I wanted to do a blog post on Mary Blair, who has been a huge influence and inspiration for me since I was a child. For those of you who are not familiar with her work, she and her husband were artists who worked with Walt Disney for many years. Apparently her husband, Lee Blair worked for Disney first and she later joined him. She worked on major motion pictures, such as Peter Pan, Alice and Wonderland, Cinderella, and Disney's attraction It's a Small World. She later went on to do freelance illustration and set design. She died at age 66, leaving behind her husband and two sons.
The last two images on this page are studies of a Mary Blair painting for Alice and Wonderland. My goal was not to copy her, but to study her work and try to understand her process better. I noticed things I would have never noticed before, such as layers of subtle images and color changes layered delicately on top of one another. Even her line work has this amazing rhythm. I LOVE her use of color and her eye for design. From what I read, she used watercolor and then switched to gouache, which apparently is similar to watercolor, but more opaque. It was used primarily by commercial artists for things such as illustration, graphic design, and animation. I haven't worked with watercolors in years and have never used gouache. I may do another study in the future to try to learn more.