Kevin Mizner is a painter in Maine, and he is a fascinating, if too short analysis of how the How the Grinch Stole Christmas was drawn and painted.
Chuck Jones, the famous Loony Tunes artist, was the director for the scenes in the classic animated Grinch movie. In his blog post Kevin Mizner dissects some of the techniques used. If you are a professional painter what he discusses may be very basic and not news at all. For the rest of us, it is a fascinating look at some of the techniques painters use to draw our attention and create memorable pieces.
Maybe this is why some painters are famous, and the rest of us think painting is easy but our works come out as obviously inferior.
In the picture above with Max in front of the window, Mizner explains that Chuck Jones is using a division by three to separate and size the different objects in the scene.
The largest object is the house. The second largest object, the snow, is one third the size of the house. The third largest object, the sky, is one third the size of the snow.
Proportional drawing of sizes. There is one tip.
Another tip Kevin discusses is the use of value patterns and value schemes. This is where Chuck Jones laid out a few primary colors to use in a scene, which might involve light on dark with one tone variation of each.
Here, if we are understanding Mizner correctly, there are two obvious color tones: the yellows of the back wall and the reds for the fireplace. The dark green tree carefully breaks them up to provide not only contrast, but a scene appealing to the eye.
One of the joys of the Grinch is of course the story. But the carefully thought out animation has likely helped make the animated movie one of our enduring favorites. The professional techniques used are of course out in the open for anyone to see, but the beauty may be not realizing what is being done to capture our attention and make an engaging visual story.