Archive for the ‘illustration’ Category

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Illustration: Mary Blair’s Little Verses

Mary Blair Little Verses

Mary Blair has become well known in the past few years for her concept work on Disney’s classic animated features of the forties and fifties, but two of her masterpieces remain unavailable for viewing… one is the set of murals she designed at the entrance to Tomorrowland in Disneyland, which were covered up several years ago by a Star Wars-esque plastic wall covering that was supposed to look futuristic… and the other masterpiece is her Golden Book titled, "Little Verses", which has been out of print for over 40 years.

Originally serialized in the children’s magazine, "Highlights" in the early fifties, these paintings were issued as an oversized Golden Book in the early 60s. This particular Golden Book is one of the most sought after titles by collectors. Rita Street was kind enough to loan a copy to be be digitized for the Archive’s image database. I’ve done a little Photoshopping to remove the text, so you can see the paintings unobstructed.

Mary Blair Little Verses
Mary Blair Little Verses
Mary Blair Little Verses
Click to see larger
Mary Blair Little Verses
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Mary Blair Little Verses
Mary Blair Little Verses
Mary Blair Little Verses
Mary Blair Little Verses
Mary Blair Little Verses
Mary Blair Little Verses
Click to see larger
Mary Blair Little Verses
Mary Blair Little Verses
Mary Blair Little Verses
Mary Blair Little Verses
Click to see larger
Mary Blair Little Verses
Click to see larger
Mary Blair Little Verses
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Mary Blair Little Verses
Click to see larger
Mary Blair Little Verses
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Thanks for reading. Please tell your friends about great posts like this at Animation Resources.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit spotlighting Illustration.

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Illustration: Felix Lorioux’s Fantastic Worlds

Felix Lorioux

Here’s another post about an artist you’ve never heard of before, but you’ll never forget once you look at his work! My pal Tony "Superslice" Mora gave me this book as a birthday gift. It’s a real treasure.

Felix LoriouxFelix LoriouxFelix Lorioux was one of France’s best loved artists, but he was a humble, quiet man who did little to promote himself beyond his home country. He was born in 1872 and began as a fashion designer. But his childlike sense of wonder led him to a career as a children’s book illustrator. Walt Disney was impressed with his abilities and hired him to illustrate books for the French market based on Mickey Mouse and the Silly Symphonies. It has been said that a Lorioux illustration of a goose in a sailor suit may have even been the inspiration for Donald Duck. Around 1934, Disney revoked the contract and brought the work in house. Presumably, Walt felt that Lorioux’s illustrations were "off model" and wanted to standardize the look of the books featuring his characters. Ultimately, it was Disney’s loss, not Lorioux’s.

Felix Lorioux

Felix LoriouxFelix LoriouxLorioux went on to illustrate definitive editions of Perrault’s Fairy Tales, Don Quixote, the Fables of La Fontaine and Robinson Crusoe. However, he was most at home painting delicate watercolors of the birds, flowers and insects in his garden. He imagined fantastic worlds populated by these little creatures. This book, "Le Buffon des Enfants: Les Insectes de Chez Nous" is one of his greatest works. Tony was fortunate enough to stumble across a deluxe edition from 1946 that was limited to only 2000 copies. The print quality is astounding. Lorioux’s books are rarely seen in the United States.

Felix Lorioux
Felix Lorioux
Felix Lorioux
Felix Lorioux
Felix Lorioux
Felix Lorioux
Felix Lorioux
Felix Lorioux
Felix Lorioux
Felix Lorioux
Felix Lorioux
Felix Lorioux

I don’t have room on the blog to reproduce this entire book, but check out the way Lorioux incorporates his watercolors into the text of the book…

Felix Lorioux

Here’s another jaw-droppingly beautiful book by Lorioux, Fables De La Fontaine…

Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop
Felix Lorioux Aesop

If anyone reading this has more information about Lorioux or his work, feel free to share it in the comments.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit spotlighting Illustration.

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Illustration: Arthur Rackham’s Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Arthur Rackham

Arthur RackhamArthur RackhamArthur Rackham is probably the single most influential children’s book illustrator. His delicate watercolors define the image of fairy tales in many people’s minds.

If you aren’t familiar with his work, see Bud Plant’s great capsule biography.

These scans are from a rare first edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales from 1909. This beautiful book is jam packed with fabulous color plates and ink sketches.

Rackham’s style merges an organic line and earthy color palette with fantastic imagery. He often slipped faces into trees and clouds, adding an extra layer of wonder to his images. His pastoral subjects often seem to be nostalgic for an earlier time, perfect for bringing fairy tales to life.

Arthur RackhamArthur RackhamWalt Disney admired Rackham’s watercolor and pen & ink style, and instructed Gustaf Tenggren to work with Claude Coates and Sam Armstrong to adapt it for use in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

In animation backgrounds however, the sinewy Rackham line was overly busy, distracting from the characters; so Tenggren evolved towards the more dimensional painting style in Pinocchio, which set the standard for Disney cartoons throughout the 1940s.

At Animation Resources one of our projects is to document the images that acted as inspiration to the artists who created the first animated features. No artist fits that bill better than Arthur Rackham. We’re very fortunate to be able to bring the illustrations from this great book to you. I hope you enjoy them.

Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham

If you like what you see, please share it with your friends by linking to this page from your blog or webpage.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit spotlighting Illustration.