Archive for the ‘illustration’ Category

Friday, June 28th, 2019

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
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Arthur Rackham
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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.

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Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

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.

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Thursday, June 20th, 2019

Illustration: Great LP Record Jackets

Record Cover

Animation Resources volunteer and resident video guru, Eric Graf has amassed an amazing collection of novelty and children’s records from the 50s and 60s. He brought a stack by the other day to be scanned. Check out how these covers make you want to rush to your phonograph to play the record. Tiny, badly designed CD and DVD covers just don’t have the same impact. Thanks, Eric for sharing these with us!

Record Cover
Record Cover
Record Cover
Record Cover
Record Cover
Record Cover
Record Cover
Record Cover
Record Cover
Record Cover
Record Cover
Record Cover
Record Cover
Record Cover
Record Cover

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

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

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