Tuesday, January 11, 2011
20 Heads or Faces
Ever have one of those nights where you just want to hammer away at something until it's done? After visiting the 25 Years of Pixar exhibition at the Oakland Musuem of California, I realized how little experience I have with caricatures and cartoons. The exhibition was very large, and took up a sizable portion of the museum. The art included several drawings, sculptures, paintings, and a short film the brought to life several layouts from various films. There was also a bizarre zoetrope with a wedding cake-like arrangement of characters that appeared to move around as the contraption spun under a strobe light.
I learned a few new terms at the show, including "colorscript" which I think is a way of mapping out the colors for an entire film as a large storyboard. Some of the sculptors included. Budd Luckey (Toy Story), Greg Dykstra (Ratatouille, Up) , Kent Molton (The Incredibles). I spent a lot of time staring at Tia Kratter's acrylic paintings from "A Bug's Life" which had some incredibly rich and vibrant color combinations.
A colleague who had also visited the show had mentioned how happy seeing all the work in one place made her feel. I spent close to three hours sketching things, mostly the sculptures, and immersing myself in as many patterns and details I could discover through drawing. Most of the heads and figures were based on a strong silhouette, gesture, or something living, but then simplified down to their essential planes and edges. Eyes and eyelids were particularly interesting. The question of how to translate an artist's sketch into a solid object isn't always as obvious as it may seem. For example, when should a pupil be a hole versus a raised dot? How exactly should a tuft of hair be simplified into a smooth volume? The lighting in the exhibition was just right for exploring these little details.
In other news. I picked up a mini Raffy DIY toy yesterday. Not sure what I want to do with it, but it's a little giraffe with a big head and stubby legs. This might be a good excuse to get a Dremel tool. I look forward to digging through my old scale model kit parts and possibly bringing out the Sculpey again. More to come…