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All artwork and text is copyrighted by Frederick Gardner, unless otherwise attributed to the respective copyright owner, it is illegal to publish or print any such artwork or text without written permission by the artist or copyright owners.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Transparency, Texture & Color Reversal

A few years ago, I was doing some experimentation in Visual Development with the amazing Disney Artist/Painter, Scott Fassett. Using my background in design from Warner Bros and Cartoon Network, I wanted to incorporate some tricks I had used (and had seen used by Art Directors on popular 2D productions) in a CG environment. Scott brought his fine art and Disney influences and, together, we developed a re-imagined classic cartoon look.

This painting highlights some subtle, yet complex details used by Picasso, Maurice Noble and Eyvind Earle.
Self colored lines and the sponge tool (in Photoshop) we liberally used to create a "hand painted" look. The sponge broadens the range of color and brings a richness to the digital canvas. You will notice the posters on the wall and telephone pole are transparent. The colors are influenced by overlapping each other and the surface they are on. The lettering on some of the posters reverses in shadow or when overlapped by another poster. This is subtle, but brings a sophistication to an otherwise mundane street scene. The wood grain on the telephone pole and the grout in the wall also reverse (light to dark) in the shadow. I really wanted to use a lot of modern art techniques in the final look of our visual tests.

Something else Scott and I really enjoyed exploring was the use of color panels. These "color panels" (used with great success in Disney's Sword in the Stone and 101 Dalmations) allow for subtle color shifts in the "half light" are of the subject matter I think it creates a real "luminous" quality you would otherwise miss using flat color or traditional mixed color. You can see examples of the "color panels" on the Bus Stop bench, the telephone pole and the wood fence on the left of the image.

Production Design: Frederick Gardner
Art Direction: Scott Fassett


  1. I love the look of this Image. Its soft and very welcoming to the eye.
    Absolutely Stunning!

  2. Really love the BG - has a great old Warners feel to it with a nice unique twist with the textures. Great work!