Archive for the ‘illustration’ Category

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.”

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

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

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

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Illustration: Kay Nielsen’s 12 Dancing Princesses and Hansel and Gretel

animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel

animationresources.org Nielsen was a Danish illustrator who is best known today for his concept work at Disney on Fantasia. Nielsen’s pastels of Chernabog from the “Night on Bald Mountain” sequence set the mood and gave animator Bill Tytla a big boost. But among illustrators, Nielsen is best known for his illustrations for his masterful work on East of the Sun and West of the Moon. His style was ornate and decorative, blending elements of Aubrey Beardsley and John Bauer with Persian illuminated manuscripts and Oriental motifs.

Here is some of Nielsen’s earliest work, his illustrations for Twelve Dancing Princesses…
kay

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

And here is a sampling of animationresources.org Nielsen’s later style- the illustrations for Hansel and Gretel and Stories from the Brothers Grimm…

animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel

Visit our Kay Nielsen Gallery at Imagekind to order fine art prints of beautiful illustrations from “East of the Sun West of the Moon”. The prints are made from high resolution scans off a pristine first edition from the collection of Animation Resources. You can order individual prints, or a huge sheet with all 25 images from this landmark illustrated children’s book. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these prints goes to support Animation Resources.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

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

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Pinups: Alberto Vargas

Alberto Vargas

Alberto VargasAlberto VargasWe’re very grateful to archive supporter, Chad Coyle for allowing us to digitize his collection of cartoons and illustrations from 1960s Playboy magazines. You might remember our previous posts on Erich Sokol, Eldon Dedini, Doug Sneyd and Phil Interlandi. Today, we focus on the "Grand Old Man" of pinup art, Alberto Vargas.

Vargas was born in Peru in 1896, and travelled to Europe with his family in 1911. His father was a photographer, and Vargas was exposed at an early age to the airbrush as a retouching tool. He studied to be a photographer, and worked in New York as a retoucher for a time, but Florenz Ziegfeld hired him as an illustrator for his Follies in 1917. He scraped by through the depression illustrating for various publications and movie studios. When George Petty left Esquire in 1940, Vargas took over his position with the magazine. Even though this brought much-needed exposure for Vargas’ work, the contract with Esquire was extremely unfair. The magazine even trademarked the name Vargas had been working under… "Varga" and wouldn’t allow him to use it for any other work. Vargas sued and broke the contract in 1950.

Alberto VargasAlberto VargasVargas added the "s" to his name and proceeded to rebuild his career, illustrating playing cards and taking freelance work for True magazine. In 1960, he was hired as an illustrator for Playboy, the venue that made him famous. The "Vargas Girl" represented a high level of perfection in beauty, erotic- but never vulgar. Even when Playboy would have allowed him to depict full frontal nudity, Vargas always kept his models discretely draped. He worked for Playboy until his 90th birthday in 1976, when he retired. Vargas passed away in 1982 at the age of 96.

Completing this group of postings on the Playboy artists of the 1960s, here is the work of the great Alberto Vargas…

VARGA IN THE 1920s

Alberto Vargas
Alberto Vargas
Alberto Vargas
Alberto Vargas
Alberto Vargas
Alberto Vargas
Alberto Vargas

VARGAS IN THE 1960s

Alberto Vargas
Alberto Vargas
Alberto Vargas
Alberto Vargas
Alberto Vargas
Alberto Vargas

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Magazine CartoonsMagazine Cartoons

This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Magazine Cartoons.