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Pippi Longstocking (Miyazaki/Takahata, 1971): Color Tests

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Pippi and a frog
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Added 8/3/2011
Updated 7/4/2016
This smile-provoking image of Pippi making friends with a frog was directly worked up from one of Miyazaki’s sketches that was reproduced in Kodansha’s Image Boards.

While Miyazaki’s sketch puts Pippi’s head more forward, they are clearly the same image. In working up the color, notice how the frog’s bright yellow belly echoes Pippi’s brilliant yellow panties. The way in which Pippi seems to be sinking into the grass is also effectively done by drawing zigzag ink lines on to the edges of Pippi’s arms, legs, and skirt, then leaving these sections unpainted so that the green watercolor underneath showed through. I’ve added a detail from this part of the transparency in the thumbnail. Another Miyazaki sketch in the 1983 artbook shows the playful girl in mid-air, imitating the frog’s leap into the lake.

Sadly, Miyazaki’s preliminary sketch, like others reproduced in the artbook, seems to have suffered visible mold damage. This makes color tests like these all the more valuable as they show the original art when it was in perfect condition.

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Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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