mirko hanak 4

3 05 2011

MIRKO HANAK created these beautiful watercolors in the late sixties for a calendar.













© mirko hanak

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the orientalists

17 01 2011

after NAPOLEON had invaded egypt with his army in 1798 and was driven out by the british after one year, a lot of artists followed, writers and painters – to become well known as the ORIENTALISTS. the movement lasted about a century and many of them were pretty famous. some of the painters specialized in landscapes, archeology or in people, others in biblical or historical themes. but one thing they all had in common – the experience changed their lives, the journey affected these artists deeply.
I was introduced to the ORIENTALIST-painters when I worked on disney’s ALADDIN and was searching for reference of the middle east. following is a small selection of watercolors from four wellknown painters – CHARLES ROBERTSON, 1844-1891, cairo – WILLIAM WYLD, 1806-1889, algier harbour – AUGUSTUS OSBORNE LAMPLOUGH, 1877-1930, nile – CARL HAAG, 1820-1915, cairo.
the next post will be about the tales from this area.








mirko hanak 3

30 12 2010

some more of MIRKO HANAK’S beautiful watercolors










© mirko hanak





wildlife art

28 12 2010


in the early nineties I saw on english-tv a documentary about a german wildlife artist, WOLFGANG WEBER. a camera team followed him around the globe, through jungle, desert and even under water – and everywhere this artist created the most stunning sketches of all the animals around him, frozen in one instant moment. I could not believe my eyes, – the shortest movements captured like in a photograph, but so much better in these rough but precise drawings. later, the film documented at WEBER’S home in germany in a few steps the creation of the most beautiful watercolors, using the hundreds of sketches he had done during his trips.

a few years later german-tv had part 2 of that documentary, WEBER sketching wildlife around the world. incredible! only much later through research on the internet I learned that WOLFGANG WEBER is one of the greatest living masters of wildlife art, his work exhibited around the world. he was born in 1936 in koblenz, germany, and studied art under OSCAR KOKOSCHKA in mainz. another influence was well-known wildlife artist WILHELM KUHNERT. WEBER’S success as an artist is the outcome of a great love for the animal kingdom which has inspired him to travel to many of the most remote corners of the earth in search of rare species. with his rare ability to concentrate on the depiction of a split-second movement he is able to observe, capture and record.




the pictures in this post are screen captures from one of the tv-documentaries and otherwise collected on the internet. all artwork © wolfgang weber





mirko hanak 2

13 12 2010

some more of MIRKO HANAK’S beautiful watercolors…















© mirko hanak





mirko hanak 1

12 12 2010

MIRKO HANAK, another master-illustrator from the czech republik, was born in 1921 in prague. his amazing watercolors are a cross between chinese traditional watercolors, the minimalist japanese painting-style and the czech rich culture in illustration. hanak was famous for his distinctive illustrations with natural themes, portraying life of plants and animals with broad watercolor strokes mixed with beautifully balanced finer brushwork on rice paper, all that in stunning compositions and colors full of life. his work includes children books like BAMBI as well as exquisite stamp-designs. he died at the height of his career in 1971 from leukemia.












© mirko hanak





alley

4 11 2010

one of the numerous longer pan-backgrounds for the AMBLIMATION/UNIVERSAL production WE’RE BACK! A DINOSAUR’S STORY, released 1993. DANIEL CACOUAULT, who did hundreds of BG-keys for the macy’s parade, painted this beautiful watercolor piece.

© amblin/universal pictures