Gabriella Bran

Painting as an Animator

Painting is a lot of fun, not to mention messy. It helps to get ideas down and sometimes accidental masterpieces are made. I am an animation student but like to paint a lot, focusing on just one image rather than timing. Animation takes around 24 images every second so capturing thoughts and feeling in one image can be challenging to do. I like to do detailed drawings as in animation, I’m always having to simplify my line work so I can draw the character over and over again.

The ink drawing ‘Grape oughts’ and ‘Room’ were done in a small sketchbook I keep, to draw two panel images in that show movement. Whether thats quick movements or ones that happen over time. It helps me to see what moves in the world around me, how I can capture those movements or changes in just two drawings, instead of hundreds.

However, working digitally means copy, paste and undo are your best friends. Drawing things up on a screen can make work look cleaner, but it’s also much nicer having work that doesn’t go away once the screens are off. Having something physically there in front of me helps me to connect with whatever I am making, it helps me to embrace every imperfection and see that things don’t have to be ‘perfect’.

My friends inspire me a lot, their characters and personalities are what I try to embody within a painting. Familiar faces that are so strongly prominent in my head are always a helpful go-to when stuck on character design. They are also loosely based people I have met that have made an impact, or caused me to remember them. The painting ‘Crowd’ was made this way, I began by painting myself, then other faces, some familiar and others of strangers. I like to play around with the idea that people superimpose familiar faces onto strangers. Everyone looks for familiarity in a room full of unknown faces, so it’s interesting how people do that with paintings. I like to look back on my work, reminding me of how I had felt that day or who I had seen.