Most, if not all, of the specialty papers the Disney artists used to prepare Courvoisier backgrounds were purchased from the well-established specialty paper supplier McManis & Morgan in Los Angeles. Opened in 1923, the same year the Disney brothers opened their studio, two UCLA students, John McManus and Elder Morgan, teamed up to sell art supplies, book-binding services, and an astonishing array of handmade papers. To this day their historical and legendary downtown store stocks every type of paper, envelope, and invitation accessory imaginable.


Spray On

Also at that pivotal time, the airbrush had become a major influence in the execution of Art Deco. Providing a soft mist of color, the miniature spray gun was used by illustrators, photo retouchers, and even bakers to deliver texture and beauty to everything from animation backgrounds to wedding cakes. It was the airbrush that helped make Courvoisier backgrounds so captivating. The airbrush of choice was the Paasche AB airbrush, because it could deliver color in the finest spray and precision. It is the most difficult airbrush to use, because it features several controls for airflow, color flow, angle, and speed that all must be used in sync or the results will be unsatisfactory. But once balanced, there is no comparison for what it can do.


Brush Off

Just across the street from McManis & Morgan, Harry G. Daniels opened his now historic art materials store, H.G. Daniels Company, in 1941. Later the company would be run by his three sons, Peter, Harry, and Michael. It was Daniels who supplied much of the brushes, airbrushes, and art board used in making the original Courvoisier artwork. Daniels closed its doors in 1996, but Peter Daniels moved on to become a partner in Graphaids, in Culver City, California, and his eldest son Greg Daniels is the designer and distributor of DaVinci brand Kolinski sable brushes.