Back in the 1980's, if you were a young marker renderer working in Toronto, there was one team of seasoned pros to whom you bowed down in awe and supplication: "Robert and Doug" ... the mighty "Sphere"!
If you were the in-house guy at a Toronto agency and an AD had sent out for Sphere boards on a job, you can bet you were there ready to nick them after the presentation. Every frame was a lesson in how to render with markers - and how to make 'em sing!
These are just a few of a bunch of Sphere animatics my friend Jeff Norwell gave to me years ago. I still pull them out all the time to admire and learn from.
This last piece; a flow board done in Pentel pen is interesting because, unlike so much Sphere artwork, it doesn't look photo referenced. This one's a good example of the natural drawing style of Robert or Doug ( or more likely both - the two artists usually passed the work back and forth over the top of their face-to-face drawing boards ).
I've been trying to pin down Stuart Godfrey, who began his comp art career as an assistant at Sphere studios, to tell me what it was like to work for "the gods of marker rendering" in Toronto. So far Stu's been mum... but hopefully seeing this post will light a fire under him. Robert and Doug were not only amazingly good - they were blazingly fast and they were known for their take no B.S. attitude. I'll bet Stu has a ton of great war stories from his time in the trenches at Sphere. Hopefully, next time I present some more of Robert and Doug's work, Stu will be doing the accompanying narration!