Draw, You Scoundrel!
(Lee has a seperate hub where she talks more about her life in animation with lots of video links. Check it out: http://hubpages.com/hub/My-Life-in-Animation. For a complete list of movies she's worked on, look her up on IMDb -- http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0971816/.)
Lee Crowe, or those who have purchased art from Lee, own the copyright to all non-ad works on this page.
The Crane House
Drawing, Painting and Animating, Oh My!
I'm an artist; been an artist all my life. I love traditional media. I love the smell and the mess and the texture of the paper. I've spent most of my time doing animation for big companies, like Disney, Dreamworks Animation, and Warner Brothers Animation, on such shows as The Little Mermaid, Family Guy, Space Jam, Brother Bear, Cats Don't Dance, etc.
I now teach animation at the college level. I want to get back into animation production but I also really enjoy doing my own fine art, which is generally realistic paintings and drawings of animals, nature, the human figure, and the occasional still life and building exterior. My favorite media is colored pencil, followed by pastel, graphite pencil, and gouache. I've also worked in acrylic and collage. Teaching and animating for big companies doesn't allow much time for "my" art but I hope to showcase some of it here just the same.
I did the above pastel of the Crane House on Jekyll Island, Georgia, as a wedding gift from a bride to a groom. (The Crane House is a popular wedding location...). I think this turned out beautifully; I love the combination of purples and yellows.
I think wildlife is probably my favorite subject matter. I did this Polar Bear while getting my MFA at Savannah College of Art and Design in the mid-2000's. He's done in gouache, which I had not worked in prior to attending SCAD. My teacher Katherine Sandoz taught us to layer the gouache, let it dry, and use fixative as we go, in order to keep it from reactivating.
I did the egret (in pastel) a long time ago!
Next I have a couple of still life pieces; one in acrylic and one in pastel. These were also done at SCAD. I always encourage beginners to start with still life drawings and paintings. They are life that isn't going anywhere.
Duke, Misty and Norbert
I love doing commissioned portraits of pets. I usually work in colored pencil and occasionally in pastel or acrylic -- whatever I feel like is right for that animal, and whatever works for the size of the piece I'll be doing. I generally don't like to work too big. That is probably from my animation background; animation drawings are usually small enough to fit easily under a camera. When I work in colored pencil I work on illustration board which has been prepared with clear gesso and a colored acrylic wash. The gesso gives the board a bite which holds the color, and the wash makes the colors pop even more. I also like the amount of control I have with colored pencils.
Three Cool Dogs
Animals from Zoo Atlanta and Rural Georgia
I try to draw animals from life whenever I can. This horse was at a stable in Spalding County, GA, and was done in graphite. The other animals are from Zoo Atlanta, where I take my students once every three months. Live, untrained animals are wonderful models for animation students, precisely because they don't stand still. The student must learn to draw a living thing that is in motion. The petting zoo is the best area to visit for drawing, because the animals are "in your face" -- they're not hiding behind a bush somewhere. Some of the goats there actually have tried to climb into my lap. Sometimes they want to nibble on my sketchbook, but most of the time they really do enjoy being petted.
The drill monkeys and pig were drawn in black Prismacolor colored pencil; the red goat in an assortment of Prismacolor colored pencils, and the zebra in brush pen.
The ability to draw the human figure is essential to being a good animation artist. I get to draw humans and animals in motion more than any other form of art, I suppose. These are from an advanced drawing class that I taught in the Spring of 2010.