Thursday, January 28, 2010

So I get my fancy dinner... :D

Yes, I know, it has certainly been less than a drawing a day, you have permission to slap my hand and scold me all you want. However, I am presenting 3 images for your viewing pleasure today. Again we are continuing with the story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The first image is the landing site in Munchkinland. The goal of course was to get as much vibrant color in there as possible to contrast with the drab gray of Dorothy's house and home of Kansas, as well as her very faded dress.

This next image is of course Dorothy traveling the Yellow Brick Road. She follows the road through the farming area of Munchkinland, where the favorite color is blue, hence the blue farm fences.

I found myself struggling with the image of Dorothy and the Scarecrow meeting... I feel I need a few more thumbnails before I feel completely comfortable with that one. But here is Dorothy and her friend the Scarecrow, entering the woods where they will eventually meet the Tin Woodsman.

It's at this point where the tone of the movie turns a little more somber for a few beats, hence the colors are more subdued... plus, they are deep in the woods.

These were all done using Photoshop, a program I am much more comfortable with. Unfortunately, I also tend to get caught up in too much detail when using it. I hat to force myself to simplify. I think I could have done better with that LOL.

Well tomorrow we're heading off to visit the snow and try our hands at snow boarding. I am expecting to fall down a great deal number of times and to have a fabulous time doing it. So I will not be posting anything until probably Sunday or Tuesday. :)

Stay tuned for more adventures in Oz...

(Oh! And PS: I met the deadline, so I get a surprise fancy dinner somewhere.
Anyone care to venture a guess? I'll fill you guys in on the next posting.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

A drawing a day keeps the blues away

Derek, my wonderful boyfriend, gave me a challenge to complete 5 pieces of work by January 28th. If I meet the deadline, we're eating out at my favorite restaurant Luella in Russian Hill, or some other gourmet digs. If I fail, we're getting Little Ceasar's Pizza. Either way he wins.

So while most people make a New Year's resolution to get back in shape, mine is a little different this year. I would LOVE to get back in shape, be able to run for miles without stopping, but after searching for a full time job for nearly eight months, it's time for a different type of workout. DRAWING, or at least creating new work.

So the goal: to do at least one drawing a day, even if it's just a doodle. This includes sketches in ye ole sketchbook as well as playing with digital media.

Since I do far better coming up with ideas for other people's stories (at least lately. I'm sure all this creative "exercise" will eventually inspire me to resume work on The Last Tooth), I decided to visit The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. And as my dream job is to work in the art department of a certain animation studio that shall remain nameless so as not to show favoritism, I realize I need to push my style a little more. First assignment that I have given myself: produce full color story beats (to help create a color script) using Illustrator. Not only will this actually force me to stylize, it will force me to ignore detail and focus on light, shadow, composition and color. This is good for me as far as expanding my horizons and also allowing me to work a bit more quickly.

The first piece was completed Friday afternoon, the second, just a few hours ago. I know what you're thinking: "Melissa? A drawing a day? Where is the one from Saturday?" Well, sometimes life happens, people, and occasionally I must pay attention to my wonderfully supportive boyfriend, even if it means it takes time away from me beating his challenge :P.

So, for your perusal and enjoyment, I present the first two story beats from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz:

Rather than go completely gray-scale for Kansas, I made everything very desaturated. The most saturated source of color is the sky and clouds, because it is the storm that ultimately whisks Dorothy away to the wonderfully beautiful and colorfully vibrant land of Oz. The framing is done to demonstrate how vulnerable a small Kansas farm would be. Baum describes them as being more surrounded by the storm, but for the sake of communicating a looming storm with one image, I thought this was a good choice.

The second image is up inside of the cyclone. I wanted to present a more dynamic view than simply the house being held in the mouth of the cyclone as it is depicted more often in storybooks, or just outside of the cyclone as it is shown in the theatrical version. In the book, Dorothy almost loses Toto through the trap door that originally led down to the storm cellar, but now leads to nothing but whirling air. I played a bit more with effects in Illustrator on this one, as well as the brush tool :)

"A strange thing then happened.
"The house whirled around two or three times and rose slowly through the air....
"In the middle of a cyclone the air is generally still, but the great pressure of the wind on every side of the house raised it up higher and higher..."

--L. Frank Baum "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"

I think I could still play with this one a bit more. We shall see :)

TO BE CONTINUED... (dum dum DUM!)