Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pooh Book Illustrations

Seeing the recent Disney Winnie-The-Pooh feature made me think back on the series of books I'd illustrated for Readers Digest back about 10 years ago. I like the Pooh characters, but I must admit I find them deceptively simple in design, as they're actually quite hard to get just right. (And nobody can draw Tigger absolutely right since Milt Kahl retired from animating - he's really tough to do well!)

This was perhaps my favourite of the handful that I'd illustrated, as I really quite like drawing Rabbit. Perhaps I relate only too well to his curmudgeonly attitude! The fun for me was in keeping Pooh and Rabbit in character as best I could, as well as trying to paint the backgrounds as faithful as possible to the watercolour style in the films. I drew the characters as separate elements, scanning in the pencil art and colouring them in Photoshop, then placing them on top of the hand-painted backgrounds that were done with diluted gouache on illustration board. This process helps to keep the illustrations looking much like cel set-ups, resembling the look of the films as closely as I was able to achieve. Anyway, here are all of the interior pages from Happy New Year, Pooh! - some are single pages, others are double page spreads. The simple text is laid in afterward on top of the illustrations in the wide open areas. These books were available in a book-of-the-month-club format aimed at very young readers.









8 comments:

SparkyMK3 said...

Hm...i like the Pooh Bear films, but using cels as illustrations just dosen't work for me.

I mean, cels work fine when they're used for their purpose--a machine age convienience used to making ink and paint less of a burden and make the eyes less distracted with flat colors. Here, with cels used out of their natural purpose, it just looks cheap and flat, as much as i hate to say it.

Sorry if i sound cruel.

By the way, do you have any drawings or screengrabs of Milt's Tigger to compare to a modern drawing of him? Maybe i could try and figure out what step is missing!

Oh yes, and please stop by my blog and leave a comment, Pete. I really admire your drawings, and i wish you could come up to Ohio to educate me as an animator. Theres is no place around here that can teach me the skills, and i lack the confidence to teach myself the skills. See ya.

--SparkyMK3

SparkyMK3 said...

oops, i should have worded it is "to make ink and paint less of a budren and make the eye less distracted with detail when the drawings are photographed and put into motion". Sorry.

ALVARO CERVANTES said...

GOOD OLD POOH BEAR! NICE PETE!

Brubaker said...

Have to disagree with Sparky. I like the cel set-up work.

What did you think of the film? I enjoyed it, personally. The characters are all great in it.

Bradley said...

Wow! I was browsing the internet because for a caricature artist in Toronto to do a portrait of me and stumbled across your blog/website. You are bloody brilliant! Not only are your caricatures amazing, but your other work as well. Congrats on doing something you are both terrific at and passionate about. It shows!

Brian Sibley said...

I like your art – especially the picture of Pooh bursting in on the dressing-gowned Rabbit!

Here's a little film report on the making of the new Pooh (which I liked a lot); and two short blog posts on Mark Henn and Andreas Deja.

Brian Sibley said...

Hopefully this link to Henn post will work...

Gordeaux said...

Hi Pete, I am new to the blogosphere and have recently graduated with a diploma in cartooning and illustration. I have just been looking at your website and must say, you are now my favorite caricature artist! WOW! is there anywhere on your blog where I can learn the ins and outs of this medium as it has always interested me.

Thanks heaps