Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thoughts on Gesture Drawing

A sense of purpose and direction is important in everything in life, and it's no different when it comes to gesture drawing. I got to monitor the gesture class today for 15 quick minutes, and walking around helping others draw really made it clear how important it is to be committed to a direction - to have each of your drawings make a statement. Draftsmanship is helpful, but if you aren't committed to a statement, your drawing will be nothing more than a pretty picture. If, however, you really commit to a statement (and that statement can be anything), your drawing will come alive.

As far as technique goes, these are some of the things that I think about when I do a gesture drawing:

After the model hits a pose, I try to find a line of action that best captures the essence of the pose. it's purely visual at this point. I haven't even begun to think about the story behind the pose.

Usually, the next step I take is to find the focus of the pose/drawing. Depending on the pose, it can be very obvious or it can be completely arbitrary. I try not to think about it too much, and I tend to let my instincts drive at this point.

After finding the focus, I start drawing the rest of the body. It's usually informed by the model in front of me, but I try to use that as more of a cheat sheet than an answer book (if that makes any sense). I start relating the rest of the body to this area of focus. This is where anatomy and draftsmanship can really be helpful. And as the drawing begins to take form, I then start thinking about the statement of the drawing. What is the character doing? Is she sad? Happy? Confused? Lonely? etc. It's almost as if I'm asking the drawing who it is, what it is about, where it wants to go, and really listening to what it needs.

The last step, which I usually don't get to, is to push and pull things in the drawing to strengthen the statement it's making. That can range from anything like coloring her hair, moving a leg or an arm to make a stronger silhouette, or drawing in a prop or two to really sell the statement.

Here are the drawings I did today. Hopefully they make a statement, and have life to them!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Story Auction!

So the Story Auction was a HUGE success (not to mention loads of fun)!! It was the first time I'd participated in an art auction, and I'm hoping it was the first of many to come. Here are some pictures from the show.

My pieces are circled in red.

And here is a scan of the finished version of the grandma and grandpa kissing:

Monday, April 14, 2008

Art Auction Pt 3

So I finished the third part... well almost... i have a few finishing touches I want to put on this last painting. The focus of the painting should be on their faces, but right now, my eye goes directly to the center pocket of his overalls... I think because that's the point of highest contrast. I'll have to figure out a way to bring up the contrast in grandma and grandpas faces. I'll post the revisions when I get to them.

Also, Ollie Johnston (on the right), the last of Disney's famed Nine Old Men, and co-author of "The Illusion of Life", died today. :(

Thanks for all your amazing work Ollie.

You can read about his contributions to the art of animation here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ollie_Johnston

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Art Auction part 2

So here's the second piece in the series that I'm hoping to finish for the auction. It's a continuation of the love story between the characters in the gouache painting I posted last week. I'm hoping to finish the last one this weekend. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Art Auction

So a bunch of us in the story department are contributing art work for a small little inter-company auction. It's been inspiring, and very very humbling, to see all the amazing work my fellow story artists come up with. It just reminds me of what a privilege it is to be working at Pixar - working among some of the greatest artists in the world!

We were given free reign to draw or paint whatever our hearts desired. For some reason, all I wanted to do was draw cheesy romantic 'hallmark' art... i guess maybe because I'm a cheesy romantic hallmark guy... (barf)

Anyways, here's what I'm contributing to the show:

The piece below is my first attempt at gouache.