As the sun colours flowers and art colours life, colour key artist Sudarshan Kumar colours our screens and brings life to scenes.
Tom and Jerry, Dexter’s Lab, Looney Toons, it was the colourful world of these evergreen cartoons where the seeds of creativity were sowed in Sudarshan Kumar. Over the years, Cartoon Network shows became Anime and drawing cartoons became graphic designing, but his love for animation never faltered. As his worldview expanded, creative developments also came in the form of video editing and photography. Bringing together all his passions, he pursued a degree in game development from the Breda University of Applied Sciences. It was there that Concept Art first spoke to him.
The grandeur works of Amano Yoshitaka and Takehito Harada opened up an entirely new dimension for him, albeit shaking his confidence in his own work. Puss in Boots was the defining thread that truly opened his eyes to the specialisation of Colour and Light with short films like “The Dam Keeper” and the works of artists Nathan Fowkes and James Gurney further solidifying his love for Animation and Colour/Light.
He stepped into the professional world with his first job at House of Cool. It was here that he worked on the colour keys of the show, “He-Man and Masters of the Universe”. It required him to be comfortable with how colour and light interact with each other and stage it to support the story. The process began with understanding the vision of the art director. He learned of the episodes, themes and transformations of the heroes. In addition, he was also given the concept art and design of the environment and characters to begin the painting process. This process together with the storyboards culminated in the final color key approved by the Director. It is a truly collaborative process with multiple people behind every minute frame.
While professional commitments have a pre-defined brief, for his personal color key work, Sudarshan tends to be more experimental and explore different colours and lighting scenarios. His main goal is to be able to communicate emotions in a moment and showcase feelings just through colour and light. He has recently been exploring ways to create concept art more freely. He has been using the beauty of simple shapes, bold colours and interesting textures as attributes to create unique concept art.
Sudarshan believes that as a concept artist, it is important to not look at how pretty an image is first, one is required to have ideas. It is about exploring possibilities till it sticks. For concept art, it is important to not get too comfortable and keep exploring. Having freshly stepped into the domain just a couple of years ago, he also believes that it is important to be motivated and be inspired by the world around us in our own ways. For Sudarshan, it is looking at the world with an emphasis on how light around him interacts, bounces illuminates and brings out the best in everything.