Thursday, May 17, 2018

Painting in the Ghibli Style

Here are two videos that demonstrate some gouache techniques resembling those used in background paintings for Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli.

The first is by Osamu Masuyama, a background artist on Spirited Away, Ponyo, and Howl's Moving Castle, doing a demonstration at a university. (Link to YouTube)

He pre-mixes four colors before starting on the sky: a lighter and darker blue for the gradation of the sky, plus a white and a gray for the lit part of the cloud and the shadow part.

Artist Victor Ishihara demonstrates creates a painting of the building from "Spirited Away" (Link to video on YouTube). I'm not sure what Mr. Ishihara's connection is with Studio Ghibli, but his way of painting seems fairly similar to that of Mr. Masuyama.

A few observations on both demos:
1. The art is set up flat on the table, so the method doesn't depend on gravity to pull down washes.
2. The paper is pre-wet for the sky, which helps achieve those soft edges in the clouds.
More resources
Previously: Demo by Kazuo Oga
 Kazuo Oga
Watercolor Tips from Miyazaki
DVD: Oga Kazuo DVD
Paints: Nicker (Knicker) poster color (imported from Japan)


Dave said...

Another source of great matte and backdrop painting -
Just imagine how good and how fast these artists had to be.
Dave Frary

Daniele Guadagnolo said...

A few observations about Ghibli background painting.

I believe that a damp paper, even when the surface is dry and harder edges are possible, still allows more blending with water media; it's a good way to keep the gouache open for a little longer.
They often use almost full-bodied paint wet-into-wet without adding much water or white. This is a good way to achieve a uniform surface effect and paint body without sacrificing subtle transitions.

Japanese artists are used to soft brushes, which are uncommon here when using opaque paints. I tried squirrel hair brushes and synthetic soft imitations, which I regularly use for watercolor, with gouache with interesting results.

jeff said...

I wanted to point out that some of the colors in the Knicker poster color paint set are not light fast. This paint is made for commercial use and is not meant for fine art work. There is also a Russian company that makes a similar kind of paint called Masterclass gouache.

Paintbynumberblog said...

Interesting tutorials. Thanks for sharing.