Archive for the ‘illustration’ Category

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Illustration: Lawson Wood- The Monkey Painter

Lawson Wood's Monkeys

Lawson WoodLawson WoodLawson Wood is one of the most unusual artists of the golden age of magazine illustration, largely because of the subject he chose to illustrate- monkeys… well, to be scientifically accurate, most of them are apes, but to a cartoonist, a monkey is a monkey.

Wood was born in London in 1878 to a family already well outfitted with artists. He developed his skills swiftly, and by age 18 he was a published illustrator. By the early years of the 20th century, he was established as an artist adept at both "straight" subjects and humorous fantasy. His images of cave men and dinosaurs were particularly popular in England, but the paintings that brought him fame in America were his monkeys…

Lawson Wood's Monkeys

This album was brought to us to digitize by archive supporter, Mike Fontanelli, and it gives you a good idea of how much Wood got out of his silly subject matter. Wood’s Gran’pop Monkey and friends graced the cover of many issues of Colliers, and there was even talk of adapting the characters to star in a series of animated cartoons. Ub Iwerks was slated to produce the series, but the outbreak of war and the closing of Iwerks’ studio nipped the idea in the bud. However, Wood understood the value of merchandising early on; he even headed up his own toy manufacturing firm, and he died a very wealthy man in 1957.

Some people can’t get past the "kitsch factor" of Wood’s illustrations. But even those who hate his work have to grudgingly admit that he had wonderful painting technique. Love him or hate him, here is Lawson Wood…

Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Mike Fontanelli recently brought by a big stack of vintage Colliers magazines with Wood covers for us to scan as well. Check these babies out!

Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys

The other day, I was surfing blogs and I came across a post that popped my eyes on Will Finn’s blog, Small Room. It featured scans of a fabulous Wartime era calendar by Wood from Will’s collection. I dropped him a note and he generously brought it by for us to scan. Here are a few samples…

Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys

There are more images from this great calendar in Will’s article on Lawson Wood. If you haven’t bookmarked Will’s page yet, you should. Where else are you going to find inspiration and insight like the stuff on Will Finn’s Small Room?

For more info, see Bud Plant’s terrific Lawson Wood Bio. Many thanks to Will Finn and Mike Fontanelli for their generous support of this project.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

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

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

REFPACK009: 101 Beautiful Engravings By Gustave Dore


REFPACK 009
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March-April 2016

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Gustave Dore


101 BEAUTIFUL IMAGES BY GUSTAVE DORE

Gustave DoreGustave DoreGustave Dore was probably the most famous illustrator who ever lived. He was born in 1832 in Strasbourg, France and began drawing at the age of five. He was entirely self-taught with an instinctual knack for light, form and composition. At the age of 15, he talked his way into the office of publisher, Charles Philipon to show him his sketches. At first Philipon found it amusing that such a young boy would be so brash, but once the drawings were laid out in front of him, he couldn’t believe his eyes- He thought it must be a trick. Dore sat down at his desk and proceeded to knock out a few more sketches for him on the spot to prove that the work was indeed his. Young Dore was immediately signed to a contract, and within a year, he was the highest paid illustrator in France, exceeding the per page rate of Honore Daumier, France’s most celebrated printmaker at the time.

Gustave Dore
Dore is primarily known as an illustrator today, but his first successes were in the field of cartooning. Thousands of his "grotesque caricatures" were published in various magazines in France in the 1850s and 1860s, as well as appearing in the prestigious British humor magazine, Punch. The cartoons in this article appeared in a book titled 200 Sketches Humorous and Grotesque which was published in London in 1867. (More on that amazing book in the near future…) Dore’s style ranged from the wildest exaggeration to classically constructed human figures- and every variation between the two. In addition to drawing, he was also an accomplished painter, sculptor and engraver.

Gustave Dore
In 1847, Dore decided he wanted to create a book of engravings based on a great literary work, Dante’s Inferno. He visited the offices of Louis Hachette, the most successful publisher in Paris. Even though no book up to that point had sold for more than 15 Francs, Dore told Hachette that he wanted to produce a deluxe oversize book of engravings that would sell for 100 Francs. The publisher scoffed at the idea and assured him that no book would ever sell at that price. But Dore called his bluff, offering to pay the printing and binding expenses if Hachette would manufacture and distribute the book for him. Dore created 76 full page engravings for Inferno, and financed a print run of 100 large format books. Within two weeks, the first printing had sold out and Hachette was eager to eat his words and publish the book on Dore’s terms.

Gustave Dore
With a team of the greatest available engravers working under his supervision, Dore went on to create iconic engravings for Don Quixote, Baron Munchausen, Fontaine’s Fables, Milton’s Paradise Lost and the Bible, among many others. In just three years, he produced over 2,000 engravings, and continued to maintain an incredible pace for another two decades. Although Dore’s paintings and sculptures were exhibited in museums with great success, his most important legacy wasn’t as a fine artist. Vincent Van Gogh called him… "an artist of the people". Dore was the first serious artist to use the power of modern technology, specifically engraving and electrotypes, to deliver his art directly to the masses. His Bible illustrations alone were published in almost 1,000 editions around the world. Just about every serious reader in the late 19th century had at least one volume in his library that included Dore illustrations, and his work continues in print to this day.

Gustave Dore
The influence of the imagery of Gustave Dore can be seen in classic movies like Intolerance, King Kong, Great Expectations and The Ten Commandments. Despite the fact that Dore’s engravings are nothing more than lines etched in black and white, he achieved a remarkable sense of scale, depth and mass, as well as truly spectacular lighting effects. It’s no wonder that the masters of epic filmmaking, D.W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille and David Lean referred to Dore’s illustrations for their set designs. Stop-motion animators, Willis O’Brian and Ray Harryhausen have cited Dore as one of their main influences as well. Harryhausen was quoted in an interview as saying, "I’ve always wanted to do Dante’s Inferno, because of Gustave Dore. He had done the first illustrated book of Dante’s Inferno- A Trip Through Hell. I felt that would look terrific in animation, but when I got deeper into it, I thought, ‘Will people be able to sit through an hour and half of tormented souls writhing in Hell?’ Although these days they sit through over two hours of tormented souls!"

Gustave Dore
Set design for D.W. Griffith’s "Intolerance" (1916). See Dore’s depiction of Babylon below.

Gustave DoreGustave DoreAnimation Resources was fortunate to obtain an 1870 edition of the most monumental collection of Dore images ever published, The Dore Gallery. Referred to in the book trade as an "elephant folio" because of its huge size, this two volume set contains hundreds of high quality engravings from many of Dore’s greatest works. Our scanning team has been carefully digitizing this amazing book, resulting in archival quality scans.

REFPACK009: 101 Beautiful Images By Gustave Dore
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Gustave DoreGustave DoreGustave DoreGustave Dore

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Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Inbetweens: Jiri Trnka

Jiri Trnka was one of the greatest animators who ever worked with puppets. There is a wealth of information on his art and career on the web. Here is just a small sampling…

PHOTOS

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

FILMS

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

ILLUSTRATION

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

Jiri Trnka Puppet Animation

For more information on this great animator and illustrator, see…

Jiri Trnka DVDJiri Trnka DVD




DVD collections of Trnka’s important puppet films have been very hard to come by in the past. Luckily, there is a really good one available right now… The Puppet Films of Jiri Trnka It’s a bit pricey, but well worth it. Recommended.