Posted by on May 15, 2011 in Blog, Uncategorized | 1 comment

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.