composition 3

30 05 2020

today some more composition ideas from major comic strip artists – moebius, jim holdaway, dino battaglia, hugo pratt, alex nino, john watkiss, sergio toppi, al williamson, alberto brecchia, john burns

© moebius, jim holdaway, dino battaglia, hugo pratt, alex nino, john watkiss, sergio toppi, al williamson, alberto brecchia, john burns


composition 2

29 05 2020

comic strips usually work with the same rules that apply for film, especially when it comes to the composition of the panels. interesting placements of the characters, their framing, viewing angles, the general readability and depth of the scene, balance of elements as well as a dramatic use of light can be found especially in comics done by the masters. I collected some interesting ‘shots’ from a wide diversity of artists – MOEBIUS, HUGO PRATT, ALBERTO BRECCHIA, JIM HOLDAWAY, AL WILLIAMSON, SERGIO TOPPI, JOHN BURNS, ESTEBAN MAROTO, DINO BATTAGLIA and others. first I only concentrated on their black/white work.


the emperor’s new clothes

27 05 2020

looking through some old artwork I found this poster design I created in the early days around february 2002 for a very new project FRAIDY CAT, that went into visual development.

in the past years I published several posts about FRAIDY CAT and I still like one from 2009 a lot, that’s why I republish it, with a few additions.

it is funny to read all different articles and speculations why apparently such interesting looking projects in the past at disney were shelved. well, – it was pure incompetence, believe me. let’s just look at FRAIDY CAT, not the FRAIDY CAT that JOHN MUSKER and RON CLEMENTS restarted in 2004. I am talking about the very first version that was offered to me late in 2000 as a 3 page treatment. I started with a lot of environmental and a few character designs and after I showed the story to ANDREAS DEJA he wanted to contribute some character explorations. he loved the treatment as well.

let me explain the reasons why a project like that could fail. one major reason – because the management at that time was for some never explained reasons convinced that a good final story develops out of over and over destroyed story-versions. I remember a meeting after a screening of some major sequences of another project, where TOM SCHUMACHER, at that time sr.vice president and head of feature animation, answered a statement of a storyboard artist that it looked great and worked well, ‘then let’s do it all over again, because it only can get better’. – I don’t think so!

to be frank, I always thought that this procedure was completely stupid and had only one effect – immense costs and a lot of wasted trees. I remember on MULAN were in the end about 10 different writers involved. coming back to FRAIDY CAT – the poor writer who had come up with this stunning treatment would have never had a chance to write the final script. unfortunately he was not too well known, but more important – he was the first one and to continue you need to throw dollars after a second one. after story-discussions in a team of vice presidents in development ( I always thought they were there for decoration and to fill some luxury offices ) the story had to move to another writer and that could happen several times.

but that was not really the main reason for the systematic destruction of a good idea. that reason was obvious in another department, but nobody else apparently saw it. usually a script ends up first in the storyboard department. one storyboard artist takes care of a sequence. as far as I remember in FRAIDY CAT’S case about 6 or 7 were involved. now there is a major problem – all the top talent in storyboard is busy to fix the disasters in the running production(s). that’s why usually only ‘apprentices’ are thrown into a starting new project. I don’t want to say that there couldn’t be a major hidden talent in such a fresh team, well, usually that is not the case. that means that, what this team comes up with as an interpretation of a third generation script, is not the best of possible versions. in a presentation to the highly competent jury of vice presidents this interpretation must look like a story that needs to be fixed, – back to another writer, and the game starts all over. you can imagine, after several redo’s there is nothing left of an original and once charming story. unfortunately nobody ever had the idea to at least look what others might have done in earlier versions. FRAIDY CAT is not the only project where I saw this happen, it was the same with MY PEOPLES, RAPUNZEL ( inclusive other major problems ), WILD LIFE ( with a ton of more and very serious other problems and directors too arrogant to listen to warnings ) and SNOW QUEEN ( OMG ). the FRAIDY CAT affair ended after I left in 2003 and ron and john tried to fix it afterwards with major artistic talent like CARTER GOODRICH and PAUL FELIX. apparently it did not help because some of the ’emperor’s new clothes’ guys thought it was not a good idea afterall. after 5 yaers and probably 50 million dollars, not to talk about thousands of pieces of art – down the drain.

usually it’s not my style to write that much, but – this had to be said

© walt disney enterprises


26 05 2020

digging through my archives I found this caricature I did of VANCE GERRY in 2000. vance gerry, 1929 – 2005, had been with DISNEY since 1955, had worked in layout on 101 dalmatians and sword in the stone, and moved then to storyboard during the production of the jungle book. from then on he worked in story on most of the feature films. towards the end of his career he worked closely with JOE GRANT and BURNY MATTINSON on the development of new ideas for future productions. that was, around 2000, when we shortly worked together on an idea joe grant had brought up, MR.POPPER’S PENGUINS written by richard and florence atwater and published in 1966.

joe grant’s idea was a mix of live action and CG, with penguins similar like in mary poppins, just animated in the new technique. I created a few designs and then never heard about the project anymore.

much later I found out that the story had been produced and released in 2011 by 20th century fox, MR.POPPER’S PENGUINS, a live action/CG mix with jim carrey.

© walt disney enterprises © 20th century fox © richard+florence atwater

Le Trombone illustré 2

25 05 2020

© franquin / spirou

Le Trombone illustré 1

24 05 2020

published from 17.march to 20.october 1977 under the impetus of Franquin and Yvan Delporte, Le Trombone illustré is a supplement stapled thirty times in the middle of Spirou’s newspaper. independent of its format and spirit, this scratch-hair publication, which brought together artists from different editorial offices, was announced in n° 2026 of 10.february by the same blue footprints that had preceded the arrival of Gaston Lagaffe. a translation of the explosion of the adult comics phenomenon for adults (Fluide glacial, L’Écho des savanes, Métal hurlant, Charlie Mensuel…), Le Trombone breaks the formal conventions of the drawn story and the taboos of a rather well-meaning newspaper.

(translated from french wikipedia)

here now the first part of the covers of this incredible magazine, created by my most favorite comic strip artist – ANDRE FRANQUIN…

© franquin / spirou / trombone illustré


21 05 2020

this recreated painting is stitched together from 8 dissolve elements combined with a pan north. the scene is part of the UPA 1953 masterpiece THE TELLTALE HEART, directed by ted parmelee and designed and painted by PAUL JULIAN. for the longest time I tried to recreate this painting, but only a short time ago I found a top quality print that made it possible.

© UPA, paul julian

abstract 1

19 05 2020

in abstract art composition and color are much clearer without the distraction of figures and environment. I find a lot of ideas for new brushes and my own abstract studies in there as well.

below are some of the paintings I created with my new brushes, inspired by abstract art

we are here in manila, where I live, in month 3 of a total lockdown. I hope it helps and we can fight this pandemic. please be safe, wherever you are, we need to get through this – hopefully alive.
I wish you luck and good health

The Hidden History of Oz

Discover the Secrets of an Enchanted World is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

The Hidden History of Oz

Discover the Secrets of an Enchanted World is the best place for your personal blog or business site.