Archive for the ‘illustration’ Category

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

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 advertising designer. But his childlike sense of wonder led him to a career as a children’s book illustrator. Walt Disney met him in 1919 when Disney was an Red Cross ambulance driver and Lorioux’s wife ws a Red Cross nurse. Disney was impressed with his abilities and hired him to illustrate books for the French market based on Mickey Mouse and the Silly Symphonies. A Lorioux illustration of a duck in a sailor suit may have even been the inspiration for Donald Duck! Around 1934, Lorioux resigned from illustrating for Disney, citing the language barrier and also because he didn’t want to relocate to California to join the studio.

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.

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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…

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Thanks to Michael Andrew Wilson for sharing some information in this article. If anyone reading this has more information about Lorioux or his work, feel free to post 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.

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

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.

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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.

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Illustration: Wartime Colliers Magazine

Wartime Colliers Magazine Illustration

Wartime Colliers Magazine IllustrationWartime Colliers Magazine IllustrationThanks to Animation Resources supporters Kent Butterworth and Mike Fontanelli, our database includes many great examples of classic illustration from the pages of the "Rolls Royce" of weekly publications, Colliers magazine.

Today, we turn our attention to a very interesting time in American history, WWII. The war effort permeated everyday life throughout the nation, from the richest person all the way down to the poorest. This magazine reflects that, with feature stories, illustrations and ads that all reflect wartime themes.

Wartime Colliers Magazine IllustrationWartime Colliers Magazine IllustrationAt the time this issue was published, circulation for Colliers was nearing 2.5 million readers. By the mid 50s, circulation would rise to 4 million copies, but it wasn’t enough to save the magazine. Competition for ad revenues with television spelled doom for many of the big magazines, and Colliers was forced to go biweekly in 1953, ceasing publication altogether in 1957.

At Colliers, the illustrator was king, and many great artists filled its pages over the years, from Charles Dana Gibson, Maxfield Parrish, Arthur Szyk and F.X. Leyendecker.

If you are interested in classic magazine illustration, see our articles 1930s and 40s Colliers Illustrations and Wash Painting: In Praise of Happy Accidents. Also make sure to check out the modern illustration section of our online exhibit dealing with illustration for our articles on Coronet magazine, Lawson Wood, Arthur Szyk and Earl Oliver Hurst.

Wartime Colliers Magazine Illustration

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Wartime Colliers Magazine Illustration

Thanks to Mike Fontanelli for contributing these great vintage magazines to be digitized for the Animation Resources digital archive project.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

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