Hello everyone! Thanks for checking out my freshly minted blog. I want to use this first post to explain a little bit about the design of my animated short The Parkbench. Much of the design of the film comes from studying Owen Jones' "The Grammar of Ornament", (Dover) a book which was originally published in 1856 with the intent of reducing the clutter in Victorian design. Jones makes a strong case for simple, carefully structured designs in which no mark could be removed without fundamentally changing the effect. Toward the back of the book, Jones demonstrates the existence of these kinds of absolute patterns in nature, which reminded me of Ellsworth Kelly's plant drawings.
Owen Jones : "The Grammar of Ornament" (Dover)
Lily, 1961 by Ellsworth Kelly
I always admired the way these things held the page so solidly, as if everything was in perfect balance and I wondered if I could get that into my animation. The Jones book got me thinking more about creating characters which would be instantaneously distinguishable from one another in any shot from any angle.
a study from Jones and the final Father character design
Stuart Davis was another big influence on the film; I wanted to match the appeal of his shapes in whatever I did with the characters.
The following images are all sketches created for the design of the father and son characters in the film.