Tag Archives: concept art

Die Duckomenta Gerben Steenks

I was going to post a few images of the new exhibition of Die Duckomenta, but the idea of wading (or waddling) through a hundred and twenty versions of the same joke made me grab just a couple of the non-duck images. (below).

thumbnail of Mondrian Mouse
Based on that Dancing Dutchman.
(Click these thumbnails to enlarge them, please)

thumbnail of Mickey Schwitters
With a nod to Kurt the Kunstmeister.

A friend and colleague, Gerben Steenks (known as Gur-B), worked at the coalface of the Mickey industry in deepest Duckburg for a while, and was paid to put a graphical twist on the old menagerie of Disney characters.

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(Do keep clicking on these thumbnails!)
He’s now freelance and producing some amazingly unhinged work that’s impossible to classify, yet instantly attention-grabbing.

A small sample:

thumbnail of Cows and stuff

thumbnail of Tricks with Trunks

I hope Gerben is thinking of selling prints of these.
Link to the Gur-B blog.
Link to Gur-B Flickr page.

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The B in Gur-B
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(The B in Gur-B)

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Art & Design in The British Film #29 – Alex Vetchinsky

Continuing a series about Art Directors in the British film industry up to 1948, when the book containing these articles was published.

This chapter deals with Alex Vetchinsky ( 1904- 1980 )

He is an artist of the cinema and does not pretend to be a painter of pictures. His work is never self-conscious and he has that carefree approach which allows him to sketch on any piece of paper that is handy and failing that on the back of a studio ‘flat’.

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Pencil sketch for “October Man“. Two Cities Films.
(Please click these thumbnails to enlarge them)

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Pencil sketch for “Hungry Hill“. Two Cities Films.

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Pencil sketch for “Hungry Hill“. Two Cities Films.

ALEC VETCHINSKY is generally known as ‘Vetch’— he is one of those genial unpretentious beings with twinkling eyes, very much liked by all who come in contact with him.

He is an artist of the cinema and does not pretend to be a painter of pictures. His work is never self-conscious and he has that carefree approach which allows him to sketch on any piece of paper that is handy and failing that on the back of a studio ‘flat’.

He does not keep his sketches but the few one comes across here and there possess qualities that often far excel the more conscious ‘masterpieces ‘ that others put into frames.

Vetch studied to be an architect at the Architectural Association, where he was awarded the ‘A.A. Diploma’ in 1928. After 18 months in an architect’s office, he went to Gainsborough Pictures and worked as an assistant.

The picture on which his work as an Art Director first drew attention was ‘Tudor Rose’, made at Gaumont Studios by Robert Stevenson. This was followed by a number of other successes such as `Sunshine Susie’, ‘Love on Wheels’, ‘Owd Bob’, ‘Michael and Mary’ and in 1936 ‘Bank Holiday’, an ambitious film for studios with such limited stage space, in which. the backgrounds were most successfully carried out. Then in 1938 came Hitchcock’s ‘The Lady Vanishes'; 1939, ‘Night Train to Munich’ ; 1940, `Kipps'; 1941, `The Young Mr Pitt’.

After the war he worked on a number of more ambitious films like ‘Hungry Hill’ in which some very fine work by Vetch was made unconvincing by the action that went on in front of it, a common occurrence in films, which require the united effort of a number of artists to achieve the best results.

Sometimes the designer is the only person on the picture who can appreciate the fundamental principles that govern the making of any work of art. The result is then patchy, to say the least.

Vetchinsky has more recently designed the sets for ‘Escape’ and `October Man’.

He has always been keen on making the fullest use of all the tricks of the trade in order to help create dramatic effects, and on these last two pictures he has done so most successfully.

(Excerpted from: “Art & Design In The British Film” A Pictorial Directory of British Art Directors and their work. Compiled by Edward Carrick, 1947 )

During his long career in British studios, Vetchinsky worked alongside many other artists and technicians, and two of them are included in this series: See John Howell, and Maurice Carter. (You can also find them in the list below.)

Link to article at filmreference.com
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Luc Desmarchelier’s Personal Work

I must be a bit slow. After months of almost daily visits to see Luc Desmarchelier’s blog Ushuaia, and admiring the beautiful concept artwork he created for Dreamworks’ feature films, I discover I had not noticed a link in the sidebar to a blog called Harmattan.
If I remember rightly, that’s the name of a very hot wind that sweeps across North Africa and drives people a bit nuts, like the Mistral in France, which has been allowed as a mitigating factor in a murderous crime passionel.)

Luc describes the purpose of the site: “This site features artwork created for my own pleasure aside from my regular activities in commercial art.”

thumbnail of Jungle

thumbnail of From memory

thumbnail of Wood

So now that’s two visits I have to make, and I will have twice the pleasure in seeing a double helping of Luc’s work.

Here’s the link to Harmattan!

Branislav Perkovic – Art Director & Concept Designer

Clive Powsey wised me up to Branislav’s work through the comments form here. Although uncredited by IMDB, Branislav was responsible for some of the lovely production designs for the recently released European film, Nocturno. (See my earlier post here.)

thumbnail of Nocturno designs
Click on the image to enlarge it.
Veuillez cliquer pour agrandir l’image

thumbnail of Nocturno designs

thumbnail of Production design

thumbnail of Colour scripts

thumbnail of The Thief of Always

Some fine work on show, but the site navigation is super clunky!