Monday, July 2, 2007

Jungle Gal!

As I look over these blog postings thus far, it occurs to me this place is in need of a bit more colour. Most of my personal art is, I'm afraid, in black and white ink line, so the colour pieces are going to be the exception to the rule. Anyway, here is one that started out as a pencil doodle that I then tacked up on my corkboard above my drawing table for inspiration. Some time later, my friend Adam was around asking if I could give him a quick painting demo to help introduce him to using gouache, my paint medium of choice.

I decided to grab this jungle girl doodle as a fun subject to use and proceeded to trace her down onto some illustration board using graphite paper. Prior to using graphite paper, however, I usually like to rub away most of the excess graphite, as it tends to be a bit greasy at full strength, making it more difficult to cover with the paint. Once on the board, I started to cover the main areas with mostly flat tones of colour, sometimes working in a bit of wet-on-wet, like in her hair, but mostly leaving the rendering to a layering of dry brush applications. I really like the dry brush approach with gouache, as blending it can be a pain in the butt and there is something so nicely illustrative about a clean, crisp dry brush technique.

Due to this just being a quick painting demo, I was working pretty fast and the result is certainly on the loose side. However, I really kind of like the spontaneity of it, rough spots and all. Just for fun, I later scanned it in and Photoshopped it onto an appropriate jungle photo background.

Like a lot of longtime cartoonist and illustrator friends and colleagues of mine, I really love the gouache paintings that used to be the norm in magazine and children's book illustration. I'll probably post some links soon to illustrators from the 50's and 60's whose work I really love in this medium.


Keath said...

This looks great! I love how you painted the hair.

Will Finn said...

Peter-- this is such a cool adjunct to your portfolio site. i drop by there all the time and will be here too often--
your caricatures are in a class by themselves and i heartilly second Mark Mayersons post about you. the one of young Tom Hanks is a particularly favorite of mine, i don't think anybody is harder to draw! The new ones here are fantastic too. I still have the one you drew of me, i'll post sometime!

pbcbstudios said...

I just found your blog - AWESOME!

love the larry david and michael moore caricature.

Pete Emslie said...

Hi Will,
I still have fond memories of meeting both you and Nik Ranieri at that Disney fan event back around 1991. Though I had met Nik previously, back when he was still working at Lightbox here in Toronto, I did not know him very well at that time. I remember the great presentation you guys gave, fresh off of completing your work on "Beauty and the Beast", talking about the development of your characters, Cogsworth and Lumiere. Those characters, along with Dave Pruiksma's Mrs. Potts, I felt were a particularly high point of character animation in the Disney renaissance period of the 1990's. Like I mentioned to you at the time, your handling of Cogsworth, particularly the way you animated his eyes, really put me in mind of Ollie Johnston's animation. (And Ollie is my alltime favourite Disney animator!)

I'm hoping now that Disney under Bob Iger seems to be getting back on the right track, that you may find your way back to working for them again. It would be wonderful to have all of you talented folks pick up from where you left off. Thanks so much for stopping by, and please drop in often!

Pete Emslie said...

Hi Paul,
I enjoyed participating in your "Dog Days of Animation" sketch blog. You should run another event like that - it was great to see the talent out there.


hi pete,

great to see this thing getting comments -esp. from the likes of Will Finn.

may i link you to my blog?



Christina Dee said...

Hey Pete I love this!!! The drybrush technique worked out really well and she's super cute :D

Tapan Gandhi said...

this is great, pete

another piece of inspiration from you

btw we got the caricature framed and it's hanging in the study.. thanks again :)

Jarrett said...

Hey, Pete! Your blog is fantastic :) I hope life's treating you well. Nice jungle babe!

Mukpuddy said...

Wow dude, your blog is really inspirational, your caricatures are really spot on!!!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Wow! A great discussion of gouache! It is a great medium isn't it!? There's something cheery about it that makes painting fun.

On another subject, have you ever experimented with graphite powder and benzine? Benzine was found to be dangerous to inhale so it's not sold over the counter anymore but I read that old cartoonists used to make a graphite wash out of it.

Pete Emslie said...

Eddie - I've always liked gouache when allowed to use it in a manner that pleases me. It really isn't very easy to blend, so I don't like trying to use it as one might paint in oil or acrylics. But there is a real warm and, as you say, "cheery" look to it that makes it ideal for painting children's books. I'm going to try to show some samples of other artist's work in gouache that I like in an upcoming post. It seems to have been the illustrator's medium of choice back in the wonderful publications of the 50's and 60's.

Jack Ruttan said...

I adore your stuff, and it's very inspiring. Thanks for keeping the flame of some old-school styles.

Angeliki said...

I really like her pose!

sarah said...

Hi Pete! So good to see you started a blog. Really nice. :)