Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Eyvind Earle and Frederic Edwin Church..

I've written about Eyvind Earle before, but it's particularly relevant now because I'm starting back ground design on my new film, and, of course, I'm studying classical landscape painting as well as Disney background art.

Eyvind Earle was one of the many fine artists recruited by Disney in the 1950's. Eyvind's artwork is simply stunning. I can't think of a stronger visual designer, the best examples of which are the incredible images created for "Sleeping Beauty". I would highly recommend Hans Bacher's book "Dream Worlds". Below are a few of my favorite paintings by Eyvind. Michael Sporn does a way better job of collecting these images than me. I'm typically not drawn to this heavy use of graphic design within the context of animation, but these images are too alluring not to admit their greatness. Power like this reminds me of the american painter Frederic Edwin Church, a Hudson River school landscape painter that specialized in this type of imagery, with out the graphic design element. Specifically his iceberg paintings.
Church gives an amazing lesson in contrast of scale here, something I use very often in my own work. One of the things brilliant landscape artists seem to excel at is making us humans feel insignificant in comparison to nature.
Earle uses a similar contrast of scale method here to create a feeling of power. jeeeez.The depth of this piece is astounding. The more depth a piece has, the more dramatic and powerful it becomes.. in contrast to this, things that are flat are often used for humor or light hearted-ness.. a concept introduced to me by Mark Kennedy.
The contrast of scale itself is the single element that provides depth to this piece above.


  1. I loved how ever Disney movie had totally different background styles. (Like the impressionistic backgrounds in Bambi) But I agree with you, I always felt like the Sleeping Beauty backgrounds were the "coolest."

  2. Thanks for those beautifull images, Eyvind Earl is on of the greatest background artist animation has ever known.