Install Theme

"We may truthfully say that the proportion between the science of painting and poetry is as great as that between the body and the shadow that derives from it - and it is even greater, for that body’s shadow at least enters a common sense through the eye, but the imagining of such body does not enter that sense, but is born there in the [imagination’s] tenebrous eye. O, what difference there is between imagining such light within the tenebrous eye, and seeing it in act outside the darkness!" - Leonardo da Vinci

I apologize If you have seen a few of these previously on my blog, but I wanted to post them as stills according to my recent video post.

If you have not seen, please feel free to watch the video I posted about experimenting with this ink concept.

This past quarter I started working with ink, live action film, and matte paintings.

The first part of my video is a work in progress of an ink drop forming into two people kissing. This project continues to be such a learning experience because I am having to balance an organic medium with a conceptual idea. The beauty of the ink is the inability to control it, so to keep the feeling natural, I work with 2d animation and paint the frames adding to an existing movement given by the ink.

I will continue working on this and post another video pushing the characters visibly to the viewer and also show a breakdown of movement. I find that to be the most interesting part of the animation process because the fluidity of this medium is something I would like to push in my future work. Sam Nielson, a Schoolism instructor, got me interested in a lot of environmental movements ever since his lecture about atmospheric density and composition fluctuations causing convection cells. If an artist can understand the natural way of movement in nature, this can only benefit his or her work!  I will explain my process and how it deals with nature’s way of movement in my next post with the finished video.

The second part of my video is a project still dealing with ink but as a medium creating environment and character studies. This was entirely experimental originally pushed by a story but became an exploration of the medium in hopes to develop an animation process. The ending result gives a dramatic look which I find really interesting and is an idea that I can emphasize. 

This was so exciting to work on, so I decided to share them even though they are in a developing stage! I can definitely see my thesis heading in a direction dealing with the experiences I have had with these projects!

I will post some shots after this so you can see some stills.

It has been awhile since I posted my previous project working with InstaMorph, but I was recently published in Society of Illustrators Los Angeles 52nd Annual Illustration Exhibition. The piece I submitted was Beauty of a Still Motion and I worked with a mixed media approach.

I received a few questions asking more specifically on what this plastic sculpting is like and so I have decided to post about my experience.

InstaMorph is a very affordable plastic that can be sculpted into virtually anything. You have to heat up the material in hot water. The plastic comes in a container in the form of white beads as you can see in the second picture. The temperature is recommended no higher than 150 degrees fahrenheit. This process takes up to 20 minutes and then turns into a clear form. The plastic does not hold a lot of heat but I recommend being careful when compacting the plastic because the hot water can be folded into pockets which will squirt when applying pressure!

The plastic comes to a complete solid within about 15 to 20 minutes so sculpting must be done within the time frame. For this specific illustration, my sculpting tools consisted of a palette knife, plastic bag, a bottle of sand, knife, and a cutting board (whatever I could find around my house and yes, that is a massive sunburn!). Literally anything can be used because InstaMorph is more flexible than clay at first. Once it is dry, it is a solid material you can carve, sand, or paint into. I used some of the scraps for splashes as the butterfly pulls the leaf through the paint. Also, if you bend the plastic once it is dry it gives you an array of textures you can work with (if people show interest I will upload more experiments with skin textures).

After you sculpt it, photograph, and use the lighting as a basic reference for scenes. The better you photograph the lighting you want in your scene, the easier it will be to paint over. For instance, I did not have any lighting equipment capable of producing the soft pastel atmosphere, so most of this image was edited and repainted in Photoshop CS5.

Since the material has a reflective quality, it really trends toward wet or metallic surfaces, which is why I favor working with it. However, this can also make it very difficult if this is not your intention. InstaMorph does have dye you can purchase, which I imagine will affect the specular qualities. If this intrigues you, check out their website.

Nonetheless, the best thing about InstaMorph is the ability to reheat, and reuse like brand new. I hope this spikes some interest for people to use this material, because the possibilities are endless.

This piece is a metaphor for overcoming depression by seeing life as a journey instead of limiting one’s mind to a painful present throughout life until death. It is the form of motion within time, with still frames that show an inactive past through emotion and purpose. Without this we forget what life truly is or how it became. The beauty of a still motion is its history.

Trying to find a gesture, not only in the figure, but the space created from their movement.

"Art historians such as Germans August Schmarsow and Heinrich Wolfflin, using the theories of empathy developed by Robert Vischer And Wilhelm Worringer as a starting point, proposed an idea of space as an emanation of the presence of the body, as a ‘construct’ that takes shape through the movement of the body and, more, through the gaze of the individual who perceives it, assigning it meaning and interpreting it as a three-dimensional, ‘introflexed’ projection of the observing body. This is where we find the theoretical foundation of the modern concept of space as a ‘property of the mind, part of the apparatus through which we perceive the world.’" Marco De Michelis, "Spaces," Topological Gardens p. 73

Gesture drawings, in my opinion, are by far the most honest way to see how an artist thinks. Every mark, whether it is a decision made by mistake or accuracy, it becomes a statement and has a purpose of progression. It is building a figure with a continuous flux of gestures always having a reaction to its past. With this type of mentality, I love seeing the raw sketches of artists to find the difference in the way they think in beginning stages of their work. This is a true reflection of personality.

This is reference for a rotoscope animation dealing with my ink experiments. My work typically never tends to have dark content, but I thought this was interesting footage to work with.