Thursday, August 25, 2016

Art Behind the Movie Logos

Behind famous movie branding you'll find hard-working artists and models. Here is 28-year-old model Jenny Joseph resting after posing for the Columbia logo.

Logo ©Columbia, photos  ©Kathy Anderson
Artist Michael Deas painted the original in 1991. It's oil on panel, 21.5 x 40 inches. The painting was digitized and animated so that the clouds move and the light shimmers.


Deas says, "I start with a wooden panel, which is carefully primed and sanded. Then I begin drawing out the image very carefully, in pencil, using a full range of grays — it’s essentially a 19th-century technique called grisaille. Over that I gradually begin applying thin layers of color. It takes forever."


The revamped logo followed decades of earlier versions of the Torch Lady. Deas says: "The concept of draping The Lady in an American flag was dropped, either for legal or trademark issues, I don’t recall exactly."

©Paramount
As a bonus, here is Dario Campanile with his painting of the Paramount's 75th Anniversary logo from 1986. 
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Read more: 
The Amazing Shrinking Torch Lady (how her legs were digitally stretched)
via Reddit

13 comments:

A Colonel of Truth said...

There is U. S. Code addressing proper respect and etiquette for our flag (colors). Among the practices is not using the flag, in any fashion, as apparel. No doubt that is why the idea was dropped. And yes, it's disturbing to see our athletes, Olympic, et al., wearing our flag as a cape or cloak in victory. U. S. Code does not provide exception for remarkable achievement nor celebration. The leadership should address and halt the practice. There are sundry respectful, acceptable alternatives to display pride in country.

Tom Hart said...

Interesting about the grisaille being done in pencil. I don't recall hearing of that before, but as long as its sealed, I suppose it's as effective as grisaille in paint.

BOB said...

I wonder if he really meant that he did the grisaille in graphite only, or if he did it first in graphite, and forgot to mention that he then covered that with a black and white oil paint grisaille, and then after that finally did the color glazes.

James Gurney said...

Bob and Tom, I just assumed he meant that the grisaille was in oil, since that's the normal way to do it. There are artists who do detailed pencil drawings with glazes over the top of it (I have some of those in the first Dinotopia book) but the drawing would show through and the effect wouldn't be smooth.

Tom Hart said...

My assumption would be the same as yours and BOB's, James. But that sentence sure does read as if he went right from pencil to glazes. (Again, I would assume with a sealant in between.) If the pencil is blended and shaded smoothly enough, I wonder if and why it would show through much differently than an oil grisaille. I quickly and happily defer to you guys though, as I don't use the grisaille technique - at least not as it's strictly defined.

Drake Gomez said...

James, this is great. I've often referred to the Columbia Pictures logo when teaching figure proportions, as an example of fashion-model proportions. The model herself is quite long-legged, but it's interesting to see how the artist made her head even smaller in proportion to the body. I'd guess the figure in the painting is about 9-10 heads high, depending on where her feet are beneath that gown.

Dan said...

I'm nearly certain he is referring to his pencil drawing being his underpainting, and not an additional oil layer. Michael was an early influence for me, and my instructor showed me this process. It is still the way I do the majority of my paintings.

Dan said...

It's also worth mentioning that I had asked Michael about this painting once at the Society of Illustrators. I mentioned to him how I loved the classical 'glow' he achieved. He attributed this to numerous glazes of 'Indian Yellow'. That was back in the 90s, and I STILL lay out Indian Yellow on my palette every day because of that.

Pyracantha said...

The pose of Jenny Joseph sitting relaxing after the studio session seems to suggest that Ms. Columbia is highly disappointed in the current state of our country, the "Gem of the Ocean."

BOB said...

Dan, thanks for confirming that the grisaille is almost certainly done in graphite only without any black and white oil paint, and for the tip about using Indian Yellow for glazes.

balistic808 said...

(it's a bit off topic, but I hope everyone clicks on the first commenter's profile photo and has themselves a good chuckle like I did)

Mark O'Leary said...

Heh heh, nice tie, colonel.

Rich said...

I always liked the huge late-sunset-lighted cloud behind Jenny.

From a meteoroligcal point of view, it'a gorgeous "CB" "cumulonimbus" cloud, or a "buildup", as the pilots say;-)