Sunday, August 27, 2006

Armand Serrano (update)

Armand Serrano
I posted about visual development artist Armand Serrano last month. Since then his web site has had a complete redesign with added material and a much improved interface.

I mentioned in my original post that the interface of the old site was a bit frustrating and difficult to use. His new design is superb and could almost be a model for how to display a portfolio of artwork on the web.

First of all, the home page gives a succinct description of what the site is about and who the artist is (you’d be surprised how many “high-end” professionally designed sites neglect to do that). The galleries are arranged by subject and once you click on a thumbnail, it opens in the gallery space in the same window and you have a convenient “Next”, “Back” and “return to gallery” navigation; no pop-up windows, no “click to open, click to close” or “click and click back”, thank you very much. Other artists and portfolio site designers please take note.

None of this would matter, of course, if Serrano’s work wasn’t interesting enough to make it worth looking through all of the galleries, and of course, it is.

He has a rich, textured pencil style in many of his layout drawings for movies like Lilo and Stitch that makes for beautiful tone studies of interiors and landscapes. The interiors in particular have a great feeling for the textures of wood and cloth.

His monochromatic background layouts for Tarzan are soaked in rain and overflowing with moss and lush undergrowth, and background layouts for Mulan take their cues from Chinese ink painting.

There are also galleries of concept designs and illustrations that feature more of his color work. There are designs that seem to be for fun rather than a specific project, like the wonderfully unusual design for a flying craft above.

There are also comic pages from Serrano’s participation in the El Pacifico pirate-themed collaborative comic project in which he is joined by Marcelo Vignali and Marcos Mateu.

5 thoughts on “Armand Serrano (update)

  1. Scott

    The artwork’s gorgeous, but I don’t understand this trend with artists making the thumbnails on their sites so small you can’t even see what they are. Seems to defeat their purpose.

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