Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Alien Menagerie: Winter • 冬 Maquette

Snowball on a stick is pretty limited as reference goes. To prepare for the painting I'm working on I built a model, or maquette.

I'd pretty much figured out how I wanted the alien to appear in my "winter" painting. With pencil sketches and a digital color study finished, I decided to go a step further than usual. I wanted to explore the building of a maquette. It's not a step in previsualization that I have ever used before. I arrived at this decision inspired by Jim Gurney's book IMAGINATIVE REALISM. His examples of the benefits of maquettes are priceless. My alien has some pretty absurd, if simple 'anatomy'. From my model, I wanted to learn more about how the fur could look, how the light falls on it, and the flow of the coat. It seemed even more logical to build a model, as stop motion animation characters were among my inspirational influences for this painting. There's some Rankin/ Bass abominable snowman in this fellow.

It's been a fun preliminary process. I'm keeping the maquette nearby while working on the painting, and this model doesn't melt under the lights.

*on upload youtube suggested I tag the video as "pets" & "kitten" hmmmm