Archive for the ‘illustration’ Category

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Illustration: Willy Pogany’s Mother Goose

Willy Pogany's Mother Goose

One of my favorite blogs is David Apatoff’s Illustration Art. David is one of the best writers on the subject of art that I’ve read online. He’s unique because he thinks like an artist and he’s concise, two characteristics that are rare when it comes to art criticism in the blogosphere.

The other day, David posted about one of my favorite illustrators, Willy Pogany. (Read his post HERE.) You might recall that we featured Pogany on the Animation Resources site last Summer… (Willy Pogany’s Drawing Lessons) The post on Illustration Art discusses how much better Pogany’s work was when it was less embellished and more direct. I couldn’t agree more. I would add that it’s even better when it doesn’t take itself quite so seriously. A perfect example of Pogany at his absolute peak is a book that just happens to be my favorite illustrated children’s book, Willy Pogany’s Mother Goose.

Pogany's Mother GoosePogany's Mother GooseI’m afraid that viewing this book on the web puts you at a distinct disadvantage. This is one of those books that expresses itself beyond just the images. The size and weight of the book, the feel of the paper, the proportion of text blocks and margins, and the counterpoint in the layout of opposing pages all contribute to the powerful impression this book makes on the reader. The best way I can describe the feeling of reading this book is that each turn of the page is like revealing a new surprise.

From a design standpoint this book was revolutionary, because in 1928 when it was first published, the norm for illustrated books was to have uniform text blocks filling the bulk of the pages with an occasional hand tipped and tissue protected color plate. Pogany breaks all those conventions and makes every single page a fully illuminated illustration. I think it could be argued that this is one of the very first modern children’s books. The watercolors are rendered quickly in a deceptively simple style, but they’re packed with a million clever design ideas and tremendous spontaneity.

I’m afraid this is one book that I can’t afford a clean first edition copy of. The copy I scanned was battered and worn. I’ve done extensive Photoshopping to remove smudges and creases from the many decades of abuse by tiny fingers, and I’ve done my best to maintain the relative scale and basic compositions of the page spreads. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do.

Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose
Willy Pogany's Mother Goose

One last image (racially insensitive)

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

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

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
Click to see larger
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
Click to see larger
Mary Blair Little Verses
Click to see larger
Mary Blair Little Verses
Click to see larger

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.