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Toby Bluth

American painter and Animation Director of Disney fine art, Toby Bluth (1940-2013) was inspired by the work of illustrator Gustaf Tengrenn, who worked with Walt Disney on the feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a film that Bluth considered to be one of the “gems in the crown of animation’s royal history.” Though Bluth is an accomplished painter, he also writes, directs, and designs; Bluth was the production designer and the director for the 1997 Babes in Toyland. Bluth also has an extensive history with the American musical stage; he has performed in or directed nearly one hundred musicals, many of which have appeared on Broadway.

Bluth’s watercolor paintings attempt to “create the moment you think you saw,” which means that he tries to paint the essence of the film as opposed to a specific scene. Two techniques that Bluth famously uses in his work are chiaroscuro, or light coming from shadow, and sfumado, which is Bluth’s term for a “smoky” effect.