forest

24 09 2008

a few weeks ago I participated together with about 200 artists worldwide with artwork in an auction initiated by some pixar artists to save a forest near tokyo, hayao miyazaki’s TOTORO forest. not that I care too much about that particular forest, forests in indonesia being used for japanese chopsticks and newspaper or the systematically destroyed amazon jungle are in greater danger. hopefully there will be initiatives as well to save some of our oxygen resources, the endangered forests worldwide, the coral reefs. anyway, I participated for a different reason – TOTORO is one of my favorite films and I am an admirer of miyazaki’s work.

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brush

24 09 2008

from 1948 until 1960 disney produced a series of nature films, the TRUE LIFE ADVENTURES. most of them were shown in the DISNEYLAND tv-series, a few were released theatrically. the reason for that was, they were filmed in 16mm format, what is not the best quality format for the big screen. when JOHN LOWRY with his digital restauration got involved in restauring all the disney classics he told me that with his process he could make 16mm films look like 35mm quality. for that reason I proposed to release some of the nature series theatrically again, – well at least a lot of the series is out on DVD now, unfortunately not restaured.
some of my favorites were THE LIVING DESERT, THE VANISHING PRAIRIE, SECRETS OF LIFE and MYSTERIES OF THE DEEP. in those days there was no national geographic tv, these were the best nature documentaries you could see. and I was always fascinated by the opening, the brush that painted the landscapes and introduced you to the geography. especially the opening of THE VANISHING PRAIRIE. I recreated a pretty long stylized pan BG with the icons the brush was painting. it looks even more stunning when you see it in its entire length ( pan direction is from the right to the left ).

© disney enterprises, inc





log

23 09 2008

another beautiful recreated pan from disney’s BAMBI. very simple, painted in oil on cardboard, only one foregroundlayer to create the illusion of depth.

© disney enterprises, inc





limited

23 09 2008

WARD KIMBALL directed a series of specials for the DISNEYLAND tv-series from 1955 until 1959. I always liked them because of their stylistic diversity. UPA had introduced a new style direction in the early fifties, opposite of what the big studios were doing. the artists were inspired by modern art and even most of the stories were not necessarily for a mainstream audience, except maybe the mr.magoo series. some very unusual stylistic and experimental shorts were produced by very talented artists. a lot of them had worked with disney before, like JOHN HUBLEY and JULES ENGEL. these UPA films were the foundation of a different style in animation, especially in europe. but disney saw the potential of a different look than the feature films and shorts as well and decided to experiment with it in his disneyland tv-series. the simplified style made it easy to use limited animation, even as part of the style. during the war years in films like VICTORY THROUGH AIRPOWER limited animation had been used for cost reasons as well. but here in specials like MAN IN SPACE, MAN AND THE MOON, MARS AND BEYOND, OUR FRIEND THE ATOM and EYES IN OUTER SPACE they used it in a very different way. for funny effects – like a face is a hold except the mouth moves, but in the best tradition of full animation. or a moving car is shown, only the tires are rotating – but the smoke clouds behind the car are fully animated. these specials don’t look limited or cheaper than disney’s other productions. and the subjects were very attractive and extremely successful. as far as I know, no other films at that time were informing the audience about this very new space science.



© disney enterprises, inc





4 masters

22 09 2008

during the production of disney’s MULAN I had the once in a lifetime chance to work with incredible artists. I want to show more of their work in the future. here now is ALEX NINO, a philippino comicstrip artist who is still the biggest idol for the young generation over here. alex worked for probably over 40 years in the US comic strip scene, for marvel and most of the other big publishers. I saw his first work first when I was still in gymnasium. well, alex did tons of designs for mulan, usually one a day. every single one a jewel!
SAI PING LOK is from china, a painter very well known in the fine artist scene in the US. he translated black/white sketches done by the numerous visual development artists as well as from story into little color keys, suggested different color moods. he added the ‘chinese touch’ to our drawings, amazing color sense.
the third rough sketch is by PAUL FELIX who became production designer on LILO AND STITCH after he finished hundreds of designs for TARZAN. one of the best drawing artists I have ever met! and later paul started to paint, first on EMPEROR’S NEW GROVE, then I remember unbelieveable paintings done in painter for SNOW QUEEN, unfortunately shelved. and lately he worked on the old version of BOLT.
last but not least there is a good friend, RIC SLUITER, art director on MULAN. a dutch/canadian icehockey- player/painter. amazing talent and a lot of patience. way more than I have. we went through the good and bad times of the production together. ric art-directed and developed the watercolor style for LILO AND STITCH after our chinese adventure. the good old days…

© disney enterprises, inc





blues

22 09 2008

similar color but very different times, actually over a period of 30 years. the first one I did in the late seventies, then a BEAUTY AND THE BEAST forest. there is a bit of an eyvind earle influence. the city scene was for CATS in 1991, unfortunately it never happened. but instead BALTO, 1993 in london. nr.5 is from BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH, an early concept for FANTASIA 2000. then we have MY PEOPLES what did not happen, and a design for a CG short I designed in tokyo in 2006. the techniques were very different as well, watercolor, magic marker feltpen, gouache and photoshop.

© disney enterprises, inc
© universal pictures/amblin





studies 1

21 09 2008

it’s amazing how much you can learn analyzing these recreated masterpieces. too bad the original artwork does not exist anymore. I try to use some of the learning experience in my own designs, for the book I am doing a lot of studies in COLOR and COMPOSITION. here are a few of them…