Christmas Past – Part 1

Christmas Santa figurine designed by Frank Grau

This is from a line of thin Santa figurines I created. I also designed thin snowmen for this line.

My last post covered Disney’s Pooh & Friends products I designed for the giftware industry, many of them for Christmas. I did many Christmas designs for other giftware lines as well. Those designs covered many categories, including figurines, ornaments, musicals, water-balls, and other items.

Here are several designs I did for various lines. These illustrations were done for design purposes only and were not “finished” pieces of art meant for public consumption. As before, I’m simply offering a glimpse into the artwork used to manufacture giftware products. I’ll be posting more from these same lines in the days ahead.

Christmas Santa figurine designed by Frank Grau

This was a Santa-character line I created for Christmas. I had done two different color schemes for this line. Once I gave Cast Art in-studio product painter, Julio Flores, designs with color schemes, there was usually no reason to color additional designs unless the design was elaborate enough to warrant providing additional direction.

Slapstix clown Christmas ornament designed by Frank Grau

This is one of many ornaments I designed for the Slapstix clown line. Leo Romero, an in-house sculptor at Cast Art, did the final sculpt.

Christmas cherub figurine designed by Frank Grau

I already posted plenty of Dreamsicles cherub designs, however, since I did so many for Christmas, I may as well share a few.

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Ebony Visions

Back when I was still designing and illustrating for the giftware industry, I had been asked by Willitts/Dept.56 if I would create some paintings based on a few Ebony Visions figurines  created by Thomas Blackshear. Thomas was, at the time, very busy painting some portraits for the Vatican and hadn’t the time to create the paintings himself.

I had only met Thomas, back in the 90s, a few times in Chicago, at the International Collectibles Exhibition, which was to the collectible industry what the San Diego Comic Con is to the comics industry. It was an enormous convention. I was there with Cast Art, signing prints, buttons, figurines and whatever other knick-knacks or ephemera collectors wanted me to sign.

What you see here is a lo-res of a digital comp I did prior to executing one of the original paintings. Unfortunately, Willits/Dept.56 would not allow me to keep my original artwork. That was too bad, because I usually don’t part with originals, but that was part of my contract with them. Thomas is an incredibly talented Christian artist and a really nice guy, and I’m fortunate to have even worked with him.

Strummin’ Along

Here is yet another musical clown design intended as a bust figurine, which I had designed for Second Nature Design almost a decade ago. I must confess, I’ve always enjoyed drawing these goofy kinds of characters. Perhaps they reflect my own goofiness.

Clownin’ Around

I had designed a line of clown figurines -called “Slapstix”- while at Cast Art Industries, back in the 1990s. I had drawn a ton of clown designs; more so than we could ever produce. I literally filled a wall with drawings.

After Cast Art closed its doors, Second Nature Designs commissioned me do a similar clown line, however, these were only busts.

Here’s one design from that line (perhaps in the future, I’ll spend an entire week posting a load of these).