Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Second Life Drawing Lesson...

I had my second life drawing lesson yesterday, and I have recently decided that I needed to work on my 'faint lines', so I experiemented with a variety of pencils and I came out with the following results...







We were also asked to create a cubism image only using triangles and squares, as you can see I used a high concentration of shapes when shadowing was needed and few where light was needed...


Feet Drawings...

I finally got around to drawing my feet! I was looking forward to doing so due to my hands coming out better than expected, but unfortunately I dont think I managed to reach my full potential because they were very hard! But I think I did myself justice...





Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Cat People (1942) Review

‘Cat People’ 1942
Directed by: Jacques Tourneur



An American man, Oliver Reed (Kent Smith) marries a Serbian immigrant Irena (Simone Simon) who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together, but this is only the beginning to their problems…

This movie (unlike most) doesn’t come with a large amount of gore, nor does it come with a large body count, but it doesn’t come with suspense and darkness, this could be relevant to the movie having a very tight budget so they opted for an ‘easier’ way to put tension and fear into the audience… which was written particularly well by DeWitt Bodeen.

The movie itself is overwhelmed with darkness in areas that have great significant reasoning, for example, at one point where the lead lady, Simone Simon who plays Irena when she visits a physician, she is placed upon a chair where only a small light is shining upon her face, this is to illuminate the fact she is almost in a trance, and the only part of her body that is currently in use is her brain and soul.

Light and darkness is used one again for a famous chase scene between Irena and one of Oliver’s close work colleagues, Alice, we see this scene in central park, where Alice is being stalked by Irena, we only see the characters when they are lit by lamp posts, until the noise of Irena’s high heels stops, this catches the attention of Alice, and she panics believing to be pursued by something not human, until the scene is abruptly stopped by a bus entering the scene, this is used even in contemporary films such as Final Destination which is famous for a bus scene where one girl is hit and killed instantly.

Shadows are also very present throughout the movie, for example, at one stage when the couple have a pet canary, the cage is shown as a shadow again Irena’s dressing scene, and on the scene is a very large image of a puma.

“…just terror in the shadows…”(http://www.film4.com/reviews/1942/cat-people)

“Cat People wasn't frightening like a slasher movie, using shocks and gore, but frightening in an eerie, mysterious way that was hard to define; the screen harbored unseen threats, and there was an undertone of sexual danger that was more ominous…”
(http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060312/REVIEWS08/603120301)

And yet it is still impressive that...

“…the film features no actors in cat-suits, no explicit special effects, just terror in the shadows.”(http://www.film4.com/reviews/1942/cat-people)

There are other subtitle animal hints within the movie also, for example, at one point when Irena is walking down some stairs she stops to look onto the room, when there is a statue of Anubis in front of her; Anubis is also a Egyptian God which is part man part dog, alongside this is her making cat like markings into a sofa, as well as clinging to a door when her husband wishes her goodnight with a scream of a puma from the zoo in the background noise...

                             http://www.cryptomundo.com/wp-content/uploads/cat-people_2.jpg

The film itself shows many signs of age, from the only black person within the whole movie was a waitress, as well as the form of sex, where it is never emphasised but one mentioned ‘metaphorically’ when Irena mentions wanting to be Oliver’s wife, speaking of which is follows well onto the idea of sex being related to becoming a monster, which was perceived greatly through this film, it was ‘unwomanly’ to lust too much thus making women feel like they have been sinful, and most feel that being sinful follows closely to being a monster of life.

Supporting Splicing Scoprion Work (Scorpion Imagery)




So far I think the Scorpion's face will be the hardest element for me to capture correctly, the pincers should come naturally, but the tail also poses quite a threat to my creativity, which may unfortunately miss out on the final digital painting.



Supporting Splicing Scorpion Work (Similar Ideas and Concepts)

For our first creative project we were asked to splice and mutate our selves with a particular animal, and then do a self portait within Photoshop of ourselves, in my case, I recieved the Scorpion...this blog post will be going through some of the other ideas and concepts that are closely similar to mine; and hopefully will provide me with some real research and a good ground for me to base my final digital drawing off.

When I was handed the Scorpion, I instantly though of one movie, this being District 9:
"An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology."
(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1136608/)

One particular character came to mind, Wikrus Van De Merwe, for those of you who have not seen the movie, Wikrus biologically (and unwillingly) becomes a ‘Prawn’ in which case is the alien race that has been recovered by the humans.

Throughout the movie we see the transformation of his hand, chest and back, which can seem quite close to the Scorpion...


This image (above) shows the first presentaiton of Wikrus starting to change within the movie, you can imagine having your arm unwrapped from a cast and finding it to be something completely different from what you imagine, as you probably suspected Wikrus did freak out. The claws/talons that you see with his arm are a great change from his regular fingers, not only does he not have five anymore but its quite possible they blended together due to there being no evidence of his fingers falling off and him having little notice of the change in process.


You can see from the face of Wikrus that his face shows no signs of dramatically changing, aside from his eye, which gives you the fear, what on Earth is this man turning into and what will he become?

This image in partciular (above) caught my eye, simply because I have to splice myself with a creature that has not internal skeleton, it has a external casing which is called a exoskeleton, which is only problem that I believe if I overcome will make my Scorpion all the more believable. As you can see from this image, Wikrus has parts of his exoskeleton growing out of him like shards of metal, which I think is the right approach to take regarding. There is also a large quanity of blood with this image, which suggests that their will be a lot of pain, this will also give me a good base for my pose of my final digital image that I will be creating.


This image is presenting the face of a 'Prawn' as you can see they look to have very hard casing around their head, alongside with some small tenticles, as you can probably imagine it would be quite easy to mistaken this creature for something else such as a spide, scorpion or even a bug like a centipede...

Another form of Scorpion and man is the Scorpion King from the movie 'The Mummy Returns' where the actor Dwayne Johnson becomes a member of hell after asking for power from the devil to provide him with a army, and the Devil also made him half man, half Scorpion.
Sorry for the poor image.


As you can see from the image of the Scorpion King it is simple his torso and head attached the body of a Scorpion, but the Scorpion body has been enlarged to make him more terrifying, im not entirely sure if I will follow a similar path as this creation, but it is most definitely one to note...
A completely different design is the character 'Scorpion' from the very popular The Amazing Spider-man animated series, in this the character 'Scorpion' took part in a experiment that allowed him to half the abilities of a Scorpion without any deformaties, in addion he attached a mechnical tale to his suit, thus making him Scorpion like...


With his tail, unlike the real Scorpion, he can use it to hold objects, as you can see from the image he is holding a character from the Spider-man series, I think this idea should come into my creative pool with my creation, due to the size of myself, and the size a Scorpions if it was to splice with me, this would most likely be possible.



La Belle Et La Bete (1946) Review

'La Belle Et La Bete' 1946
Directed by: Jean Cocteau

The family are in ruins, fathers ships won’t return, so he must plead to the creditors, upon his journey he plucks a rose for one of his three daughters, Beauty, but little does his ignorance know the Beast had a watchful eye on him, and demand to take his life for this act, unless he will let one of his daughters take his place instead...

Yesterday I had my third movie to review, a French movie by the titles of La Belle Et La Bete, which was also provided with subtitles; the movie itself was had some very entertaining performances, which came with (unintended I’m sure) some very comical areas.

Considering the age of the movie, I did enjoy at least 70% of the film, but the other 30% was unfortunately not as entertaining, but this was most probably due to the film being made over sixty years ago, overall the presentation of the characters, makeup of the Beast, settings and ‘special effects’ were impressive...

“From the intricate and convincing make-up of the Beast and the surreal splendour of the bewitched castle...”


While numerous scenes went through this movie I found the director, Jean Cocteau, had a interesting use for the cloth, and clothes throughout the movie, we really did see waves of wind ride through them, especially when Beauty is running through the great hall, or even when she is searching for the beast in the corridor, I found this very 'ahead-of-its-time' for such a old movie...
It is believed this movie to have had a lot stolen from it by Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ which by anyone watching you can understand why, not just from the title, but the characters in particular, especially the interaction of the Beast with Beauty; she does not fear him, but he wishes for her to do so, which is one of the Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beasts’ main focal point. Alongside the main plot being ‘stolen’ I believe there also to be other elements to the film that Disney may have recaptured themselves, especially for Beauty’s evil sister...

“Beauty (Josette Day) slaves for her avaricious sisters...”

When I was researching into the movie itself I came across a article published on the guardian’s website, which lead me to believe that...

“Based on Mme Leprince de Beaumont's 18th-century version of the fairytale, it's a profound allegorical interpretation of a wounded France recovering its honour after the Nazi occupation.”

I took this quote with great interest, especially seen as I could see it being undoubtedly true, particularly with the film’s release being close to the end of world war 2, if this is the case then I believe the metaphor goes as followed, the Beast is France, and Beauty is the French people, and it is almost like that France has become this inhabitable monster for the French people; but they have little care for the horrific scenes that their country has seen, and still love it tenderly...

The one notification that caught my eye (and confusion) was the fact they had the man playing the Beast (Jean Marais) also played the Prince, as well as Avenant, which in this case Avenant was the man who loved Beauty no matter what and wished to free her from the Beast’s ‘imprisonment’, the area of confusion for myself is when the Beast was ‘healed’ and at the same time Avenant was killed by a statue, the Prince came from the Beast, which of course is the same man who played Avenant but only with a shorter hair cut...in other words I instantly thought that Avenant was somehow the Beast and everyone was playing musical chairs with their bodies...I think if they portrayed this type of casting in a more modern film, it would have the audience in equal confusion, unless of course it was made very clear before hand, aside this minor blimp of irritation I found the movie very entertaining.



Monday, 27 September 2010

Supporting Splicing Scorpion Work (drawings)

[STILL IN PRODUCTION]


For our first creative project we were asked to splice and mutate our selves with a particular animal, and then do a self portait within Photoshop of ourselves, in my case, I recieved the Scorpion...
I have been doing some research and drawings into the arm/hand/bicep area of my spliced self, so far I’m deliberating whether or not to split the arm totally, join the fingers to have a three large fingers, or even have half the arm with a pincer coming out the arm itself, almost like the fingers have dissolved and the pincer has literally ripped out of my arm….here are a few drawings so far….

This first image is a begining process, the kind of process where you glance at your hand, and you seem something out of the ordinary, its kinda the part of your life where you wonder, how on Earth did this happen...

This image is illustrating for myself the idea of when you know something is changing (I would hope so if your arm ripped off). It is when you know you wont be yourself for much longer. I came up with this pose from the games Bioshock 1 & 2, through out the game you can see your hand which can be blended with different elements, this pose in particular is from eletricity, im a huge fan so I wanted to use my "Bioshock-knowledge" to better my work.



This next drawing I wanted to see the pincer coming through the arm, as if it was putting a glove on, except for the glove is your arm, I also figured that if I did have a pincer for a arm then my bicep would definitely need to stretch, thus giving my fingers (if they stay attached) could reach my mouth in order to place food in there.I thought it was quite logical.

Skeletal Cross Overs
Here are a couple of sketetal cross over designs, I of course had the problem of Scorpions now having skeletons, but I decided to use the entire body of the skeleton and translate it over. The only main difference of course is the tail, which I couldn't include in one of the cross overs because I believe it to be close to physically impossible for a human to sprought a tail that long, but it doesn't mean it will be cut from my final self portrait image.

 Rough Sketches and Ideas






First Life Drawings...

I think to think I learnt a lot from my first life drawing lesson, I found that I draw very faint, which is fine if you are up close to the image, but is very much useless if you want to see from a distance, or even when scanning into a computer; so my first criticism is just to be more confident with my tools: pens, pencils, rubbers, and even my eyes...





Please also excuse the lateness of this post, I was waiting for a day with plenty of light so I could get the most out of the images, and me working on weekends doesnt give me all the time in the world...


Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Fly 1958 vs The Fly 1986 Reviews

‘The Fly’ 1958
Directed by Kurt Neumann

“…The fly with the white head…” - Helene Delambre

http://cinefantastiqueonline.com/wp-content/uploads/1958_The_Fly.jpg

Andre Delambre plans to change the world with his latest invention, the teleportation machine, but little does he know his invention will change his world for all the wrong reasons…

‘The Fly’ of 1958 is one of the greatest films to go down in history; for both good and bad reasons, whilst I have only seen this film recently, I already see myself as a fan of the film, I was enchanted by this film even with its age of fifty two, it gave me a window into the life of the 1950’s, which made me enjoy it even more.

One of my most favourite elements of the original fly is the anticipation of the story itself, we are given a small selection of information, but we are never quite let in until Helene decides to tell the story of her husbands ‘death’, this kept me caught in a web of interest…

“We’re not quite sure what the story is, but we’re given enough information to make guesses. At the same time, we’re not so in the dark...”
( http://classic-horror.com/reviews/fly_1958 )

“Without resorting to spooky camera angles, shadows, and blatant musical stings, THE FLY reveals its story in a leisurely manner, usually in open, sunny rooms”
(http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1007600-fly/articles/1784979/a_barometer_for_what_some_people_perceive_as_funny_and_what_others_think_is_creepy/ )

There is an interesting revelation for the creation of the teleportation machine in the first place, it shows you that like most inventors, they want to change the world, and for one of the movies focal protagonists, Andre Delambre, this seems to be his main mission…

“"Al" Hedison’s "mad-scientist" isn’t really mad, he’s just obsessed with his work, and it seems perfectly reasonable.”
( http://classic-horror.com/reviews/fly_1958 )

…But his wife’s mission in life is to be just that, and I think this is presented well throughout the movie, from her trusting her husband, and doing simple tasks for him such as gathering milk and rum for him, the reason I find this interesting is due to the dissimilarity to our present times, which is another sign of the age of this movie, but I feel it almost enriches the movie in many principles, to shows us how the ‘normal life’ of certain persons in the 50’s, but of course this is all normal when the movie was originally released.

There is also a close relationship between all the key characters, two brothers, Andre Delambre, François Delambre and Andre’s wife, Helene Delambre.
When Andre is in human form, you can see he has a loving relationship between his wife and son, but once he becomes transformed, we see towards the end that Helene leans towards François, until the end scene of the film we see all of them pretending to be happy family, aside from one of their immediate, it is interesting that Helene and François had a love interest mentioned at the beginning of the film, and it would of also been a interesting consideration for the film to missing this part in particular, because I believe it was of greatly differed the movie plot.


(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_lpiDRDaH-mU/Rm6xZc9t9vI/AAAAAAAABAA/znVntJ8GRBk/s400/TheFly1958_2Fox_pic6.jpg)






‘The Fly’ 1986 (remake)
Directed by David Cronenberg

“Whaddaya think? A fly. Am I becoming a hundred-and-eighty-five-pound fly? No, I'm becoming something that never existed before. I'm becoming... Brundlefly. Don't you think that's worth a Nobel Prize or two?” - Seth Brundle


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_T3lzrzH2fMo/SRNruqadncI/AAAAAAAADK4/59U9wHFgz88/s400/the_flyposter.jpg
When reporter Veronica Quaife (Green Davis) finds herself at a scientist convention looking for the next big thing to write about for her editor, but she finds herself talking to a Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) who lets her into his world, and the soon the devastation that he will be creating…

David Cronenbery known especially for his gory body horrors, from the movies such as ‘Shivers’ (1975), Rabid (1977), The Brood (1979), Scanners (1981), Videodrome (1983) The Dead Zone (1983) and many, many more, but his adaptation remake of ‘The Fly’ is seen to be one of his most famous movies ever, this could be due to acting, plot, but for a majority of viewers of ‘The Fly’ it can come close to the repulsive scenes that can be seen throughout the movie. Empire magazine states.

“David Cronenberg's triumphant reworking of the 1958 Vincent Price flick remains his most accessible film, meshing his perennial obsessions with disease, decay and metamorphosis into an exuberantly handled, shamelessly melodramatic love story - albeit a love story in which one partner is a pus-packed bluebottle.”
(http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?DVDID=117254)
The movie follows close to its predecessor in close format, but differs greatly when it comes to the characters and quintessential Fly creature; this can also be agreed with Brandt Sponseller of classic-horror.com as he quotes:
“..the story in the original, while similar in its broadest features, is very different in the details, and has a very different focus.”
( http://classic-horror.com/reviews/fly_1958 )

‘The Fly’ shows themes that show the the epidem­ic of AIDS in the 80’s, this is translated well within the movie itself, with the sexual content and the concept of the character Veronica Quaife being pregnant with a maggot. There is also the representation of casual sex, when the main character, Seth Brundle, ‘won’ a woman in a bar and brought her back to his place and continued to have sex with no questions asked, but:
“The real-world connections here—disease, mental illness, drug addiction, are obvious. Many saw the film as an allegory for AIDS, which Cronenberg denied while welcoming the interpretation...”
(http://www.cinemaviewfinder.com/2010/09/cronenberg-blogathon-fly-1958-vs-fly.html)
It was also interesting to see the contrast between this movie and many more regarding the “unveiling” of the fly itself, for example, King Kong we have an instant understanding of the creature that we are expecting, but when the fly came to the screen, it was a surprise and a real enjoyment to see the character morph into this haggard mutant hybrid fly, it was certainly an curiosity to see what Seth or ‘Brundlefly’ would ultimately became, and end as within the movie. I believe that Jesse Hassenger from filmcritic.com would agree…
“In a sense, as with many monster movies, you're essentially waiting around for 40 or 50 minutes for the monster to show up, but spending this time with Goldblum and Davis is a pleasure.”
( http://www.filmcritic.com/reviews/1986/the-fly/ )

Hand Drawings

So here is the first bunch of original sketches to be posted on my blog!
Please excuse the quality of the images, I know they aren't great but they are a lot better than the originals, I think I need to be more convident with my drawings and just press harder.


I do like to follow themes through out my work, and for those of you with a keen eye, may notice the final three drawings follow rock, paper, scissors...

I found this a very interesting challenge for me to do, I never thought myself as a good drawer, but I am quite happy with the final results I have produced.