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Gurney Journey

This daily weblog by Dinotopia creator James Gurney is for illustrators, plein-air painters, sketchers, comic artists, animators, art students, and writers. You'll find practical studio tips, insights into the making of the Dinotopia books, and first-hand reports from art schools and museums.

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Al Dorne Special in Illustration Magazine

Al Dorne Special in Illustration Magazine

Illustrator Albert Dorne is the subject of an entire special issue of Illustration Magazine. Dorne founded the Famous Artists School and worked for decades in the lucrative field of advertising illustration. 

Al Dorne Special in Illustration Magazine
Dorne was also a major influence on the artists for Mad Magazine, such as Jack Davis.

The 80-page issue includes a detailed biography, richly illustrated with dozens of examples of his artwork.

Illustration Magazine Special on Al Dorne
80 pages, 8.5 x 11, perfect bound, printed in full color.

Cream of Wheat Ad Art

Cream of Wheat Ad Art

Nabisco hired the best illustrators in the early 20th century to create a warm feeling about their Cream of Wheat cereal products.

Cream of Wheat Ad Art


Many artists of the Golden Age of Illustration as N.C. Wyeth (top), Haddon Sundblom (above), and Jessie Wilcox Smith, contributed work to Nabisco's advertising efforts.

Cream of Wheat Ad ArtA cache of over 500 drawings and paintings were discovered, locked in metal storage cabinets at the old company headquarters. Long believed lost, these prime examples of advertising art were a surprise to illustration historians.

Notes accompanying the records revealed that the agency fee paid to the artist typically ranged from $200 to $1,000.

Examples of Cream of Wheat Advertising Art on website Period Paper





 

Collaborating on a Glamour Illustration

Collaborating on a Glamour Illustration

Fritz Willis and Joe DeMers were two young artists who collaborated in an interesting way.

Collaborating on a Glamour Illustration

In 1946, they were picked by Esquire magazine to create the inaugural illustration for a new feature called "Esquire Gallery of Glamour." 

Collaborating on a Glamour Illustration
They decided to work together on it and to sign both their names to the result. According to a 1951 newspaper article quoted in Illustration magazine

"They worked closely together, Joe sketching the left eyelid, Fritz the blue in the white eyeball, Joe the left toe, and Fritz the fourth one. Or they might each work on a complete section. DeMers himself explained one cooperative effort: 'Fritz took the arms. I took the face, then he did the feet and I painted the legs.'" 

The new issue of Illustration includes a big article on Fritz Willis, famous for his brilliant pin-ups. It also features paperback cover illustrator Raymond Johnson, with an extensive biography and showcase of his work, plus an academic article called "The Delineation of Desire in 1920s Commercial Illustration."


It's Hard to Classify Will T. Bradley

Will T. Bradley (1868-1962) was the highest paid American artist in the early 20th century*, but don't feel bad if you haven't heard of him.

It's Hard to Classify Will T. Bradley

At a time when magazines were the chief vehicle of cultural expression, Bradley was a prolific and noteworthy cover artist. 

It's Hard to Classify Will T. Bradley

His style featured simple shapes, smooth lines, and large areas of flat colors, which lent itself not only to covers, but also to posters.

It's Hard to Classify Will T. Bradley

When he wanted to, he could draw in a more ornate pen-and-ink style, influenced by Aubrey Beardsley and Alphonse Mucha.

It's Hard to Classify Will T. Bradley

Bradley was a type designer he created the original version of what is now known as Bradley DJR (designed by David Jonathan Ross.) And he was also an art director for Hearst films.
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*More about Will T. Bradley at Wikipedia 

Raymond de la Nézière, Animal Artist

Raymond de la Nézière, Animal Artist

Raymond de la Nézière (1865-1953) was a French illustrator and comic artist with a gift for capturing expressive poses in animal caricature.

Raymond de la Nézière, Animal Artist

He began drawing and painting from a young age, encouraged by his mother, who was a painter and potter. 

Raymond de la Nézière, Animal Artist

In his early years he painted in oil and then began using more gouache and watercolor.
 
Raymond de la Nézière, Animal Artist

He illustrated many books and sketched all sorts of animals, sometimes in naturalistic poses, and sometimes anthroporphized as human types.

He also participated as a hunter and a horseback rider.

Donald Teague's Procedure

Illustrator Donald Teague (1897-1991) was known for his adventure illustrations. His process began with small pencil compositions. 

Donald Teague's Procedure

According to Ernest Watson, "He may make up a score, fifty or even more of these before he takes up his brush for color studies—these also at small scale. 'There is nothing I can add to this,' Teague said."

Donald Teague's Procedure

"'The preliminary sketches are just blood and sweat.' After he has produced a satisfactory color comprehensive, he goes out on location to sketch from models which he poses as they are to appear in the composition. There may be a dozen horses, three or four figures, and a vehicle or two in the picture. All will be sketched in pencil and afterward."

Donald Teague's Procedure

After that the sketches are projected on a sheet of watercolor paper. The pencil lines are finalized without resorting to an eraser, which could introduce unwanted oils. He then produces the final illustration in watercolor or gouache. 

Donald Teague's Procedure

Teague also traveled and sketched from observation with his watercolor set.

Quotes are from the book Forty Illustrators and How They Work

The Horse Pictures of Eduard Thöny

Eduard Thöny (1866-1950) was known for his excellent draftsmanship. 

The Horse Pictures of Eduard Thöny

He loved to include equestrian subjects and often put his horses in dramatic action poses. 

The Horse Pictures of Eduard Thöny

In 1890 he visited Paris to study the historical paintings of equestrian specialist Edouard Detaille.

The Horse Pictures of Eduard Thöny

Die allerhöchste Auszeichnung für Künstler (The Highest Award for Artists) 

In 1899 he made an incisive caricature of the famous artists Anton von Werner and Adolph von Menzel).

The Horse Pictures of Eduard Thöny


See more examples of Eduard Thöny on Wikimedia Commons. (1866-1950)

Previous post on Eduard Thony's Caricatures

Detailed German Wikipedia entry about Eduard Thöny.


Gerber Baby Art

The Gerber baby food company is still using simple charcoal drawing that was produced almost a hundred years ago.

Gerber Baby Art
The company's website says: "In 1928, Gerber held a contest to find a face to represent a baby food advertising campaign. Artist Dorothy Hope Smith entered her simple charcoal sketch of a tousle-haired, bright-eyed cherub of a baby with endearing pursed lips. In her entry, Smith noted that she would finish the sketch if she won. 

"Her drawing competed with elaborate oil paintings, but the judges fell in love with the baby face Smith drew, and when they chose it as the winner, they insisted that the simple illustration remain a sketch. The image of this happy, healthy baby was soon to become the face that launched a brand, a face recognized and loved across the globe."

"Indeed, the illustration became so popular that Gerber adopted it as its official trademark in 1931. Since then, the Gerber Baby has appeared on all Gerber packaging and in every Gerber advertisement."
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Read more at the Gerber baby food website

Animal Fable Illustrations by E.M. Rachev

Animal Fable Illustrations by E.M. Rachev

Evgenii (or Yevgeny) Rachev (1906-1997) was an illustrator best known for his images of animal fables from Russian folk tales.

Animal Fable Illustrations by E.M. Rachev
Postcards based on Russian folk tales, 1960, E.M. Rachev.

He used animal characters to tell his stories, but of course the allegories were really about human foibles.

Animal Fable Illustrations by E.M. Rachev

He said: "If my birds and animals help you to fathom that the story is actually about people it means that I reached the same effect as the folk tales did."
Animal Fable Illustrations by E.M. Rachev


His wife Lidya Ivanovna Racheva collaborated with him by compiling stories, researching costumes, and writing texts.

Animal Fable Illustrations by E.M. Rachev

His books are beloved in Russian and French editions, and there is at least one book of his folk tales available in English.

Brock's Paris Sketchbook

Brock's Paris Sketchbook
C.E. Brock, pen & ink, 8" x 8" (215mm x 205mm), 1902

Charles E. Brock was an English illustrator who produced a series of illustrations for William Makepeace Thackeray's A Paris Sketchbook. 

Brock's Paris Sketchbook

The Paris Sketchbook was based on Thackeray's travels to France after the Revolution, and it contains the author's dry wit and insights about both French and English characters from the era. 

To do the illustrations, Brock needed authentic costumes and props from about 70 years earlier.

Brock's Paris Sketchbook

Brock was one of several brothers who worked together on illustrations. According to a bio on BookPalace,  "He and his brothers maintained a Cambridge studio filled with various curios, antiques, furniture, and a costume collection."

Brock's Paris Sketchbook

Brock's Paris Sketchbook"They owned a large collection of Regency era costume prints and fashion plates, and had clothes specially made as examples for certain costumes. Using these, family members would model for each other."
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Al Dorne Special in Illustration MagazineCream of Wheat Ad ArtCollaborating on a Glamour IllustrationIt's Hard to Classify Will T. BradleyRaymond de la Nézière, Animal ArtistDonald Teague's ProcedureThe Horse Pictures of Eduard ThönyGerber Baby ArtAnimal Fable Illustrations by E.M. RachevBrock's Paris Sketchbook

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