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Archive for June, 2009

Lou Romano and the Art of “Up”

Up colour script artwork by Lou Romano

Up colour script artwork by Lou Romano

I’ve just been browsing Lou Romano’s production artwork that he did for Pixar’s “Up” again — specifically the colour script work that he did — and wondered why I hadn’t mentioned it here before!

Lou was a production designer on the movie and he’s posted dozens and dozens of pieces of artwork as well as some After Effects tests and dioramas.

Be sure to check out the rest of his blog too for more superb artwork, including stuff for The Incredibles and The Powerpuff Girls.

Lou’s work also features in Pixar’s Art of Up (US) book.

Little Big Planet’s “Sacktue of Liberty”

Little Big Planet's Statue of Liberty costume

To celebrate 4th July this year, Media Molecule are offering a free downloadable “Sacktue of Liberty” costume for your Sackboy or girl to wear. If the summer solstice is more your cup of tea then you’ll be after the druid costume from last week, also free to download.

If they’re not cool enough for you, then how about these lovely in-game stickers designed by illustrator Jon Burgerman? They’ll set you back a couple of Dollars/Pounds/currency of choice though.

You’ll need a copy of Little Big Planet on the Playstation 3 to grab any of these and the Liberty costume is available world-wide from July 2nd.

Life imitates Pixar: “Up” in Seattle

Edith Macefield's house, with balloons, in Ballard, Seattle

I thought this to be a delightful photo in its own right, but then I read the story behind the house. Long-time resident of Ballard, Seattle, Edith Macefield, refused to sell up as the land around her one hundred year-old property was radically developed — even when offered a million dollars.

Edith sadly passed away last year but, recently, dozens of coloured helium balloons were tied to her home to promote Pixar’s latest feature “Up”, a story of a man who refuses to give up his own home after his own wife passes away.

Brushes: The iPhone drawing app

Examples of art produced on the Canvas iPhone app

Here’s a fantastic must-have little app for any illustrator, artist or designer… providing they have an iPhone, of course!

Brushes allows you to use your iPhone handset as a virtual canvas, with your finger as the “brush”. When I was originally told about this I was pretty sceptical… how could you achieve any kind of detail with a big fat finger on a tiny screen? I was happily proved wrong. While it doesn’t have any kind of pressure sensitivity it does allow you select brush sizes, types and zoom in for those trickier parts.

If that’s not enough to get you to grab it already, what if I told you that artist Jorge Colombo has already had his Brushes art featured in (and of the cover of) the New Yorker Magazine? Thought so. Brushes is available for £2.99/$4.99 from the iTunes App store.

Images by Jorge Colombo on the iPhone Brushes app

Also check out these sketches produced by Disney Art Director, Stef Kardos. Anyone know of any other artists doing cool stuff with this thing? (thanks Steve)

Brushes £2.99/$4.99 (iTunes App Store link)

On The Way: Photography by Samuel Hicks

Mustang, Samuel Hicks 2007

This weekend we dropped into the Crane Kalman Gallery in Brighton’s North Laine to check out British photographer Samuel Hicks’ first solo exhibition, “On the Way”.

LA Hills, Samuel Hicks 2007

Here’s an introduction by the artist himself:

“The … images are from 3 trips to the States over 18 months, driving through Texas, New Mexico, California and Nevada.

These trips were essentially quite loose; sometimes we knew we had to be at a specific place in a week’s time, but how we got there and where we stopped was decided along the way, sometimes by looking at the map, or often asking someone what it was like there.

I wanted to have a look around, see for myself…”

Typically, the photo I loved (Mustang, above, shot in El Mirage, California) was the most expensive. If anyone has a spare £1100 lying around… donations gratefully received.

If you can’t make it to Brighton for the show, much of it is available to view online at FOTO8.

More images by Samuel Hicks are on his website, samuelhicks.com.

On The Way runs from 4th June to 19th July 2009 at Crane Kalman Brighton, 38 Kensington Gardens, North Laine, Brighton BN1 4AL.

Lost Charley Harper paintings found

Lost Charley Harper paintings

The Charley Harper Museum have revealed on their blog that a number of lost paintings by Charley Harper produced for the Ford Times and Lincoln Mercury Times magazines in the 1960s have been discovered deep within their archives.

The discovery of these paintings came as a surprise even to Charley’s son Brett. “I felt like I was opening a buried treasure chest that had been locked up for more than 35 years.”

The Estate and Studio have already respectfully declined several immediate offers for portions of the priceless collection. Brett believes that as the market begins to understand what the collage originals of birds, fish, and travel series represent—the rarest of the rare—collectors will be stunned.

Some of the pieces will be exhibited at the Fabulous Frames & Art Gallery in Chicago from July 11th until August 8th 2009. I can only hope they make an appearance somewhere closer to me in the future! (via Grain Edit)

Update: You can see a whole load more of them here: Long Lost Charley Harper (thanks Ward!)

The art of the WALL·E end title sequence

WALL-E end titles

The Art of the Title Sequence interview end title sequence director Jim Capobianco and animator Alexander Woo about the end titles to Disney·Pixar’s WALL·E.

Jim Capobianco’s end credits to Andrew Stanton’s “WALL·E” are essential; they are the actual ending of the film, a perfect and fantastically optimistic conclusion to a grand, if imperfect idea. Humanity’s past and future evolution viewed through unspooling schools of art. Frame after frame sinks in as you smile self-consciously. It isn’t supposed to be this good but there it is. This is art in its own right. Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman’s song, “Down to Earth” indulges you with some incredibly thoughtful lyrics and, from the Stone Age to the Impressionists to the wonderful 8-bit pixel sprites, you are in the midst of something special.

More Alice in Wonderland concept art

Alice in Wonderland concept art: Alice

Back in March I posted some links to scans from Disney’s 23 magazine about Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland movie. USA Today has just published some more beautiful pieces of concept art from the film’s production.

Alice in Wonderland concept art: The White Rabbit

Alice in Wonderland concept art: Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee

Also making a first appearance today are images of the Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as The Queen of Hearts, Anne Hathaway as The White Queen and Matt Lucas as both Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee.

Alice in Wonderland will be released on the 5th March, 2010 in the US and on the 12th in the UK.

Otaku magazine issue 5: Play

Otaku magazine spread

Just a quickie! Otaku magazine’s “Play” issue is now out.

“Serious play represents a feature of any otaku’s activity. Basically you play, but you do it with the greatest dedication, seriousness and interest. We don’t want to be the prisoners of the industries that bet on our ability as playful mammals, but we desire to know them and explore their limits. Otaku PLAY explores the universe of players and play of all kinds. How and when you play. What you learn while playing and where do you risk arriving when you remain blocked within the same play.”

Otaku is an independent magazine from Romania which promotes Japanese-inspired visual arts. This issue comes with an interactive DVD and a superb 60cm x 40cm New York EbOY poster.

Also check out their blog for much much more of the same! (via Sam)

Happy 25th Birthday, Lomo LC-A

Lomo LC-A

Today the little Russian film camera with a big cult following, the Lomo LC-A, or Lomo Kompakt Automat, celebrates its 25th birthday!

Originally designed as a cheap, durable camera for the Russian market, it quickly gained popularity in the communist East. By the 1990s, however, its popularity had waned because of cheaper and smaller cameras coming in from Asia and production ceased.

Fortunately, at about the same time, a bunch of students from Vienna discovered the LC-A while in Prague and started bringing a load of them back. As popularity for the camera increased in the west The Lomographic Society was born and production started again at the original Lomo Optics factory in St. Petersburg.

In 2005 the Lomo Optics factory closed (for good this time) and the life of the original LC-A ended. The Lomographic Society re-launched the LC-A as the new Chinese-built LC-A+ (which included a few extra features like a multiple exposure switch, more ASA settings and a cable-release button) and later introduced the LC-A+ RL which re-introduced the original Russian-built Minitar lens instead of a Chinese one and the cult following continued… albeit at a higher price!

To celebrate the anniversary, Lomography.com have 25% off all Lomo LC-A+ cameras and 10% off everything else on the 17th June only.

The “10 Golden Rules of Lomography”:

  1. Take your LOMO everywhere you go.
  2. Use it anytime – day or night.
  3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but a part of it.
  4. Shoot from the hip.
  5. Approach the objects of your lomographic desire as close as possible.
  6. Don’t think.
  7. Be fast.
  8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you’ve captured on film.
  9. You don’t have to know afterwards, either.
  10. Don’t worry about the rules.

Lomo photos

For thousands of great Lomo photos, check out the Lomo Flickr group pool or the lomography.com member gallery.