Monday, February 13, 2012

Masterful Doodles

When Ollie Johnston showed me his collection of Disney drawings years ago, he came across these two small sheets (8 1/4 x 6") showing design sketches of the character Georges Hautecourt from "The Aristocats". 
"Are these Ronald Searle drawings?" I asked Ollie. "No, these are Milt's", he responded.
As I examined them closer it became obvious that Ollie was right. But I had never seen Kahl drawings that resembled Searle's style to this degree. 
Then again Milt shared Searle's sensibility for a sophisticated balance of strong straight lines against curves. And when the drawing is rough and loose, the lines remain thin and delicate.

I don't know why Milt used such small sheets of paper for these character studies, he normally drew design work on large 16 field animation paper. Perhaps there were done during a story meeting, and only small sheets were around.
In any case, even in this size there is great detail in the definition of bony hands and loose facial skin. Just beautiful!