fine heads of hair - are rarely up to the job, and I,m not ruthless enough in retiring the old guard, convinced their loyalty will help me though just on more painting. Interestingly enough, the new recruits have forced me to work a lot more broadly in the early stages, getting stuff done quicker, and blocking in larger ares with more confidence. I will, however, be glad when they pass basic training and begin to justify their places in my paint pots.
Perched behind me, we can see some anatomic sculptures. Another invaluable aid to quickly checking that the nuts and bolts are understood in that consistently challenging subject of the human body. The skulls are a camel (I found it in the desert and brought all the way in a suitcase from Dubai when my parents lived there. Bet I couldn't do that these days!),and a female elk - or moose, to our American chums.
Music, of course, being another essential to the creative process - and of course, simply as something to be enjoyed in it,s own right. I won't bore you with what I have - but of course - it is an eclectic collection of breathtakingly good taste. Enough said.
The more observant amongst you (and I think I can safely assume that observance is a trait that all of us arty types are somewhat known for), may have spotted the big plastic container under the table. The last 25 litres of 75 litres of cider that is almost ready to bottle. Not strictly anything to do with my daily creative routine. Just needed the radiators warmth back in November when it was fermenting. Having said that, though, it,s very comforting hearing the gentle release of bubbles as the natural sugars turn to alcohol.
I find myself digressing.
|"Recreational"creativity. Making things for orks to run around in. My excuse is father/son stuff……….|
Not much more to see really. Got some drawers full of half baked ideas, finished works and things I should have thrown out years ago.
Lastly, moving down to floor level we come to my exercise machine. He's called Baldur, and is the latest, top of the range "get the artist off his bum and out of the door" model. And Baldur is the only one who can watch me paint, talk to myself, sing, play air guitar, and occasionally curse - with out getting bored (as far as I can tell). I guess we all lead very sedentary lives' perched on our gluteus maximus all day, so anything that causes us to move is a good thing - and a Baldur is about as good as it gets.
So, I reckon that,s it really. Just a quick little tour. Nothing earth-shattering. No secret techniques - I,ll try and rustle some up for next time. Hope you enjoyed the little tour. If you did, feel free to leave something in the tip-jar on the way out.
I suppose this old bear, Grim, has been with me for most of my painting life. It showed up in art school when I found that painting the yellow-white fur of polar bears offered me great insight into painting with white pigment. In different types of light and in different temperatures, white can become the most fascinating of colors.
So perhaps the discovery of the subtle use of white became characterized in something animated that lived in all forms of light. An anthropomorphized color. This time, in a polar bear.
The bears of my story, though, do not talk and certainly do not wear armor. They are dangerous and wild, and yet, a little more than one would expect.
Painting this little portrait was an exercise in capturing character with quick pigment.
Otakar Lebeda was a 19th century Czech painter whose tragically short life and career have been compared to that of Vincent van Gogh.
Lebeda began painting at an early age, and had the opportunity to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague with noted landscape painter Julius Mařák.
He started out in a similar realist style, comparable to the French Realists of the time, and was introduced to the outdoor landscape styles of the Barbizon School while later studying in Paris.
In his later work Lebeda introduced more figures into his compositions and his style became more painterly and even expressionistic.
Lebeda is not sell known here in the U.S. and online sources for his work are limited, but the images available show a painter of considerable interest and worth following up on as resources hopefully expand in the future.