Thursday, April 14, 2011

From my flat files: part 1

I thought I would start digging around my flat files for things I usually pull out for class discussions or for fond old memories.
The yellow palace interior is for " The Prince of Egypt". I did it shortly after joining DreamWorks back in '96. It was a quick study for prop and technique design. The assignment: Could we paint directly over a line drawing instead of tracing the layout onto the board? Yes, of course! You can do it with Watercolor painting, but can you do it with an opaque painting? Yes, it just takes patience and the ability to correct the shapes and perspective as you go, if you do lose the drawing. This image was painted over a xerox of the line drawing, which was first glued to a piece of board.
Detail of shapes for our world.

My typical nightly practice sketches from around '94.
I would make up little scenes after a full day of work at Disney. I was in the Layout dept. at the time and designed backgrounds, but we handed them over to the background dept. for final painting. I have many extremely talented friends who were background artists. Many of them have made my layouts look spectacular! But, I was frustrated because I trained as an illustrator, used to painting my own layouts. The problem at that time was that I could not really paint that well... Other than my illustration rendering classes, I never took a formal painting class during my school years so I had to teach myself, with the guidance of a few very special friends, how to paint! Thus I did hundreds of these little scenes as a way to both study film design and how to express those ideas in paint. Incase you were wondering, yes there is a huge difference between painting and illustrating. These sketches were done on Masonite wood board in acrylic. The idea was to paint them very fast with lots of energy, without the tight rendering. Basically indicative painting. If you nail the correct value, color, and temperature of each shape, and of course put that shape in the right place, you can describe everything with the fewest strokes possible. Those of you who know all of this stuff please excuse the basics I am covering here.

Jump ahead several years... almost ten, and here I am sketching from imagination for my gallery oils. These were used as a guide for the larger final paintings. I always used Gouache for these sketches. Titled "upper Level",the final oil sold thru one of my galleries in Houston Texas in '02. I am still sad it sold because I had a great time painting the this and the final. Bye for now and best of luck with your image making!



Anna Bron said...

gorgeous work! thanks for sharing

Carolyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carolyn said...

You are truly amazing! An inspiration :D

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roy santua said...

Hi Sam,

It was so wonderful to have met you over at Art Center College of Design during our Industry Night, thank you for the visit. Hoping to keep in touch with you in the future.

Mike said...

Hi Samuel!
I hope this message finds you well. I am a night fan of your work. I have started a new website that will focus on the artists in the
trenches who make the award winning stuff we love. Interviews and art from prop artists, the bg artists, board
artists, painters, timers, directors, layout artists, producers composers, development artists and executives, sound effect people, 
editors, post production people etc… the blue collar workers of animation. Who they are, what they do, how they got into the biz
and why. And of course we want to hear from the creators too, because they have a unique point of view. We think
everybody has stories to tell from the trenches of animation! The site address is
and there's not currently much there yet as I am still building but I have about 45 others who have answered the
questions and I will be adding as I have the time to format it all. If you would be up for it I would LOVE to have
you answer the questions. Please let me know and I will send you the questionnaire.

Tim Robinson said...

Lots of great information! Thanks for sharing.

Randy Bantog said...

So good!

Anthony Holden said...

Beautiful work.

abhishek singh said...

just few days back i was watching the "making of the prince of egypt' Phenomenal work in there, an artistic achievement, it's an honor to see these:) btw the train color sketch is brilliant.

Marco Bucci said...

Loved your work on Price of Egypt! One of my favourite animated films for BG painting. Thanks for sharing!

gloria cho said...

I saw your work on paint blog and have been a fan since looking at your gouache work.

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