I was asked a few days ago whats next on the blog?, and I replied I don’t know. Theres good reason for this, I tend to spend a good amount of time just ‘looking’ at all manner of things, and bringing those across to modelling, to me not only is modelling a ‘making’ past time, its a visual one. So one thing can lead to another and I’ll be grabbing thoughts and techniques from other genres, and this ‘thinking time’ is often the part that makes or breaks a modelling idea.
One of those days was last week, a day spent in London at the Tate Modern looking at the work of Roy Lichtenstein http://www.tate.org.uk
As one of the most recognisable ‘pop artists’ you’d think theres little that can be learnt for something as ‘accurate’ in appearance as a model railway.
Well, not so, it depends on how you think, and looking at an artists techniques and material use can cross over into other fields, for example texture, one of the most difficult things to capture and scale. Scale is an interesting concept too, we are used to seeing these images in a book, when you see the real thing 15ft by 6ft on a wall in front of you the impact is very much heightened. I did find myself wondering at ‘Whaam’ if Lichtenstein was trying to say something more about American military policies too, though he wasn’t a political activist type of artist in the wider sense. In the original artwork he adapted the aircraft being hit is clearly a Russian Mig 15, on Lichtensteins’ work its changed to an F-86, so he’s depicted a ‘blue on blue’ event, an American aircraft destroying another American aircraft, not ‘an enemy aircraft’ as is so often written. Not only that, the reference to ‘enemy’ is missing from his work where it’s on the original, see above. I didn’t expect to be thinking that when I walked through the door, or later trying to make sense of it in the beer festival …
One modeller on the blog column to the right hand side has a spectacularly good example of how to achieve this sort of crossover from art to modelmaking. On Iain Robinsons’ blog there is a very good piece on replicating texture and color, http://iainrobinson-progress
As Iain points out the painting of this model, (a clay dry) would be the making or breaking of it and he is right, the other thing though is the ability to recognise that, capturing the colors and texture in the painting of the building.
So you may not consider yourself as a ‘artist’ or painter, but by looking at others work you can often find a way, or route if you like of achieving what you want. For me at the Tate Modern, taking the time to look and get my head round some of the technique Lichtenstein used has meant that I have a new idea to try on the seamless digital backscene that we pioneered over a year ago, how time flies! My printer is going to be asking, did you think of this before you got to the beer festival, or after …