Illustrators #21 (magazine review).

February 27, 2018 | By | Reply More

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

The latest issue of ‘Illustrators’ starts off with a 30 page interview with artist Rodney Matthews. A couple thing I learnt from the off is that he hails from my home county of Somerset and doesn’t sign his work, relying on being recognised by his style. I did wonder why that although I have some of his art in my music collection why I seemed to have missed having any of his books. Although there are a few noted on-line, none recently. Considering the high price some of them cost, you would think a publisher would be after him for something more recent work. Matthews prefers computers as doorstops and paints air airbrushes with coloured inks and there is a demonstration of how he does this with the interview. His pencils are equally detailed and I have to admire his use of frisket film in creating masks prior to spraying.

Rodney Matthews art.
All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

I haven’t come across Stevan Dohanos (1907-1994) but seeing his work here, I’m quickly becoming a fan of his down-to-earth comedy appeal. Contributor Diego Cordoba says that Dohanos saw his own work as being simply done but at odds with the detail he puts into it. With my artistic eye, I spot that all the samples shown here are in a linear straight-on frame and that Dohanos hasn’t been worrying about various perspectives and odd angles and that could be what he meant. Next to Norman Rockwell, he contributed the second most covers to the American ‘Saturday Evening Post’. I love his attention to detail and can see why he was so popular.

Stefan Dohanos.
All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

An artist I definitely have heard of is J.Allen St.John (1872-1957), painter of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan’ and ‘John Carter Of Mars’ book covers, he also drew and painted elsewhere. The sampling given here by Diego Cordoba shows how he can capture the action of the moment and no wonder he became an influence on so many other artists that followed him. His colour palate seems a little pale here so did look a little further and I probably think it was a subject of the times when it was originally painted and I suspect because no one else was doing work that way so was probably one of the instigators. His illustrative work is superlative.

J. Allen St;John.
All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

Finally, a look at the work of Lucy Kemp-Welch (1869-1958), famed for doing the art for Anna Sewell’s ‘Black Beauty’, David Ashford examines her entire career, more so after first visiting a museum where her original paintings could be anything up to 6ft tall. We’ve heard of large paintings before but Kemp-Welch was only 5ft tall. She also preferred to paint where the setting was than rely on a studio. Seeing the paintings here, she was also good with backgrounds and people as well. Very prolific and admired by her peers and a distain for purebreds.

Lucy Kemp-Welch.
All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

As usual, I come away from ‘Illustrators’ with some awe and looking around on the Net for other art samples and books by these artists. They might not always be fantasy but they have work to be admired and respected.

GF Willmetts

February 2018

(pub: The Book Palace. 98 page illustrated squarebound magazine. Price: £18.00 (UK), $21.99 (US). ISBN: 978-1-907081-453. ISSN: 2052-6520)

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Category: Illustration, Magazines

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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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