Ink & Paint Makes History!
Late in the evening of November 27th, 1937, several hundred women artists made history! Three weeks before the film's premiere, the last of the fully painted cels of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs made their way from the Ink & Paint Department into Camera. Thus marking a 'first' within hand-rendered animation.
The color and artistry of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was groundbreaking, as paint and painting techniques were developed to convey texture and dimension through color. From the rich, velvet quality and weight of curtains, to satins and velvets of the Evil Queens heavy robes, and even the cel over-lay featuring the window's metallic framework. The women of the Studios Paint Labs created over 1500 shades of paint which were applied to roughly 362,000 hand painted cels, created by artists (all women) for the final film. The equivalent of 1.3 feet of footage was inked per artist, per day with 1.1 feet of footage painted per artist per day.
With the final cels of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs still in Camera, artists Kathryn Kerwin and Evie Sherwood camped out for days in the women's lounge of the Ink & Paint Building on stand-by to fix any final cels as they made their way thru final photography. Armed with a stack of books and various knitting projects, the ladies stayed on hand - talking, reading, knitting, sleeping, into the wee hours of the final nights - to be called upon to make any necessary adjustments to the final film, right up until hours before the Premiere!
Through the color and artistry of these early women, animation—and the film industry—was forever changed!