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art » Yekaterina Satanina
Jul 122015

Graduation is well past us, life goes on.

I am applying to jobs. Looking for modeling/texturing positions, junior generalist positions, junior lighting, and runner openings. In the meantime, I’ve been updating this site (hey-oh!), working on personal projects, and enjoying not having homework ever again.

Most recent additions to my portfolio – watercolor paintings and figure studies from my Drawing for Animation and Figure Sculpture classes. There are a bunch on the Artwork page, go go look!

Figure studies - 2015 Figure studies - 2015

I discovered the wonderful pleasure of taking my sketchbook on a date to a coffee shop. (Pour Coffee Parlor, Rochester, is my happy place.)


I’ve been swimming and running a bunch.


I’ve been hiking to pretty places. (Lake Ontario, Chimney Bluffs, central New York.)


And I’ve been making supreme loaded waffles (that’s a waffle with: butter, runny egg, bacon, onion, red bell pepper, spinach, feta, and maple syrup) with good friends.


Life’s good.

Time to apply to more jobs.

May 032015

I like making the seal joke. “If I’m a seal in college, what’s my major? – Art art art art art!” And I clap like a seal, making that “ar ar ar” sound that seals make.

I thought it was dang clever.

But anyway, art!

Among my other projects this semester, I am taking a Drawing for Animation class and a Watercolor class. (I had to drop the Figure Sculpture class, for shame, because I just had too much on my plate.) Here’s a little glimpse on what I’ve been working on. These are not my very first attempts at watercolor, but it’s safe to say my first time learning it:


I got very excited when my professor, Luvon Sheppard, showed me the little simple way of mixing Prussian blue and Alizarin crimson for a gray underpainting. That coffee shop portrait was my first experiment with that technique. Such simple things. But they get me excited. Here’s a work in progress using that method, too:


Three weeks till graduation. I just want to paint all the time.

Mar 162014

Ever heard of Eyvind Earle?

I haven’t, either, until my mom showed me some amazing artwork in a style I never previously knew existed – magic realism. It was primarily a literary style, but evolved to encompass art, too. The art movement began in the first two decades of the 20th century. It is all about putting magical elements amidst an otherwise ordinary surrounding. The film The Green Mile, and basically anything by Hayao Miyazaki, are good examples of magic realism in film.

Back to Eyvind. He was an American illustrator and author, best known for his painted backgrounds and concept art for mid-century Disney films. He worked on Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and Sleeping Beauty.

I looked at his art and thought that the “magic” part of magic realism is well-earned here. His brave use of color and strong shapes is phenomenal, and the freedom he took with composition and stretching reality is admirable.

However, Earle worked in a variety of styles and media, going from watercolors, to oils, to drawings, to scratchboard, to serigraphs (silk screen printing).

Earle was a prolific artist. The amount of work he produced over his lifetime is staggering. He worked almost until his death in 2000, holding exhibitions as late as 1998. I wasn’t able to find an exact number of his works, but I’m sure it is a large number.

This is the kind of art that makes me want to explore 3D further. This is another challenge – another new 2D discovery that has yet to be replicated in 3D. Or maybe it has. I don’t know, but I would love to figure out how to do it.

In the meantime, if anyone wants to buy me this book, please feel free!

Mar 092014

To me, this is exciting. After years of being on Team Impressionism, I think I may have found a new favorite.

Fauvism. Or rather, the modern renditions of it.

Originally, it only lasted about a decade, started by Matisse and Derain. But man, people made it into an amazing thing! The concept is simple – use bright colors where they’re least expected. At least, that’s how I see it.

And maybe that’s not fauvism, but I’ll call it that for now. I’ve been working on concepts for a stylized 3D environment, and I’ll try to go in this direction with it.


Or this:


Trees and bright colors, all the things that make me happy.

Mar 082014

In Lighting & Rendering class, we were given a hilly plane and a tree and new knowledge of toon and surface shaders. Told to do something with that bucket of fun for classwork. Throw in a character or something. So I did!


Nov 052013

Tonight may have been the first night in many weeks when I actually felt good about my film. For the past many many weeks, it has been stressful, but even more than that, it was disheartening. I was not excited about my film, I did not want to work on it anymore. I had little confidence about it. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted it to look like from the very beginning, from summer, and I believed that there is no way I’d be able to make it look like that.

And it was precisely the look of it that drove me to make this film in the first place.

So, needless to say, I was really happy last night, because what happened was that I figured out how to make my film look almost exactly how I pictured it. It’s doable, it’s not awfully time-consuming, and not too heavy on render time.

Of course, it still took me hours. I was hoping to do something between Maya and Mudbox, for several reasons: ease of transition between the two, possibility of high detail sculpting and painting, and the simple fact that both are free for students (as opposed to, say, ZBrush).

And, naturally, I encountered a number of problems.


This is what my textures looked like when brought back into Maya from Mudbox. That’s not even close to what I painted, or how I unwrapped the poor little vase. Moreover, Mudbox and Maya have a huge scale discrepancy (get it – “huge scale …”?) that was, let’s say, a pain to deal with. So that didn’t work.

Fast forward several more hours, and you get this:

And that is the technique I came up with and hope to use for the rest of my film.

I am mostly surprised, because I was able to match my far-fetched vision so closely. I am also very happy that I avoided any rotoscoping, 2D overlays, or complex effects. All of this, with the exception of particles and color correction, was done in 3D, and solely in Maya. That means fast results and realistic procedures.

Anyway, here are some more stills, because I’m just that happy.


I can’t wait to do the rest of the set in this technique. Hope is back in town.


Oct 272013

Never mind guys, there won’t be any film this semester. There will only be paintings.


All I can think of is how this miserable, strange, charming quiet place looks like in late autumn.

Sep 302013

The windows roll down at the border, we are barely keeping ourselves from singing out, “Oh, Canada!” The border patrol officer asks what we are studying, and the entire car explodes: “ANIMATION!”

Oh, Canada.

Last weekend, two dozen RITchies and I ventured to Ontario for the Ottawa International Animation Festival. My first film festival. It was an amazing experience in a gorgeous city. We saw Disney’s innovative new short, “Get a Horse!”, a beautiful Brazilian feature, “The Boy and the World,” many awesome shorts, multiple presentations by filmmakers and recruiters. I got to meet JG Quintel (the youngest and coolest professional there), the creator of the Regular Show, and Adam Elliot, a brilliant stop motion animator from Australia. At one of the after parties, my fellow RIT 3D-ers and I cornered Saschka Unseld, a Pixar layout artist and director of “The Blue Umbrella,” and spent a good chunk of the night barraging him with our excited questions.

Oh, and we now know our way around Ottawa.

And for today, real rough one-hour sketch of the city view. I feel so right in cities. This one felt especially akin.


Yes, we had poutine. And yes, we met Canadians. To my surprise and amusement, turns out that Canadians rank each other on “how Canadian” they are. So self-aware.