I love the great treatment of the trees and the light filtering through them in the back. The white tree is a little jarring in contrast, I would definitely use a light grey tone instead of the sharp white. This is an interesting painting actually. All the tones are really cool. Although it's subtle, the warmest tone is the light coming thru the trees. It draws the eye all the way through to the back, you hardly even notice there are characters here.
Rita did not choose an easy photo to start with, but I think she had lots of success. She did a great job on the skin. Skin tones can be very tricky, especially when working from a photograph. Photos tend to make the skin look smooth and often does not provide much in the way of contrast. Check out those bright yellow highlights for the blonde. So awesome.
Like I was discussing in class last week. I propose we start a side project. This is just a little something to get your painting skill flowing. I am totally inspired by the blog, http://30minspeedpaint.blogspot.com/ Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right? Find your favourite artists, photos, movie stills and go to town, for 30 mins.
This one might have been done under 30 mins. I spent about a period of hockey on Saturday night with a glass of wine playing around on the ipad. Because it was such a close shot it was certainly faster and less time consuming as a background or a full figure. Looking at photos there wasn't much as far as lighting and warmth in the skin tones, which is why I opted for a painted portrait to study from. I really don't mind the blocky colours although I'd really prefer if there was a sensitivity setting on the ipad stylus.
Lately when I think of life drawing for animation, I keep coming back to Glen Keane. He really epitomizes what I mean to life draw like an animator. I love his passion for the art. I love in this podcast Glen speaks about hitting a wall in his animation:
"when you run up against a problem, you always think it's because, 'Oh I'm not good enough'. It's not that. You've hit the limit to your knowledge, and you've gotta go out and observe and get something more. Those are the best times, when you're... in a rut, and the world is open and you're ready to learn something new. You've gotta go, you've gotta take advantage of that." -Glen Keane
Understanding the bones to memory can be difficult and intimidating. The point isn't to copy the skeleton, but to understand the form, the plane breaks and the relationship between the bones (joints). Here are some more great examples that I found of the bones and how to draw them simply and with accuracy. Check out the original blog to see what the author has to say about this exercise! Another cool link the author mentions is here. This is a link to a website that you can play with the layers of the human anatomy from 360 degrees around the body. Kinda neat, keep in mind for second year studies as well. It may come in handy for the muscle test!
It feels like it was just yesterday, when I was in college studying for my bone test. The dreaded bone test was something I miraculously aced. Notice I am completely cocky about this fact. It is not an easy test. I studied my ass off for this test. I drew for weeks prior to the test. I drew the joints; the knees, the collar, the shoulders, the elbows. Over and over and over again, I would draw and dissect the pelvis. If I remember correctly, the night before the bone test I had the most vivid and horrifying dream about being attacked by pelvises. Imagine Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. Only in my dream, the birds where flying bat-like pelvises. It was obvious that I was stressed, but I think in some sick way, my brain was helping me out. While I was sleeping, I was still envisioning pelvises rotating from every angle, coming towards me. I'm sure the adrenaline had lots to do with the retention. I rarely remember where my car keys are on a daily basis. But, that morning, I stormed the bone test and got myself a glorious A.
Watch this video and I want you to just think of how you draw. Do you draw from life? Is there passion and soul driving your pencil? Are you telling a visual story? Glen Keane is a master draftman, artist and animator who does all of this and so much more. He is a gleaming example of how drawing from life can make you a great artist. Here are some of his sketches
Glen Keane was born on April 13, 1954 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Bill Keane, the creator of the popular comic strip Family Circus, and the late Thelma Keane, being one of six children. Glen was greatly influence by his father being a cartoonist but found that his style of drawing would soon become very different than his father’s. While Bill didn’t have much formal training and tended to draw more simplistic but sincere drawings, he urged his son to pay close attention to bold, passionate drawings as well as ones that have real life and solid anatomy to them. In the fourth grade he gave Keane a copy of Dynamic Figure Drawing by Burne Hogarth (highly recommended by the author and studying it will make animating worlds easier) and soon he was attending life drawing classes. What Glen did take from his father though was an ability to communicate an expression and feeling through a pose and to make his work clear. He would constantly draw in the desert and found that he had developed a very personal and intimate relationship with drawing and painting.
During high school, however, he was a great football player and wasn’t the typical cartoon geek that a lot of Disney animators come from. After high school Glen had to choose between taking a scholarship to Arizona State to play football and going to the California Institute of Arts to pursue a career in painting and drawing. Since he felt that drawing was like breathing to him and he just had to do it he picked the later option. However an odd twist of fate happened when Keane’s portfolio that was intended to go to the School of Painting was accidentally sent to the School of Film Graphics, where he was accepted. “I never planned to be in animation,” he remembered. “It was something that just sort of happened by accident to me. I wanted to go into painting or illustrating. I just knew I wanted to draw. I didn’t know anything about animation. My portfolio went to Calarts to get sent to the school of painting but somehow or another it got sent to the school of animation, and I was accepted into that. I thought ‘Oh well, I’ll give that a try.’ And I found out about animation. It was a combination of all the arts together. And there was always this sort of ham side of me that wanted to act and I found out animation was really answering that desire. I love to draw figures and realized that animation requires a good understanding of anatomy and figure drawing, so I could use all that information in animation plus acting.”
In the summer of 1973 Keane worked part time at the uninspiring, low quality studio Filmation on some of their poorly made TV series. However everything changed when members of the Disney training program came to the school and presented their tests. “Suddenly I realized I could do that,” Keane fondly remembers. “I didn’t feel I was good enough to be an animator but that I felt I could do.” Around that time he applied for a job at Disney and showed his portfolio to the great Eric Larson. Instead of marveling about what Glen was showing from what he had learned at Filmation, Eric just flipped through the portfolio really quickly, stopped on one drawing (a very simple, rough drawing of a figure), and said that if he could do some more like this one maybe he would have a chance. He also advised Keane to forget everything he learned about animation at Filmation because Disney wanted people who knew how to draw that they could teach how to animate. The young man quickly started spending excessive time sketching and worked hard to improve his skills. In 1974 Glen Keane was hired at the Disney Studio.