Ren­der­ing Emo­tional Robots

Join Donato Gian­cola in his stu­dio as he takes an old sketch, adapts the na­ture of the fig­ures and cre­ates robots and flesh for his paint­ing Sor­row

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Artist Insight Pterosaur Maquette -

The power of emo­tion is a favourite in­spi­ra­tional source that I draw upon to cre­ate nar­ra­tive dra­mas. By leav­ing the story am­bigu­ous, I in­vite in­ter­pre­ta­tion to the res­o­lu­tion as the viewer per­son­alises their ex­pe­ri­ence with the paint­ing. I make a con­scious ef­fort to find and pre­serve those forms of ex­pres­sion that best de­fine our hu­man­ity.

Here I’ll be re­veal­ing how to bring con­cep­tual nar­ra­tives to a con­crete re­al­ity. From hav­ing mod­els act out the emo­tional mo­ment to ac­quir­ing the right photographs for tex­tures, the key word in de­vel­op­ing this paint­ing is ‘ref­er­ence’.

I spend hours walk­ing the streets of New York to dig up the per­fect arte­facts, and troll through dozens of books to dis­cover images to em­bel­lish my con­cepts with. On a typ­i­cal com­mis­sion I may have up to 20 el­e­ments of ref­er­ence from which to source ideas. Once th­ese ref­er­ences are gath­ered, I pay close at­ten­tion to what they re­veal to me, from the way light re­flects off a greasy metal

March 2015 sur­face, to the spac­ing and size of the cracks in painted pedes­trian cross­ings. Sen­si­tiv­ity to de­tails bring an im­age to life, in­stils within it a con­vinc­ing voice, and cre­ates a visual di­a­logue that I use to draw the viewer into my artis­tic il­lu­sions.

A defin­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic of my work is the process I go through in cre­at­ing a highly de­tailed pre­lim­i­nary draw­ing. This draw­ing is not only a won­der­ful way to solve com­po­si­tional is­sues be­fore step­ping into colour and paint, but it’s an in­ter­me­di­ate step that en­ables clients a chance for in­put into the project.

By shar­ing a pre­cisely ex­e­cuted draw­ing I’m able to clar­ify my com­po­si­tional and struc­tural in­tent in the im­age, while im­ple­ment­ing client changes in a me­dia that’s eas­ily and quickly ma­nip­u­lated. Time and ag­gra­va­tion is saved on both sides of the pro­fes­sional re­la­tion­ship. My mind is cleared as I step into the oil paint­ing phase, know­ing ma­jor changes from the client are now be­hind me. I may now con­cen­trate on my process and de­liver the best art pos­si­ble.

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