My new obsession. The way he handles composition, lighting, values and form is just absolutely incredible! There’s so much going on in his group illustration and his sketches are so fluid and effortless.
He began as a newspaper sketch artist on the west coast back in the era when artists were needed to quickly record news events. Some of his early illustrations resemble those of F.R. Gruger, another illustrator who started as a newspaper man.
As a result of that experience, he was extremely prolific, creating about 20,000 illustrations in his career, at a rate of about 800 per year, almost three drawings per day. He had an excellent visual memory and worked almost entirely without models or photo reference.
Even in those days, a single illustration could pay as much a s $3500, so he was immensely wealthy, traveled a lot, and lived like a celebrity.
By the 1940s, his work had fallen out of step with art directors at the major magazines like the Saturday Evening Post. The glamorous life evaporated. In failing health, without having saved money for his retirement, and without steady work, he took his own life.
I can’t get over how amazing her illustrations are! The colours, lighting, her linework. the fact that she colours lineart and the textures are perfect… ahh!! I had no idea illustrative work could even be refined to this level. Her imagination is ridiculous…
I love his painting style, the mix of smooth and visible brush strokes … and they’re thick strokes as well! Who would’ve thought thick strokes could look highly detailed. His people are just so glamourously done and I love the way he paints profiles. Don’t get me started on the way he does backgrounds because I just can’t comprehend it… He’s the only person I’ve seen who paints ‘plain’ backgrounds like that. And they’re not plain it’s just got something so different (the visible strokes again), a 'plain’ background usually recedes but it seems like he wanted people to notice it.
I would just like to point out that the artworks in this post were done without references.
The more I think about it, I guess the reason I’m putting him here is not because of his insanely refined, referenceless works but how he managed to get there. He’s the first artist I’ve seen to post pretty much the entirety of his sketches and relentless pursuit of improving himself is just really inspirational.
The sheer amount of work the artist put in… it didn’t occur to me how much work was involved until I saw his CA sketchbook thread. On every page there’s real life studies, book studies, speed paints, stuff from his imagination etc. And his method is just to do studies and apply them with his imaginative work, find faults within those works and repeat. That’s just such a logical and efficient way to improve and I’m not sure why I never did that…
His dedication to art is pretty amazing. In one of the CA posts he said he’d gotten tendonitis in his right (dominant?) arm. Then he started using his left arm to draw but it started showing the same symptoms … so he put the pencil in his mouth and drew. Nothing stops this guy!