Monday, 27 June 2011

Illustration Friday - 'Midsummer Night'

This week's Illustration Friday theme really stumped me a bit, I have to admit. I thought about going for some kind of take on Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', but as I've not read that in yeeears, decided to go for something a bit less... daunting.
So I had a little think about some of the things that go on in the world during a midsummer night. I thought about doing something festival-related, what with Glastonbury being all over the TV etc, but that would be a big job too, and I kind of wanted a change from drawing people.

Eventually I thought why not an animal or something? So I thought straight back to something I saw on Springwatch the other week (haha... yeah), where they secretly filmed a bunch of baby owls living in a barn. They were being fed constantly by their parents all night, and just looked really cosy and cute. It was great! :D

Anyway, seeing as that was a Spring night, and not a 'midsummer' one, these owlets are slightly older than the ones I saw, so it kind of makes sense. Oh and if you'd like to see a larger version, visit my DeviantART page here.

Here's my first draft / doodle ~

And works in progress / alternate versions ~

Mini-update: Apart from the owls, I've not really done a lot of drawing these last few days, but I've discovered some amazing illustrators and animators that I plan to post about soon. I have also started reading a book that I'll post about when I've finished it. I'm going to Wales for a week this Saturday, so I've been researching any galleries or shows I can visit while I'm there. Oh and I went to Southport beach yesterday, and Millie the border collie absolutely loved it.

Millie frolicking in the bee-infested sand dunes!

I needle felted a black bear and a spotty pig the other day too. I sold two mini sculptures on Etsy in the past few weeks, and I got a bit inspired to create a few more! Sadly though I'm not sure I'll be listing these for sale anytime soon, as I've grown rather attached to them (especially the bear, because his face turned out just too adorable! D:) Sorry for the photos though, needle felted things are annoyingly difficult to photograph :/

Spotty pig - complete with curly tail (not pictured).

 Sitting black bear, with hand-sewn claws and dark brown beady eyes :D

Also I forgot to mention, I drew a (rather creepy-looking) gnome the other day. Guess in some way it's kind of related to the IF theme..? ~

Soph x

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

'Madame Tutli-Putli' (Oscar Nominated Animated Short)

".... is a 2007 stop motion-animated short film by Montreal filmmakers Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, collectively known as Clyde Henry Productions, and produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB)."
(from the ever-reliable Wikipedia).

Discovered this fantastic short animated film earlier this year, only just realised it was available to watch in full online on YouTubeIf you're at all interested in animation, or just slightly creepy and unusual films with style, it's well worth a watch ~

I mean, just look at her eyes for a start. Don't think I've ever seen real eye movements like that used in an animation before. Those quirky movements she has are pretty 'authentic', too.

Amelie in 'Amelie' - perhaps inspired Putli?
For me it had the added appeal of being stop-motion, with French and Canadian connections, and I love the fact that it's a pretty similar style to Henry Selick's work ('The Nightmare Before Christmas', 'Coraline' etc). Also the whole things (including Madame Tutli-Putli herself) kind of reminded me a bit of 'Amelie', which is never a bad thing.

Although it has to be said the creepiness of it is kind of like a really vivid nightmare, a little bit like a slightly toned-down
Jeunet & Caro film (as soon as I started watching it, it reminded me of 'The City of Lost Children', for some reason...) Anyway, the point is, it's brilliant, and it makes me feel like animating something with an awesome hat and bulgy eyes. Just don't watch it right before you go to bed if you're easily disturbed :3

Here's a link talking about the inspiration behind Madame, and the young woman (Laurie Maher) whose eyes were used to add the soul to the character ~ Chat with Laurie Maher – Soul of Madame Tutli-Putli.

Soph x