Monday, March 16, 2009

Art Lozzi

I was watching some Yogi shorts last week that Art Lozzi had painted backgrounds for and noticed that even though different layout artists, Tony Rivera and Ernest Nordli, worked on the shorts the backgrounds were very similar in design. Below are some examples. This got me wondering how much leeway the background artist had when painting the backgrounds. I asked Art this very question and he was kind enough (as always) to respond. Here' what Art had to say.

Hey Kevin,

Great hearing from you, nice to close the gap.
It's a steady amazement to me that you, John K and others are still interested in backgrounds that I painted more than 45 years ago. Yes, I recognize the ones you attached, and swift memories shot by. I'll try to explain the routine.
Keep in mind that Hanna and Barbera was still a new company then. There were the old-timers from MGM who worked very close to eachother and followed strict patterns: layouts, and then backgrounds (usually Bob Gentle and what's-her-name who married Ollie Hanson,
-Vera Ohman). The style was established and classic and Monte went in a gave them a hand occasionally.
At the new H-B studio there was not enough time to draw and redraw the layouts. They were being done fast, and by a lot of guys, to get it all done in time. It was a grind. I liked it because we -Monte and I- were given a wide leeway as to style. This is where I began using and developing my own. ..esp with the Flintstones, etc.
I still like the Yogi ones you sent me. Thanks.

Here in Greece, they don't show the HB cartoons. I have seen only about a dozen since I've lived here. They don't even know who Yogi Bear is. So I've been totally out of the picture and in the dark.
The answer to your question is Yes, I was able to exert more control -practically total- over the backgrounds, etc. The layout guys did not establish or instist on a particular style. They more or less sketched what had to be shown... fast, fast, fast... and left the rest up to us. Thank God for Ed Benedict however, who set the first Flintstones styles. Me, I stuck to it more or less. Great stuff, and great person. But the colors and painting techniques were mine.

Also, here's one of the shorts I was watching, "A Wooin' Bruin".


PJS said...

Those backgrounds are so beautiful. Thanks for posting this!

Drake Brodahl (pumml) said...

I was JUST watching this episode the other day and thinking what a great job Art did on these backgrounds (and concocting questions I should ask him sometime). Always a pleasure to hear first-hand from the man himself! Thanks for the great post, Kevin!

Anonymous said...

What a perfect episode to highlight with spring officially arriving this week. I love those damn backgrounds and am so glad that Art himself was able to comment. And just because it was H-B, that didn't mean you had to cut corners enough to make them look cheap. The man's a real pro.

Jack G. said...

I like the colors very much.

Fun, happy, yet not boring.

Nice to hear about it from Mr Lozzi.

What series are these coming from?
I'm pretty ignorant of H&B besides the Flintstones and Jetsons.