Q&A with Guy Shield – remarkable illustration style!

“Earlier this year, I responded to a series of interview questions by drawing my answers.”

Guy Shield‘s opening to his illustrated Q&A series surprised me. He really takes what he’s doing that dearly and obsessively. Instead of just texts, Guy took the extra miles to draw each of his answers. What’s better, he even broke the process down step-by-step along with a handful of information of the tools and techniques he employed. It makes the series a great case for aspiring illustrators learning about illustrating a concept from scratch to finish. At the same time, it shows how thorough and passionate Guy is as an illustrator.

Previously working as a designer in publishing for over a decade, the Melbourne-based illustrator has a unique style that resembles movie stills. Each illustration is treated carefully as a film frame with striking colour palettes. Except for sound and motion, everything is there in his illustrations: from composition to lighting to cinematic angles. Guy pulls each and every element together so well that you have that immediate atmospheric feeling about the artwork the moment you lay eyes on it. It almost feels like there are sound and motion. Guy is indeed a scenic storyteller. He lives a loves illustration. Seriously.

Below are the Q&A’s Guy has illustrated. You can also follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Behance.

Q1. How do you feel today?

Pencils Graphite (H) on 17×14″ Strathmore Windpower Bristol.

Inks Windsor Newton Series 7s (0-2), Copic Technical Pens, White Out. Scanned at 1200DPI (Bitmap).

Base Colours Photoshop Pen Tool, Pencil Tool and lots of Colour Fill Layers.

Finish Treatment: Photoshop Gradient layers, hue/adjustment layers. Diffusion achieved using solid fill layer based on colour channel, blurred and reduced to 20% Opacity.

Q2. What do you do in your spare time?

Pencils Graphite (H) on 17×14″ Strathmore Windpower Bristol.

Inks Windsor Newton Series 7s (0-2), Copic Technical Pens, White Out. Scanned at 1200DPI (Bitmap).

Base Colours Photoshop Pen Tool, Pencil Tool and lots of Colour Fill Layers.

Finish Treatment: Photoshop Gradient layers, hue/adjustment layers. Diffusion achieved using solid fill layer based on colour channel, blurred and reduced to 20% Opacity.

Q3. What is your secret passion?

Pencils Graphite (H) on 17×14″ Strathmore Windpower Bristol.

Inks Windsor Newton Series 7s (0-2), Copic Technical Pens, White Out. Scanned at 1200DPI (Bitmap).

Base Colours Photoshop Pen Tool, Pencil Tool and lots of Colour Fill Layers.

Finish Treatment: Photoshop Gradient layers, hue/adjustment layers. Diffusion achieved using solid fill layer based on colour channel, blurred and reduced to 20% Opacity.

Q4. What is your genius idea?

Pencils Graphite (H) on 17×14″ Strathmore Windpower Bristol.

Inks Windsor Newton Series 7s (0-2), Copic Technical Pens, White Out. Scanned at 1200DPI (Bitmap).

Base Colours Photoshop Pen Tool, Pencil Tool and lots of Colour Fill Layers.

Finish Treatment: Photoshop Gradient layers, hue/adjustment layers. Diffusion achieved using solid fill layer based on colour channel, blurred and reduced to 20% Opacity.

Q5. What does your source of inspiration look like?

Pencils Graphite (H) on 17×14″ Strathmore Windpower Bristol.

Inks Windsor Newton Series 7s (0-2), Copic Technical Pens, White Out. Scanned at 1200DPI (Bitmap).

Base Colours Photoshop Pen Tool, Pencil Tool and lots of Colour Fill Layers.

Finish Treatment: Photoshop Gradient layers, hue/adjustment layers. Diffusion achieved using solid fill layer based on colour channel, blurred and reduced to 20% Opacity.

Q6. Who is your childhood hero?

Pencils Graphite (H) on 17×14″ Strathmore Windpower Bristol.

Inks Windsor Newton Series 7s (0-2), Copic Technical Pens, White Out. Scanned at 1200DPI (Bitmap).

Base Colours Photoshop Pen Tool, Pencil Tool and lots of Colour Fill Layers.

Finish Treatment: Photoshop Gradient layers, hue/adjustment layers. Diffusion achieved using solid fill layer based on colour channel, blurred and reduced to 20% Opacity.

This blog was first published on Kuvva blog.

Q&A with Guy Shield – remarkable illustration style!

“Song of the Sea” – a mesmerizing masterpiece of animation and folklore

I first knew Cartoon Saloon through their first feature film “The Secret of Kells” (“Kells”). It’s a pure gem. The animation features 2D hand-drawings within the prevailing 3D animation industry, and the story dwells on the Irish folklore (the “Book of Kells”) instead of well-worn fairytales or world domination or robot apocalypses. These two distinctions were already enough to relieve me of dull moments knowing exactly what’s going to happen next. Instead I actually fixed my mind on the screen and saw the film for what it really is. Needless to say I’m so glad Cartoon Saloon has stuck to their guns and stridden further on their path of artistry with the latest feature film “Song of the Sea” (“Song”).

Apart from the fact that “Song” was also nominated for an Academy Award just like its predecessor “Kells”, this newest endeavour by Cartoon Saloon has shown big developments within the span of 5 years. In terms of visuals, the team has done a fantastic job maintaining a nice fusion between the characters’ clean design and the dreamy, watercoloured texture background while keeping everything financially sustainable. It’s pretty mad when you think about it: animating the sea, in 2D, within budget! The lighting in every frame is also absolutely stunning. By creating a great contrast with the darkness of the night and the depth of the sea, the luminescence blurs the borderline between myths and reality and brings the essential quality of magic to the story. Inspired from the Scottish folklore of the selkies, “Song” has managed to weave the fable into a beautiful ode about family relationships, especially the sibling rivalry between Ben and Saoirse. This nice touch besides the legend elements is the crucial key making the story real. Growing up with a handful of cousins both older and younger, I can already relate deeply to “Song” and immerse myself effortlessly into its universe. Saving the world is all great and all, but at the end of the day, you are with the people around you. “Song” is the epitome of coming to terms with each other flavoured with an endearingly gorgeous fantasy.

The movie is available for purchase and download here! Below are the trailer, some concept arts from “Song”‘s production blog and stills from GKIDS.

“a page from my sketchbook from the very early days – when the idea of a story about Selkies was just forming…” – Tomm Moore

Some splash designs by Jeremy Purcell.

A colour concept by Ross Stewart.

“Lighthouse” – Artwork by Art Director Adrien Merigeau – rough layouts by Tomm Moore and character designs by Tomm Moore and Marie Thorhauge.

“Birthday Party” – Artwork by Art Director Adrien Merigeau – rough layouts by Tomm Moore and character designs by Tomm Moore and Marie Thorhauge.

“Ferry boat” – Artwork by Art Director Adrien Merigeau – rough layouts by Tomm Moore and character designs by Tomm Moore and Marie Thorhauge.

“Dublin” – Artwork by Art Director Adrien Merigeau.

“Underground River” – Artwork by Art Director Adrien Merigeau – rough layouts by Tomm Moore and character designs by Tomm Moore and Marie Thorhauge.

“Underwater” – Artwork by Art Director Adrien Merigeau – rough layouts by Tomm Moore and character designs by Tomm Moore and Marie Thorhauge.

This blog was first published on Kuvva blog.

“Song of the Sea” – a mesmerizing masterpiece of animation and folklore

“Nautilus Art Prints” – beautiful graphic arts meet european pop culture

Belgium based Nautilus Art Prints started earlier last year with a head start on the limited edition poster market. What puts the gallery in their own league is the excellent screen printing craft, the outstanding selection of artists, and the rich theme of marrying illustrations with popular visual culture of Europe. Being cinema and graphic lovers themselves, Nautilus Art Prints has set a very high standard that will please the pickiest fans out there. Amazed by their endeavour, we reached out to one member, Jack Durieux, and had him share some amazing insights into the venture in doing what he, his brothers and friends love most.

Hi Jack! For those who don’t know you, would you be so kind to introduce yourself and what you’re passionate about?

Nautilus Art Prints, created by the Durieux brothers and a longtime friend (Thomas Durieux, Laurent Durieux, Jack Durieux, Philippe Romain), publishes and sells carefully screen printed, limited-edition posters that aim to re-interpret the great moments of European popular culture. We are all passionate about cinema, graphic design and illustration (obviously). We love highlighting movies that are not necessarily block busters but which we think deserve to be known more.

You and your brothers had Nautilus Art Prints in mind for a few years. How did the idea come about? And what made you decide to go for it?

Well, to be honest, we found out about this poster collecting hobby fairly recently when Laurent was firstly approached by a company based in Los Angeles (Dark Hall Mansion) and then by Mondo (based in Austin, TX) in 2011. We were amazed by the popularity of such market and by the very high quality of the artists, the quality of the screen prints as well as the ridiculously low selling prices. We thought Europe needed its Mondo and that’s why we actually contacted them to open some sort of franchise, a Mondo Europe branch. But it turned out they were not interested in such an outfit. So naturally we decided to go for it and created our own company. Et voilà…

Since you’re new in this business, what’s the biggest thing you’ve learned so far?

The franchise/license is the key to success. Of course the quality of the artist as well but I would say that’s secondary (though important). Building your own fan base is also extremely important and that takes time for people to know about what you do, for people to follow you on your artistic choices.

I must say this: Your current selection is super beautiful! What is your approach in selecting artists?

Each poster is the work of an illustrator or contemporary graphic designer, specifically selected by Nautilus for his/her style. We don’t have any specific approach nor do we seek for any specific style, what we’re after is quality AND originality. We have no desire to hire people who do stuff in the manner of… like sub Aaron Horkey‘s, sub Martin Ansin’s, etc… We are after true artists and illustrators who do things passionately and whom we share a connection with whether it’s artistically or graphically. Also, since we mainly do screen prints, it’s actually very hard to find a great illustrator who knows how to technically prepare a screen print layers and separation as well as feel the type. Their style has to be screen printable too, and when you narrow it down to people who have these 3 skills at once, believe me, they are not that many available… Being illustrators and graphic designers for over 20 years, we set our standards pretty high.

So what advice would you give to artists who want to collaborate with Nautilus Art Prints?

I think my answer can be found above. If you are a « follower » or some kind of « ersatz » of another well-known artist, then you’re probably not for us. We do receive a few mails from artists asking to collaborate with us but haven’t yet been impressed. We mainly find our artists through Internet, book covers designs, blogs, social medias, etc…

Thanks Jack for the chat!

Check out the teaser of how the layers of the screen prints come together and some great prints Nautilus has to offer below!

firstmen_reggoldsdgd

“The First Men In The Moon” (regular) signed and numbered by Stan&Vince

“20.000 Lieues Sous Les Mers” (variant) by Jonathan Burton

“20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” (regular) by Jonathan Burton

“Les 400 Coups” by Paul Blow

“Jules Et Jim” by Mick Wiggins

“Le Dernier Métro” by Jonathan Burton

“Vivement Dimanche!” by François Schuiten

“François À L’Américaine” by Laurent Durieux

This blog was first published on Kuvva blog.

“Nautilus Art Prints” – beautiful graphic arts meet european pop culture

“Character Design References” – the one-stop site for character design

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If you work on illustration, chances are you often find yourself getting stuck or having no idea what to do. How should I draw this? Which colours should I choose? Which brush to use? Where to get that? Having personal guidance in these matters is a luxury many don’t have. What then? If only there was an archive full of references you can consult anytime. Well, I didn’t think there was such a thing. But now, I do. Here is the most comprehensive, thorough and ultimate illustration references I’ve ever seen out there!

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 3.39.57 PM

Seriously. There are amazing-beyond-imagination people spending time collecting all the bits and pieces of illustration tutorials and organising them all into a massive online library. This endeavour stems from the Character Design References (CDR) team’s deep appreciation for line art, hand drawn animation and production art: “Concept and visual development art from animation, movies and games are an amazing source of inspiration for any artist. Although the final product can sometimes be disappointing, the beauty and excellent draftsmanship of the artworks behind these projects stays untouched.”

More than archiving references, the CDR team aims to stimulate creativity from the best: “We wish that this library will be a useful tool to help you in your own artistic path, and we hope that, by observing how the artists have interpreted different subjects with their lines and colors, you will explore other shape languages that you may not think of or be aware of.”

The collected material in the CDR team’s Pinterest’s library is organised in 3 main categories: anatomy boards, mood boards and art tutorial boards. But there are also references about environment design, storyboards, FX design, digital colour blending, digital brush set, and animation tutorials. Everything is updated with interesting art the team find on the internet on a daily basis. So people, open whatever bookmark programs you have and mark this priceless library right away and devour it to your heart’s content!

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 3.44.48 PM

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 3.47.10 PM

This blog was first published on Kuvva blog.

“Character Design References” – the one-stop site for character design

The exciting expansion of “The Dam Keeper”‘s story world

One of our most favourite animated shorts – “The Dam Keeper” – is going to have its universe expanded significantly. We’re so pleased to hear the news. What started out as an experiment for Dice Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo while they’re at Pixar has established and developed its own ground.

If you haven’t seen the short (and don’t mind being spoiled), “The Dam Keeper” is about a pig being badly bullied even though he’s the one guarding the city from the dark dust cloud by rewinding a windmill to blow it away. Then a fox, a new student, came and reached out to him and they quickly bonded through the fox’s funny drawings. This sweet little friendship is the key element that makes the whole short shine. “The Dam Keeper” has been screened at more than 75 film festivals worldwide and has won 25 awards along the way. One of the happiest surprises for the team is that it’s nominated for an Academy Award for best animated short last month.

We’re glad that this is only the beginning of the legacy Tonko House (the name Tsutsumi and Kondo gave to the studio) is going to make. According to EW, the story world rights have been sold to First Second, a Macmillan imprint, for 2 graphic novels based on the original story. To be published in 2016, the books will explore the “The Dam Keeper”‘s universe starting 5 years after what happened in the animated short. The pig and the fox are going to star along the unlikely companionship of the pig’s enemy – the hippo. This addition is inspired by a personal anecdote of Tsutsumi’s that friendship can change and evolve as each person matures and develops their own perspective about the world. Visual wise, the books will keep the look of the animated short – thick, broad strokes of oil painting texture – which we think will look exceptionally good in prints. If the nuances of the brush texture can be too subtle for so many movements in the animation, they’re going to be fully appreciated in prints as readers can always go back and admire the details easily.

What can top this news is that Tonko House has also announced plans to develop a feature film exploring other facets of “The Dam Keeper” gem! We really feel restless now that all we can do is waiting. Well at least let’s fantasize about the outcome with this exclusive announcement art by courtesy of First Second:

The-Dam-Keeper-bookjlhl

This blog was first published on Kuvva blog.

The exciting expansion of “The Dam Keeper”‘s story world