Tag: animation art

Spotlight on Studio Art: Buying Original and Limited Edition Animation Model Sheets

I thought today I’d talk about my very favorite kind of animation art, model sheets.  The explanation of animation model sheets, according to wikipedia:

“In animation, a model sheet, also known as a character boardcharacter sheetcharacter study or simply a study, is a document used to help standardize the appearance, poses, and gestures of an animated character. Model sheets are required when large numbers of artists are involved in the production of an animated film to help maintain continuity in characters from scene to scene, as one animator may only do one shot out of the several hundred that are required to complete an animated feature film. A character not drawn according to the production’s standardized model is referred to as off-model.

Model sheets are drawings of posed cartoon or comic strip characters that are created to provide a reference template for several artists who collaborate in the production of a lengthy or multiple-edition work of art such as a comic book, animated film or television series. Model sheets usually depict the character’s head and body as they appear at various angles (a process known as “model rotation”), includes sketches of the character’s hands and feet, and shows several basic facial expressions.

Model sheets ensure that, despite the efforts of several or many artists, their work exhibits unity, as if one artist created the drawings (that is, they are “on model”). They show the character’s structure, proportions, attire, and body language. Often, several sheets are required to depict a character’s subtler emotional and physical attitudes.”

Finding original model sheets of characters that millions of people know and love always brings me great joy.  Actually, even finding obscure model sheets from movies or characters only loved by diehard fans or super-geeky animation fans is great fun.

In my 30+ years selling animation art, I’ve sold some amazing original model sheets.

There are two I remember the most and I’m the most proud of….One was from Alice in Wonderland, of Alice.  It was the one the animators actually used, that had been photocopied and you could find the photostat versions often online.  I think it looked something like this:

I also found a great Pongo model sheet, and since he’s one of my favorite characters, I was very excited to sell that one (so don’t fall in love ;).

Over the years, I had Snow White and the dwarfs, Dumbo, Sleeping Beauty, The Ugly Duckling, and a bunch of various Mickey and the rest of the fab five like Donald Duck and Goofy.  In 30 years, I’ve maybe found one a year.  Partly that’s because I have always done a ton of research to know where they’ve been before they get to me, and the more popular and collectible animation art has become, the riskier buying anything you can’t trace gets.

Interestingly, not that many people are as big a fan as I am of them.  I’ve always attracted more collectors who love production cels.  But..the characters that have been seen by millions and continue to be seen are created and kept consistent through these images.  It’s a big deal!  It’s the artistry of the character design sitting there on the wall!

I’m not trying to pitch you guys to want to buy them, because I do so rarely find them.   I just want people to understand the beauty and genius behind them. We do have one right now, and it’s one of those that are cobbled together by animators who want to keep a character consistent by seeing it from every angle…but it also has more than one character on it.  Another love of mine as an animation art dealer is the art of Fantasia.  The film is a classic, of course, but it also has an artistic quality that is unique in all of of Disney history.

Here is the model sheet we’ve got right now, and actually I’m looking at it in person, because it makes me happy, especially this time of year.

Unicorn model sheet from Fantasia available at ArtInsights
Unicorn model sheet from Fantasia available at ArtInsights

There are plenty of photostat versions of model sheets for collectors who either can’t find the original, can’t afford one, or just want to collect a variety of pieces from the time that capture the art behind the films they love. For example, there are lots of photostat model sheets from Alice in Wonderland, as many different ones as the number of characters represented in the film.

Here are just a few, so you can see how wonderful they are and how perfectly they capture less “popular” characters…

great examples of photostat model sheets from Alice in Wonderland
Two great examples of photostat model sheets from Alice in Wonderland

I’m toying with the idea of finding more photostat images to sell to my clients.  I didn’t use to have them or carry them, because they are some hundreds of dollars, and have been for some time, because they come from the time.

Contact the gallery if it’s something you might be interested in, because I know a bunch of old-time collectors who have them.  How wonderful would these look in someone’s office?!  Yes, they are esoteric aesthetically, but that’s what makes them work in a professional environment.  The same is true for a house that has a lot of tradition art in it.  Either original or photostat model sheets will work there when other animation might not!

For those who love Warner Brothers and Hanna Barbera, there are some great images available from those studios as well.  We have an original from 1959 that’s more of a layout and a model sheet that is clearly from back when they are designing characters.  How awesome is it to know these characters hadn’t even been placed in a cartoon yet?  Fans of Quickdraw McGraw will get a kick out of that, and it’s definitely a piece of animation history.

A layout/model drawing of Hanna Barbera characters from 1959 available at ArtInsights
A layout/model drawing of Hanna Barbera characters from 1959 available at ArtInsights

Here are some limited editions with Tom and Jerry,Wile. E. Coyote and Roadrunner, and the gang from Scooby Doo.  The designs for Tom and Jerry are particularly interesting, given they were created while Hanna and Barbera were at MGM and the duo won seven Oscars and were nominated for another 7!  To put things in proper perspective, Bugs won only one Oscar!!

A limited edition of an early model of Tom and Jerry available from ArtInsights
A limited edition of an early model of Tom and Jerry available from ArtInsights
The Mystery Machine Gang and Scooby Doo Model Sheet available at ArtInsights
The Mystery Machine Gang and Scooby Doo Model Sheet available at ArtInsights
A limited edition based on a Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner model sheet available at ArtInsights
A limited edition based on a Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner model sheet available at ArtInsights

These do a great job of mixing the artistry behind the characters and the color and pop of production cels.  Again, they show the brain behind the movement and characterization of these classic cartoons, but in the above images you also get the color, hand-painted cel so many collectors want.

What it comes down to for me, is model sheets really represent the history behind animation.  They show our favorite characters in positions and doing things that sometimes they haven’t even done yet in a cartoon. They also capture just how talented not only the character animators are, but also those working with them who have to stay on model regardless of what is happening in their scenes.  There is so much skill, discipline and artistry in animation.  There’s no greater example of that than in animation model sheets.

If any of you collectors or animators have any great images, put them in the comments or email them to me, I always love seeing them!

Wonder Woman original production art in honor of the Women’s March on Washington

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In honor of the Women’s March in Washington on inauguration weekend, we are offering some rare Wonder Woman original production art from Justice League. They are drawings, as they didn’t use cels in the animation, and we don’t have a bunch, but the 8 we have are all wonderful, kick-ass, and represent the character well!  CHECK THEM OUT HERE.  We will only have them this weekend, so now is the time!

Many of you know we have a large contingent of collectors and art and animation fans meeting up at the gallery and going in to march on Saturday.  That’s not to say we don’t love our ‘Right-minded’ collectors, but we all have to walk our walk as WELL as talk our talk, and that is particularly true to those of us in art and small business.

Those of us who are marching, and those supporting those who will be there certainly need inspiration and motivation, and this demigoddess is the Amazonian to give it!  A percentage of all sales this weekend will benefit Planned Parenthood.  CELEBRATE POWER and THE WONDER OF WOMANHOOD this weekend!

Also, all the art available for purchase is benefitting women-owned small businesses: both in the retail and wholesale!  We are working with the lovely and hard-working Ruth Clampett of Clampett Studio, and her cohort Michelle Smart, who handles production art for them.  I, Leslie Combemale, CRAZY FEMINIST ART LOVER, co-own ArtInsights (as you know)…Plus you will also be supporting low cost healthcare for women around the country.  So what are you waiting for? Lasso yourself a great new piece of art 🙂

Disney lobby cards: Collecting movie and cartoon history

Ichabod and the Headless Horseman lobby card at ArtInsights
Ichabod and the Headless Horseman lobby card at ArtInsights

When I started selling animation art in 1988, there were only five galleries specializing in original cartoon art IN THE WORLD.  That’s right.  It’s hard for some to imagine when no one knew what a cel was, and when the thought that cartoon art was “kid stuff” was pervasive.  Things have really changed.  Most people know what about animation art, and many see it as a legitimate art form, but along with that the prices for animation art have risen to the point where finding unrestored reasonably priced original art is not that easy to do!

Recently a client/collector friend of mine showed me a collection of Disney lobby cards he had just gotten his hands on.  Most were from the original release dates.  These were smaller images released by the studio used to promote the film in theater lobbies across the country. It occurred to me that my collectors and people I knew who love Disney would be excited about the prospect of having these, what essentially amount to pieces of memorabilia and art mixed together.

Lady and the Tramp original lobby card from 1955 in the gallery
Lady and the Tramp original lobby card from 1955 in the gallery

It isn’t as if lobby cards can’t be counterfeit.  Of course they can be.  The trick is to find someone who knows where they’ve been since removed from the displays at the theater! How wonderful, though, to imagine them a part of the thrill of release in 1946 of Song of the South, or 1950 of Cinderella, or any number of other Disney classics!

Song of the South animated section lobby card at ArtInsights
Song of the South animated section lobby card at ArtInsights

I do love two of the images we got most, and those are the lobby cards created for England.  They are smaller, and they come from a slightly later time (a few years after the initial releases) but check out these British Snow White and Fantasia lobby cards, I especially appreciate that they are based on concept work from the films:

A British Sorcerer's Apprentice lobby card in the gallery
A British Sorcerer’s Apprentice lobby card in the gallery
A British Snow White lobby card in the gallery
A British Snow White lobby card in the gallery

In my own house, I have production art, and movie posters.  Lobby cards are the perfect way to add something small (they are all 11 x 14) and substantial to represent other favorites, or enhance the images in the production cels nearby.  That’s what I did with mine.  Personally I always want my lobby cards to be from the original release, and almost all the ones we have in the gallery are.  You can tell what year they were released by checking the number in the bottom right hand corner, making sure the first number corresponds with the year the movie was released..(like 55 for the Lady and the Tramp lobby cards, and 49 for the Ichabod and Mr. Toad lobby cards, for example)

The title lobby card from Ichabod and Mr. Toad in the gallery
The title lobby card from Ichabod and Mr. Toad in the gallery

Check out all the lobby cards (and the two collections) on our Disney vintage gallery page:

https://www.artinsights.com/production/vintage-disney/

 

 

ArtInsights at the AFI for Bugs Bunny Anniversary

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Chuck Jones - Concept Art - Bugs Bunny

ArtInsights at the AFI for Bugs Bunny Anniversary!

The AFI Silver Theater is showing some great cartoons in honor of Bugs Bunny’s 75th birthday, which happened July 27th, (those carrots are great at keeping a rabbit looking youthful!) and ArtInsights will be there!

Leslie Combemale, intrepid ArtInsights co-owner and lover of all things Looney Tunes, will be doing a short pre-screening lecture on August 8th and 9th at 11:30 am.  Tickets are $5, and there are some great cartoons showing!

As you all know, Leslie works at educating and advocating for acceptance of animation as an important art form, and many of the artists who created cartoons as fine artists worthy of the highest acclaim.  Come hear a few bits of information you may not know about your favorite Looney Tunes artists and cartoons, and help celebrate superstar Bugs Bunny in 35 mm on the big screen!

Click the dates for a link to purchase tickets and more information:

SATURDAY:

BILL OF HARE (1962); RABBIT FIRE (1951); ALI BABA BUNNY (1957); BEANSTALK BUNNY (1955); BUGS BUNNY RIDES AGAIN (1948); KNIGHTS MUST FALL (1949).

SUNDAY:

WHAT’S UP DOC? (1950); LONG-HAIRED HARE (1949); SHOW BIZ BUGS (1957); KNIGHTY KNIGHT BUGS (1958); WATER, WATER EVERY HARE (1952); WHAT’S OPERA, DOC? (1957)

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

Peanuts Art! The 50th Anniversary Celebration for A Charlie Brown Christmas means a once-in-a-lifetime art release!

CHARLIE BROWN, SNOOPY, & PEANUTS EXTRAVANGANZA!

invitation to Peanuts celebration of 50th anniversary of Charlie Brown Christmas special

My invitation to the big event!

PEANUTS ART!

I’m so incredibly excited that the 50th anniversary of the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, which is being celebrated next week in LA, means that I get to go to LA and interview animators AND get first access to special art being pulled specially for the event.

That’s right.  I am the FIRST gallery that gets to go in and choose art for my clients from what they’ve pulled from the archives for this event.  How did that happen?  I guess the Snoopy Puppy angels smiled on me.  In any case, any of you folks– pals and clients of mine –who love Peanuts and remember the wonderful specials fondly interested in getting something rare and unusual, please contact me in the next few days!

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A few great images from the cartoons…

I’ll be sending images and selecting art for all my clients on Tuesday June 23nd starting at 12:00 pm E.S.T, and can add you to the list of collectors to connect with that day.

What will be available?  The rarest art is the key set-ups, which means the original art and backgrounds that belong together, from the specials many will recognize.  There won’t be Christmas special pieces, but yes, there will be art from the late 1960s and some from one of my favorites, “Snoopy Come Home”.  There will also be some spectacular layout and finished drawings.  All I know is they’ve never done this before, so without a doubt they will be bringing out “the special stuff”.  Generally the prices for these originals are between $500 and $5000 depending on what it is, how old it is, and how many characters are in it.

Also, the second of the limited editions being released based on A Charlie Brown Christmas is being released on Thursday at the celebration.  None of us know what it looks like, but at only 65 in the edition, and the desire to represent the best scenes from the special, i’m sure it will be wonderful!   There also may be some very sold out limited editions made available—who knows?!

Snoopys Audition Cel

One of the three pieces released as part of the Charlie Brown Christmas Special 50th Anniversary

I’m going to be doing some interviewing the studio insiders and animators about the historical scoop and personal  experience behind these great animated favorites, and i’ll post on YouTube when i’m back.

Of course with the new Peanuts movie coming out, this is a perfect time to pick up some art, before a ton of new fans are made around the world, and a few old ones get reminded of how great these characters really are!  (many of you know my story of the one piece of art I regret not getting was a Linus cel i’ve never seen anything like again..let’s not go through that again!)

I’m in a unique position here to actually get all the very best images available for people I am representing, so HAIL TO ALL PEANUTS FANS! Let’s get some awesome art!!

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(Just a few of my favorite Charlie Brown specials!)