Thursday, January 22, 2009

Michigan Picture 2


In recent years I have grown increasingly interested in the visual arrays created by comic pages. I created an animated film ("animated" used loosely, really to mean moving illustration) titled Scenes from Starkdale, Ohio to explore those issues. Now, as I return to the comparative simplicity of book pages, I'm still interested, but not so much in the reading experience of comics. I just want to look at things. Above, a sketchbook spread with panels, sans text. Gouache. Drawn in Michigan at Thanksgiving. Painted in December. Below, a Starkdale frame. 2006.

5 comments:

Dan Z. said...

These are really great, Douglas! Do you scan the raw pencils before adding the paint? The finished pages feel totally observed and I'd be curious to see what info / notes you give yourself to work from.

drinkspiller said...

I love this image from Starkdale. Would you be willing to post a largish (2560x1600) JPEG version of this frame suitable for use as a desktop background? :)

DB Dowd said...

Dan, thanks for the note. Typically I don't scan the pencils if I think I'll go back to paint, but had begun to think that maybe I should. Have a few things going that I did scan first, so I'll post them soon. I have been thinking alot about reference and how it works, at least for me. Have come to think of photography really differently in that regard, too...more soon on that front.

I'm delighted that you respond to these. They feel really good, and on-the-right-track. Eager to make more, and to build them into a published project. Pondering.

Skye, I will dig through some files and see if I can post some Starkdale images at the bigger scale. Have been thinking a lot about building things that folks could use...

John Hendrix said...

The deer is digital right?

The hand made versions of your drawings are much richer, both visually and some how makes the observable part of the content more important, and more connect to the reason why we look at them. Please, do as many of these as possible, so I may copy them in future projects of my own.

DB Dowd said...

John, I agree with your assessment of the digital versus the handmade. Of course the digital images were created for animated screen-based experiences. I tried taking the hand-made piece away first, to get to a more minimalist approach. The deer reflects that thinking to some degree. More recently, I've decided to focus on the experience of making the thing--the quietude of sitting there, looking, onsite--and thrown out the idea of a screen as the primary experience. So it's paint, not vector. But the thinking is pretty similar, ultimately, and both forms find their way back to my roots as a printmaker--especially relief cuts. I think about form in a pretty rigorous way, which comes from having to work the image out analytically. It's why I love the 2-color illustration from the 1930's so much. Cheap printed rigor!

These things will probably be bookish, not screeney. But who knows? I can say that they're faster and, for lack of a better word, more behavioral. Which pretty much lines up my approach to things more generally. So I'm happy to be working in this vein. Way Zenny.