Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Disney Halloween!

In celebration of Halloween, I thought I'd post a couple of illustrations that I drew and painted about 3 years ago as part of a Disney Halloween book published by Random House, entitled "Don't Go Bump in the Night!" The book offered a series of safety tips to kids by utilizing various characters from both Disney and Pixar films to illustrate them in a fun way. This book can still be ordered here on Amazon.

In this painting of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the point was to show kids how important it is to carry a flashlight in order to see your way in the dark. The characters were drawn on paper and inked traditionally with brush on a transparent sheet of mylar. The linework was then scanned in and coloured with Photoshop (including the outlines) on a layer that was created on top of the background painting that had also been scanned in beforehand. (Click on all images to see them larger.)

Here is the background art on its own. I try to paint each background in a style that matches the film itself. In this case, I was trying for a more delicate watercolour look, although I was actually using dilute layers of gouache to achieve the effect.

In this painting of The Lion King, the tip was regarding the recommended use of makeup instead of facemasks that might hinder one's eyesight. This was just a single page illustration, as opposed to the 2-page spread of Snow White above.

Again I was trying to match the background style of the film itself, this time using the gouache more full-strength as it was used in the actual film production. By the way, this hybrid approach of traditionally painted backgrounds combined with characters that are traditionally drawn and inked, yet coloured up in Photoshop, is about as much as I would want to involve the computer in my artwork. I do not personally care for the look of digitally painted backgrounds and I also prefer the tactility of real paint on a cold-pressed illustration board. For me, it is all about the aesthetic.

Unfortunately, I can't take credit for the cover of the book, as it was illustrated later by one of Disney's in-house artists, I believe. From what I recall, the design concept for the cover had not been finalized when I had first been sent the project.