staircase

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





pure beauty 8

7 01 2020

© disney enterprise, inc © paramount © zagreb studio © fischerkoesen
© edelmann © WB © UPI © richard williams © jan lenica © toccafundo





style 9.6

1 10 2016

style-header2

faces-2-blog





style 9.5

28 07 2016

style-header2

artists have always been inspired by other artists. otherwise impressionism or cubism had never developed and been explored by so many different artists. in animation disney first used children book illustrators like tenggren and nielsen as inspiration for the style of the first feature films. UPA was smaller and could afford to experiment with new looks, using modern art like dufy and modigliany, but as well upcoming cartoon and caricature stars like steinberg, searle and kurtzman for inspiration. later john hubley went even further with his shorts and a complete abstract look influenced by picasso, shahn and prestopino. I could continue this until today, where modern filmmakers get excited by art they accidentally find on the internet. it is so much easier today to look for reference or inspiration, everybody has a vast collection of art from museums, books, auctions or collectors at home available on the world wide web.
I was always interested to find out how looks were developed in the past. it was like a guideline for my own work, to find ways for developing new styles. now I am trying to teach those secrets to new generations. difficult, because you have to first learn about all the existing art in the world, figurative and landscape or environmental art, get enough knowledge about films of the past – and, experience by analysis how the look of the most interesting films was developed. the real challenge starts when you try to develop your own style for a project. one piece is already tough, but then the problem is to create a whole series of environments in the same style.

human faces+art

faces in art 1





tell-tale heart 2

12 02 2015

telltale heart comp B1

telltale heart top pan A2

tell-tale heart comp B2

© UPA





tell-tale heart 1

7 02 2015

it has been a while since I last posted a recreated background. besides that I realized I had never shown any artwork from THE TELL-TALE HEART. this animated short based on the EDGAR ALLAN POE short story was produced in 1953 by UPA and directed by TED PARMELEE, narrated by JAMES MASON. PAUL JULIAN, master designer and painter, was responsible for all the backgrounds in this film, as well as the color-styling. the film was nominated for an academy award but lost to disney’s TOOT, WHISTLE, PLUNK AND BOOM, nevertheless it is a true masterpiece. below now the first recreated pan from the film.

telltale heart pan up dark 2-15

© UPA





madeline

5 09 2014

1madeline cover

the first children book MADELINE was published in 1939, 8 more followed. the author and illustrator was LUDWIG BEMELMANS, 1898 – 1962, born in austria and emigrated to the united states in 1914. the illustrations in the first book are very simple, concentrating on the characters, there is barely any major background. in the few pieces where BEMELMANS added some more detail to establish where the story takes place you can see that he was obviously inspired by the french painter RAOUL DUFY, 1877 – 1953.

2madeline bemelmans
3madeline 2
4dufy style

in 1952 UPA produced an animated version of the first book, directed by BOBE CANNON, layout design ART HEINEMAN and color by JULES ENGEL. the animation was done by BILL MELENDEZ and FRANK SMITH. the design team was facing the problem to develop a background style since there was not enough reference in the books. they went back to RAUL DUFY, and came up with backgrounds inspired by his art. below you can see 2 recreated longer pans from the short.

7Madeline (1952) pan 1
8Madeline (1952)night pan 1
9Madeline (1952) night pan 2

© ludwig bemelmans / UPA / raul dufy





rooty toot toot

30 08 2014

Rooty Toot Toot.John Hubley.UPA.1951 AA1

after a long time I recreated some more backgrounds, from the 1951 UPA short – ROOTY TOOT TOOT. directed by JOHN HUBLEY the main animators were GRIM NATWICK and ART BABBITT. you might have guessed it, the amazing styled layouts and backgrounds were created by PAUL JULIAN. the film was voted in 1994 one of the best ’50 greatest cartoons’.

Rooty Toot Toot.John Hubley.UPA.1951 B
Rooty Toot Toot. John Hubley.UPA.1951 C
Rooty Toot Toot.John Hubley.UPA.1951 A

© UPA





french cats

3 04 2009

GAY PURR-EE was released in 1962. the ‘musical’ story, featuring the voices of JUDY GARLAND and ROBERT GOULET, was directed by ABE LEVITOW, produced by UPA. the only thing I find interesting about this piece is the art direction by VICTOR HABOUSH. maybe the colors in some of the BG’s go a bit over the top, and the color combinations are very unusual. the style of the film’s french environment from the early 20th century shows some references to VAN GOGH, CEZANNE and TOULOUSE LAUTREC. following are a few pan background recreations.

gay-purr-32pan1

gay-purr015pan1

gay-purr21pan1

gay-purr44pan1

gay-purr-82pan

© WB/UPA





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








The Hidden History of Oz

Long before Dorothy came to Oz, Glinda and the Wizard changed everything.

Ellen Li

Illustration & Design

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The Hidden History of Oz

Long before Dorothy came to Oz, Glinda and the Wizard changed everything.

Ellen Li

Illustration & Design

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.