milena art

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Making The Darjeeling Limited DVD Cover - Part 2

If I remember correctly, in Part 1 – which can be found here – we were discussing the challenges of faithfully reproducing such a unique blend of patterns, textures, and colors.

So here we have:

1. The Special Color Palette which I mixed, tested, and refined (with formulaic notations on how to mix more if I ran out. As ever, I used Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache.)

2. A few simple, staged models for how things worked: window-curtain folds or the way patterned fabric curves around a frame – as in the case of the unique lounge chair. (That chair was deceptive. It seemed so chaotic and freewheeling, initially I tried recreating it without measuring or planning. The result was terrible. Reminding me of the harsh fact that very little can be skimped on – particularly capturing a feeling of wildness or randomness – if you want to get things right.)

3. And of course the final artwork. Penciling the main structure and human characters … filling the traincar berth with texture and shadow … adding color (which, for the first time, I did by painting everything else before painting the people) … and finally the finished art. There’s so much detail, I don’t think it can really be experienced unless seen up-close. So I’m including a cropped image followed by the whole, finished piece.

I also want to point out – which I failed to do in Part 1 – that this is fundamentally an illustration OF a work of art. This traincar interior … all the trains … the whole rest of the movie … was designed by Mark Friedberg. The props were created, gathered, curated by Sandy Hamilton. The costumes were designed by Milena Canonero. And the whole thing was photographed by Bob Yeoman.

Franz and Milena, illustrated by Robert Crumb. 

On August 10th, 1920 (Milena’s birthday), he wrote the following to her:

By the way, did you know that you were my confirmation present (there’s also a kind of Jewish confirmation)? I was born in ‘83, so when you were born I was 13 years old; the 13th birthday is a special celebration. In the temple I had to recite a prayer-up by the alter-I had learned with difficulty, then give a small speech (also memorized) at home as well. I also received many presents. But I imagine I wasn’t completely satisfied, since one present was still missing; I demanded it from heaven, but heaven waited until the 10th of August.