Here’s some random art from 1950s cartoons which appeal to me for different reasons. To start things off, below are four details from UPA background paintings. The complete BGs will be printed in my upcoming book on 50s animation design (pre-order at Amazon). From top to bottom, the paintings are by Paul Julian, Jules Engel, Bob McIntosh and Herb Klynn. I was prepping these particular paintings for print this weekend, and was marveling at how utterly great all of them are. The paintings really drive home the point that there was no house style at UPA. Artists at the studio were free to paint in whatever style they desired, and when that luxury is allowed to artists of this caliber, you’re bound to end up with some gorgeous stuff. Bonus points to anybody who can identify which films these paintings are from.
A lot of people create ‘stylized’ art to hide weaknesses in their drawing skills, but the best designers are invariably excellent draftsmen as well. These two concept drawings for SLEEPING BEAUTY are the real deal and leave no doubt about Tom Oreb’s drawing skills. It’s all there: an understanding of drapery, anatomy, perspective, and an uncanny ability to create appealing designy shapes while maintaining solidity of form.