Discover more from The Line Between
How we (struggle to) check ourselves. Slowing down to go faster. A pile-o-watercolors, process videos, an animated GIF.
People disappeared into their own lives and conflicts, and in doing so they lost perspective, not only on where they were, but also on who they were, and who they had been or could become.
—Karl Ove Knausgård, The Morning Star
The past few weeks have been frenzied. Time has felt like a hand with a flashing whip.
Part of this is of course perspective, and I’m trying to shift it.
As much as I aspire to be chill, though, it’s difficult to remain placid in the face of a deadline. Hours go to work I feel I can’t assess clearly, for lack of both time and space.
It’s like driving through near-darkness. I say to myself, slow down.
I’ve been painting non-stop, or so it seems, but one long sequence remains mostly untouched. I hope to make a dent this week.
Speaking of endless painting, I’ve been experimenting at thumbnail-size to see if scaling down could save me time. So far, for the style I’m going for, the answer is no.
So I’m back to painting at larger scale. By putting one layer down at a time, across all frames,
a level of consistency can be maintained across paintings:
One undeniable time saver has been the use of registration marks, which cuts down on guesswork when working with scans (you’d be shocked at how hard it is to position watercolors for animation; I learned this the hard way):
I’ve also been leveraging creative compositing with boils (images for what would have been a still frame looped for dynamic effect). Dad’s face was rendered in five paintings…
which boil beneath the much smaller, simpler-to-paint lip sync (50+ paintings):
Face and mouth, composited in Premiere Pro:
Up to now, by the way, I’ve only marveled at the extraordinary insulation this project has provided. It’s how I’ve been able to get up close to, and work in the presence of, difficult memories. But there are moments that catch me off-guard. Painting Dad’s face the other night late into morning, the baffle momentarily failed, and whatever it is that I’ve felt protected from made contact. I stopped and closed my eyes. When the wave had passed through me, I leaned forward and got back to work.
Dad, becoming a bird:
Until next time.