Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Greyhound sketch

So... it's been a while since I posted stuff, so I'll try to make it up to my 2 readers by posting double in a day! This is a sketch from a recent trip to NorCal via the Greyhound bus. It was done while on the bus... not an easy task since it was bumpy! But I'm rather happy with how it turned out. I had seen a nifty looking tree on the way up that had a big hole in the bottom, and I wanted to try to capture the way it twisted around.

I'm a big fan of Charles Vess and I absolutely love the way he does his trees. Mine didn't turn out quite so lovely, a little too stylized, but ah well. I have a lot to learn.


From this article in the New York Times:

Walt Disney often made his artists prepare their storyboards with only pictures; dialogue was added at the end of the process, when they determined how few words were actually needed to tell the story. In 2001, Joe Grant, who did key story work on "Snow White, "Pinnochio" and other Disney features, said in an interview: "Walt was a great advocate of pantomime. He would stand in front of the boards and re-enact the scene. You could see the reflection of him in the film: his pantomime was beautifully followed through. Today it's all talking heads."

One of the major drawbacks of working with a typed script is that we tend to try to fill that space with dialogue. This is especially true in live action, but animation also suffers from that fate at times. There is an urge to describe every emotion that a character feels with words, when often the actions and expressions will suffice. Dialogue slapped on top of it only destroys what could be a truly magical moment.

Not that dialogue doesn't have its place. Spoken language developed as a means of communication when facial expression and body language weren't enough to convey a complex idea. However, those basic movements and expressions are the most universal, and will reach the widest audience where the cultural nuances of spoken language fail.