Mad About Cartoons

Bill Wray is trying to make the transition fine art but is known as a cartoonist, a background painter/ Art director and sometimes animation director. This will be the place he post his ocasional animation and cartooning work and also be a place to bitch or wax sentimentally about cartoons in general. It’s been a love and hate relationship for many years and the long journey may not be quite over.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Samurai Jack

Scott and me sort of.

I think Scott referenced my key, but really made it his own this is very early on the first show. I think he felt his hands were a little tied at this point, but quickly took over and made SJ all his own.





Still more Scott





and more me.








More Me:









A few by me.











more Jr.










Scott Wills. Words fail me.





84 Comments:

Blogger pumml said...

You just made my day! Please tell me you have more of these beauties!

11:13 PM  
Blogger Jav said...

Dear sir,
Why do your friggin paintings rock so darn much?
A living Legend my friend, beautiful work...
Big inspiration!

3:13 AM  
Blogger roque said...

These rock my face. The robot gangster episode in the last season was my all time favorite, especially with your bgs.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Chris Battle said...

Gorgeous. Your new stuff for the B has been amazing so far-- looking forward to seeing more.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Brian Romero said...

Goddamn those are all great!

1:18 PM  
Blogger Kevin Langley said...

Fantastic! You and Scott Wills are incredible. The backgrounds were such an important part of that show.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Miles said...

most beautiful and most interesting

11:22 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Thanks All !yes Scott it so good, a true inovator. I'll be posting more if you demand it. I pray we get to work together one more time before I go full time into fine art.

1:27 AM  
Blogger IZA said...

AMAZING!! The Colors are simply Delicious! You guys are both HUGE inspirations!!!

5:29 AM  
Blogger pumml said...

Yes, please! More of these would be fantastic! You and Scott are such a huge inspiration to everybody. Frankly, the very best in the biz. I hope that you never fully move to fine art (maybe just 90%) and keep creating both your oils and this tighter style too (be it for cartoons or comic covers, etc). People can't live without it. :)

Btw, where did those other Scott Wills bgs go that you posted before? They seem to have been overwritten by the current ones.

And my apologies for posting so often (like a stalker). I'm just really excited about this stuff.

Thanks for sharing it!

10:08 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Yes they changed. Scott wanted what he considered his best examples up. I like everything he does, but I happily deferred to his choices.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Kali Fontecchio said...

Gorgeous!

4:41 PM  
Blogger pumml said...

It's a real privilege to see these backgrounds, Bill. I sincerely hope Scott changes his mind and wants to share as many as possible (and you too!). If not, I feel bad for the late-comers who missed out!

9:33 PM  
Blogger rex said...

This stuff is too incredible.

12:02 PM  
Blogger lorelay bove said...

awesome! SOOOO inspiring!

10:59 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Here are some more for you. thanks all.

6:39 PM  
Blogger UrbanBarbarian said...

....ggggghhhh...

Too damn good for witty comment.

Love the Scott Willis stuff and yours kick all kinds of ass...!!!!

Tremendous colors

8:30 PM  
Blogger Mike M said...

These are so great, man I miss that show, I think it was the most fun I ever had in animation.

You guys set the level beyond high.

8:34 PM  
Blogger pumml said...

Bill, I've been anxiously awaiting the next batch of backgrounds, and man did you deliver!

I really can't put into words how incredible they are. I'm geeking out over the smeary strokes (like on the 06 title bg), the masterful use of wet-on-wet, drybrushing, masking, sponging, subtle gradients, etc. What I wouldn't have given to see some of these being painted in person to see the actual methods used to achieve the different textures and layers!

A couple questions for you.

Are these all cel-vinyl exclusively, or are they a mix of acrylic, watercolor, cel-vinyl, etc., where needed?

It looks like these are very well planned in order to give the proper depth in conjunction with the various masking, sponging and other techniques. How much experimenting was done on these backgrounds? Was there even time to experiment, or did you have to know exactly the technique and look you were shooting for and execute it with precision?

And lastly, when will these be assembled into one of the greatest books of all time? :)

Anyway, thanks very much for posting these! Hope you're willing to post more if you have them!

2:01 AM  
Blogger lennard schuurmans said...

wowi! so happy to find this on the web! you seem to work for all the most exciting projects... don't hope losing you to fine art means we will have less interesting not fine art stuff in the furture..!
good luck!

11:54 PM  
Blogger Monkeyfeather said...

WOW! Hope there's more to be posted. They're all gorgeous.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Miles said...

yes, more porn

nicely spotted darks all around - speckle - point

holy slo-mo multi pass flash spiral pullout money shots much?

thanks

12:27 AM  
Blogger C. A. M. Thompson said...

It's absolutely incredible that stuff of this quality was able to make it onto TV. I hope they bring you guys back for the Samurai Jack movie.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Okapi Figment William said...

This are really radical!!

12:43 PM  
Blogger ryan said...

i am stunned, these are just too beautiful.

"before I go full time into fine art."

no!! you are too fucking good a cartoon painter to only do fine art. plus you would be depriving folks of wonderful and magnificent artwork such as these. i (and thousands of others) love your fine art and your cartoon art.

please.. always do both!

3:47 PM  
Blogger Mr. Hawthorne said...

DAMN! My fucking eyes just fell out of my head! Great job!

Mike

10:11 PM  
Blogger Thorsten Hasenkamm said...

These are ALL great (of course)... ;)

1:25 PM  
Blogger IZA said...

Will you ever stop amazing us with your guys Fantastic Pieces of Inspiration???

I think Not!!!

5:55 AM  
Blogger Bobby Pontillas said...

holy smokes

10:14 AM  
Blogger pappy d said...

I can't find it my heart to forgive you guys for being so talented.

12:08 PM  
Blogger pappy d said...

I can't find it my heart to forgive you guys for being so talented.

12:09 PM  
Blogger pappy d said...

Oops! I STILL can't find it my heart to forgive you.

Dept of Redundancy Dept.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Uncle Phil said...

the only shit in these posts, is now sitting warmly in my pants.

thanks bill.

12:03 AM  
Blogger Schism-Schasm said...

What more can be said? Thanks for posting these, truly inspirational stuff for curmudgeonly non-digital types like me.

Any chance of some Hellboy Jnr stuff on this blog?

You're a scholar and a gentleman, sir!

11:27 AM  
Blogger Matt Williames said...

SOOOO inspiring! Thanks for posting. MORE!

11:35 AM  
Blogger Ira said...

"I pray we get to work together one more time before I go full time into fine art."

Any chance that you guys will be teaming up on the feature if all goes well with Frederator?

Please say yes!?

Amazing work but the both of you!!

...i

11:40 AM  
Blogger FRANK M HANSEN said...

Speechless. I almost fell out of my chair these are so incredible.
I've seen some of your more recent paintings at a gallery in San Luis Obispo (forgot the name). They are fantastic as well. Your range of your work; from cartoon to fine art is very inspriring. Love it

1:12 PM  
Blogger geraldraws said...

Absolutely great, thank you for sharing, I was looking for some samples for a while, that's x-mas.
Congrats !

1:40 PM  
Blogger Rocket Pistol said...

This work is begging to be collected in a book. Simply brilliant.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Absolutely AMAZING!! Please tell me you this is coming out in some form of publication soon. It's truly awesome!

8:10 PM  
Blogger Fred Cline said...

Hey Bill, Great stuff - really beautiful

10:19 PM  
Blogger enzo avolio said...

I'm Speechless.
WOW!

8:40 AM  
Blogger Abel said...

WOW! thanks for show this beautiful stuff. I've always loved "Samurai Jack" backgrounds but it's hard to find good quality pictures of the BGs and the designs.
That's great!

11:25 AM  
Blogger superrune said...

Fantastic artwork! Truly inspiring stuff. I'm a huge fan of the background art of the series, so this was a real find for me!

Thanks, Rune

3:59 PM  
Blogger hans bacher said...

beautiful artwork, bill. it's interesting to recognize all the different stylistic influences. very well done, unique. usually I do not watch tv-series, except this one. I like the character design and the animation as well.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Really gorgeous work, Bill and Scott.
Good of you to show us this stuff, and you are right to be proud of it.

Cheers!

9:53 AM  
Blogger Metalguru said...

I love samurai jack and it's fun trying to pick out what backgrounds were in what episode.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Jorge Garrido said...

I fucking LOVE this show, and I fucking love you and Scott's backgrounds!

5:43 PM  
Blogger Andy J Smith illustration said...

just wow. THANKS FOR POSTING! wow.

7:23 PM  
Blogger lennard schuurmans said...

thank you so much for posting these! you can see the techniek dripping of these pannels!

10:11 AM  
Blogger Mouldey said...

Truly ticketyboo. I'd love to see them reproduced even bigger. How big is the original size for these?

Is it possible Scott's paintings are digitally finished?

1:06 AM  
Blogger pumml said...

Good question, Mouldey. Are they originally 12 field size like the R & S from the previous post?

Also, I know you're swamped Bill, but will you be posting your main titles bgs 01, 04 and 05 please? They are some of my favorites.

12:31 AM  
Blogger THEMICO said...

EXCELENT!!!!!! :D

3:45 PM  
Blogger Willi Lopes said...

Very very very nice!!

10:46 AM  
Blogger Robert Hume said...

WOW!!! You guys did an AMAZING job with these Bill!! I have to go and buy that DVD just to apprishiate the background art alone!

2:15 PM  
Blogger Bobi said...

amaizing..just love the samurai..
excelent cartoon..and intriguing layouts...scenes..places and characters..just genious..

7:17 AM  
Blogger James Sutton said...

Man these are beautiful...
Hey have you heard about Adult Swim's plans to start airing Samurai Jack?

9:42 AM  
Blogger Martim said...

Amazing drawings! Thanks!

And check out my blog!
http://lunchtime-sketches.blogspot.com/

11:51 AM  
Blogger G1toons said...

amazing layouts just got the season 4 dvd great show

4:35 PM  
Blogger Elliott said...

im sure you get this a lot, but these are amazing. huge inspiration

2:02 PM  
Blogger The HQ Duo said...

Sweet jebus! Amazing amazing!

tyson

2:54 PM  
Blogger LuisNCT said...

I first came to your oil paintings blog, which I really love, and then discovered this one few days ago. I'm a great fan of Samurai Jack because it's art, specially its backgrounds whom have really inspired me even though I work in a different style.

5:07 AM  
Blogger Darryl Young said...

Brilliant and inspirational.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Hot Taco said...

unbe-freakin'-leivable!!

Pls put together a book!!

8:58 AM  
Blogger alex schaefer said...

everything on this blog is amazing! Stunning backgrounds, great compositions and color. Clear and playfun.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

could you please post the image from the intro to the show that is a tall vertical painting of jack on horseback with his sword?

6:59 PM  
Blogger Misztikus said...

wow!! Beautyful! I like all of them!

5:41 AM  
Blogger Baptiste LUCAS said...

beautiful work there!this is dessert for my eyes! I have a question ... do you use painter and photoshop or you just scan some painted texture ?

2:38 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

I have to say that this is amazing work. I rarely post anything but I had to give you kudos. I hope that one day I can make such wonderful piece of art.

8:20 PM  
Blogger cvxv said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:07 PM  
Blogger James V. West said...

The backgrounds are the very first thing that made me do a double take when I first saw SJ. These are absolutely luscious!

3:26 AM  
Blogger Chen said...

I am a big fan of Samurai Jack, not only love Genndy Tarakovosky's animation style, but also the way the background is been done. May I ask, what do you paint your background with? Is it possible to do it in computer?

10:27 AM  
Blogger Chen said...

I am a big fan of Samurai Jack, not only love Genndy Tarakovosky's animation style, but also the way the background is been done. May I ask, what do you paint your background with? Is it possible to do it in computer?

10:27 AM  
Blogger "Danny" said...

These are so beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing! I've been a fan of the series.

May I ask if you have more to upload, that will be fantastic!

Also, can you spare a few words on the process, materials and techniques to paint these? Are they hand-painted gouache?

Thank you so much again!
Danny

8:39 AM  
Blogger 兩津 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Brick Layer said...

soooo good

3:05 PM  
Blogger Yayo said...

I love how you start each episode with a complete view of the environment. Your simplicity is phenomenal. Thank you for sharing. (please paste some more)

9:25 PM  
Blogger Mathew Mossman said...

Wow very inspiring. I love the combination of texture and design. Please show more if at all possible!

1:03 PM  
Blogger gee8648 said...

Any chance of posting high resolution versions of these images? I am planning on printing and framing some of them to add to the decor of my renovated bedroom.

11:33 AM  
Blogger momena said...

transported to another world :)magnificent work

4:04 AM  
Blogger kego44 said...

I love how deceptively simple your work is in some ways yet so effective. True master of color palette too.
So glad my friend sent me a link to your blog.
Personally I think there has been a tremendous amount of great work making it to the small screen in the past decade or so, thanks in no small part because of great talent like you.
Thank you!

12:48 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

It looks like most of the folks that posted are familiar with the animation business and can compliment your talents as peers, but I wanted to add my own as a layperson. Back in my hausfrau days, Samurai Jack went a long way toward keeping me from taking a baseball bat to the TV. I'm not exaggerating. From the first few frames I was absolutely hooked. Everything about it blew my mind. It was one of the very few shows I watched regularly with the kids, and I was really, truly heartbroken when it was over.

I'll never understand why people thought it was boring. It's a sad thing that people need a bunch of visual and verbal racket to become engaged in a medium. You say you're going into fine art, but I assure you that you were already there.

Good luck and many blessings!

9:45 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

thanks S- a really nice note--

9:22 AM  
Blogger Heather Wright said...

Do you know if there is anyway to purchase of some prints of these backgrounds?

1:04 PM  

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