As mentioned in our previous article, we invited an animation art director, Mr. Nizo Yamamoto to hold an event titled “PIGMENT COLOR PHILOSOPHY Vol. 5 ‘Kumo no Iro, Sora no Iro (Color of Cloud, Color of Sky) - Color Scenes Created by Analog Work.’"
I would like to introduce some of the highlights from the event in this article.
In the early part of his talk, Mr. Yamamoto mentioned Makoto Shinkai's latest film, "Weathering with You," in which he participated while talking about the role of water in East Asian art and the relationship between Chinese-style landscape painting and artwork of animation backgrounds.
Mr. Iwaizumi (PIGMENT TOKYO’s former director) said that Mr. Yamamoto's background art depicts a sensibility of "sky" reminiscent of Chinese-style landscape painting and Japanese painting.
The talk began with the stories of colors based on regions and was moved to the beauty of landscape painting from different perspectives.
In this photograph, Mr. Nizo Yamamoto is talking about the beauty of landscape paintings.
Mr. Yamamoto talked about various stories based on “color” such as the side stories of "Laputa: Castle in the Sky" and his experience as an animation background art director in an American animation company.
Many stories could only be heard here, such as the aesthetics of painting he developed through his work at the animation studios.
After the talk, Mr. Yamamoto gave us a demonstration of how he paints the sky and clouds.
He prepared several shades of blue with poster colors on a ceramic plate.
一I assume that the paint colors are lined up on a palette according to the color wheel in general…
As shown in the following photo, his palette is arranged in an unusual order. This color palette is actually used in Kaieisha which is Mr. Yamamoto’s animation art studio.
In the studio, most of the staff are working on several images at the same time and speed is the key.
In order to work faster when painting the animation backgrounds and reworking the backgrounds painted by other staff members, each animation production company has its original color palette.
This is a paintbrush called Karabake, originally used for blending techniques in Japanese painting.
He used it for “blending” half-dried poster paints.
According to Mr.Iwaizumi, “Nowadays, not many students know how to use the Karabake, even those who are majoring in Japanese painting.”
It is surprising that the Japanese painting technique is not only used in fine art but is also present in the animation world.
Once the painting demonstration started, he painted the entire image of the sky with a flat design brush while blending with the Karabake brush.
In a flash, the sky and clouds appeared on the paper.
In the next step, he used a grooved ruler to draw the surface of the water.
Mr.Yamamoto was also giving us a fun talk while he was painting and it is already closer to the final look.......
And, it’s done!
In addition to this absolutely beautiful summer sky with clear cumulonimbus clouds, the brush marks on the margins and layers of paints are something we usually don’t see in animation, and it made this event such a wonderful experience that we could find the fascination of colors created by analog work.
We plan to continue “PIGMENT COLOR PHILOSOPHY" as an event that invites guests from different fields and discusses various topics to seek art philosophy.
All of our event information will be released on the official social media accounts and ARTICLES, so follow us to keep up with the latest info.
山本二三 Nizo Yamamoto (left)
Art Director of Animation Films
Born on June 27, 1953 in Goto City, Nagasaki Prefecture. Nizoo Yamamoto had been good at drawing since childhood. After studying architecture at a high school in Gifu Prefecture, he began working at an animation art studio while a student at an art school in Tokyo. He was the first art director for Hayao Miyazaki's first TV series "Future Boy Conan" (1978) and had since participated in many masterpieces as an art director, including "Laputa: Castle in the Sky" (1986), "Grave of the Fireflies" (1988), "Princess Mononoke" (1997), etc. In 2006, he won the 12th AMD Award for the animation film "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time." In the summer of 2011, the exhibition "Nizo Yamamoto, Creator of Japanese Animation Art" was held at the Kobe City Museum and was a great success, attracting approximately 85,000 visitors. The exhibition is still touring in 2019. In July 2018, the "Nizo Yamamoto Art Museum" opened in his hometown of Goto City. His powerful and unique way of drawing clouds is called "Nizo’s clouds" among his fans. He was a hometown ambassador of Goto City, a guest professor at Kyoto University of the Arts’s Animation Direction Course, and a lecturer at Tokyo Animation College.
Kaieisha (絵映舎) https://www.yamamoto-nizo.com/
Translated by Atsumi Okano and Nelson Hor Ee Herng
PIGMENT TOKYO Art Materials Experts