Saturday, February 2, 2013

Mathurin Méheut

Mathurin Méheut (1882-1958) was a French painter, who became known for his drawings and paintings depicting everyday life in Brittany.
Those are lovingly observed, and they communicate a feeling of being "of the moment" to the viewer.






Méheut also loved drawing animals. I found a book with some of his animal studies a few years ago, and was very impressed with his skills as a draughtsman.
As you cash see in the following pages, his approach is very academic here, and he doesn't always get it right. The facial proportions in some of the tiger illustrations seem a bit odd to me, but the overall effect is that through Méheut's robust and solid sketches you somehow come closer to understanding the animal's anatomy.












Méheut also taught art at the École des Beaux-Arts de Rennes, and I believe that's where he met and had a big influence on one of his students, Frédéric Back, who is known for his stunning animated films like Crac!, The Man Who Planted Trees and The Mighty River. 
More on the amazing Mr. Back in the next post.

17 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting these impressive animal drawings. I like the way he uses white color, especially in the chameleon drawings. I look forward to the next post on Frédéric Back.

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  2. Amazing! Some of those wildlife drawings remind me of Aaron Blaise's work. Beautiful!

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  3. Hello Mr. Deja. I love what you do with this blog and I really appreciate it. I have a question I hope you will chime in on. I want to get into Visual Development for animation but I am currently in a crisis with style. I find that I don't have one consistent style because I like to change my style according to the illustration/project's needs. Do you think this is a good characteristic for a vis dev artist in animation, or do you think it is better to have one consistent style for everything you do? I would really appreciate your thoughts on this thank you.

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  5. Phill, look at the post... what do you see?

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    1. If you are asking me this in reference to my comment about style, I see an artist with a single recognizable style. I see drawings and paintings which are obviously done by the same person. Style does not refer to medium used but the actual visual language you use to describe something. For example, look at Milt Kahl. From what I have seen Milt worked in at least three distinct styles over the years. His drawings of Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty and his designs for peter and wendy can be seen as a realistic style. His work on something like 101 dalmatians looks extremely different to the point that you dont' recognize it as his work. And we can also look at his work on "Tiger Trouble", the style here is very cartoony approaching something Ward Kimball would do. To contrast you might look at someone like Glen Keane in which nearly every drawing he does is immediately recognizable as his own and little variation in design is seen in his work.

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    2. Phill,
      I checked out the work on your site, you are on the right track.
      A Vis Dev artist needs to know a variety of styles, and be able to visualize each project in a unique way according to the story material. You might have a favorite style which comes easy to you, but variety is a good thing.

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    3. Thank you very much Mr. Deja for taking the time to answer. I appreciate it a lot

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  6. This is great to see artist like this, it can help you learn the animal anatomy better. Interesting the way hes drawing with a lot of planes, I think seeing drawings like that can help retain the forms better in your mind for memory instead of just linear drawings. Ive also found too, there are quite a few differences in cat anatomy when comparing lions to tigers there not the same animal.

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  7. I'm entranced by those animal drawings – they're so realistic that the black and white strokes and shading caught me off guard. :D

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  8. Awesome animal studies, some of them sort of remind me of some of the Paul Jouve big cats from an earlier post. You really lead me onto some great draftsmen, I have some of those Busch drawings from earlier on my wall for inspiration now.
    Looking forward to more.

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  9. Those may be the finest cat drawings I've ever seen. WOW. Thanks again Mr. Deja for the enlightening post, I don't know what the interent would be without you.

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  10. There was an inspiring exhibition of Frederic Back's work here in Japan at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo 2 years ago sponsored by Studio Ghibli. It was something to behold. There were tons of his drawings from his art school days. The influence of his teacher Mathurin' Meheut was clearly visible. Please pardon the link, but it will lead to more info about the exhibition.

    http://kicreativestudio.blogspot.jp/2011/10/dont-sleep-on-frederic-back.html

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  11. The Man Who Planted Trees is my all time favorite film!

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  12. There is a lot of bad things said about globalization, but when, being a french, i have the pleasure to read an american blog written by a german guy about a not so well-known artist from Brittany, i tell to myself there is some good sides too, being able to share taste throughout the word like this !
    I already knew and liked Mathurin Méheut, but i've had never seen before his academical drawings of animals, so thank you for that. By the way thank you for your blog in general, if i've never commented before, i read it regularly with pleasure.

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  13. Méheut has an exhibition in Paris running in Musée de la Marine. Thanks for the images: I saw there was a Dover's book about his work and I wondered if it was interesting to buy.

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  14. he lived where my parents met each other , I' ve decided to buy the book last year for my father glad you recognize an other great artist andreas , you always surprise me thanks for all , hope we will work together one day and share our ideas and drawings. My name is Emmanuel Briand if you're interested about my work is on web if you write this on google _Tokyobanana Emmanuel Briand hope you will enjoy everything you got also a facebook if you want to trully meet you

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