Sunday, May 15, 2011

Katy Ellis O'Brien Coloring Book

My friend and housemate Katy Ellis O'Brien is having a coloring contest to promote the upcoming release of her coloring book. I encourage all of you to enter it. Digitally coloring Katy's images is particularly fun, since all of her linework is closed, animation-style, meaning you can select areas using Photoshop's magic wand tool instead of the tedious lasso.

Katy originally drew most of these drawings for her after-school-care kids at the YMCA. Often the kids themselves will request the subject matter, resulting in some really quirky images like a dog riding a motorscooter.

Since I'm pretty certain that, as her housemate, I'm ineligible for the contest, I decided to color this image deliberately in a way that would annoy Katy. She has often expressed her distaste for the current trend in computer animation to apply photo-realistic textures to cartoony, malproportioned characters. I guess she thinks that cartoony characters should be rendered in a smoother, more graphical way. I definitely see her point. When this is done badly, it's one of the worst looking things you could imagine.

But there are also times when I think it works, and I don't know exactly what to peg this on. There's something about that Joe-Sacco-type big-picture-little-picture imbalance that I kinda like, where each little piece of stubble is delicately rendered on a figure who is basically a few squares and circles.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Sorry to say that you have utterly failed in your mission to annoy me. I love this to death, and it doesn't bother me like that... is that supposed to be a koala? whatever it is, I'll spend the rest of the day trying to rinse that image from my brain. (Up doesn't bother me either, though... I guess it CAN be done well?)

    Anyhow, I can't pinpoint my favorite thing about this image - the whitecaps, the plaid coat, or that tiny glimpse of purple text in the clouds. Nicely done!


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