Sunday, August 23, 2009

Color Workshop - Nathan Fowkes - Concept Design Academy

I went to a color workshop with one of my idols - Nathan Fowkes. I love his landsketch blog. His paintings are amazing - they about the most beautiful paintings I've ever seen.

So what did he say? Here we go .......................

Color can be used to reach people at a gut emotional level.

He suggested looking at Paul Lasaine. He said he is painterly with good drawing and good structure.

NF's (Nathan Fowkes) first job in Animation was on the Prince of Egypt. He thinks he was hired for his painterly style. He was assigned early on the color keys for the Royal Banquet Sequence.

(color keys are small loose paintings w/ info for the final frame)

NF said what he had to offer was his understanding of "Unity with Variety"

UNITY (stable, predictable, repetitious, boring)
VARIETY (surprise, out of the ordinary, unpredictable, uncomfortable)

NF said "Variety is the spice of life but Monotony provides the groceries)

Unity are colors that are closest together on the color wheel.

Most colors in nature or neutralized.

If something is boring then add contrast.

Sometimes triads, complements that have too much variety can become garrish.

The definition of garrish is too many things that don't relate to each other.

He said he grew as an artist by copying James Reynolds everday. You have to be commited.

NF talked about getting so familiar with something.

NF talked about cools and warms placed against each other.

He talked about El Dorado and Spirit.

He talked about Sinbad where a green interior contrasted Sinbad's red costume. How Sinbad was in red but the city people were in blues and made from straights and curves. Sinbad had many sharp angles.

NF talked about in Shark's Tale that the main character is golden orange because he is in water and water is blue thus he stands out by being the complement.


A color harmony needs a story point

How do we push harmonies towards emotions?

- I was feeling blue
- Green with envy
- A white lie
- A black mood

A single color can hit us at a gut emotional level. Colors can be likened to music with major and minor keys.

A color was
1. hue
2. saturation
3. value
4. temperature

These four things are used to create contrast.

As artists we need to get competent in using colling to pull out emotional beats.

There is shape language and color language.

He talked about how color can have different meanings. For Example, green can be a color of nature but can also me poision or unearthly.

An ashen/gray can be lifeless or sterile.

He talked about how blues and greens together can make a contempletive space.

Every time we make artwork we should ask ourself "What emotional response do I want people to have?"

NF talked about lighting and light on form. Need to study how colored light refects on surfaces.

He suggested looking at

He said you can't understand color until you get outside and landscape paint.

NF mentioned Ron Lucas he said look at

NF talked about an animated version of Moby Dick that he did development on but didn't go.

He talked about color scripts and beatboards.

He mentioned people either do characters or environments you need to push your book towards one or the other.

He said he basically uses Photoshop but at Lucas Film they use painter.

He says we have a tendency as humans to notice details - but an artist has to give that up and learn how to make big simple statements.

And he said a lot more . . .

Artist Mentioned by Nathan Fowkes

Paul Lasaine -
James Reynolds
Susan Lyon
Craig Mulline
Scott Wills (Samurai Jack)
Ron Lucas
Feng Ju
Stephan Martiniere
Ron Lucas -
David James
Scott Wills

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