Each time our little thief fills a pocket, another artist is identified. This story will help kids learn to recognize artists and their work through playful yet effective visual clues.
A nice collection of old bookplates over at BibliOdyssey, which remains one of the richest resources on the Internet.Add a Comment
Image, branding, and logos are obsessions of our age. Iconic images dominate the media. In his new book, Christ to Coke, art historian Professor Martin Kemp examines eleven mega-famous examples of icons, including the American flag, the image of Christ's face, the double helix of DNA, and the heart.Add a Comment
Larry Roibal alerted me this morning with this post on his blog to the death of Don Ivan Punchatz. Its always sad when a legendary illustrator pass away… but this passing is especially unfortunate when we learn that Punchatz’s widow is now burdened with massive health care bills due to the artist not having had health insurance.
For those who are unfamiliar with the name Don Ivan Punchatz, you may have seen his work for Playboy, Esquire, National Lampoon, Time, Newsweek, and a host of other magazines, countless paperback book covers, the first Star Wars film poster, the cover of the Doom video game… truly a giant. We will miss him.
Have you ever heard of Evaline Ness? She was an illustrator of many children’s books during the mid-20th century period. At a time when most illustration was still being done in a style of literal realism, Ness was among that group of stylistic pioneers whose work still influences the look of illustration today.
She also has the unusual distinction of having been married for a time to the famous FBI agent, Elliot Ness.
The Bloombury Auction House in New York has an upcoming auction featuring a collection of children’s books signed by Evaline Ness, her Caldecott medal for Sam, Bangs and Moonshine and some never before seen sketchbooks and dummies all of which come from her family collection.
The sale will take place at Bloomsbury Auctions New York on Wednesday, December 9th, but those who won’t be able to attend can view nearly a dozen pieces from the Ness collection in my Evaline Ness Flickr set.
Posted by Leif Peng on Drawn! The Illustration and Cartooning Blog |
Tags: auction, Caldecott Medal, children's books, childrens illustration, classic illustration, Evaline Ness, female illustrator
The Balloon Mosaic
This was our last Art History project. The idea was to create a 40' x 46' mosaic of the Mona Lisa out of balloons. We create a grid using yard then started blowing up the 2,000 balloons.
Unfortunately, the weather did cooperate. The wind kicked in by afternoon, twisting our grid and popping our balloons. In the end we decided to dismantle. However, we may try again with a new approach...
While I think this image speaks for itself, check out Scott’s process documented on his blog.Add a Comment
Recently found: original 1941 concept sketches for Wonder Woman.
Here we have a piece of comic book history from early-1941 in the form of a letter from cartoonist Harry G. Peter, written to William Moulton Marston, in which he unveils some very early sketches of Marston’s new superheroine, Wonder Woman; Marston’s handwritten response to Peter can also be seen, penned in red below the original message. Wonder Woman’s subsequent debut came just months later - December - in All Star Comics #8 (cover). The rest is history. Transcript follows. (via Letters of Note: The birth of Wonder Woman)Add a Comment
A letter written by Walt Disney in 1935 to Don Graham, tasking him with organizing art classes for the Disney animators. To put the timing in perspective, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in 1937, and Pinocchio and Fantasia in 1940.
Disney was a business tycoon, but he understood his business was in storytelling and emotion. From the letter:
Comedy, to be appreciated, must have contact with the audience. This we all know, but sometimes forget. By contact, I mean that there must be a familiar, sub-conscious association. Somewhere, or at some time, the audience has felt, or met with, or seen, or dreamt, the situation pictured. A study of the best gags and audience reaction we have had, will prove that the action or situation is something based on an imaginative experience or a direct life connection. This is what I mean by contact with the audience. When the action or the business loses its contact, it becomes silly and meaningless to the audience.Add a Comment
Illustrator Scott Anderson spent some time studying a few original Leyendecker covers for the Saturday Evening Post, and has posted a series of close-up photos on his blog. Clicking through to the full-res images reveals an incredible amount of detail, allowing you to truly study Leyendecker’s brushstrokes.Add a Comment
I really enjoyed the museums in Siena in part because they were small enough to manage with children, and not so packed. But the best part was their troves of early Renaissance art. I like the early stuff because it’s not so all-fired perfect like the late Renaissance art. During the early period, artists had figured out a few things about perspective, but they hadn’t yet cracked the whole code.
The art from the early period also seems brighter and more colorful than the later Renaissance. I find myself relating to it because it’s more like what I’d want to create myself. Perfection in artwork doesn’t really interest me that much, probably because I’m living after the invention of photography. So the beautiful but imperfect early Renaissance paintings (as well as pre-Renaissance works) have an almost modern feel to me.
Disclaimer: this isn’t an all that scholarly perspective, so bear that in mind.
St. Bernardino Preaching, by Sano di Pietro (above)—This scene takes place in the same Piazza del Campo from my previous post. I couldn’t find a better image of it, but in real life the colors are much brighter. The building behind St. Bernardino is the color of papaya flesh.
(detail from The Siege of the Castle of Montemassi, by Simone Martini)
The image above is just a tiny bit of a beautiful and famous painting. You can see the artist has made an attempt to show the dimensionality of the castle, but it’s still a bit flat, with an almost cubist feeling. I love it.
Our favorite pieces in the museum were the nursing Madonnas. I had never seen anything like them and was so moved by their tenderness. Whoever thought of Mary breastfeeding Jesus? Evidently plenty of artists have, but I hadn’t. I found the images so intimate, so human. So different from some other Madonnas where she’s looking away from baby Jesus, holding him like she’s not sure whose kid this is but would someone please take him?
Evidently there are a lot of these lactating Madonnas from 14th century Tuscany. According to Wikipedia, they were “something of a visual revolution for the theology of the time, compared to the Queen of Heaven depictions.”
Madonna del latte, Paolo di Giovanni Fei
“During the Council of Trent in the mid-16th century, a decree against nudity was issued, and the use of the Madonna Lactans iconography began to fade away.”
Sigh. At least they didn’t burn them.
The coolest thing about seeing these paintings was how much my small children responded to them. I think the idea of baby Jesus being so like themselves, so like othAdd a Comment
Focal Press have given us permission to reprint a few lessons from their great new book, Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes, Volume 1: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures. So here’s the first one on Perspective Drawing. More to come…
(Download the full PDF for the Perspective Drawing chapter here.)
You may recall me mentioning a tendency to straighten everything up in a drawing. You know, the crooked-picture-on-the-wall phobia. This tendency goes beyond straightening things up horizontally and vertically, but also depth-wise. That would be like taking the lines in Plate 1a and straightening them up like Plate 1b, which you can see, destroys all illusion of depth.
I am relentless in my crusade against this kind of seeing and drawing. You all have at least some knowledge of perspective, but sometimes the mind wanders and you fail to make use of what you do know. To further complicate matters — beyond just knowing the rules, you have to carefully observe (and feel) the pose so that you can put the two together. So much depends on perspective — not just what is called linear perspective (see Plate 3), which is a system for linear depiction of three dimensions, but also what I will call Spatial Perspective.
In drawing human or animal figures, which are loaded with complicated planes, there would be so many vanishing points you would need a computer to keep track of them. But take heart, there is a simpler method, thanks to Bruce McIntyre, former Disney Studios artist and subsequent drawing instructor. This method involves a few very simple rules which, once understood, are easy to apply, effective, and fun to use.
Here in Plate 2 are the six principles of perspective.
Take the hands first. They illustrate the second rule (see Plate 2), Diminishing Size . The hand farthest away being the smallest. Next, the left hand overlapping the forearm, the forearm overlapping the
upper arm, the shoulder overlapping the chest area, the front of the neck overlapping the far shoulder — all illustrate the fourth rule, Overlap . The way the forearm delineates the contour of the arm as it overlaps the upper arm, and the left shoulder follows the contour as it overlaps at the trapezius muscle, illustrates the fifth rule, Surface Lines. Plate 4b further explains the Surface Lines rule.
The last rule, Foreshortening, is present everywhere in every third dimensional drawing. It should be felt rather than diagrammed, although at times, a few perspective lines may help. Here Donald demonstrates how that particular perspective rule has been pushed to great extremes. This is called forced perspective and is universally accepted as normal.
Amazon: Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes, Volume 1: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures.
Download the full PDF for the Perspective Drawing chapter here.
We just put Leonard Maltin’s Animation Favorites from the National Film Board of Canada online. You can watch it here.
This feature-length film is comprised of a compilation of NFB films presented by Leonard Maltin. Included in the collection are Begone Dull Care, Mindscape, Log Driver’s Waltz, Getting Started and The Street, among others.
Maltin is a big fan of animated films and animation history and in 1994 he and the NFB put together this compilation of animated shorts he loved from the Board’s history.Add a Comment
Really classy short video portrait of designer, Milton Glaser, by Hillman Curtis.
Lots of other great short films about artists on his site.
Also of interest:
Video: Milton Glaser, Chip Kidd and David Eggars
The Architects Journal blog has a neat Top Ten list of cities in comics (posted by Rory Olcayto). Because it is obviously written for people who know nothing about comics, it probably doesn’t go in-depth enough for comics experts on Drawn, but it does provide some interesting extras like this pairing of Marlinspike Hall with its inspiration, from Herge’s classic Tintin series. There are also some amusing picky comments from architects in the comments: “Just to be pedantic – you are mixing up Aztec and Inca influences and how Herge used them,” writes Tintin buff Chris Tregenza, who made this map of Tintin’s voyages.Display Comments Add a Comment
An inspiring collection of Japanese graphic design images from the last half-century over at A Journey Round My Skull (which incidentally is an awesome blog). The above image is tagged, “Yoshitaro Isaka, 1966, ad”.Display Comments Add a Comment
Dick Balzer’s collection of magic lanterns, zoetropes, thaumatropes, phenakistoscopes, and other optical toys is one of the finest in the world. He has been collecting “anything and everything invented before the movie camera that produces an optical effect” for 30 years.
The site’s boasts some new flash galleries which replicate some of the pieces’ effects (note: doesn’t seem to work in Safari).
In the world of art history there is increasing attention being paid to caricature. A rather large bulk of the research seems to be getting done in French. For those interested in a blog full of links to resources and books and conferences on historical caricature, caricatures et caricature.com is just the thing – in French. However, the links work for English-speakers too ;-).
Lowell Hess is one of the forgotten giants of the mid-20th century cartoon art business. Among his many laudable accomplishments is a year-long series of tiny spots done for Collier’s magazine in the early 50’s.
These spots appeared regularly in a column called “48 States of Mind” and, although tiny in stature, they are huge in the excellence of their content. Brilliant character design, hilarious oddball concepts and meticulous execution make Hess’ tiny Collier’s spots well worth a closer look. You’ll find several more at Today’s Inspiration.
Fans and students of engraving, traditional printing processes, art history, and 19th-century ephemera alike should, like I did, fall instantly in love with Pictorial Webster’s: A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities.
Bookmaker John M. Carrera meticulously restored thousands of engravings from the pages of 19th-century Webster’s dictionaries, and has compiled an extraordinary visual account of Victorian history.
In his introduction to the book, Carrrera suggests that the very juxtapositions of the illustrations tell a story:
The conceptual underpinning is that this book can act as a springboard for individual creativity. It was printed with a belief that the human compulsion to find meaning would lead readers to create stories that explain whole pages and perhaps even inspire some to derive unifying threads that might, in a Joycean fashion, enable a narration of the entire book.
It is a creative and romantic way to look at what amounts to a collection of images very purposefully arranged in alphabetical order, but he continues to admit the book is invaluable even just as pure reference:
The surface function of the book as a visual reference needs little explanation. The book contains many great examples of how to solve problems of illustration. … By virtue of the magnitude of engravings, their varying density and size, the book also becomes a study in design.
In this video I found on Vimeo, John Carrera gives us a detailed tour of the process, tools, and machinery used to print and bind the hand-made jaw-dropping deluxe edition of the book. It is nothing short of book-making porn:
The pricetag of this lovingly crafted tome? $4600.00.
But not to worry. The trade edition of Pictorial Webster’s is an affordable $35.
Only two more sleeps ’til Hallowe’en, kiddies! If you youngsters need a little help drawing monsters, then Monsterman ‘Scary’ Harry Borgman can help.
Way back in 1974 Harry drew a little booklet called “How to Draw Monsters”. By then, Harry had been drawing cars, people, landscapes and just about anything else you can think of for more than three decades. Harry began his commercial art career in Detroit in 1946.
In the early 70’s not only was Harry drawing cartoon Draculas… he also drew some gorgeous realistic Dracula illustrations for a book called “Great Tales of Horror and Suspense”.
Harry’s varied career has given him a wealth of esoteric experiences. For instance, though he was never one of “Mad’s maddest artists” he was one of Sick’s sickest artists. The cartoon creeps below are a great example of his ’sick skills’.
Harry is now 81 and still going strong. In fact, he’s just celebrated the first anniversary of his blog. Drop by Harry Borgman’s Art Blog and you’ll see for yourself that this amazing illustrator can teach you how to draw monsters… and a whole lot more!
* I’ll be featuring a dozen scans from “How to Draw Monsters” on my own blog on Saturday October 31st, but you can preview them all ( and tons of other amazing Harry Borgman art) in my Harry Borgman Flickr set.