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Showing posts from October, 2011

Happy Halloween!

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I've had a blast working on Dreamworks Halloween specials, these are from Shrek's Thriller Night on the Scared Shrekless DVD. Other projects that were a hoot are "The Pig Who Cried Werewolf" and "Night of the Living Carrots"! They premiered on Nintendo 3DS and will likely have a wide release in the future so I'll have plenty to post for upcoming Halloweens.














0NE LOVELY DRAWING, part 38

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This woodcut by Lynd Ward scared the crap out of me when I was a boy:


Ward (1905-1985) became known in the 1930s for his "wordless novels" comprised entirely of woodcuts.  (His first, Gods' Man, a powerful story about the corrupting influence of money, debuted the week of the great stockmarket crash in 1929).

I discovered a battered collection of Ward's books on my father's bookshelf.  This illustration-- one of my favorites-- was from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

At age five, I was already expert at drawing scary monsters.  I'd figured out that the two most important ingredients for a monster were 1.) a scary face, and 2.) great big muscles.  Yet, Ward's monster had neither.  Ward succeeded in unnerving me without showing a face at all. 


That gave me plenty of food for thought.

Today you see artists straining to draw scarier faces and bigger muscles.  They'd do well to linger for a moment over the work of Lynd Ward.

The Legend of Puss in Boots!

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We're headed down to the premier of Puss in Boots this week to see the final cut of the movie. We're very proud of the show, I think you'll especially enjoy the color, light and atmosphere worked into each location. I worked on it for 2 years so it's a big investment for me, I hope you check it out! Coming to theaters October 28th.
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PRELIMINARY SKETCHES BY BERNIE FUCHS

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I love the wildness in these preliminary sketches by illustrator Bernie Fuchs:




They were done quickly, and with some violence:




They look completely unfettered.  Not a traffic light in sight.


 Yet, these are not random spasmodic brush strokes.  If you look closely, you can see the fruits of years of discipline and technical skill.

Fuchs spent his first years out of art school working in a small studio in Detroit learning to paint tight, highly realistic car illustrations.  Eventually he left that world behind, but decades later-- working with the palette of Bonnard and using free, spontaneous brush strokes-- Fuchs still retained all that hard earned wisdom about how to convey the weight and volume of a car. 

Fuchs' apprenticeship taught him lessons about form that Bonnard was never forced to learn.  Look beneath the apparent freedom of his brushwork to the subtle treatment of those purple hubcaps (with no wheels), or his reduction of the shapes of light and shadow, or his highlight on …
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Study in ink.
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I'm not sure but I thought that someone somewhere might find this interesting. Background department naming conventions using one of my paintings from Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron.
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THE OLD QUESTION FINALLY ANSWERED: "WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ILLUSTRATION AND FINE ART?"

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Over the years, many people have wrestled without progress over the difference between art and illustration.  The internet is riddled with silly theories on the subject:
The distinction lies in the fact that art is the idea (brought to life) while an illustration is a depiction (or explanation) of an idea. Fine Art is simply art for art's sake. Even if you are doing a commission for a client, it would still be fine art.  But illustration is illustrating a story or idea. In modern illustration the intent is most often the selling of a product.  When something noble is put to ignoble ends, there is a deterioration of value.Even talented artists and illustrators have been tormented by the distinction. Illustrator Robert Weaver noisily agonized about the boundary line:
Until the illustrator enjoys complete independence from outside pressure and direction, complete responsibility for his own work, and complete freedom to to do whatever he deems fit-- all necessaries in the making of art--…