Composition Breakdowns

In a recent class I took at the Animation Collaborative with the inspiring and seriously talented Armand Baltazar, we had an assignment to break down the compositions of narrative illustrations from visual development artists. 

We had to 
1. write one sentence describing the story of the piece, 
2. describe the point of view (POV) of the piece, and 
3. describe the emotion intended by the piece. 

After that, we drew over the composition breaking down these elements:
 4. the division of the graphic plane (the graphic shapes that make up the composition),
5. Redline the division of depth and mark the foreground, middle ground, and far background,
6. Mark the center of interest,
7. Redline where the eye moves across the piece.

This was an excellent exercise in understanding the architecture of a picture and the thought that goes into guiding the viewers' eye directly to the center of interest. I highly recommend analyzing compositions in this manner for anything from drawings, paintings, and even sculptures to increase your own narrative compositional chops.  

Although the exercise appears simple, I learned a great deal by analyzing each piece. There were some pieces that I haven't posted which failed compositionally; the artist meant the eye to go to one place but unfortunately the eye focused elsewhere. 


In other news, I am still working on painting illustrations, about 20 in all, from three personal projects that I am really excited about. My paintings and development pieces have been on pause since January because I am designing on an exciting unannounced project at Ghostbot

In the mean time, I've been doing some digital speed paintings which are akin to exercising. I usually dedicate about 3 hours a week to either digital speed painting or alla prima plein air sketches done traditionally, either Friday morning or Saturday morning, and then spend maybe about an hour for editing video and posting. Starting in two weeks, I'll begin posting my efforts once a week on Mondays here and on my youtube and vimeo channels.

Please stay tuned!


Year of the [Electric] Sheep

In 1968, Philip K. Dick wrote a groundbreaking book, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, which was later turned into the film, “Blade Runner”,directed by Ridley Scott. Perhaps the best (at least to me) science fiction film and story of all time. Douglass Trumbull designed all of the practical effects, a profound inspiration on science fiction film and myself all these years. In honor of Year of the Sheep, I did this speed paint.

An auspicious year. 

Year of the [ Electric ] Sheep. 


Credits: Recorded with Camtasia Studio. Edited in iMovie. Painted in Photoshop CS 6. Initial base layer texture from Cgtextures.com. Custom brushes. Observational study of a sculpture I photographed in the Louvre in 2012, a marble vase originally in Versailles. Music by Vangelis, "Blade Runner".