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Showing posts from November, 2009
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Some images from The Prince of Egypt this week:


Final frame from the film.


Painted background columns.




Color key painting:


The Backgrounds were painted in sections so they cold be reused in other scenes. The columns were difficult to paint and they seemed never ending; if we'd had photoshop back then they would have taken a fraction of the time. But I am glad to have learned the discipline with acrylics, I liked the all or none nature of the medium. You had to nail it on the first pass (though you could touch up with some glazing). Each column was masked off with tape and painted wet on wet with no air brushing.

ONE LOVELY DRAWING, part 29

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This is why your grandpa spoke with such reverence about the great Al Dorne.


1953 illustration from Colliers about six greedy, shiftless sons waiting for their father to die.

These overalls alone are an act of utter brilliance:



Notice how sharply Dorne observed the folds at the knee and the waist, and how he used such a descriptive line to convey them. You can also tell from the way he drew those haunches that he understood perfectly the anatomy beneath the overalls.

Dorne's knowledge of anatomy did not hobble his imagination in any way. Look at the liberty he took in redesigning the human skull, placing ferret-like heads on the bodies of lummoxes.


In addition to the seemingly dislocated jaw, note the loving attention Dorne paid to the furrowed brow, the curve of the eye and the interaction between cheekbone and nose. This is a master draftsman at work.





Other examples of that fabulous Dorne line include:





But it would be a mistake to look at this drawing as just the sum of its highlights.…
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Watercolor on Arches cold pressed watercolor paper.
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THE SPRINGTIME OF BOB PEAK

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Bob Peak started out in the 1950s as just one of many young, capable illustrators.



But in the 1960s, Peak caught fire and began turning out radically different work. His line work had roots in the Viennese Secessionist movement (particularly Schiele and Klimt) and in the great Rene Bouche, but Peak's hot, fluorescent color combinations were unprecedented; his extreme angles, cinematic style, and space age dynamism were blazingly original.






Nobody else was doing work like this at the time.











Peak's work was "radical" in the truest sense of the word (defined as "going to the root or source.") Note in the following unpublished picture how Peak is not merely fine tuning details-- instead, he goes all the way back to the simplest most fundamental questions of design, composition and color and comes up with a striking result.



Literally, a "revolution" occurs when something completes a full cycle and returns to its starting place.

Peak's salad days in the 19…
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Charcoal and nupastel on strathmore paper.
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ONE LOVELY DRAWING, part 28

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I love this drawing of a speeding police car.



Note the frenetic lines for the flashing light; the car's shape distorted by speed, with the ballast in the back and the snout lurching forward; and the way the car hovers above the ground, seeming to kick up gravel behind it. I love the line work (including the occasional ink smear). I love the design and the composition. Applying the same standards I apply to a Picasso, I consider this a terrific drawing.

Sophisticated artists who have mastered technical skills sometimes struggle to unlearn those skills. They hope that, by shedding their knowledge of anatomy and perspective and their hardened patterns of perception, they can draw the world with the same freshness as the child who drew that police car.


Picasso


Dubuffet


Steig

It's not easy to shed established habits of seeing. The process of dismantling skills-- abandoning assumptions, vanquishing muscle memory and starting from scratch-- can be as difficult as acquiring skills to begin…
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Here's a followup from last week's post. After the location was approved, I did these color keys as story moments and for character lighting. Character drawings were provided by animation.
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