Michael Dudok de Wit – Shibui Illustration


On Artists / Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

The work of Michael Dudok de Wit can generally be recognized in its sumi-e inspired flowy lines and aquarelle coloring and often focusing on a distinct lighting.

The Dutchman de Wit is most famous for his work in animation having won several awards both for his commercials and short films, including an academy award for “Father and Daughter”, one of my personal favorite films.

In 2016 his first feature film was released. “The Red Turtle” was co-produced together with the legendary studio Ghibli. The film is a dialogue-free film that at first my seem deceptively simplle but is layered with a depth that inspires several viewings. The film is a step away from de Wits typical line style and has more detailed design than his earlier work but still is recognizable as a work of de Wit in its color design, lighting and dialogue-free storytelling.

Although more famous as an animator de Wit has also illustrated several books of which “Oscar and Ho” probably is his most famous. It is a story about a daydreaming boy who walks with his head in the clouds that on a trip gets separated from his family and lost in sand dunes. He befriends a cloud who also is alone and together they find comfort in each other.

The work of Michael Dudok de Wit is interesting to study and learn from. Personally I prefer his earlier, more minimalist style and try to learn how he manages to communicate so much with so little. There’s a Japanese word “Shbui” or “Shibumi” meaning, more or less, “sophisticated simplicity”. I feel that shibui embodies the work of Michael Dudok de Wit.

From the short film “The Monk and the Fish”

 

 

Michael Dudok de Wit

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