Concept lithograph created from a Tadahiro Uesugi original watercolor painting that showcases his concepts for Coraline's many outfits used throughout the film. Concept lithograph created from a Tadahiro Uesugi original watercolor painting that showcases his concepts for Coraline's many outfits used throughout the film.
Auctions

A Peek Into The Art of ‘Coraline’ Book That Never Was (Gallery)

Next week Heritage Auctions will auction artwork from Laika Studios, marking the first time that the Portland-based animation studio has ever made its production artwork available to the public.

All three of the studio’s features will be represented in the auction: Coraline, ParaNorman, and its current Oscar-nominated film The Boxtrolls. But the artwork from Coraline, the studio’s first release in 2009, is especially rare because it is the only one of those three films that never had a proper ‘art of’ book. (The film had a “visual companion” book that I recall being largely film stills and photos, but light on artwork.) And while the art-book ship has sailed, Heritage’s auction is a nice consolation prize offering a unique look into the pre-production and concept art made for the film.

The gallery below showcases some of the Coraline development art that will be auctioned. The artists represented include Aaron Sorenson, Mike Cachuela, Tadahiro Uesugi, Stef Choi, Bill Boes, Dan Krall, and director Henry Selick. Many of the artists haven’t been identified by the auction house, so if you can fill in the blanks, please comment.

And though the prices will almost certainly increase during the actual live auction next Thursday, the current online bids are quite affordable, with many of the pieces available for under a hundred dollars. To view only the Coraline artwork in the auction, follow this link.

Coraline Concept Artwork Gallery

Special thanks to Mike Cachuela for identifying many of the artists whose work had not been identified by the auction house.

A pair of concept/character development paintings of Coraline's Mother and the Other Mother. Done in watercolor and graphite. Artist: Robert Best.
A pair of concept/character development paintings of Coraline’s Mother and the Other Mother. Done in watercolor and graphite. Artist: Robert Best.
Early original concept, showcasing the Other Mother eating spiders in front of a mortified Coraline. Artist: Dan Krall.
Early original concept, showcasing the Other Mother eating spiders in front of a mortified Coraline. Artist: Dan Krall.
Early concept/story painting of an early look at Coraline with the cat. Artist: Mike Mitchell.
Early concept/story painting of an early look at Coraline with the cat. Artist: Mike Mitchell.
Hand-drawn animator's model sheet of an early Coraline design. It includes 11 facial designs on paper taped to 16 field animation paper. Also on the backing paper is a sketch of Coraline reading a book and daydreaming, while her Dad is at work on his computer. Pen and ink over graphite, this piece is an early look into the development of the character. Artist: Dan Krall.
Hand-drawn animator’s model sheet of an early Coraline design. It includes 11 facial designs on paper taped to 16 field animation paper. Also on the backing paper is a sketch of Coraline reading a book and daydreaming, while her Dad is at work on his computer. Pen and ink over graphite, this piece is an early look into the development of the character. Artist: Dan Krall.
Concept/story sketch of Coraline meeting her Other Father, as he charms her at his piano. Drawing done in graphite. Artist: Stef Choi.
Concept/story sketch of Coraline meeting her Other Father, as he charms her at his piano. Drawing done in graphite. Artist: Stef Choi.
Original character design artwork of Coraline's Real Father, done in graphite over pen and ink. Artist: Aaron Sorenson.
Original character design artwork of Coraline’s Real Father, done in graphite over pen and ink. Artist: Aaron Sorenson.
Concept artwork of Coraline with her Other Mother in the Other World.  Pen, ink, and watercolor painting used in the early development of the film. Looking at the Other Mother's hands would indicate this may be early development of the Evil Other Mother. Artist: Dan Krall.
Concept artwork of Coraline with her Other Mother in the Other World. Pen, ink, and watercolor painting used in the early development of the film. Looking at the Other Mother’s hands would indicate this may be early development of the Evil Other Mother. Artist: Dan Krall.
Character design concepts of Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, the retired old burlesque performers that live in the Pink Palace Apartment. Artist unidentified.
Character design concepts of Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, the retired old burlesque performers that live in the Pink Palace Apartment. Artist unidentified.
Lithograph of Coraline in Other Mother's Living Room. Created from original watercolor concept painting by Chris Turnham.
Lithograph of Coraline in Other Mother’s Living Room. Created from original watercolor concept painting by Chris Turnham.
Concept lithograph created from a Tadahiro Uesugi original watercolor painting that showcases his concepts for Coraline's many outfits used throughout the film.
Concept lithograph created from a Tadahiro Uesugi original watercolor painting that showcases his concepts for Coraline’s many outfits used throughout the film.
Watercolor and marker painting of Mr. Bobinsky's performing rats. An early concept paintings, mounted to black board, most likely for presentation purposes. Artist: Mike Mitchell.
Watercolor and marker painting of Mr. Bobinsky’s performing rats. An early concept paintings, mounted to black board, most likely for presentation purposes. Artist: Mike Mitchell.
The ghost children in their world behind the mirror. A lithograph created from an original watercolor painting. Artist: Dan Krall.
The ghost children in their world behind the mirror. A lithograph created from an original watercolor painting. Artist: Dan Krall.
Lithograph showing 26 different emotions of Coraline. Inked heads by Dan Krall, pencilled heads by Mike Cachuela. Color head by Shane Prigmore.
Lithograph showing 26 different emotions of Coraline. Inked heads by Dan Krall, pencilled heads by Mike Cachuela. Color head by Shane Prigmore.
 Concept Artwork of Mr. Bobinsky, a former Russian Gymnast neighbor who is Coraline's new neighbor. Pen and ink with Conte crayon. Artist: Stef Choi.
Concept Artwork of Mr. Bobinsky, a former Russian Gymnast neighbor who is Coraline’s new neighbor. Pen and ink with Conte crayon. Artist: Stef Choi.
Pink Palace Apartment Garden Concept Original Artwork. Palace Apartments are surrounded by a large garden, and in the Other World, the Garden is transposed with bushes, flowers, and shrubs that transform into the face of Coraline.  This drawing, "Fantastic Garden Before," is a schematic of the garden before it changes. Graphite drawing on vellum. Artist: Bill Boes.
Pink Palace Apartment Garden Concept Original Artwork. Palace Apartments are surrounded by a large garden, and in the Other World, the Garden is transposed with bushes, flowers, and shrubs that transform into the face of Coraline. This drawing, “Fantastic Garden Before,” is a schematic of the garden before it changes. Graphite drawing on vellum. Artist: Bill Boes.
Wybie facial expressions by Mike Cachuela. The film utilized thousands of facial expressions for each character, and this series showcases facial expressions of Wybie, plus one sheet that illustrates the detail of his raincoat and his wrestling shoes. Drawn in graphite.
Wybie facial expressions by Mike Cachuela. The film utilized thousands of facial expressions for each character, and this series showcases facial expressions of Wybie, plus one sheet that illustrates the detail of his raincoat and his wrestling shoes. Drawn in graphite.
Cconcept/story sketch of Coraline being terrorized by the Evil Other Mother in the film's climactic ending. Coraline and the cat stare up at the Evil Other Mother in three different artistic takes. Artist: Stef Choi.
Cconcept/story sketch of Coraline being terrorized by the Evil Other Mother in the film’s climactic ending. Coraline and the cat stare up at the Evil Other Mother in three different artistic takes. Artist: Stef Choi.
Lithograph of Coraline's Other Father at the piano. Created from original watercolor concept paintings by Tadahiro Uesugi, whose paintings were used to build the story as well as to create the color palette for the movie.
Lithograph of Coraline’s Other Father at the piano. Created from original watercolor concept paintings by Tadahiro Uesugi, whose paintings were used to build the story as well as to create the color palette for the movie.
Other Bobinsky concept art. Artist: Stef Choi.
Other Bobinsky concept art. Artist: Stef Choi.
Ghost Children's Playground concept artwork by Bill Boes. Done in pastel on black paper.
Ghost Children’s Playground concept artwork by Bill Boes. Done in pastel on black paper.
Concept/story development paintings showcasing the Coraline Doll, the Key, and the Evil Other Mother's mechanical hand. Done in marker and watercolor, mounted to black backing board most likely for presentation purposes. Artist: Mike Mitchell
Concept/story development paintings showcasing the Coraline Doll, the Key, and the Evil Other Mother’s mechanical hand. Done in marker and watercolor, mounted to black backing board most likely for presentation purposes. Artist: Mike Mitchell
Concept drawings of the Evil Other Mother drawn by the film's director Henry Selick. Two of the concept artwork pieces of the body of Evil Other Mother are drawn on binder paper. Selick's design concept sketches also include a third, full-figure, drawing of the Evil Other Mother labeled "Hungry Other Mother" done in graphite on vellum. Also,  a photograph of the Animator's Maquette of the Evil/Hungry Other Mother that the sketches helped to develop.
Concept drawings of the Evil Other Mother drawn by the film’s director Henry Selick. Two of the concept artwork pieces of the body of Evil Other Mother are drawn on binder paper. Selick’s design concept sketches also include a third, full-figure, drawing of the Evil Other Mother labeled “Hungry Other Mother” done in graphite on vellum. Also, a photograph of the Animator’s Maquette of the Evil/Hungry Other Mother that the sketches helped to develop.
Miss Forcible and Miss Spink concept painting done in marker and watercolor. Artist: Mike Mitchell.
Miss Forcible and Miss Spink concept painting done in marker and watercolor. Artist: Mike Mitchell.
Other Mother's Living Room concept artwork done in pen and ink. Artist: Dan Krall.
Other Mother’s Living Room concept artwork done in pen and ink. Artist: Dan Krall.

[Disclosure: Heritage Auctions is an advertiser on Cartoon Brew.]

  • Marc Hendry

    This is amazing, thanks!

  • I see some fantastic Dan Krall work in there!
    http://www.dankrall.com/coraline/

    And some Stef choi too!
    http://stefchoi.blogspot.com.es/2009/02/coraline.html

    It´s a shame Uesugi was the only artist spotlighted on the “companion” book.
    Oh, well!

  • AmidAmidi

    Thanks to everyone here and elsewhere who has been identifying the artists. The auction house didn’t identify many of the artists or incorrectly attributed some of the artwork to Tadahiro Uesugi. We’re updating the idents as we receive new info.

  • Chris Turnham

    Normally I wouldn’t care that much if a random piece of artwork from a film was mislabeled but I should point out that the “Other Mother Living Room” piece attributed to Tadahiro was actually painted by me. I would hate for someone to buy that piece thinking it was Tadahiro!

    Also are those pieces really lithos? Seems like an inappropriate method of printing a digital image.

    • AmidAmidi

      Chris, I’ve updated that as well as nearly all the other identifications, thanks to Mike Cachuela. And yes, I know some folks have taken exception to the term ‘lithograph’ being used. Reproductions may have been more accurate. Not having seen them in person, I have to rely on the auction house to be accurate in the descriptions of the art they’re selling.

  • dankrall

    Some of those pieces are mine. “other mother eating the bug” at the top of the page, “ghost children in their world”, greyscale of “other mother and coraline on the sofa together”

    • AmidAmidi

      All updated. Thanks, Dan.

  • Would’ve love seeing the artbook of Coraline in stores, it would be a true collector’s piece for any animation follower.