Friday, August 15, 2008

Some Nice Paintings Of Woody
I like the carefully controlled washy brush technique in these and the limited palette. Lots of neutral areas too.

Speaking of which, I am almost ready for a BG painter and/or color stylist.

If you have good technique and don't like to paint cartoons pink purple and turquoise, then I have some work for you.

Here's some stuff I like, but I'm open to many techniques:

All these paintings share 2 traits:

1) Good confident stylish brush technique,

2) Rich warm related colors that aren't just primaries and secondaries crammed together.

These color choices paint a whole picture, not a bunch a of separate competing elements.

Here's what I'm not crazy about: airbrushed screaming colors...that break up the image fui ao Cieque Du Soleil


Jake the Animator said...

I love those how those earth tones make Woody and the Flinstones and Donald pop out all the more. And they don't give you a headache.

Preschool TV is all about flashy colors (only prime and secondary colors, too) which to me is like replacing a kid's music with pigs squealing. I've been in the field for a few years, and it hurts the eye. Thanks for giving us something to aspire to!

Dear Joshy said...

Dear John Deer,, that horse's ear is pretty amazing. I'm probably going to masticate off of that for hours.

Furthermore, The Rescuers is undeniably brilliant.

No question, great post!

- Josh

Jake the Animator said...

p.s. - i realized you have "post moderation" was on so sorry for sending you the same post twice about Amid's project.

So R&S was one of those shows that changed my life (you hear that a lot). In fifth grade (1991) I made my dad buy a VCR with a "Pause" option that wouldn't fuck of the screen so I could copy frames from your show.

I bought the Wild Cartoon Kingdom issue and almost cried. Then I made a collage out of the images that's still hanging in my parents' house.

In high school I would sit down and copy pages of Donald Duck and Scrooge comics.

I got my hands on Shamus Culhane's books and copied those exercises every day - which pushed me to draw quick and loose.

Then college started happening and I didn't know any people in animation, so i thought I'd go be an English major. So i put down the cartoon books.

Then I became all pro-active and transferred to NYU Film and majored in animation. I got some high-profile jobs at annoying kids shows here in NY ... and i started writing for Animation Magazine, ONLY pitching stories about creators and artists (NOT execs)!

Now my 'toon skills are a little rusty, so I'm reverting to the "fuck if I struggle, I'm just going to draw" mentality from grade school and high school.

One of these days I'd love to buy you a drink and chat with you for an hour. Reading your old blog entries raises more questions!

Gabriele_Gabba said...

Wow what a bunch of cool backgrounds! Its so clear to see what you're talking about and i can see why you don't like the airbrushed edges, heck after seeing those ones i'm ready to ABORT my lunch!

I'm big on playing with colours. I got this amazing book on colour you have to get your mittens on, its called 'The DESIGNER'S GUIDE to COLOR COMBINATIONS' by Leslie Cabarga.

Its like a mini bible to me and i use it to inspire everything i put colour to. It has all these neat colours from the Victorian age right through the 1900s too! Lots of soft and sometimes VERY contrasty combinations.

Adam T said...

I like the atmosphere created by the colors in the Huckleberry Hound backgrounds. They have a summer camp at twilight feel to them.

Whit said...

Only pitching articles about creative people instead of execs and licensing creeps must have gotten you castrated at Animation Magazine, jake.

flashcartoons said...

the perspective on that night alley scene background is really awesome

pumml said...


I'd like nothing better than to paint for you, sir. Please have a look at some samples. Warning: A couple older ones have some candy colors.

If I'm not up to snuff, I'd very much appreciate some feedback.


Maloni said...

You've added another color to your banned list: Turquoise!
Since working for you ten years ago, I've been very conscious about using pink purple. You taught me that brown is beautiful.

Thanks John.

Oh if you're curious, I have paintings for the next issue of my comic up on blog. They're for the Oya Festival in Cuba.

Careful though. One of the panel features pink costumes!

Tell me what you think either way.

Bitter Animator said...

Oooh, it's like a Greatest Hits! I love seeing the Gorillaz stuff in there and it links to a great post - because it shows that there are some good things being done these days. It's not all crap. I personally adore Hewlett's style.

Unrelated but I heard last week that there is a new Mr.Magoo series being made. At least I think I heard that. Boulder in Ireland (they did production work on Fosters and El Tigre - actually pretty good Flash stuff) are crewing up for a show and I think it's Mr.Magoo. Can anyone confirm or deny these rumours I'm spreading?

I'm a big fan of Magoo from my childhood so I'll be watching this with curiosity.

MLP said...

You finally made me get it, JohnK; thanks. I'm not an artist, so I have trouble following some of your analyses of the visuals in cartoons. But after viewing all of your approved examples, the colors in the bad examples hurt my eyes on sight. Never even noticed when I saw some of those on the big screen...

Mitch L said...

Wow those Woody's are great!

I started right away to do some study's. I posted them on my blog.

Great post!

Vincent Waller said...

I can remember staring at the Woody W P book for hours on end. Completely fascinated by the color, the shapes, it set me to drawing trees.

Rudy Tenebre said...

"A comprehensive rehash."

-Kirkus Review

Whit said...

If they're doing a new Magoo, you can bet he won't be visually impaired. He'll 'see the world through rose-colored glasses' or some similar corporate-vetted shit. At least Waldo will be gay.

Nico said...

those Woody's are fantastic!

...and that Hercules screenshot is probably the most horrible color I've ever seen. That gives me a headache. I thought it was a joke at first then realized that's the ACTUAL colors used in the film. Holy crap... unbelievable.

Maloni said...

Sorry about that first "link" in regards to my color palette, John. Here you go:
Oya Festival

patrick said...

Great examples!

If you're interested in taking a quick look at a novice's attempt at BG painting you can click here;

BG paints here

(warning: brush technique is sloppy at best)


Mike said...

Hey John How can one show you our stuff if we dont have a website? do you accept PDFs?

Joseff!!1 said...

the one that made me laugh was the cirque de soleil one, a GRAPHIC DESIGN prof. when i was taking classes actually made us watch a CDS show, yeah pretty f*!^ed up crap.

But talknig seriously now, the woody woodpeker colors are awesome, wish i could paint like that, what should i do to lear to paint like that, apart from drawing.

longtime reader and fan,

Aaron said...

Where can I send you my stuff?

Fuzzhound Lluis said...

G'day John!!

Hope all is good!

I like to paint and stuff!! I'd love to give it a go!! anyway you can have a look here, I'd been happy to get any feedback from you! you can also take a look at this place to see more paintings of mine...
the cartoon looks like it's coming along great!!! can't wait to see it!

Bitter Animator said...

They were saying in Disney Paris during production of Hercules that it was being made for drag queens.

Thing is, when they said that, nobody seemed to be joking.

Whit, yes, it will be interesting to see how they handle the less politically correct aspects of Magoo in our offense-paranoid television world.

trevor said...

Hercules is just one example of a good designer ( Gerald Scarfe ) being totally ignored by corporate formulas.

You can bet he had nothing to do with the color styling.

- trevor.

Rudy Tenebre said...

Y'know, my impression of Mighty Mouse the New Adventures backgrounds is of congested comps, telescoping distortions, no depth of field, and a pallette which comes close to that which you disdain, no?

Can't think of any of these pieces you like without the developments in modernist painting fifty some years before. By the late 40's America had inherited the European avant-garde due to Nazism (think Stravinsky in Hollywood), and its public began to accept modernist aesthetics as it worked its way into the popular conciousness, (Duchamp tried as early as 1917, and was ridiculed by ham'n'eggs americana). Why not look outside of the history of animated cartoons to the precedents which helped determine them? How 'bout posts on Henri Rousseau, Ludwig Miedner, Yves Tanguy, Miro, etc.?

Taco Wiz said...

I don't think that the Flinstones picture in "stuff you're not so crazy about" is THAT bad. Candy cane lane is good once in awhile.

OH TEH NOEZ!!!! I'M REFERENCING SPUMCO-FAN IN-JOKES! Must...stop...being...a nerd...

pumml said...


Thanks very much for the feedback! I'm taking it to heart and will let you know soon when I have something different to look at.

Darren Carney said...

Hi John,
please oh please let me do some backgrounds for you. You can find samples at my blog, its a weird and wonderful selection...

IZA said...

Hey John, I'm interested in potentially doing work for you, but have no idea where I stand with my ability. I look up to Great painters who've worked for you, like Scott Wills and Bill Wray, and would at least like a bit of a critique on where I'm at, and what areas I can improve.

Please go ahead and tear me to shreads, as I want to simply get better at this.

Again, you have my sincere gratitude!