Monday, April 30, 2007

Cool Disney and other Character Paintings

Look at the great painting technique in these old cereal box displays.

The drawings even have a lot of style and character.
Compare these artist made paintings to the style they paint characters in today:

http://disneyshopping.go.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/DSIProductDisplay?catalogId=10002&storeId=10051&productId=1200873&langId=-1&categoryId=13709
It seems like there is only one style of character painting now, the boring not fun style. You just take an airbrush, and paint a rim light in a lighter color of your main primary color, and then airbrush a darker version of the same primary color inside that. Paint all shadows and highlights in parallel fuzzies all around every character and object.

Now you can do it in Photoshop, so we don't even need artists anymore! I think it's the plan of every corporation to completely rid the world of pesky artists. When they get computers to do a cheesy approximation of every aspect of cartooning that is still done by artists, that'll be the end of us.

What I can't figure out is why they don't write a program to write cartoons. That oughta be easy as shit! Program in the 7 stock plots. Add in which characters you are going to use and what their catch phrases are, and then print out the scripts. You could churn out hundreds of scripts a day. The scriptwriters all place a great value on how fast they can whip the stuff out. I bet a computer could beat them! And computers don't smell as bad.

Here are some other cool painting styles from prehistory.



http://theimaginaryworld.com/page4.html

23 comments:

Kali Fontecchio said...

I looooooooooove the kangaroo. Well I like them all, but that one the most.

Photoshop airbrush poo! Everyone does that, well Photoshop, it doesn't always look like airbrush. Some artists seem to like that airbrush style for some reason.

bc3 said...

John,
If you haven't already heard of the rave of "Save the Cat", you'll love to hate this guy. His book was a huge hit and now he has a screenwriting program. His whole thing is plug and play screenwriting by tapping into the meaningful themes of today!

http://blakesnyder.com/


"It’s also the key to learning structure found not only in Hollywood blockbusters like Wedding Crashers, The 40 Year-Old Virgin and King Kong, but Indie movies like Maria Full of Grace, Capote, Saw and Lost in Translation."

Jim Rockford said...

Those old ads are incredible,thanks for posting them,you dont see that level of artisty put forth in the crap they churn out today.
I love the cartoony style and the use of attractive color hues,and the depth and texture.
that old cartoony abstract Tony is much better than the generic one we have to settle for today,the old one has much more charm and character.
intresting concept in advertising ,draw people to the product with eye catching artwork,rather than push them away with garishness.
There is no effort put into anything today,its all just lazy low brow crap designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
A good example is Burger King using stupid 'tude catchphrases like "No Duh" in its advertising,and what happened to all beautiful colors? today everything is primary colors,ugly shit browns,vomit greens,purples?
Family Guy and Simpsons colors for the real world.???!!!

Jennifer said...

I love the Tony the Tiger one! That Tony is so much cuter than today's Tony.

Speaking of character paintings...what are your thoughts on Russell Patterson? I recently watched a vignette on how he created his works.

katzenjammer studios said...

Hey John, you keep talking about the 7 plots. It's easier to avoid holes when you know what they look like.

Craig D said...

Quote: "What I can't figure out is why they don't write a program to write cartoons."

Well, I'm sure the programmers are working in shifts, around the clock to solve this one. LOOKS LIKE THEY'RE GETTING CLOSE!

Peter F. Bernard, Jr. said...

The Admiral TV, polar bear and kangaroos are amazing! I was always weirded out by that big-headed Tony and his nephew or niece though. The painting on all of them is really superior to the modern generic style, I agree.

Wicks for Candlesticks said...

That new Peter Pan artwork looks like it should be on the side of a lowrider car not a cartoon box. UGH!!

-David O.

Shawn said...

I love to see art painted with visible brush strokes, where each stroke has meaning and is a work of art in it's own. It also makes the art look like it was done by an actual human being.

Cartoons and comics which look like an actual person (instead of a machine) drew and painted it is such a lost art.

Jim Rockford said...

I agree with Kali,the Kangaroo is amazing and definetly the standout of the lot!

murrayb said...

the appointed unionized licencing company gets to do the posters and box art, and they are graphic designers who aren't cartoonists.

The purpose of DVD art is to get "people" to buy it. "people" buy giant, thug 'tude, airbrushed, "buggz bunizzle", "T-skirts". "People" wear fanny packs and crocs, flock to shrek sequels and nickleback concerts in droves.

"There’s no accounting for taste",
but we need "taste accountants". Start with a triple audit on DVD box art.

http://nomorequo.blogspot.com/2007/03/why-does-dvd-cover-art-suck-so-much.html

Jeff Read said...

Good one, craig d. A few years ago I found a program called "They fight crime". It always generates a movie treatment of the form "He's a _____, _____ ____; she's a _____, _____ _____. They fight crime!"

If you run it enough times I think you'll eventually end up with every movie with Ben Affleck or Angelina Jolie in it.

Ryan G. said...

That Sugar Pops rodant is the best! How'd they turn him into a frog? This airbrush style seems to be on alot of packaging. Do the distributers have their own crew to poo out some DVD covers or Cereal boxes?

Josh Lieberman said...

Capt Hook's eyes are hillarious.

I.D.R.C. said...

I bet a computer could beat them! And computers don't smell as bad.

Maybe if they just made a machine that smells like a cartoon writer, the scripts would generate themselves.

Arschblog said...

The design and coloration is amazing, I wish I could draw like that!=)

Animal Qwacker said...

I have no idea how Disney continually manages to fuck up their dvd covers. Seeing the old displays now makes me hate them more.
So far, I think the only good one has been "Tarzan" with Glen Keane's original sketch.
Thanks for the pics!

JohnH said...

I would like to second katzenjammer studios's request for an explication for the seven stock plots. Let's get 'em down so we can satirize them more effectively!

Andreas said...

The new stuff looks like the typical Photoshop doge and burn tools. Follow the inks with the dodge tool to lighten it up, then go to the center of the shape with the burn tool to darken. I did that the first time I tried coloring. Even though I don't color in Photoshop at the moment, I know better now about getting real highlight and shadows that suggest a light source, and using different colors to suggest that lighting. It's sad when anyone that can hold a mouse and launch Photoshop are considered artists.

bobnelson said...

Quote: "What I can't figure out is why they don't write a program to write cartoons. That oughta be easy as shit!"

Check this out: http://www.roalddahlfans.com/shortstories/greata.php

You may find this story amusing, as it addresses that very premise!

Ms. Jane D'oh said...

Stop you're making me cry. The slippers on the last character are so beautifully painted. Also, having witnessed the transition (The week I was hired on my first animation job, the trad painting dept was downsized to zilch) I witnessed the painful demise up close. You are doing such a great service bringing this traditional paint stuff to light! Trad on...

PeteO said...

Shoot, I came in here to say what bobnelson said.

John, if you're not a Dahl fan yet you absolutely have to pick up his Omnibus of short stories for adults. It's delightfully wicked, and very cartoony.

Ahahnah said...

The airbrushed art is ugly. It reminds me of the comments concerning The Incredibles, everything looks like it is made of the same stuff. They didn't even try to create textures on the box art. It is easier to airbrush with one color instead of working with multiple layers making something cool.