Monday, November 21, 2011

Art Direction: Use of Colour to Evoke a Mood

You have decided on your characters, props and environment for your story.  All there is left to do is visually represent these elements.  It's very easy to build a room that is in nightlight.  Or to build a forest that is dominantly full of green leaves and brown bark.  That is ok, but we as artists want more.  How do you want the viewer to feel during your story?  Will the animation be so incredibly well done that it needs nothing more?  How can visuals help tell the story?
Disney Pocahontas
What is in the environment should support the story.  This goes beyond, my story is taking place in a forest therefore they are in a forest.  What I mean here is that if you have characters that are fantasy, what is in the environment that adds to these magical creatures?   Maximize your visual storytelling ability by exploiting every opportunity.   Reinforce what you want the viewer to feel and think.  They may not be aware at all that you are doing this.  That the objects that are in your locations tell a story about what will be happening.
Disney Fantasia
Colour can be a very manipulative tool.  Think about each colour.   For each colour write down as many words as you can to describe it's taste, touch, sound, look, smell and emotion.
Disney Alice In Wonderland
Blue is the overwhelming "favorite color." Blue is seen as trustworthy, dependable and committed. The color of sky and the ocean, blue is perceived as a constant in our lives.

As the collective color of the spirit, it invokes rest and can cause the body to produce chemicals that are calming; however not all blues are serene and sedate. Electric or brilliant blues become dynamic and dramatic, an engaging color that expresses exhilaration.

Some shades or the overuse of blue may come across as cold or uncaring. Blue is the least "gender specific" color, having equal appeal to both men and women.

How the color blue affects us physically and mentally
* Calming and sedate
* Cooling
* Aids intuition
Disney Pocahontas

Disney Alice In Wonderland
Disney Sleeping Beauty
Green occupies more space in the spectrum visible to the human eye and is second only to blue as a favorite color. Green is the pervasive color in the natural world that is an ideal backdrop in interior design because we are so used to seeing it everywhere.

The natural greens, from forest to lime, are seen as tranquil and refreshing, with a natural balance of cool and warm (blue and yellow) undertones. Green is considered the color of peace and ecology. However, there is an "institutional" side to green, associated with illness or Government-issued that conjure up negative emotions as do the "slimy" or toxic greens.

How the color green affects us physically and mentally
* Ill or evil
* Soothing
* Relaxing mentally as well as physically
* Helps alleviate depression, nervousness and anxiety
* Offers a sense of renewal, self-control and harmony
Disney Fantasia
Yellow shines with optimism, enlightenment, and happiness. Shades of golden yellow carry the promise of a positive future. Yellow will advance from surrounding colors and instill optimism and energy, as well as spark creative thoughts.

How the color yellow affects us mentally and physically
* Mentally stimulating
* Stimulates the nervous system
* Activates memory
* Encourages communication
Disney 101 Dalmations
Disney Pocahontas
Red has more personal associations than any other color. Recognized as a stimulant red is inherently exciting and the amount of red is directly related to the level of energy perceived. Red draws attention and a keen use of red as an accent can immediately focus attention on a particular element.

How the color red affects us mentally and physically
* Increases enthusiasm
* Stimulates energy
* Encourages action and confidence
* A sense of protection from fears and anxiety
101 Dalmations
Kuskos poison scene in Disney's Emperors New Groove
Purple embodies the balance of red simulation and blue calm. This dichotomy can cause unrest or uneasiness unless the undertone is clearly defined at which point the purple takes on the characteristics of its undertone. It's been said in film making that "if it's purple, someone is going to die."  A sense of mystic and royal qualities, purple is a color often well liked by very creative or eccentric types and is the favorite color of adolescent girls.  
How the color purple affects us mentally and physically
* Uplifting
* Calming to mind and nerves
* Offers a sense of spirituality
* Encourages creativity
Disney 101 Dalmations
Brown says stability, reliability, and approachability. It is the color of our earth and is associated with all things natural or organic.

How the color brown affects us physically and mentally
* Feeling of wholesomeness
* Stability
* Connection with the earth
* Offers a sense orderliness

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Art Direction: Playing with Colour Keys

Remember you can always experiment in Photoshop with colour.  By going into the layer dropdown menu and then selecting layer adjustment> colour balance.  Adjust the slides to get different colours instantly!

Art Direction: Colour Keys

Here's an example of some colour keys for a short film.  Our final assignment will require at least 4 colour keys.  These should be taken straight from your story board.  Ideally, all of the board panels can be colour keys and used in your lieca reel for your film before the end of the semester.

How are you going to apply colour to your background?  What about your characters?  I suggest really exploring many different shows and movies to inform your decision.

Phineas and Ferb has simple backgrounds that do not compete with the characters.  The colours are less vibrant than that of the characters and the lines are cell traced.  Colour bleeds through the line in some areas and stamps and textures are applied to the colour.
Simple backgrounds in Fish Hooks are spiced up with photographic textures.  This is a different way of using contrast to make the characters pop out from the background.

Kick Buttowski
Strong contrast is created by use of a less saturated colour scheme and no linework in the background.
Contrast can be created by using cool vs warm colours.  This can be seen in the picture above with no colour at all, just using a warm grey for the wolf dog, and a cool grey for the female character.
Use of no line for characters gives a different effect as well.  Less contrast means more use of shadows and highlights to define the form.
Image on shirt and plaid is a photo that is used as a texture in this character.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mural Group Art Sale

Hello Friends!  I donated an 11x11 digital and traditional painting to the cause below.  We'd love your support!  Love xoxo

We're a group of Art and Design students from Cambrian College who are in the process of designing a mural to enhance the community.

 In order to fund this project, faculty and professional designers have generously donated artwork and print pieces.

 Work is available for purchase - each piece will be printed at 11x17, on demand. Each piece is priced at $20. The full amount will go toward supplies (less printing fees). Any funds donated beyond the cost of supplies will be donated to a community charity of the group's choice.

Artwork sale and pickup can be arranged by contacting Johanna Westby (group advisor) at, or by any of the following students : Deanna Shields, Chantal Abdel-Nour, Beth Robbins, Chrisanne Daniel, or Matthew Langlois. The Mural Group would very much appreciate your contribution to this effort by purchasing a print today!

More prints can be seen on Facebook.