Colin Stimpson

Posted: March 21, 2008 in creativity


I found this on one of my favourite art sites: Lines and Colors – a brief introduction to Colin Stimpson’s work. I’ll let Charley Parker do the talking – he’s much qualified; I just want to emphasize though that I do love some of Colin’s illustrations, especially those in the monochromatic range. Most seem to have a sense of darkness about them – not in an evil sense but more like a kind of surreal earthiness, a connection to a bizarre world where skinny spirits dwell in spindly shapes of insects and plants. Not all of his illustrations are like that though (e.g. the Silly Salvage one are quite different), yet I do like those that for me are. Anyway, below is Charley Parker talking about Colin Stimpson …

U.K illustrator and concept artist Colin Stimpson lists early influences that include great Edwardian illustrators like Edmund Dulac and Arthur Rackham. He carries those influences into his snappy, nicely textured illustrations and a richly imaginative rendering style for his concept art and color guides for animated films.

Stimpson has worked on a number of Disney films like Hercules, Tinkerbell, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Emperor’s New Groove, for which he served as art director.

His web site has a gallery of his animation work that includes color guides and concept paintings for several of those projects. Unfortunately, the color guides in particular are reproduced way too small to get a good look at them. The most interesting work in his animation galleries is a series of beautiful monochromatic images for Kronk’s New Groove. These are imaginative and beautifully realized and have a wonderful sense of scale. The tone renderings have a dark to light drama that would be difficult to achieve in color.

In 2004 Stimpson returned to illustration when asked to illustrate a children’s book called The Poison Diaries for the Duchess of Northumberland. The resulting illustrations (image above) are the other highlight of Stimpson’s online portfolio. Again, his works in monochrome are outstanding in their subtle use of value and texture. There are also color illustrations associated with the book, but the tone images are just a treat.


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