In May of 2010, I was promoted to Character Visual Development Artist as I joined the crew of ‘Pixie Hollow Games.’
Suddenly, I went from designing props and tertiary background characters to designing brand new principal characters. …a rare and precious opportunity.
My favorite of all the new characters we created for ‘Pixie Hollow Games’ is Glimmer (shown above) a lightning fairy and a member of the Storm Team (painting by Chris Oatley based on LineArt by Ritsuko Notani).
I’ve posted some detail images below, so click through for a closer look…
I worked on ‘PHG’ for the better part of a year before I moved onto ‘Planes.’ (I have since wrapped on ‘Planes’ and I’m now working on an unannounced production.)
During my time working on PHG, I experienced an unprecedented phase of artistic growth. I think it was the almost-holy fear that that propelled said growth. To date, there has been no professional assignment as scary and exhilarating as the call to design characters that will likely become part of the Disney legacy. Also, I love a challenge, and painting those soft, fairy-faces is an incredible challenge.
I hadn’t painted a humanistic ‘portrait’ in quite a while so I had to go “back to school.”
I returned to the study of the human face with James Gurney’s ‘Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter’ and Richard Schmid’s Alla Prima: Everything I Know About Painting. I also jumped on the opportunity to once again study closely the work of Malcom Liepke (some images at this link may be considered NSFW) and, of course, John Singer Sargent.
I have to thank my amazingly talented Art Director Fred Warter and Character Designer Ritsuko Notani for their gorgeous work on the production which, of course, elevated my own work. I did the painting but the character designs were definitely a team effort – as they almost always are.
More Visual Development art by yours truly coming soon!
Here’s a shot of Glimmer from ‘Pixie Hollow Games’ which airs November 19th on The Disney Channel: