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Subject: Time: 5:10 PM
OFFICE MEMO RE> DINORESTORATIONS Date: 10/7/97
This has the makings of a very ugly argument. But I cannot resist to put
in my two cents.
I can't agree with Von Sholly more. Doug Henderson is the C. H. Knight of
our time. He portrays dinosaurs as animals, not monsters or cool creatures.
By setting the viewer low in the frame, and making them peer through the
safty of foreground elements, he allows us to spy on a world never seen
His eye for composition, something SOOOOOOOO desperatly missing from
prehistoric art these days, is truly phenominal. Here, at the studio, where
some of the most talented artists on earth are assembled, his work is envied
by all. The top artists here, whether on the dinosaur movie or not, has his
pictures on their walls. Composition leads a viewers eye in and around the
picture frame, and ultimately traps you in a focal point. To do this in a
natural way is very hard. When Doug was working with us he shamed all of us
with his effortless skill.
Value. Another overlooked and all important aspect to any work of art.
Doug is ( and I'm not exagerating to make a point) the modern master of black
and white medium. His color stuff, I must admit is not as powerful, but
being a fan of Gustave Dore and King Kong, perhaps I have a bias. His pieces
shift from stark white to powerful blacks with the grace of a fleeting
dromeasaur. The viewer does not have to search to distinquish shapes,
everything is a clear read.
Doug does not reposition a GSP skeleton, draw an outline around it and
call it acurate. His posing is natural,believible and subtle.
He captures natural gestures of animals in the wild. The gestures also lead
the eye in and around the picture frame,adding to the all important
composition. Just because he doesn't have us staring into a fierce gaping
maw of a tyrannosaur does not mean that the picture is not exciting. I
always feel like his dinosaurs may turn and attack us, or smell us, lift
their heads, and run away. That's nature. We feel we are intruding in a
place we do not belong and were never meant to view.
Overall, I think Mr. Henderson captures the escence of what prehistoric
means. Alien, yet familiar. I have always wanted to see what our world
used to look like. You can try to imagine a world without telephone poles
and roads, or you can openDawn of the Dinosaurs and experience it. I look
for accuracy in other ways, it is very important, but what is more important
TO MYSELF is feeling like I'm there with them.
To much paleo and not enough art turns inspiring animals into uninspiring
images. I hope I have not offended anyone,after all beauty is in the eye of
the beholder. I don't claim to know it all, and if this came across as such
I apologize. Just don't dis my man D.H..... Capice?! ;-)
Disney Feature Animation