Saturday, October 23, 2010

Gesture Class

Since seeing the Disney Disney Sample Portfolio in 1996 & subsequently studying Glenn Vilppu's books & Walt Stanchfeld's notes I've wanted to take part in a 'gesture class'.  It seemed something that was the sole province of the American animation studios.  Regular life-drawing classes in the UK just never offered what I was looking for:-quick, dynamic poses from models who could act a little.  Sure there were times when we did short or even moving poses but never in costume or with relevant props.  Sensing my needs one time a life class tutor asked the model to make more dynamic, more animated poses.  The model scoffed "you mean like bugs bunny?" and promptly sat on a chair believing that to be dynamic!

Anyway, now I've found a regular gesture drawing class here are my first results. 

30 second warm-ups with the model in his karate outfit!

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    Here we moved into longer, 2 minute poses.  Still quite quick but the poses were great.

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    The next model started off in a bikini & a large, floppy sun-hat for the 30 second poses.

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    For the 2 minute poses she changed into an old time pioneer house-wife.

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    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Recent Activity

    Just before leaving the UK I visited my old art college back home in Bangor, North Wales.  I was asked to talk to the students about my career path since I studied there.  They had only just started their Art Foundation course so I tried to impress upon them the importance of carrying a sketchbook & let them look through the one I had with me.

    I looked in on the students in the life-drawing room, it felt strange to be back in the same room where I began my art education 15 years ago!  The model hasn't aged so well though!

    I also had the opportunity to visit Ronald Searle again with Uli Meyer.  Once more we were treated to old school, classy hospitality by the Searles who wined & dined us for another memorable afternoon in Provence.  We arrived well before lunch which enabled me to sketch the beautiful village square as we relaxed at the cafĂ© terrasse.
    In San Francisco last weekend I went along to APE to support some of my friends & colleagues who had booths.  The incredible artistry of their comics & sketchbooks makes me want to join in next year with an offering of my own.  Katy Wu's Tiger Bee was one of my favourite finds.

    She was also part of the 'Round Robin' book with Dani Strijleva and Jennifer Chang.  Their table was very popular at the expo.  They were flanked by messrs Josh Cooley, Bill Presing and speed painter extraordinaire Scott Morse.

    Across the hall my colleague Jamie Baker was on a table next to the Anthology 451 boys; Kris Pearn, John Hoffman and Craig Berry.  They were in the comic-con seasoned company of Ted Mathot and Derek 'Monster' Thompson.

    Photo by Elaine Wu

    Thursday, October 07, 2010

    PIXAR: 25 Years of Animation

    Last weekend before starting work I swotted up on Pixar history at the Oakland Museum where the 'Art of Pixar Animation' has returned after a worldwide tour. I first saw the show at London's Science Museum back in 2006. It has been updated since then to include artwork & maquettes from RATATOUILLE, WALL-E, UP & TOY STORY 3.

    Lou Romano's UP gouache paintings, Simon Varela's charcoal studies for NEMO and Kent Melton's sculpts of THE INCREDiBLES are the highlights for me. The ARTSCAPE projection is even better now it flies through WALL-E, RATATOUILLE and UP artwork and the TOY STORY zoetrope is still mesmerising.