Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Color Theory-Art Lozzi on Bob Gentle-Skeeter Trouble



Look at this beautiful background painted by Bob Gentle. The night colors are warm, inviting and comfortable, and all done very simply.

He achieves it without a Dreamworks or Disney budget, just by using skill and good taste- which unfortunately, you can't buy.
If you wanna be surprised at what colors are in any of these bgs, take these frames into photoshop and use the eyedropper to grab certain colors. Then double click the color to bring up the color palette and see what color it is. You might think the shadow on the tree above is brown, but it's actually dark purple. It just looks brown because of its relationship to the blues near it.

Bob Gentle is another BG artist I like in the original HB cartoons.
He had a softer edged style, not as stylized as Art or Monte and his best BGs give a feeling of comfort and warmth like these in "Skeeter Trouble".




The Bgs in Skeeter Trouble were drawn by Dick Bickenbach, who was the most conservative of the early HB layout artists. Dick was an excellent draftsman and always had really good compositions and handsome layouts. He did those great Tom and Jerry model sheets from the 50s too.

The combination of his less stylized drawings and Bob's less stylized BGs makes for a very different look than some of the more abstracted HB cartoons of 1958-like this one below by (I think) Monte and Ed.Someone wrote in and said that they didn't use red or yellow in the original HB cartoons because the cartoons would play in Black and white on TV. I guess that's not so.



I love this accidental mix-and-match approach that HB used in the early days. It made for a wide variety of looks. No "consistency" like they want so badly today in cartoons. Just a consistency of invention which is much more fun for people like me who get bored by repetition easily.

I asked Art about Bob and he said:

Bob Gentle
Hi John,

Bob Gentle, "softer edged". Good observation. Bob G. was from an era that used airbrush, oils, water color, guache, pastels and more. Monte and I never airbrushed. Our paints were the acrylics and an occasional pastel....for the softer edges.

But there was no need to soft-edge the characters which were drawn mostly with thick and thin black outlines, rarely using light and shadow on them. It would be contradictory, not to mention unneccessarily expensive. The word "limited" didn't refer only to animation. It included bg's as well. By the time it would take to pull out the airbrush equipment, set up the space, make sure the windows were closed, etc....I could've been on BG #44. Am I saying this right?
Look at the beautiful warm browns on the logs in the cabin and the also warm table cloth. Very very nice to the eyeballs.


Bob Gentle was like his name suggests. He was gentle, he was soft-edged, always smiling, always willing to be helpful. His training of course was mostly at MGM where we met, as far as I know. He worked there full time. At H and B he was working at home and coming in to deliver his bg's and it always seemed too short a visit. His wife, too, did cel painting at home.

At MGM Bob's style was not really his own creation, but rather the result of what the larger studios were turning out. He was able to please everyone, but you could identify his backgrounds. Naturally it was the layout department that established the bg's then. They were drawn up meticulously in pencil by them, given to the bg painter, where they were traced onto the bg paper and filled in with colors. Houses, furniture, scenics - these were all done in tightish perspective, realistically but also artistically. They even had to consider the viewers who were a simple working class group with families, many of whom had lived through the depression years and WW2. Jerry's mouse hole had to look like a mouse hole -in perspective. Their tastes were not sophisticated. Sophistication...now there's a word for you! How does it fit in with cartoon backgrounds? And yet it does.

Hey, my pal Kevin Langley sent me some more grabs. Thanks!
http://klangley.blogspot.com/2006/05/robert-gentle-and-art-lozzi.html

Gorgeous!


I would sure like to find a BG painter who shares my tastes and need for adventurous color design and texture. If you're out there, I'll find work for you!





74 comments:

David Germain said...

The Bgs in Skeeter Trouble were drawn by Dick Bickenbach, who was the most conservative of the early HB layout artists. Dick was an excellent draftsman and always had really good compositions and handsome layouts. He did those great Tom and Jerry model sheets from the 50s too.

Before MGM he was an animator at WB as well. His name first appears in the credits of Hobo Gadget Band done by the Hardawawy/Dalton unit in 1939. He stayed in that unit when it was reclaimed by the returning Friz Freleng. His last credit in that unit is for Duck Soup to Nuts (c. 1944). I have no idea where he was before this time.

Yes, I enjoy the HB backgrounds. They don't hit you in the face with awe, they simply do the job their supposed to do which is showcase the characters. If we get distracted by some ominously colourful tree we wouldn't be paying attention to what Huckleberry Hound is saying.

On a side note, I'm glad to see that you're not quitting the blog after all. That's the way to be, man. I'm not quitting either. B)

Kevin Langley said...

Putting that color chart on the screen cap was a great idea. I always love to see background art from scenes that take place at night. Like Johnny Johnsen's backgrounds in the beginning of "The Cuckoo Clock" during the cat's paranoid narrative.

I love Robert Gentle's backgrounds, though some of the Tom and Jerry Cinescope ones are a little "loud". It's amazing that Art, Bob and Monte were able to paint such great backgrounds at the speed that they did. Art's a nice guy, he seems to have nothing but fond memories of working at H-B.

I can't believe you're thinking about quitting your lessons here. This is the good stuff. Color theory, composition, these are the things Shane was saying you had to get out there back when he started CartoonRetro. Hell, even back to when he was running the "Drawing Board". Maybe you should get with him to find out the best way to get a subsciption site going. You'd certainly find out who was serious if they had to pay.

Anonymous said...

The problems I'm trying to figure out in my cartoons is the backgrounds. I see how Hanna/ Barbera use their repeating backgrounds, but how do they create them? Where to start and where to end? I can some what see in the pictures you post on your blog, John. But, When I study the dvd's of Yogi and Huckleberry Hound I get confused on where they start and end. It is probably something simple that I am over looking somewhere. Plus, I think my backgrounds take away from my Characters in my cartoon. I've tried to dull down the backgrounds. But, when I do that I lose all color. Instead of trying to make the backgrounds in Photoshop, I'll try the methods used as you and the dvd's have shown. Using watercolor and pastels and see what I come up with. No Candy Cane Lane colors. Yes, I've listened to your commentaries. They are very helpful. And funny.

Anonymous said...

That's one thing I've always had trouble with: color.
Thanks so much for the lessons!
Your blog rocks!

Mike L said...

Hey John what do you think of Glen Keane's work? Ive heard hes the best animator alive but Ive never heard you mention him!

Ecto said...

Another great post, John.

I'm really loving your recent posts on color. There's stuff I've never thought about before.

These posts are more reasons why you and crew should be working more out there.

JohnK said...

>>Like Johnny Johnsen's backgrounds in the beginning of "The Cuckoo Clock" during the cat's paranoid narrative. <<

I love those BGs Kevin! I've shown them to many BG artists.

Maybe I'll do a post about Johnny. He's great. Or you can, and I'll link to it!

I also love his King Size Canary BGs and all the Clampett cartoons he did.

Who did Ventriloquist Cat?

>>
I can't believe you're thinking about quitting your lessons here. <<

Hey, weren't you part of that "John K. is a robot" thread? The one that said I had nothing new to say?

Just kiddin' ya there.

Tim said...

Wow, those background colors are fantastic. I especially like the first image - I wish that could be the wallpaper of my room. I'd feel relaxed and comfortable all day.

Mike L said...

I know its offtopic but Id really like to hear your opinion on Glen Keanes work

CGI artist said...

John you try and make it sound like the millions of dollars used in making a CGI feature length film all goes towards the color application. It's like you have no understanding of how 3d movies are made at all. I mean yeah the colors sucks, but that money is being spent in particle simulation, modeling, texture-maping, animating, rigging, rigging, and rigging, exc. I mean Bambi the original movie cost Millions of dollars to make, but you seem to love the back grounds in that movie, and for good reason, but why don't you point to those backgrounds as being multi-million dollar backgrounds as well? By your logic they would be.

JohnK said...

>>I mean Bambi the original movie cost Millions of dollars to make, but you seem to love the back grounds in that movie, and for good reason, but why don't you point to those backgrounds as being multi-million dollar backgrounds as well?<<

I thought I did.

I think the BGs in Bambi are the most beautiful I've ever seen.

But taste in color doesn't cost money. There's no excuse for CG movies to look so bad when they have all that money to waste.

CGI artist said...

Point granted! I absolutely agree with you, when you fraze it that way.

Kevin Langley said...

Hey, weren't you part of that "John K. is a robot" thread? The one that said I had nothing new to say?

ZING!!

Who did Ventriloquist Cat?

I thought it was Johnsen. Though it looks different than his other backgrounds. I just figured it was because it was an urban setting that it looked different. Only a handful of Tex's cartoons seem to take place in a city. I have a couple of layouts from that cartoons I'll post along with the corresponding backgrounds. The only other artists I seem to see credited for backgrounds in Tex's shorts are Joe Montell and Vera Ohman, but not until around 1954 or so. Sorry, this is supposed to be about Robert Gentle.

Bob also did some cool backgrounds in Pixie and Dixie's "Jiggers... It's Jinx". The warehouse has that Flintstones type of background.

JohnK said...

I think it's Johnny in Ventriloquist Cat too.

You have a great blog, even though you think Shamus is good at something and I think he's totally sloppy! And Ken Muse...sheesh!

Where do you get all the great model sheets and pencil animation drawings you post?

I'm gonna tell everyone to draw from them.

JohnK said...

>>
Yes, I enjoy the HB backgrounds. They don't hit you in the face with awe, <<

They hit me in the face with awe.

Anonymous said...

The HB backgrounds are beautiful, I've been applying your color theory to my paintings, though they are not really in a cartoon style, but since I've been doing the lessons from this blog I think I'd like to do a series of paintings done in a more cartoon type style.

Nico said...

i thought this was a funny trick... Taking a shot from Huck into Photoshop and changing all the colors to primaries and secondaries.

This is what Huck would look like if he were made in 2006!

Kevin Langley said...

I get those model sheets mostly from books. There's a great book by Patrick Brion, Tex Avery:Les Dessins. It's french but it doesn't matter because it's all layouts and model sheets. Original size too (I think).I've saved alot of the pictures from auctions too.

I've been trying to build a library for myself for a couple of years. Most of the biographies of animators/directors tend to have at least of couple of good model sheets in them.

In fact, Culhane's biography has a couple of great Bobo Cannon drawings in them along with a bunch of stuff from each studio he worked at. "That's All Folks:The Art of Warner Bros. Animation" is really one of the best books along with "Tex Avery:MGM Years" which is my favorite. "Of Mice and Magic" has some good ones too. I bought most of them used. So it can be done on the cheap too.

Mike L said...

Youre obviously not commenting on Glen Keanes work because of the glaring shortcomings it exposes in your own work

Morly said...

I love old HB and I really appreciate these kinds of posts on them, John. Definitely allows everyone to view something seemingly "standard" and realize how brilliant it truly was and still is. Thanks and keep up the inspiring work!

JohnK said...

yeah, I have those books Kevin, but it seems like you have lots more stuff than what's in them.

Maybe I haven't seen them for awhile.

I esp. like all the Irv Spence models.

a.b. murray said...

John,

I'm an artist working in the video game industry, and I have to say that your posts re: background painting/color theory have been a godsend.

Yesterday you mentioned thinking about quitting - I sincerely ask that you don't.

Honestly, I use something I've picked up from this blog on a daily basis. I learn something here almost every day, and I feel that you are genuinely helping me grow as an artist.

Basically, this is just a big Thank You note - and a plea to not quit.

-abm

Anonymous said...

John,

If you want to make cartoons again, do it. Please do it! But do it for yourself and let us watch.

You know, I needed some work on color theory, and here you are...

I wanted to layout some sequences and bang, there you are again...

You are on the internet. This is the most amazing way you can make a buck off of your own work and you have your brain!

Do what you want, keep the money, be your own boss.

Never never quit, Mr. K; I, and the rest of the world of animation need you!

Desiree said...

YAY NU POST!

The Jerk said...

the photoshop eyedropper tool is a pretty good idea- i actually pulled a similar trick a few days ago for a painting I'm working on- i found a bunch of photos that had interesting color schemes and pulled the colors out to form a palette of tones to try to get into my painting. These BG's are very appealing. i hope to get as firm a grasp on color styling as those old masters before i die.

Hryma said...

How come know one's said that they've got the same taste as you in backgrounds yet?
I'll put my hand up and say "find work for me", I was a signwriter/maker for 6 years and lived by the brush, I said 'phooee' to your (old boss) digital ways and would love nothing more than spending the rest of my life painting bgs for cartoons with class, then I would truly be a happy man.

...give me twentyfour hours and I'll have posted as much of my paintings as possible!

Thankyou for not leaving.

Anonymous said...

I can appreciate your fascination for colors! Do you also have the same passion for the background music? I am STILL completely blown away by the complexity of the music in those old cartoons....perfect sync with the action ( any Bugs Bunny example). I know you are a musician and I wonder if you will touch this topic in future blogs?

Anonymous said...

Well, I am loving these color theory posts. I'm stealing the pics and studying them like ancient texts containing truths that have since been lost.

The autumnal quality in the yellow golden leaves in that hunter pic... that reminds me of the backgrounds in "True Grit."

I also like those summery "Lake Tahoe" bgs in the Huckleberry Hound pics. They really have the feel of hitting the road back in the days when people drove on Rt. 66 and had real family vacations.

But the main thing I like here are the night scenes. I've always been trying to find some color theories on making night colors. You just don't see that very often... usually just darkened hues of the "day" versions.

I'm putting this stuff to use. When I'm done and I'm a swaggering jackass throwing hundreds around like confetti and people ask me who I credit for all my success, I'll tell them, "Why, John K."

David Germain said...

They hit me in the face with awe.

That's because you discovered their greatness on your own through constant observation. Therefore, these BGs will always be awe-inspiring to you. However, Bickenbach and Gentle weren't out to have people say "WOW! Look at those great backgrounds." They were moreso hoping that they'd frame Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, Snagglepuss, or whoever so that people could easily enjoy their antics be it physical or verbal. Like anything in animation containing subtle nuances or that is meant to support the main character and/or story, you know it's working when noone notices.

That's really where the greatness of these backgrounds lie. They are of an understated glory.

scot said...

I won't deny that the backgrounds in Huckleberry Hound are eye-catching and better than most modern cartoons, but as a child, Huck bored me to tears.

I prefer the animation I watch to have good animation and attractive colors, but I will take fun or funny over attractive backgrounds and 90% of the time.

Of course, animation now-a-days is all a bunch of pop culture references. But not ol' Andy Griffith here... I mean Huck.

Arschblog said...

Don´t quit! That would make me sad.
I love your work and your blog.
Maybe I´m not very often here, because I´m busy and have problems with the internet, but when I´m in the internet your blog is the first thing what I read. You and your great ideas make the internet to a wonderful place!
I still want to learn from you! You are my hero!

The Background drawings are fantastic, they inspires me a lot!
I always try to use good colors in my drawings. I hope that I make some progress.

jessicaLynn said...

hey Thanks for these painting posts.I needed some inspiration for my film BG's and these are sexy.I love the colors. But I think my favorite thing is the textures on the trees.
Thanks MUFFIN CAKES!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wholeheartedly disagree with anonymous. I don't love Huck, but the quality of the art is difficult to deny and I do agree that modern animation needs a good old-fashioned lesson in mastering the use of texture.

I hope John makes more animation, but I'm really getting sick and tired of hearing non-animation fans talking about animation (read: all those glorious AHQ articles John linked).

JohnK said...

>>Like anything in animation containing subtle nuances or that is meant to support the main character and/or story, you know it's working when noone notices.

That's really where the greatness of these backgrounds lie. They are of an understated glory.

<<

They are beautiful even on their own.

mike l said...

yeah, if a show has great art but mediocore writing its watchable at all

Danelectro said...

John, these lessons and debates about animation production you ghave been posting in your blog are of extreme value to a lot of people. You can't wait for a publisher to be interested in a book first and then work on it. I'm sure if you had some stuff on your hands you could even choose amongst several publishers. You know a lot about the "secrets" of the past, and could write the most important and useful animation book since Richard Williams'. I could help you out with everything, like text-checking, page design, etc. Let the idea of this book live in your backburner for a few days and you'll see it's better than you think.

Never give up. That's whay they want you to do.

Danelectro said...

By the way, about the BG painter "position": how about posting a pencil drawing of a BG, so people can color it and send it back to you? It would be a nice way for you to see the amount of different styles you would have to choose from, and find the people who match your taste.

ruairi said...

John, did you know that when Weird Al was on Tom Greens internet tv show on tomgreen.com, Tom asked him if he thought YOU would be interested in going onto the show? It would be a great to get some exposure, throw out some ideas for potential cartoons, point out what is wrong with so much of todays "cartoons" and plug your blog.
Tom takes loads of calls from people ringing in so fans of yours could ring and say how they'd love to see a new cartoon show from you and if there are tv execs listening, you never know...

I think it would be great to see

JohnK said...

>> yeah, if a show has great art but mediocore writing its watchable at all

<<

I'll get around to explaining how to write cartoons soon. Maybe you can learn some of the tools and create your own next Ren and Stimpy and have millions of people memorize all your words too.

Santiago Lozano said...

Hey John,
Thaks for your help, and for sharing all this material...
I want to share this link wich is very interesting also...
http://www.sevencamels.blogspot.com/


santiago lozano

Jitterbug said...

Thank You for not quiting

Scott LeMien said...

I don't know the first thing about how you do backgrounds now, but with your own aesthetic sense so sure of what you want, why not show them the much subtler value ranges of the backgrounds you want and export color palettes from them to show general saturation issues? I noticed Huck's shirt is MUCH closer to white than the clouds he was driving past.

Here's one I did by compressing the color palette and grayscaling it to show the value ranges. Too anal?

http://www.scottdrawings.com/huckleberry.jpg

Tho color saturation seems to be a bigger issue here to me, moreso than value range

Santiago Lozano said...

Hey Jhon,
Thanks for all you are doing...
I`d like to share this link,
it has a lot of interesting stuff on animaton, and is very complementary with your blog...will be usefull to train your future army of creative animators....
http://www.sevencamels.blogspot.com/
thanks again!
santiago

JohnK said...

Thanks Santiago, that is a good site!

Dan Century said...

The guy who does the backgrounds for the Squidbillies is good, and with some guidance, he could be great. The animation for that show is some of the worst animation in recent times. 12 oz Mouse is the worst ever.

Anonymous said...

rock'n'roll John! Yahooo

Shitbitch said...

"Youre obviously not commenting on Glen Keanes work because of the glaring shortcomings it exposes in your own work"

I sure as hell hope you're being sarcastic.

katzenjammer studios said...

hey john,

i think you mean to say there are slight temperature changes in the colors, not tint changes. i think it's important to be articulate on the level that painters are going to comprehend.

the great thing about these BG's is just what you're saying, they're subtle. but academically, it's because the values and the color saturations aren't overstated. in the grass, the shadow fits into the value structure of what has been established for grass, it's simply a temperature shift from warmer green to cool green. tint refers to a shift in value, which will totally kill a background.

from dictionary.com:
1. A shade of a color, especially a pale or delicate variation.
2. A gradation of a color made by adding white to it to lessen its saturation.

that's just the point. this richness of color doesn't come from just adding white or black and changing the value. it's subtle warm and cool shifts (just like in real life) that really make these BG's come to life.

hopefully this helps and you can articulate more to your BG painters and maybe they'll understand it if you share it this way.

btw, i think bill wray fits your description to the T of a great BG painter. have you seen his BG's for korgoth?! BEAUTIFUL. he uses the texture of specific mediums, great color schemes, and he's really subtle with his work. i think he knows how to paint so well because he studies from life. i can't wait to take a plein aire painting class with him when i get some cash.

Anonymous said...

"I sure as hell hope you're being sarcastic."

What? Glen Keane is a real animator Johns stuff is just wonky nonsense in comparison, and the fact he hasnt commented on Keane shows he wants to avoid putting his work next to a masters

Kali Fontecchio said...

These backgrounds are beautiful and super awe-inspiring to me at least. You hit it on the head, they are incredibly inviting.

"Glen Keane is a real animator Johns stuff is just wonky nonsense in comparison"

For all we know Anonymous could be a wonky nonsensical human being! Anonymous comments are nonsensical in comparison to everyone else's. When will people wise up?

Craig said...

I started trying to paint again after reading these posts.
I posted a couple here.

http://piratoslocos.com/WordPress/

On another note. I used to go to the now defunct animation cel shop in Santa Monica. The owner had rolled up layouts from the old WB and HB cartoons in the back and if you asked nicely he would bring them out. They were so simple but complex as hell. Unfortunately the store is a candle shop now.

Does anyone know of another place to view background paintings like these in person somewhere in the LA area?

Max Ward said...

Hey John,

I'm no expert on color at all, the only thing I've learned about color is from this blog. But, the night and cabin BGs put me in awe, but the BGs with the mountains in them don't really seem to do much for me. I would like it if you would explain what you find great about those backgrounds.

Charlie J. said...

hey John,
do you know who painted the opening title card for huckleberry hound? The one with the orange BG where he's wearing a smashed hat ? That has to be one of the most appealing images i've ever seen.

Pat Lewis said...

That frame where Huck is peeking out over the tabletop just blew my mind! The base color of the tablecloth appears to be the same, but the PATTERN changes from green on the top to a blue-green on the side to suggest shadow. Crazy!

These color theory posts are the best, John. You can't imagine how much I'm taking away from them. Thanks again!

Jitterbug said...

Can you disable "Anonymous" posts? They are nearly always just a bunch of sad, pathetic internet trolls with nothing better to do.

JohnK said...

I agree Max.

Jorge Garrido said...

These backgrounds are great, John! That Huckleberry Hound DVD is amazing! If you only get ONE HB DVD, get the Hucklberry Hound one, it's even better than the Yogi one! It's worth it!

Is it it safe to say that the opening credits for the individual cartoons for Huckleberry and Yogi are accurate? When it says Monte, is it really him? What about the END credits?

Art F. said...

thank you for enlightening my brain with some great color theory. it's getting easier to understand even for an old graphite monkey like me. good stuff John!

brian goss said...

Where do you get all the great model sheets and pencil animation drawings you post?

I'm gonna tell everyone to draw from them.


John Canemaker had a Tex Avery book full of model sheets and pencil animations. Kevin has posted a lot of those. Maybe that's most of what you're referring to. I dunno.

It's out of print now but you can find it on ebay every now and then.

It's the best Tex Avery book I've ever seen.

Kevin Langley said...

Is it it safe to say that the opening credits for the individual cartoons for Huckleberry and Yogi are accurate? When it says Monte, is it really him? What about the END credits?

They may not be totally accurate. Art told me that the he and Monte worked out a style so they could both work on the same films without there being a noticable difference. But they would do their own thing when they were working alone.

Craig said...

There is one copy of that Tex Avery book sitting in Meltdown Comics on Sunset right now. Well, it was there yesterday anyways. On top of the model sheets it has some great backgrounds in there as well.

-Craig

Jess Green said...

I haven't checked your blog in a few days, and almost had a fit when I saw you wanted to pack it in! Thank the muses you haven't given up.

I love reading all the drawing and colour theory here as I'm teaching myself painting and better drawing techniques, and I find this to be a great source for info. Even if I'm now beyond all help as I'm now 25:)

I'm going to use this background stuff and better composition in my next painting. THANKS!!!!!!!

Julián höek said...

hi john, i'm very glad you kept posting. did you have a rough depresing day yesterday ?? please don't put us in panic again!!
let me tell you that your blog have been a great sourse of inspiration and knowlage and i'm trying to learn from it and not just stay as knowlage. also i think i must be driving everybody crazy at the studio where work about the stuff i read every day here. i'm like "did you know that kricfalusi this and kricfalusi that?? clampett and early hanna barbera stuff rules!"
really what you show us in you blog is a great way of changing things and touching minds.
best of luck
julian from argentina

stiff said...

The last couple of backgrounds you showed look like dawn (to me -- once again, I'm a little colorblind). I know that dusk and dawn are marked by a reduction in contrast, but I'd be interested in a lesson on how dusk and dawn differ in hue within that reduction in contrast. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place, I dunno; either way, I'm glad you didn't quit. You've convinced me that going to art school would probably have been a waste of time, so if you stopped telling me what you thought was right, I might've had to've considered you an asshole. So thanks for not being an asshole.

Perhaps that was harsh. You can tone that down however you like.

Fire Exit said...

Wow, those are great. I keep coming back to look at them.

I love the colours in the sleeping bag/tent one. That's not the colour the sky is but i don't care, it looks amazing when it compliments the other colours.

The moon's not gold, it's white, but again it doesn't really matter.

Dog's arn't even blue, but making a dog blue makes him look really friendly and calm. Expecially when he doesn't have his red hat.

One thing I noticed is the sky is never pure blue, they could make it bluer if they wanted but they don't. If this was one of the 'new' tom and jerry's they would open it up in photoshop and slam the saturation slider right up cause 'colour stimulates children's minds'.

Rick said...

John, really good post! It's challenged me to produce better backgrounds now... :)

Hryma said...

Hi John, I've posted my some of my paintings which have backgrounds, now that I look at these again I'm quite embarrased.
Anyway it be cool if ya had a look,
I'm going to go practice tommorow, thanks for the tips!

Gabriel said...

sometimes you lose me with the colors thing, John. I guess i need to educate my eyes.
Hey, what do you think of Joe Sorren?

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm dabbling in the flash animation area, and I've now realized, thanks to you, that my color choices and overall composition sucks. I'm trying to improve them, so please don't stop with the lessons!

william wray said...

Hey John,

Great stuff as usual, but unless my monitor is calibrated wrong, I don't see the Huck Background with the car as warm other than in feeling, it seems dominated by blues to me, along with cool reds, greens. I think of purple as cool red and blue. I.E. Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson make a great purple. Both are what you might call cooled (warm colors.) There are cool versions of all colors. Lemon Yellow is cool, Viridian Green is cool and so forth. The only true warms in the example are Huck orange car, his red hat and arguably his muzzle. And if you ever have a budget, I'm your man. If you leave me alone. ;-)

JohnK said...

Hey Bill,

I didn't mean "warm" as in warm colors vs cool colors, I meant warm as in comfortable and rich and homey.

Color doesn't have good clear terminology, unfortunately.

But thanks for the extra clarification!

william wray said...

I assumed something like that, but in many of these posts you are getting down to some great educational points and I was worried if I was confused, well others would be to.
Warm feeling and warm colors. Ahhh... Warm is a sexy word. Where would be be without warmth? I have great warmth for old cartoons, Women, Art, yet no Warmth for children. Ultimately that must make me cold.

Rob Christianson said...

Hey there! I am working on an animation from my company, and as an illustrator who grew up watching Tom n' Jerry, Hanna Barbara, Looney Tunes, etc. I was influenced a lot in my own art style, without realizing it until now. I notice that as I create the simple backgrounds for this music video I'm working on, I'm borrowing heavily from the backgrounds I subconciously remember seeing as a kid. I started looking for reference online, and ran across this blog. A great article! And not until I was finished (found it thru Google) that I realized it was your blog, John K.!!!

I loved Ren n' Stimpy in the 90s as well - probably because the animation style was similar to the great shorts I loved as a kid... So hooray for you, John! You are one of my modern heroes and an influence on my own illustration and animation, whether you know it or not. Funny that when i noticed your name on the blog, my gut reaction was "JOYYYYY!!!"

Keep on rockin', heroboy!

Nelli Gentle said...

Robert Gentle is my grandfather. It's neat to see how much and how many people really appreciate his art. And yes, he was a gentle, patient man and a wonderful grandfather.