Monday, July 23, 2007

Mel Crawford - cartoon painting genius

I can't even imagine how someone can be this talented and skilled.

Here's a guy who doesn't cheat at all. He just knows how to draw and paint for real.

Mel Crawford is a genius children's illustrator. The guy can do all kinds of different styles!

I'm not positive that every one of the rest of these are his but they sure look like it to me.
Anyway, they are really beautiful...and fun at the same time.

Isn't this one great? Now these are some cute rodents!

Mel is the best Hanna Barbera painter for sure.

To young cartoonists: Here's why I keep saying, don't learn a style. Learn to draw well! Then you can work in many different styles without cheating!

Styles come and go. Skill is always useful and will keep you in demand.

Learn your old fashioned principles!

Thanks to Trevour for this contribution:


John said...

Thats the thing about cartoons you have to know how to draw different things in different styles in case its called fot in what your doing.

Sean Worsham said...

You're preaching to the quire brother! WHOOOOO!

Sean Worsham said...

Whoops I meant Choir not Quire!

Kali Fontecchio said...

Doing stuff helps a lot! Thanks John!!!!

Pete Emslie said...

Mel Crawford's art is full of joy. His colour palette is rich and warm without ever becoming garish. I particularly appreciate the economy in his approach to painting with gouache, in that he keeps his rendering simple, showing the shadow side of the form with just a pleasing shape described with a crisp, clean dry-brush technique. This is quite refreshing when compared to the tendency these days of illustrators going hogwild with the Photoshop airbrush tools, where it seems that even a characters black eyebrows show a gridation of highlight to dark side! Quite ridiculous in my opinion.

It's actually a revelation to me that Mel Crawford had illustrated those "Golden Magazine" covers featuring "Cracky the Parrot". I used to collect those back when I was a kid in the 60's/early 70's. I wish I'd known enough to hang on to them, but they didn't make the journey through the decades as did my comics, I'm afraid.

John, I know you like Mel's interpretation of the Hanna-Barbera characters best, but I'd also give high marks to the record albums and such that were penciled by Willie Ito and painted by Ron Dias. Perhaps you could post some of those sometime too. Much thanks for spreading the word on Mel Crawford in the meantime!

Trevour said...

John - how about this Yogi cover?

miss 3awashi thani said...

i wish i could paint lik that!

Mitch said...

Holly cow, this is awesome

Parker said...

I'm a real great fan of you and your career ; at a time when you took part in the Mighty Mouse New adventures series, and during Ren and Stimpy, then I lost your track. One day I saw you on the animation tv program called "SPLAT" and I knew what you were doing with George, Jimmy and Sody on the Internet. I am a cartoonist too. During High School, I`ve taken comic classes with a Disney penciler called Fabian WANDA Gattino for 4 years. Besides, when i graduated I learned even more about all kind of drawing.But here in Argentina, where i live, it`s not so easy to work with cartoons. That`s why I am studying Graphic Design at college to get a second degree because this field implies more profitable business in the job market, at least in my country.

I want to thank you for this your online advice service you provide and i receive occasionally. I really appreciate it.
Best wishes.

JohnK said...

Hey Trevour thanks! I added it to the post.


I've seen a lot of great Hanna Barbera album covers. I didn't know who did them. Thanks!

Someone said Paul Julian did some of them too.

I was talking to Willie a few years ago and lost touch with him. I love his stuff.

Know how to find him?

Jarek said...

Thanks for the post John! I think it's time to visit eBay and stock up on some children's books. What an amazing resource for color.

Rootie Kazootie is one creepy looking kid!

What's your take on Marc Davis's illustration work for both Pirates and the Haunted Mansion theme attractions?

Anonymous said...

I love all of these paintings except Rootie Kazootie-his face looks scary.His dog is cute though.

Kali Fontecchio said...

I meant to say doing his stuff, helps a lot. Analyzing any good artist and their process helps!

Brian B said...

His compositions are really nice too. Everything carries the eye, in a kind of triangle, but not in an unnatural way.

Craig D said...

Mel Crawford does SUPERCAR!

harpo said...

Amazing work!
thanks for sharing John

Pete Emslie said...

Hey John,

I seem to recall hearing that Willie Ito retired from Disney a couple years ago. I don't have contact info for him myself, but I can probably put you in touch with someone who might. Actually, I'll bet Floyd would know, as I think they traveled in the same circles at Disney way back when. I can pass along contact info for Ron Dias if you're interested in talking to him. Email me if you'd like any of this.

Sketch said...

Great painting