Friday, 26 August 2011

60 Seconds with Lesley Barnes

Girl of the moment Lesley Barnes took a moment out of her busy schedule to cyber chat with Picasso about her latest directorial effort, Apple, created to accompany the winning entry for Channel 4's  'Random' Spoken word competition, screened earlier this week...

Picasso: How did you decide on a look for this piece after first encountering it?
Lesley: I wanted something really simple and graphic that would enhance the words of the poem, not distract from them, so I kept it really stylised and incorporated text into the designs for the animation. I wanted the language of the poem to do the talking rather than the pictures.
P: Is it difficult to create something born from someone else's work?
L: I think it's really special as you can add some of your own spin to someone else's creation and transform it into something more.
P: How would you describe the finished animation?
L: life. death and apples
P: Were there any unique challenges presented with this project?
L: The main challenge was to capture the essence of the poem  and try to follow its rhythm and flow. The other challenge was the timeframe we had to work with! We had just over a week to design and animate it all!
P: You worked recently on a Belle and Sabastian promo, how did Apple differ to working on that?
L: I think they are completely different! I had a few months to devote to the Belle and Sebastian promo and I could indulge my love of colour, pattern, detail and dancing bears to my hearts content!
P: Is it a thrill to know your work will go from a studio to being beamed into every living room?
L: It's very strange and slightly scary!

See the full film below:

Apple from Picasso Pictures on Vimeo.

Happy Birthday Melissa!!

Not only is it Tim Burton's Birthday today, it's Picasso family member Melissa's too. Hip Hip Hurray! P.S. That cake...mmmm

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Lesley Barnes for Channel 4

Lesley Barnes' latest production is a beautifully lyrical piece of animation created to accompany a short poem written for Channel 4's spoken word competition. Entrants were asked to write, in 220 words or less, about a truly random event, good or bad, that altered their life forever. The winning piece, 'Apple' by Dylan Owen, a tragic tale of luck and circumstance, was recited by Owen himself, realised in moving form by Lesley and transmitted on Channel 4 following the premiere of the drama 'Random'.

Lesley designed, directed and animated a simple and stylish film to complement Owen's narrative. Drawing on her unique use of contemporary graphic animation and typography, she engages the viewer, emphasising Owen's tale without overwhelming it. The end result is the perfect visual accompaniment to Dylan's prose.

Lesley Barnes previous work includes a music video for Belle and Sebastian, commercial projects for The Economist and most recently, an illustrative collaboration with Cosmopolitan magazine. Born, raised and living in Glasgow, Lesley delights in the constant inspiration she receives from friends and contemporaries and has weaved for herself a truly unique graphic, bold and stylised aesthetic.

Apple from Picasso Pictures on Vimeo.

'Apple' was commissioned by 4Creative & Film4 and debuted on Channel 4 on 23rd August '11.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Lesley Barnes X Glamour Magazine UK

The amazing Illustrator and Animator Lesley Barnes has teamed up with the UK's hottest Fashion magazine, Glamour, to create a limited edition print as a prize in their latest 'Fast Living' competition. Make sure to pick up a copy this month to read more.


We just found this helpful/unintentionally hilarious tutorial on how to create realistic facial expressions when animating and illustrating. Many of you still 'forming your style' may find this helpful (but also unintentionally hilarious) so we thought we'd pop it up for your consideration/amusement...

Friday, 5 August 2011

Holbrook's is in the HIZZOUSE!

VERY exciting news here, the lovely Holbrook's Films has arrived, pens and pencils in hand, here in old London town and are holed up at Picasso HQ working on some amazing new material to wow us all and keep us chained to our screens!

In the mean time, whilst we wait with baited breath, have a snoop at some of their amazing work so far, and get in touch if you have a project that could do with some Holbrooking.


Holbrooks Films - Showreel from Picasso Pictures on Vimeo.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Let Terry Gilliam show you how to Animate...

Who better to give you a few pointers than the man responsible for some of the most iconic comic-animation ever in Monty Python...

Production banalities, illustrated!

It's no surprise that being in Production, we need a lot of storage, we feel this illustration best sums up how far we've come from the days of physical storage (thank goodness they're over)...

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Fun AND Informational

Our video of the morning has to go to Ross Klettke's 'The First Speeding Ticket'.

'I wanted to have a project to try some new After Effects (AE) things and also to get some overall experience– and to stay enthusiastic and all that too– it ended up being a short film based on a single panel sketch I did a few years ago'

'The short was done on a pretty fast schedule– about 1.5 months while working on a few freelance projects.'

'I also wanted to mess around with fast cutting. The average scene length is 3 seconds ( for comparison: my previous fastest was 5 ). To have things make sense ( hopefully make sense :D) there had to be an emphasis on that old “every shot is an extreme closeup of what you’re supposed to see” sort of thing.'

Fun, smart and charming, we have our eyes on you Ross! Check out the film below and make sure to have a look at his site to see him walk you through how he did it

the first speeding ticket from Ross Klettke on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

More from Damian Gascoigne's Muso Soup

We trust everyone's had a good gander at the great coverage that Animation Director Damian Gascoigne's MusoSoup has been getting of late. There's a nice write up over on sohosoho on the release with full credits so shoot on over there now to read all about it!

Monday, 1 August 2011


A big ol' Congrats to our good friend Steven Todd Lenton, illustrator extraordinaire, who has just been shortlisted for the prestigious Waterstones 'Picture This' competition which will see the winner work with star Children's Writer Michael Morpurgo.

We wish Steven the very best of luck and you can see more from the competition and some of his work here