Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ernesto Melo: "I'm a self taught artist."

Earlier this year I came across the blog of a wonderfully talented artist named Ernesto Melo. I contacted him and asked if he would share some details about himself and his career with us.

Ernesto wrote back, "I'm Argentinean and I live in Castelldefels, a seaside village 20 km from Barcelona. I'm a self taught artist. Even though I never thought I'd become a painter, I loved to study the Neoplasticism and Bauhaus schools, above all Itten's theory of color."

"During my teens many books and magazines fell on my hands which were decisive to me. First, I received as a present two books of the master, Andrew Loomis. Years later my uncle, an advertising creative, moved to Europe and left some Art Director Annuals from the fifties. I saw for the first time an incredible drawing by Robert Fawcett."

"He left me two Buenos Aires Art School books, where I discovered Albert Dorne, Dean Cornwell..."

"... from there an immense flood of illustrators came over me, the unforgettable books such as "The Beatles Illustrated Songs", later "The Illusion of Life", and many, many titles of Dover books..."

"As a student, I was Alberto Breccia's apprentice (international acclaimed comic master) for several years. During that time I worked on many comic books for European magazines."

"A while back, still living in Buenos Aires, I won the 1st prize of the International Science Fiction Award organized by the Japanese Starlog magazine. The jury: Frank Frazetta, Ray Bradbury, Moebius, Syd Mead, Roger Dean, Neal Adams."

"I moved to Europe and I illustrated book covers, and other commissions until I was hired for the (at that time) Barcelona JWT studio."

"Nowadays I'm a storyboard artist and illustrator, working for ad agencies from Germany, the UK and the United States."

"At Ogilvy Barcelona, I was an in-house storyboard artist for ten years and I already knew about tight deadlines and how to work with a creative group."

"There I did map illustrations and designs for theme parks (like Port Aventura-Universal's and
Terra Mitica), watching them grow and grow and changing the concepts to achieve the great goal of having beauty and function live together in harmony."

"During that time I studied animation at Bob (Yellow Submarine's Director) Balser's studio. I was commissioned many times by the agencies for jobs related to animation- Daffy Duck, Road Runner storyboards for WB and illustrations of Woody Woodpecker for Universal. I designed characters, concept design including limited animation for a Web game."

"These examples I've enclosed are my usual process after receiving the briefing from the AD (therefore, my contributions for your blog)."

More recently, Ernesto sent a second message and enclosed the following:

"Last week a storyboard commission appeared, with a very tight deadline. They wanted all frames in color although they knew that there wouldn't be enough time for me."

"So I scanned my thumbnails, then I enlarged them to fit with my template frame and lowered their opacity."

"Then I drew directly and decided to use one tone with a small variation in light source, where I could put another color."

Ernesto adds, "Maybe you can use this as a contribution for your blog. Muchos Saludos and keep in touch!"

Many thanks, Ernesto!

Be sure to check out both Ernesto's blog and his portfolio site.


  1. Master! You had told me about the Prize, but not about the members of the jury, that bunch of usual suspects!

  2. Grandioso Ernesto! Un abrazo!!
    Great master!

  3. Great post from great Artist!
    Thanks for sharing your process.
    It is treasure for me!

  4. Hi Ernesto,
    Beautiful work, it really knocked me out, your renderings are stunning.

  5. Ernesto,
    I've admired your work for some time now-- man, that color..just beautiful! A real treat to see the process.

  6. Tus fans crecen como setas, y después de esto, más!

  7. Hi Ernesto,
    you and Dan Milligan are my favorite storyboards artists of all time.

  8. Fantastic Ernesto, thanks for sharing this!
    Absolutely inspiring!

  9. Love it. It's great that you show the translation from the AD roughs to the finish. A+!

  10. THANKS SO MUCH EVERYONE!, I'm sorry for the delayed answer.

    Harry I'm a big fan of you, I always admire (and envy a bit) people that
    use markers as you do (very few of them), the way ink spreads
    on the paper and see the vibration between the grain of paper
    and pigment. So fresh, and just one touch! You're a Master!

    Thanks again!

  11. These are devastatingly good. Es un honor ver su trabajo. Me hace sentir muy humilde. Gracias por compartirlo!

  12. Awesome work Ernesto, thanks for the postings. Are you using the new PAinter 11, or another version?