I’ve had the opportunity to know more than a few incredible artists during my long career. I’m continually amazed at their ability to create gorgeous background art and make it look easy. Even with all the painting classes I struggled through as a young student I almost always found painting a challenge. Once I began a professional career I was able to basically fake my way through a number of assignments but I knew I simply didn’t have the chops to really do the job. Lucky for me, there were always talented artists I could call upon when I wanted my animation backgrounds to truly sparkle.
For example, look at these amazing water color backgrounds. Naturally, you probably recognize the original art from the Walt Disney classic motion picture, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I can’t think of a medium more difficult to control than water color. The amazing backgrounds from the thirties film continue to amaze me. I had the opportunity to meet one of the amazing Disney artists some years ago. His name is Maurice Noble, and no doubt you’ve probably heard of him. I had not met Mr. Noble previously although I was already well aware of his brilliant career. I confess I was awestruck by this gentleman’s body of work and my head was filled with dozens of questions. I was able to restrain myself because I’m sure Mr. Noble had already answered these questions dozens of times by eager animation geeks like myself.
However, let’s get back to these beautiful Snow White backgrounds. I’m willing to bet you think these are original pieces pulled from the Animation Research Library, right? If that’s what you’re thinking, you’d be wrong because these Snow White backgrounds were not painted back in the nineteen thirties - they were painted recently. That’s correct. These marvelous paints are for a Disney story book currently in work here at Disney Publishing. Yet, these backgrounds are just as masterfully done as the thirties originals. Perhaps this is a testament to the love and respect our talented artists have for this marvelous art form. It’s a reminder that vintage Disney art and the work being done by young Disney artists today can live side by side.