Wednesday, October 31, 2012

American Illustrators from The Golden Age

Howard Pyle

Long ago Illustrators were the celebrity’s of their day, household names whose artwork sold magazines, books and products from household appliances to clothes to cars, in the same way that the endorsements of sports figures and actors sell products today. Now apart from Norman Rockwell the public, and a great many art students are unaware of the rich visual past that is the golden age of American Illustration.

Over the past few years there have been a steady stream of books being published about either half remembered or long forgotten illustrators. A reprint of a book on Dean Cornwell came out a few years back and a book on his mentor Harvey Dunn was published a short time ago. There was a book written about Norman Rockwell’s hero J.C. Leyendecker, also an exhibition and catalogue on the father of American illustration Howard Pyle. Robert Fawcett, known as the illustrator’s illustrator also got a book recently with a book on Albert Dorne, founder of the Famous Artist’s School, soon to come from the same publisher. Andrew Loomis’ how to draw books are finally being reprinted.

As excited as I have been about the works that have been published recently it is only scratching the surface of all the great work and artists that remain unknown or unremembered. It takes a bit of research but there is a wealth of images and information about illustrators to be found on line. There is also a great magazine that is published quarterly on American Illustration. The images I post bellow are both a wish list of the artists who I discovered in years ago while an art student along with artists whose work have been collected and printed. 

 Charles Edward Chambers

 Austin Briggs

Dean Cornwell

 Edwin Austin Abbey

 Frederic Rodrigo Gruger

Tom Lovell

Mead Schaeffer

Franklin Booth

Albert Dorne

John Gannam

Thursday, October 25, 2012

If I Had More Time...

 Some days I’m just trying to find something to work on, other days I have so many ideas and so little time.

Pre-inked Red Death Illo
Inked Red Death illo.
I want to work up these illustrations for Edgar Allen Poe’s story ‘Masque of the Red Death’. I have an idea to illustrate the story and I’ve been working up a bunch of thumbnails for it. I think since it’s my own project I’m going to give myself all the time in the world to do it as best I can.

 The Illustration on the left is the pre-inked illustration for the opening of the story. On the right is the inked version which I think I'll redo. I feel I can do a better job.

I also have a number of watercolors I want to paint but all I’ve had the time for lately is to a bunch of quick sketches. Need more time.

 Left and right, a couple of self portraits.

Friday, October 19, 2012

John Buscema and Albert Dorne Illustrator

John Buscema
When I was a kid my biggest artistic influences were comic book artists. I loved the work of Gene Colan, Bernie Wrightson, Neal Adams, Frank Brunner, but I was especially drawn to the work of John Buscema. Buscema drew very convincing anatomy, his faces were very expressive and full of emotion and character. I liked the way he drew regular people, they were even more interesting to me than the superhero’s . Reading in an interview Buscema gave I discovered his biggest influences were Hal Foster, Alex Raymond and an illustrator named Albert Dorne, (not a complete list but these were the names he gave in that interview). 

A wonderful book on the work of John Buscema (left) came out earlier this year

On the right is a good example of Dorne's influence on Buscema's work

Albert Dorne

In High School, (I attended Art & Design in NYC), I was introduced to the work of illustrator’s and ran across the work of Albert Dorne. I could see how he was such an influence on Buscema and other comic book artist. Dorne’s illustrations looked like comic book characters. His illustrations had very expressive faces and hands, (hands were an important part of telling the story in his illustrations. The hands Buscema drew were expressive as well). Albert Dornes work was hard to find and I came across a total of about 5 to 6 illustrations by him. I wanted to see more but they were nowhere to be found. I had to wait several years for the internet to be able to research his illustrations. You can find quite a few of his illustrations on line now if you Google his name. Even better is a book being published on his work by AuadPublishing scheduled to be released in late 2012.

Albert Dorne
Albert Dorne
Albert Dorne

Albert Dorne