Archive for the ‘illustration’ Category

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Illustration: Gustaf Tenggren’s Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Tenggren

TenggrenTenggrenThis is a real treat… an extremely rare 1923 edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren.

When I first began my work sharing the stories of the great artists of the past with you, there was very little information on Tenggren online other than a few of his concept pieces for Disney film. I’m happy to have had a part in changing that. Tenggren is one of the most influential and creative illustrators of the 20th century. No other artist reinvented himself the way Tenggren did.

This book is one of the peaks of his early classical illustration career. It’s extremely rare, having never been published in the United States. I’m happy to be able to bring it to you.

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Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

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

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Illustration: Frank Reynolds Paints Pickwick

Frank Reynolds

Frank ReynoldsFrank ReynoldsFrank Reynolds is a name that you don’t hear mentioned much when artists are discussing classic illustrators. That’s a shame, because there is a lot to learn from his work.

Reynolds was born in 1876, and gained fame for his humorous drawings in Punch, Sketch and The Illustrated London News. His specialty was caricaturization, and at the time, his drawings were described as being non-specific and even ugly. But with modern eyes, the clearness of compositions, economy of detail, and expressive caricature fit right in with what illustrators like Norman Rockwell were doing in the 40s and 50s. The books of Charles Dickens provided the perfect subject for Reynolds’ talents.

Frank Reynolds

In an article on Reynolds (available for viewing at Project Gutenberg) A.E. Johnson wrote: "It is related of Charles Dickens that the creation of many of his famous characters was inspired by a chance remark overheard in the street. A single telling sentence, uttering some quaint sentiment, perhaps in quaint idiom, would set up a train of ideas ultimately resulting, after much meditative elaboration, in a Mrs. Gamp or a Dick Swiveller. The process is not dissimilar, one imagines, from that by which the artist evolves a character sketch: with this difference, that whereas a solitary trait accidentally revealed, was to Dickens sufficient foundation upon which to construct his fanciful portrait, such studies of types as Frank Reynolds excels in must be the outcome, not of one ‘thing seen,’ but of reiterated observation of the same thing in identical or closely similar guise."

There’s a lot to know about this great artist. Project Gutenberg has posted an overview of Reynolds’ career. Check it out.

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Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

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

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Illustration: Arthur Rackham’s Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Arthur Rackham

Arthur RackhamArthur RackhamArthur Rackham was one of the most influential illustrators who ever lived. If you aren’t familiar with his work, see Bud Plant’s biography. These scans are from a first edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales from 1909. This book is packed with amazing color plates and ink sketches.

Along with Edmund Dulac, Rackham was one of the most popular book illustrators of the early 20th century.

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 which reached its peak in Pinocchio, setting the standard for Disney cartoons throughout the 1940s.

Of Rackham’s style, Bud Plant writes, “Most obvious, in retrospective, is the calm and good humor of the drawings. They seem imbued with a gentle joy that must have been reassuring to both the children and their parents. Rackham had found his niche. His drawings would convey a non-threatening yet fearful thrill and a beauty that was in no way overtly sexy or lewd. It was a perfect Victorian solution and he seems to have taken to it with an impish delight.”

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Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

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