Studio Ghibli’s films are known for being whimsical and beautiful to look at. But with all the action going on on-screen, it can sometimes be easy to take for granted the beautiful background drawings that provide the setting for each individual story. Today, we’d like to introduce you to one of Studio Ghibli’s most talented background artists, Naohisa Inoue, and take a look at the incredible methods behind his masterpieces.

Naohisa Inoue created background and reference art for Whisper of the Heart, but you might have missed out on his greatest work. In the little-known short film “Iblard Jikan” (Iblard Time) directed by Inoue, there is no story and no dialogue. Instead, Inoue’s paintings are displayed scene by scene, set to music and with subtle animation, including waving blades of grass, etc. It’s probably one for the more hardcore Ghibli fan’s collection, but there’s no denying the “eye candy” appeal of Inoue’s work.

Here is Inoue hard at work in his studio. As you can see, he utilises both traditional painting methods and digital technology in order to create and present his work.

And here is some of his finished work:

In this incredible video, uploaded to Inoue’s YouTube account, you can see him paint an entire background in two and a half minutes through the magic of time-lapse photography. The title of the piece is “The Hill With Four Seasons”. We couldn’t make out a thing until around halfway through, when bit by bit the details began to emerge from the myriad paint splotches. The finished piece is gorgeous and definitely worthy of being called “eye candy” !

Inoue is also on Twitter, where he tweets snaps of his paintings and provides some extra information on the inspiration behind each one.

▲ “The picture on the left is over 30 years old. I must have painted it at the end of my twenties. It’s 15cm tall. I think there are some people who might even prefer it to my current work. The one on the right will be on display in Nagoya from August 6.”

Of his work, he says: “I’ve been painting views of a world named (by me) Iblard for about 40 years.”

To see more of Inoue’s work, you can visit his website

Which of the Studio Ghibli movies do you think has the best background art?

Source: Naver Matome