Tuesday, August 31, 2010

BGS: Layout, Color Key, Finished Painting

I wanted my Yogis to have some feeling of the original 195-1960 cartoons. I didn't want them to be like the 1970s, an 80s redos where the characters try to be be with the times. No cleaning up the environment or riding skateboards - and no pink purple and lime green airbrushed bgs. I got Ed Benedict to do some of the background layouts and design and he drew them in pretty much the style he drew in the 1950s. Trying to get the painting style down was tougher.
Here's a beautiful painting - I think by Richard Daskas that is sort of half Ren and Stimpy style, half early Hanna Barbera. It wasn't until Boo Boo Runs Wild that I thought we got the finished BG style to look like the Art Lozzi/ Montealegre techniques I so admire.
Here's my key. This is from a scene that was cut from Ranger Smith's Day In The Life for time. It had RS inspecting the underwater world and making sure the fish were obeying the rules of the scummy lake bottom. Even scum has to have rules and order in Smith's world.

23 comments:

mr paal said...

That layout is awesome! The shapes of the foreground trees are beautiful & the colour is fantastic :)

Pedro Vargas said...

Wow, really beautiful painting and a great layout by Master Benedict!

Luis María Benítez said...

I'm very interested on anything related to BGs. I love the old Hanna-Barbera and WB style.

RooniMan said...

The eye candy is overwhelming!

J C Roberts said...

I think the BGs used in the Ranger Smith/Yogi shorts matched the character designs just right. They both came as close as they should have to the original look. Just enough to add a Spumco feel to the HB style without reminding us of the cut-rate versions used in the 70s. Too bad anything had to be cut from the Ranger Smith one, it always felt a short as it is.

Good BG painting takes a whole different skill than even drawing the layout of it. I still haven't developed the skill of setting up the coloring myself, though I do fairly well copying existing ones.

Knowing how and where to put the brush strokes and color shifts into it is not as easy as it looks.

Roberto Severino said...

Thanks for posting the Ed Benedict layout, John. For an old man at that particular time period, he still had superhuman drawing abilities. Unbelievable.

What design theories did you learn from him anyway? I bet he told you a lot.

pumml said...

Beautiful. That Daskas can paint!

Elana Pritchard said...

Lovin these bg/ color theoryish posts!

Paul B said...

Awesome and beautiful Background!

Is this a Setup?

Cristian Avendaño said...

This is incredible! I think I actually like more this painting style than the old one from the HB days. It's a great mix of both modern and past sensibilities.

How old was Ed when he did these drawings? I hope I can still have such a steady hand at that age!

Oh, and by the way, does anyone know what the BG painters used in these few last posts? Acrylics? Watercolors? Gouache?

ncross said...

Wow, I love that layout drawing. The water texture is great, simple but really effective.

Phil Willis said...

It took me a while looking at it before it dawned on me that the sky is yellow.

Wow.

Just an incredible decision - certainly one that I would not have made.

And yet - it totally works.

This work is so stunning and just underlines the importance of color choices.

Inspiring stuff.

Mykal Banta said...

John: Looking real good. Those HB cartoons of that era are my favorites (grew up on them). This stuff is looking so true to source material.

Kali Fontecchio said...

This painting is so pretty, it looks edible.

patrick sevc said...

I love the BG posts, thanks!!!

Niki said...

I'm glad I'm getting so much better thanks to you!

patrick sevc said...

Here are some H/B and Spumco BGs I've done studies of. Thanks for teaching me so much!

SoleilSmile said...

Aaah... BG layout and color. My current passion. Thanks for posting these, John :)

Oliver_A said...

Hi John,

this may sound silly, but why are there triangle-shaped trees at the left and right sides of the frame? It seems you almost missed them in your key drawing, and then gave them specific colors.

Daniel Og said...

it´s beautyfull the way it seams organized the production system in the U.S, or any other country for tht matter...
in brazil, except for some very determined studios and artists the background painting and layout would be done by the same person, and in kind of a hurry...
it´s nice to see that you can only animate or direct or paint and not have to be half-good in all of those things.

it´s allways good to come here.
this month´s email is coming, john!
cheers!

Albert said...

Thank you for sharing John K.
You wanted to have the same feeling as the classic cartoons and it does.

This is a great work.

Lester DiLorenzo said...

I absolutely love seeing this sorta thing. Post more!

A.M.Bush said...

cool thanks, I needed that.