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Atlantis, The Discovery

38 comments

I drew this one for Disney -- *gasp* ten years ago! Oh, I feel old, especially since my birthday is coming up this Sunday; I'm going to be 42.

OK, when I drew this one back in the day when visual development was drawn on "papyrus," I was playing around with the composition. There are rules about staging, silhouette, composition and focus, and then there are opportunities when you can break them. This was such an occasion.

I wanted the focus to first go to the view of the little harbor, but I slipped a couple subtle silhouettes of some of the characters in the foreground to take you into the foreground – allowing them to become the second-read.

I think I mentioned it before that I really enjoyed working on Disney’s Atlantis. It’s just a shame the story didn’t hold together as well as most of the designs and animation.

I drew this one with graphite and ink and brush on ledger paper.

38 comments :

Mark McDonnell said...

Marcelo,

This particular image is one of my favorites for the film and one of the many you have created . . that is allowed to be released to the general public. Many years ago I was the first artist at my company who was creating the foreign versions of DVD's to be sent all over the world's territories. One of the titles I worked on for a very long time was the Atlantis DVD. This image was one of the ones that made me want to get off of my butt and create artwork for film and entertainment. I assure you there is no sugar here, just honesty and written with a grin.

Thanks for the inspiration and Happy Birthday my friend. All the best,

MAC

craig said...

Really like the subdued contrast within the foreground. Nice. One of the joys of this industry has to be the Peter Pan syndrome. Good at keeping people young at heart...Happy B-day!

Cooked Art said...

Absolutely incredible and inspiring, Marcelo.

Thanks for posting this and your other works.

SY said...

Marcelo, that's an absolutely -lovely- image. It pulls my eyes right where you want 'em to go - and I could spend hours studying the details in the architecture of the ruins. The people in the foreground are a wonderful touch too - added dimension and character!

You inspire me tons, you know? I keep telling myself 'When I grow up, maybe I can draw like that.'

Happy early birthday! Yay, another January person! (mine was on the 20th. 33! Lord! Old!)

--Shuku

Tim Bye said...

Wow - great drawing! Happy birthday too!

Sam Nielson said...

Fantastic composition! I'm extremely impressed with your control over the contrast in your images. I have a hard time being as daring you are here with keeping the larger shapes relatively uniform in value, and yet you manage to do it without losing the impact of the great little details.

Mark McDonnell said...

Also, just one quick question. Is the pen and ink element the bg element of the river dock? And if so, how did you control your values? Did you mix 2 or three values of the brown to have a consistant feel to it?

MAC

Marcos Mateu said...

It does feel like a life action film set of one of these forties classics...adventurous and mysterious!
Great.

Marcos Mateu said...

...and Happy Bday too!

Ale said...

this image is amazing.
really cinematographic, the way you lead the eye here is very clever.

Anonymous said...

this comment has nothing to do with this post, but i wanted to put it in a place where you'd see it...

I'm just wondering how you keep your china marker sharp for figure drawing. I use an exacto knife, but i find it gets dull so fast. I'm also wondering if you hold the marker in the overhand fashion, or the normal...drawing...way.

thus concludes my dorky question.

Jedulous said...

absolutely beautiful. I love how well you control the way this gets viewed. Great strategy of directing the eye from background to foreground.

Mark Behm said...

I love this one. It's great how the spray of silhouetted detail rips your eye back down into the foreground to explore.
Happy Birthday!

Paintopolis said...

Hey Marcelo I had fun painting this one up. Many moons ago!!- James
PS check out my blog James martin studio

Marcelo Vignali said...

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes! Also, thanks for kind words about my work.

Mark -- thanks for the compliment; this image was one of my favorites from Atlantis. I have to admit I really enjoyed working on that show. I’m glad I was able to inspire you.

To answer you other question, the ink was simply an India ink brush pen used to outline the characters in the foreground. I knew I’d loose them if I didn’t add a thicker line to hold the characters together. However, no ink values or ink washes on this one, just graphite.

Happy Birthday Shuku! Thirty-three? Your just a kitten!

Marcos – action, adventure, mystery – that was the best part of working on this show. When Disney approached me about Atlantis, they described the project to me as an animated Indiana Jones action adventure. Who wouldn’t love to work on an idea like that? Pity, the end result wasn’t consistant with the initial idea.

James Martin! How the heck are you? You’re ears must have been ringing a few days ago because I was just talking about you and your work to a coworker here, literally earlier this week. Beautiful work my friend, I’ll post a link on my site to yours!

Anonymous, … keep an eye out and I’ll post a China Marker drawing and some information on how to draw with it. “Dorky question” nothing, that’s a GREAT QUESTION!!! Technical stuff -- that’s where the rubber meets the road.

qstom said...

Amazing.. another pro work, I dont know like found more time to study all the images¡¡¡ Thx for post this kind of works¡¡(and and Happy Bday too!)

Thomas Fluharty said...

marcelo, these vista shots with bodies in the foreground looking thru them into the background are really inspiring. theres another image you did with a bunch of bodies climbing up with a big rock hanging ,these are spectacular!!!!!!!!!!!. phenomenol draughtsmanship and power.!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks for the breath of fresh air- truly tom

Gary Myers said...

This is fantastic, Moe. I spent 2 years working on Atlantis and had a great time on it too, but I also wish the final product had turned out looking and feeling more like the awesome vis-dev work that you're showing here.

toni reyna said...

Very inspiring,its make me want to draw and draw just until get something similar.Impresive... watch it is a learning experience.

cdeboda said...

I've always been a big fan of the "design" of Atlantis also. Happy belated birthday too. :)

Armand Serrano said...

Fantastic!

Hans said...

Hey Marcelo and happy birthday!:)

Thanks for stopping by and yes, I can view your blog fine now. I did have some problems with in the beginning though.

What a cool image! Fantastic sense of depth. It gives a great effect with the big contrast between foreground and background and the composition is really nice as well. Definitely also one of my favs....but I say that everytime you post something. Would love to go through your entire collection!:)

Take care,

Hans

OV! said...

M!

this is really cool man. i love your work.

>oVi

James said...

very nice!

also, thanks for the comment on my blog.
I also worked for WDFA (95-01) in Orlando. I was in Clean up.

j.

David Colman said...

this is one of the first pieces I ever saw of yours ...great sense of atmospheric perspective...but love the character in each individual.....and from the rear!!!!! mantastic.. oh wait a minute, just read what I wrote...that sounds just so wrong

Roland Mechael said...

happy birthday Marcelo! always a delight to see a work of a master! ;)

andy said...

Man, what can I say? Brilliant use of contrasts and composition to lead the eye. Just amazing work, your stuff is always so inspiring, thanks for sharing Marcelo!
It would definitely be cool to hear from you about some of the techniques you use, it's always interesting to hear about others' work methods :)
Oh, and Happy Birthday! (though I feel I might be a bit late ;) )

Jo Bling said...

Marcelo, that's beautiful sir. Atlantis was a terrific film in my opinion, it was just so different from other Disney fayre that the studio didn't know what to do with it. And Mignola's presence only further made it stand apart from the crowd - again, a groovy thing in my opinion.

Hope your birthday was splendid matey, it's mine tomorrow on Valentines Day. 35. Yikes!

C

Sebastien Gallego said...

Great piece Marcelo! I love the composition.

martin wittig said...

Marcelo-- Man... This is just plain awesome ( Like all of your work!:) I love the open season book, and frequently look at your art! Can't wait to see more.
martin

Alina Chau said...

WOW!! Ur concept arts is always inspiring, not to mention stunning.

stephen Silver said...

Man, you were 32 when you did that. GENIUS!!!!!!!Happy birthday Moe.

Antonio Santamaria said...

Great composition, Marcelo... And what a deep!!! It's really fantastic!!! I love your pencils!!!
Un saludo!

ery said...

atlantis??lilo & stitch? complimenti..spero di raggiungere i tuoi stessi risultati..anche se sono ancora giovane!bravoo! come to visite my blog ekrakapa.blogspot.com!

Franfou said...

I Just dicovered your blog... wow !
great illustrations and talent and BTW Happy birthday !

Im gonna get back to visit your blog
:-)

Franfou

Philip Dimitriadis said...

I love your composition in this. And the values are just great. Really nice design!!! Great work to look at!!

Random York said...

Beautiful tone and mood- beautiful drawing!

yuj said...

this is really great!!