Friday, 30 January 2009

Influences part 14: Rembrandt

I appreciate the realism of Rembrandt's paintings, and it was a style that I always wanted to achieve with my own work, but while writing my final college essay (in December 2008) I decided that realist painting styles are never as satisfying as the real object, therefore artistic interpretations of reality (such as Impressionism) should provide a more satisfying aesthetic in any visual medium.
Despite this resolution to my essay (which can be applied to all visual mediums including painting, animation, sculpture, computer game graphics...) I still greatly appreciate the realism of Rembrandt's paintings, but it is a different aspect of his work that I have found so influential over the past year - the lighting and colouring.
My favourite element of Rembrandt's work is the strong dark and light contrast in his paintings, which it is something I began incorporating into my own paintings last March. Below is a painting of Scarlett Johansson in Lost In Translation that I made in March 2008. After that painting I tried to incorporate my influences from Rembrandt's work into my animation work, but it never got as far as I would have liked... After creating the painting of Scarlett Johansson I began work on my first major Paint on Glass animation sequence for Johanna Wagner's Masters film The Inner Shape. Below is a still from my Paint on Glass sequence for the film, which I created in black and white over a coloured background. This sequence is not particularly influenced by Rembrandt, but there was going to be a second Paint on Glass sequence showing a close-up of a woman talking to the camera, which I had hoped to create in the style of Rembrandt - however that shot was cancelled during the storyboard stage...

Despite not being able to incorporate my influences from Rembrandt deeper into my animation work, I think that there are a few shots in the storyboards for my graduation film that utilise strong light and dark contrast (which were initially influenced more by The Old Masters than by Film Noir), and which I am trying to keep in the final animation.

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