Illustrators # 2 (magazine review).

May 16, 2016 | By | Reply More


With Illustrators # 2, we look at the late artist David Wright whose claim to fame during his career was to paint beautiful women and fast cars for various top end magazines from the 1930s-60s for both sides of the pond. However, even these does not make for a steady income. Influenced by Alex Raymond’s American ‘Rip Kirby’ newspaper strip, he came up with the ‘Carol Day’ newspaper strip that the ‘The Daily Mail’ ran, with his brother-in-law, Raymond White, providing plot and character out-lines. Looking at the samples of the artwork here, Wright relied heavily on drawn tone and texture in comparison to his other work to bring these images to life. When you consider how much commercial tone has taken over from such techniques, you have to admire the craftsmanship that brought it all together.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

An interesting observation when looking over the art of Cecil Langley Doughty is seeing two takes of an 18th century inn painted scene, showing the difference when different characters are added as they changed the dynamic. Much of Doughty’s work was seen in the UK comic magazine ‘Look And Learn’ and were mainly historical pieces. As with all such artists, his ability to capture motion with humans and animals is what makes his painting and inks so eye-catching and he does it with various techniques. A lesson for any artist who stays with only one medium. It might be a painful learning curve, as I’m finding with digital art but doing so, improves technique in all of them.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

Raymond Shepherd is another artist who died fairly young. The magazine spells his name ‘Sheppard’ but if you’re looking up his books, use my spelling. His paintings of animals show here, relying on zoos to study them are certainly eye-catching. Although the text reveals he did a few books explaining how to paint birds, there aren’t too many examples but I can see his brushstroke technique could quickly bring them to life. If you’re of a particular generation, he was also the chap who illustrated the tiger for the Esso adverts. His figure work is also very impressive and a demonstration of drawing from real life is always a good option.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

Renato Fratini might not be a name you’re familiar with but you would certainly have seen his poster work as he did the first illustrated ‘From Russia With Love’ poster. Of particular note to Modesty Blaise fans, he did the paintings of her for the 1965 ‘King’ Magazine when they ran a serial of one of Peter O’Donnell’s stories. Looking at the samples of his art here, I would sum it up as capturing the mood of the scene and understandable why he painted so many romance book covers as well.

As always, it’s worth exploring the back issues of ‘Illustrator’ because you’re always finding something new as well as putting names to artists whose work you might have seen but never realised who or the range of their work. Copies are available in the USA and the likes of Amazon and Bud Plant can certainly help you find them.

GF Willmetts

May 2016

(pub: The Book Palace, 2012. 98 page illustrated squarebound magazine. Price: £15.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-907081-09-5. ISSN: 2052-6520)

check out website: www.thebookpalace.com


Category: Culture, Illustration, Magazines

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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