The German Expressionism, among others, was the movement that had its peak around that time, and therefore one of the better connected to the dark, horror, distorted world of the supernatural. It refers to a number of creative movements beginning in Germany before First Great War, and reached its in in Berlin 1920. These developments were part of a larger Expressionist movement in north and central European culture.
Being Eric Zahn of German descendant and the story maybe supposedly happening in France. I thought that this movement could perfectly fit the animation.
So I began to research in-depth some of the artists of this movement, not by their importance, but by the way their art could easily influence the style chosen for this animation.
Max Pechstein (1881-1955)
Max Pechstein was a German Painter and Printmaker, who joined the German Expressionist Group Die Brucke. Although he had really vivid and colourful paintings, what caught my attention is his work was his prints, where the dark, minimalist and distorted style was more visible. He had prints ranging from portraits to environments in which all of them shared the same quality.
Here are some examples:
Sick Girl, 1919. From "H M Pechstein Holzschnitte 1919" portfolio
Village Street,1919. From the series Das Dorf (The Village)
I really like the graphical quality of them, something which printmaking can achieve perfectly.
Another artist having a similar style was Eric Heckel, a friend of Max Pechstein, and one of the founders of the German Artistic Group Die Brucke.
Eric Heckel (1883-1970)
Eric Heckel was a German Painter and Printmaker, and founder of the German artistic group Die Brucke. Although being a painter, all his life he dedicated more to printmaking, producing numerous works which later were classified as "degenerate" by the Nazi parties. To aggravate the situation during the World War II his studio was bombed and many of his early prints were destroyed, however he never stopped doing prints, moving away from where he lived he carried his career as a printmaker, though many the works produced of that time could not be compared to the early ones.
Here are some examples of his prints:
Sick Young Girl, 1913. woodcut print.
Zwei Manner am Tisch,1913. Woodcut print.
Beim Vorlesen,1914. Woodcut print.
After searching the artist movements, i took once again Phil suggestion and looked at the works of Lee Brown Coye, an artist who did some illustrations for H.P. Lovecraft books. Phil directed me to look at his works because of the graphical and simplicity some have. Working in black and white, he creates astonishing pieces of work where the mark-making is clearly visible.
Lee Brown Coye (1907-1981)
An apparition, 1963. Brush and ink on scratchboard
Railroad Trestle, 1941. Woodcut Print
I know I could be here forever naming artists that could easily influence me, however I found these ones maybe the msot influential, if I find any other artist I will update this list.