Disney’s “Bambi” – by Pierre Lambert

I probably have most of Pierre Lambert’s art books on Disney animated films (except for the tome on Sleeping Beauty). The most recent book is “Bambi,” which I found at Stuart NG‘s booth while walking through Wonder Con this past weekend with my lovely bride (you can order it HERE). Like Lambert’s other Disney books, this was in French, but Stuart NG included an English translation, which was nice (but honestly, I get these books for the art and rarely read them). From Stuart NG’s blog:

“Like those volumes, this volume is licensed only for France and will never appear in print in English. So the text is in French; however, anyone ordering this book from Stuart Ng Books will receive our exclusive English language translation booklet, illustrated with five unpublished deer movement studies by Rico Lebrun!”

While Bambi isn’t one of my favorite Disney films in terms of story, it’s definitely one of my favorites in terms of art. If you look at the deer in the final segment of Disney’s Fantasia 2000, it doesn’t even begin to approximate the animation quality of the deer (or other animals) in Bambi.

My favorite thing about “art of –” books is seeing the art in development. I really like seeing how characters develop.

But my absolute favorite part of such books are the backgrounds, both in their conceptual stages and their finished stages without any character overlays.

I really enjoyed Ty Wong’s dreamy background designs for this film. I believe Wong did some work for Hallmark’s greeting cards, which makes sense given that his work certainly provokes an emotional response.

I absolutely dig pencil renderings like the one below. I wish I could capture that mysterious sense of mood. It would be fun illustrating an entire story in this kind of style.

One of the workers in Stuart NG’s booth told me that the next book Lambert would be making would be on the art of Peter Pan which I’m really looking forward to seeing. Peter Pan is another favorite of mine. Well, pretty much all of the films Disney produced while Walt was still alive are my favorites. After that, I prefer Pixar’s offerings over anything made by Disney.

For the record, I’m not in any way associated with Stuart NG. However, since I bought my copy from them, and since this book will not be imported and can’t be found on Amazon’s USA website, I though t I’d give Stuart NG a plug, as they provide a service Amazon doesn’t, namely, they take the risk of carrying the book in their inventory for customers to actually handle and review before purchasing. I think that risk deserves my patronage, so I buy from them if I can. I encourage everyone to support your local brick-and-mortar store if you’re financially able, before Amazon puts them all out of business.

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Comic Con 2017 – THE LOOT

I acquire a lot of art books. I mean, a LOT. Most of them serve as inspiration when I just feel like getting into a certain mood before tackling a project. Others provide ideas for color palettes, lighting, or anatomy reference for animals and people, and still others help with period costuming (unfortunately, I have no access to a theatre company’s costume or prop department, so I make due with period films or period artwork for reference).

So my trek to the Comic Con is really to see what’s new in pop art and to hunt for new and inspiring art books (as I’ve stated elsewhere, Comic Con these days is less about comics and more about pop art, gaming, films, toys, with some comic stuff thrown in there to appease the die-hard comic fans).

In the past I made a beeline to Bud Plant‘s booth, which was a great booth for art books. Unfortunately, Amazon has killed small book dealers and Bud Plant, after surviving going completely out of business, has been reduced to a small table in the back, near the food area. It’s really sad, because I’ve purchased some hard-to-find art books from them in the past.

The other book-seller I make sure to peruse is Stuart NG, who seems to have a healthy business due to his plentiful offering of imported books (usually from France) which aren’t something you usually find on Amazon or in your average bookstore.

And then I may purchase a sketchbook or something from the many artists who are there to show their stuff.

So here are some very poor iPad pics of the stuff I hauled back home…

The two books on top are children’s picture books in that unspeakable language, French. I’m a sucker for a charming children’s picture book. It doesn’t matter that I can’t read them, because I really only enjoy them for the art. The Dean Cornwell book is something I’ve wanted for years because I really admire his art. He’s simply a fantastic Golden Age illustrator.

The books in this unforgivably blurry photo were all free. The top two are James Bama books which were given away by Flesk publications. I suspect they had quite an inventory they couldn’t move and it would be cheaper to get a tax write-off by giving them away than to let them collect dust in a warehouse. I already own a Bama book with his DocSavage illustrations. These two are more personal western art, art which is well done, but not really of much interest to me. Still, who am I to turn down free art books, right? The bottom left item is a Heritage Auction House catalog featuring a lot of Disney and other animation art for sale.

Oh, and I didn’t shoot a pic of it, but in case you were wondering, I got DC’s The Flash pin with the Con bag (for those of you who know to what I refer).

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Character Design

Here’s something I did for Nickelodeon. They had a concept for which they needed a couple of characters designed, and they contacted me to produce some of these for them. I’m not sure how far the project got into development, and I don’t keep up with television programming, so I have no idea if this project ever saw the light of day. In any case, here’s a sample of the work I did for them.

For this character, they originally asked me to do something more realistic, so that explains the design on the top right. Then they changed their mind and asked for something a bit more caricatured, which is the one on the top left. By the time I got to the finalized version on the bottom left, we were pretty much firmly into cartoon-land.

Nickelodeon_Character_Design

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More Storyboard Samples

I did these some time ago, but for those who haven’t seen them, here is a short sequence from an animated short I storyboarded called, “The Piñata”.

Pinata_storyboard_samples

Bird-Brains

As usual, I never tire of designing characters…Birdbrains

Monday Morning Java

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Spider

Sunday Funnies #4

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Frank_Grau_comic strip Be-Bop #4