Mouse in the House Background Paintings
Not long ago I had the opportunity to submit a few background paintings for a relaunch of the greatest cartoon cat & mouse show ever.
I was working a bit under the gun so I kept my layout exploration somewhat limited. I like aspects of all three of these and, given time, I would have liked to push them all a bit further.
But it was time to pick one & tighten it up.
And here's the paint. I intentionally kept the detailing, texture & futzing about to a minimum. These are supposed to be backgrounds after all, not the stars of the show. Nevertheless, I quite like the gate opening & the light ray shining through it. That, to me, is the most interesting part of the painting - and it's where I'm imagining we'd see our cat & mouse heroes.
The palette couldn't be simpler and is pretty much a lift from some classic cartoons - intentionally as I don't know where the new series is going art directionally.
Then I turned the basic layout into a titlecard, because animation titlecards are awesome and I'll take any excuse to mess about with type for a while.
For an interior shot, I blocked the scene out in 3d so that my perspective would be more accurate. Stylistic distortion is great, but the foundation has to be there. The whole scene is mostly basic rectangles & a couple directional lights. I rendered the scene out in passes and for my final painting ignored the 3d lighting but kept some notion of the AO to build out volumes.
Here's the local color and some volume.
And some nighttime lighting, all dramatical & stuff...
I don't think I ended up getting the gig, but keep yer fingers crossed. Good news may be on its way yet.
Cheers, mes amis!