Illustrators Special #17: The Art of Glamour (magazine/book review).

In some respects, you do have to wonder why I’m covering ‘Illustrators Special # 17: The Art of Glamour’. Part of it is completest sake and also for the fact that many of our fantasy artists, like Boris Vallejo, Chris Achilléos, Hajime Sorayama, Greg Hildebrandt and Dave Stevens got their names known doing such work before moving into our genre or even while in it. Some artists like Patrick Nagel’s stylised nudes are art gallery favourites. The fact that the art here is worth having a look at also plays a part.

Don’t think all such artwork in any decade was done by male artists as there was a fair percentage of lady artists doing the work as well in acrylics and pastels. A lot of famous actresses before they were famous were also making money by posing, although few are shown here. It would have been interesting to have seen the ratio of illustrations to actual photographs in the various publications as the latter finally did supplant them.

Did you know that the term ‘pin-up’ actually came from the means to secure a picture to a wall? Yeah, I know, its pretty obvious but it is a word we take for granted without dwelling on the meaning.

left: Albert Vargas
right: Henry Clive
All contents (c) The Book Palace 2023

For budding artists, don’t think painting the nude is an easy option to them being dressed. Getting skin texture right is just as hard as getting clothes and their creases correct. If anything, the rules of photography also need to be remembered and getting the right pose to enchant the reader is also an ingredient. Its hardly any surprise when you see the early poses when parts of their attire being caught in doors and whathaveyou that captures the imagination. I made some pin-money at school drawing nudes and I was using colouring pencils.

both: Chris Achilléos
All contents (c) The Book Palace 2023

With so many artists on show here, finding examples to show is tricky, not so much because of the nudity but with examples more in line with our SF/fantasy remit. I should point out all the work shown in this book is tastefully and shows the contrast between the decades as to what was allowable. Outside of ‘Little Annie Fanny’ by Bill Elder from ‘Playboy’, I’m not even sure I would consider any of them as ‘cheesecake’, just good poses and some cheerfully funny. I doubt you would get a similar response if this was done with men posing or have such a wide audience.

left: Steve Fastner
right: Greg Hildebrandt
All contents (c) The Book Palace 2023

An good example of the glamourous genre. Once seen, never forgotten.

GF Willmetts

March 2023

(pub: The Book Palace, 2021. 146 page illustrated squarebound magazine. Price: £30.00 (UK), $ (US) via Bud Plant. ISBN: 978-1-913548-16-2)

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