Tonality photographs


Photoshop trials

Ok so I was really inspired by Niamh Lynn today, I mean who couldn’t? I realised that simplicity is key, although my colour studies looked nice, they did take some time. I asked her how she approached her work, she explained that she would outline a concept lightly, fill in the lines finally on a separate layer before going in with a tonal study. Her tonal study would literally be the five tones (white-dark grey) and then she would go in with colour after. In a simplistic block like look, she would create these beautiful characters that would rival Don Bluth- I do not jest

So anyway here’s my attempts- I used an App on my phone called ArtStudio and have been doodling on the bus too and from university. I wanted to recreate some characters from our world but in my own style- I choose one of Kirstin’s witches, putting her in a very Walmart-esque outfit and a cavaman (with African tribal markings) taking a selfie in China.

I did say out world was a bit mad! I want to experiment next with some colour and then lighting – things such as oil lamps vs neon lights would be interesting to experiment with,

Disney and Pixar

Today we had a guest lecture on the animation behind Disney and Pixar. Helen Haswell is a PhD candidate from Queen’s University (boo), her PhD itself is in Disney animation.

I liked her insight into the use of animals or inanimate objects as characters, as opposed to humans. In the beginning they didn’t have the software that could cope with texturising human skin or hair, so it looked clumpy and false. For example, the Pixar short ‘Tin Toy” shows smooth toys, lighting accurate and of equal textures. Then there’s the baby. Well the video speaks for itself really.

Pixar’s “Tin Toy” featuring the Demonic Baby.

Life drawing- Shading

Mike had asked us to buy tonal chalks for this week as we would be focusing on using shadow to create a more 3D look. First, he got us to draw sphere and then decide where the light source would be.

We then split the sphere in half parallel to this source, and then perpendicular to the source. Using the lightest shade first, we added the lightest tone, near the light source and progressed to the darkest tone. Mike showed us that the darkest tone should never meet the end of the sphere, as there is a highlight underneath from other light sources/ drop off. My paper had a weird texture and so looked a bit messy but overall I was happy with how it turned out.

After this practice, we drew the life models, full body first, based on our previous lessons, and then selected an area to shade. I decided to use the head, as it had a nice dark cast shadow. Ok, so it was little too dark due to the outline being quite heavy to begin with, but other than that, I think I grasped how to use the principles we were shown. Also, I quite like my life drawing itself. Like I said, I’m better at the longer sketches than the quick ones.

Digital Work- Colour

Gravity Falls is a show I’ve only been introduced to lately and the artwork behind it is incredible.

Ella Michalka created the original concept artwork for the show, and it gives quite a nice blocked look. This blocked, less detailed work gives a better use of silhouettes and can give a sense of what shading and tones need added to the piece. Her more detailed works are very beautiful, the use of line art not too heavy or over powering, and blends perfect with each scene.

Work by Elle Michalka.

Jeffrey M. Thompson is another artist who worked on ‘Gravity Falls,’ who style is slightly different than Michalka’s. I love his colour keys- the simplified versions of scenes still portray the story without the entire detail of a scene.

Some of Thompson’s colour scripts and keys.

Ok so now my turn to show some of my own work. I first blocked out the colours for this scene, like Michalka does in her work. Then I tried my best to add the tones. The background itself needs some work- I didn’t quite capture the fades.

The next piece I painted originally on my iPhone as a bus doodle, then added the colour in Photoshop.

I wanted to try to replicate one of the scenes from the original work, adding, once again, the paradox element to the scenery.

Finally I wanted to try different brushes to have a go at adding the mist to a piece. I was happy with how this turned out as I think I’m starting to understand as to how to create the gradient look in the trees.

cleo in the woods

Watercolour Pieces- More Developed

And now for some colour artwork that I developed from my original pieces.

I wanted to experiment with the characters more, showing how they would interact with each other in the world. The Caveman was always shown as a manly character, but here I wanted to drag him up.

The scene after I wanted to show the actual town itself, with different elements from different time periods together. I tried to show cooler colours here but with different moods. In the Caveman ‘selfie’ the cool blue and purples give a chilled night vibe to the picture. Whereas in the city, the navy blues give a cooler night and a bit more ominous feel.

Photography- understanding balance and lighting




Conánn took us through the basics of photography today, allowing us to understand the balance between IOS, Aperture and Shutter Speed. It was really useful for me as I struggle with the technical understanding behind photography- and how visualizing the balance between all three elements.

We then watched a video by Peter Hurley, discussing how to ‘Illuminate the Face.” Between the many “guys” and “dudes” he demonstrated the position of light sources, the strength of them and then extra elements that can be used. Things like the ‘inexpensive’ umbrellas that could be used. He also stressed the importance in the difference of lighting for men and women. Men can take a lot harsher shadows due to stronger jaw lines and facial structures, whereas women need softer elements

Images courtesy of Peter Hurley.


Vincent Bousserez- Composition Photography

When considering composition for our photography task I was really influenced by the work of Vincent Bousserez. Bousserez conveys a tiny world within ours, mini figurines living lives on items that we deem ordinary.

In my own photos, I kept some of these mini people in my pocket for when inspiration might strike. I found I liked incorporating them into natural scenes, like shrubbery and flowers.


Above are some of my favourite photos by Bousserez.

After this research, I went to take my own photos. I started by placing the little mini people in natural environment. I then moved into posing them more- experimenting with placing them in groups, oblivious to the large world around them.



Final concept pieces

Below are some of the more detailed pieces. I played with two similar concepts for the Trojan horse design as I wanted to show how color effects the mood and not just through character interaction

One of my final images I create was a mix of Gianni’s perspective street scenes. I combined the building types in a set up like that from the scene I looked at in Spirited Away and sketched it out tonally. I then provided Hollie with this sketch and she created a tonal in photoshop for me- there’s only so much I can stare at a computer screen before I go crazy. After that, I added the colours and tone, going for a cooler look.

Original Street SketchMy original tonal drawing.Hollie's tonalHollie then recreated this digitally.

streetI then went over this in colour- I went for a cooler more eerie look.

I created the image below based on one of Kirstin’s character ideas/ I thought it would be interesting to consider this girl in a cave with the cavemen, getting high on Pot-Bread and talking about world conspiracy theories. Both Hollie and Robert drew up scenes of Neanderthals siting around a fire.. I used a warm colour based like those used in the pieces as base tones, however I wanted to create a more warm look. I presume getting high on Pot-Bread would generate a happier feel than others.

stoner bread.jpgStoner Bread- original character designed by Kirstin.

12031472_1506373129687780_2853560214308437972_oHollie’s caveman painting.

In the cowboy sketch I wanted to create a foreboding look, night fall not long around the corner, the cowboy determining what to do. The next scene I used warm colours for the characters themselves, however I then used cooler tones to project the feeling of evil along each of the characters in the scene.

Trojan horse in a cooler feelTrojan horse in a warmer palette

Colour adaptations

chinese hut

Original Tonal

cool mountainThis is a piece I went back on from an original color and added a colour palette based on a scene from Mr Peabody and Sherman. I thought it was quite good in the way I’ve given the warmer colours a cooler look.. The mountains look like they are set in a cool winter atmosphere.

Sh02This is the image that I used to replicate the colour palette. The cool and warm tones work symbiotically in this piece- they work to give a cool calming atmosphere. This piece was concept artwork created by Pascal Campion.