Friday, September 4, 2020

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

This 1930’s documentary newsreel (in Universal's "Going Places" series) offers an in-depth glimpse into the Universal/Walter Lantz animation studio, featuring narration by legendary newsman Lowell Thomas. Assembly-line steps from script to screen in the creation of the Oswald The Rabbit cartoon "The Softball Game" are shown. Glimpses are given of the story development, creator Walter Lantz himself pitching in with gags and direction with a very "Brooklynite" twang, animators at work making funny faces, composers, background painters, cameramen, voice artists, sound effects & music departments, and more.


The “White” Oswald Rabbit

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit


Oswald the Rabbit (later-1930s)
original production animation model sheet
photography on double-weight paper, dimensions: 9" x 13.25"

Beginning in the early 1930s the Disney Studio introduced the model sheet to animated filmmaking, and other studios quickly adopted this device for circulating images of its animated characters and/or atmosphere and concept art among artists and animators working in production of a film. Before the 1970s they were generally reproduced by a photostatic, photographic, or printing process. Model sheets were made when a character or setting was in development and to help animators maintain a consistent look to the character throughout the film. This scarce photographic model sheet featuring full-figure and portrait poses, notes, and a detailed construction of Oswald was made at the Walter Lantz Studio during production of the Oswald the Rabbit cartoons of the later-1930s, and it was issued to animators for use in drawing the character. Oswald was originally created by Walt Disney, who lost the character when his distributor decided to make the cartoons with Walter Lantz. Oswald was Lantz' main cartoon star of the 1930s. The sheet is stamped "© Walter Lantz" at lower right.


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Jacopo Tintoretto

 Study of a bust of Vitellius,Charcoal, heightened with white, on blue-green paper

304 millimetres x194 millimetres.    from: British Museum


Jacopo Tintoretto

born Jacopo Robusti 1518 - 1594 

Drawing classical sculpture, became common practice starting in the Renaissance, as antique statues were perceived to be the embodiment of perfection and ideal beauty. In art academies, which flourished across Europe, artists were taught to admire and learn their perfect proportions and encouraged to exercise by copying them. Classical sculpture offered artists a repertory of poses and forms that could be models of inspiration for their own works.

The Venetian painter Jacopo Tintoretto, who never sculpted, owned many of these replicas, made in bronze, wax, and plaster. According to the biographer Carlo Ridolfi, Tintoretto spent a considerable sum on collecting casts of ancient and Renaissance marbles. Several of his graphic works attest to his practice of sketching after them. In the drawings illustrated below is an example. It is after the head of the Emperor Vitellius, a celebrated bust that in 1523 was sent from Rome to Venice by Cardinal Grimani, and was then displayed in the Ducal Palace, where artists could study and make plaster casts from it. This shows a practice that seems to have been common in Tintoretto’s work. The artist would often draw at night, in the candlelight, moving a candle around the casts in order to explore the play of light and shadow on those forms. The stark contrast of black chalk with touches of white heightening creates a strong sculptural effect in all his drawings.   from:


Charcoal, heightened with white chalk, on blue paper faded to brown,13 1/16 x 9 13/16 inches, 

1540-1580        The Morgan Library


Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice-Gallery Walk-through