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Richard Amsel

Richard Amsel - Artist Spotlight

Richard Amsel (Dec 1947 – Nov 1985) was an American illustrator and designer particularly well-known for his work during the 1970s and 80s including the first 2 Indiana Jones films, The Dark Crystal and Chinatown. He can easily be counted among the great poster artists such as Drew Struzan and Bob Peak, and his work is often recognisable for it’s bold graphic design taking reference from the work of 1920’s illustrators such as J.C. Leyendecker. Although his career also boasted a 13 year run of TV Guide covers, it’s wasn’t as prolific as Struzan or Peak, but the quality is unmistakable and well worth studying. Reference – Pinterest Board –Richard Amsel Websites – Amsel |  American Art Archive Recommended Reading; Art of the Modern Movie Poster Film Posters…

Darwyn Cooke

Darwyn Cooke - Artist Spotlight

Darwyn Cooke (born 1962) is an award-winning comic book artist, writer and designer best known for his work on Catwoman, The Spirit and (one of my favourite series of books), Richard Stark’s Parker. He has also worked on various animation projects including Batman: The Animated Series with Bruce Timm, which became a cult favourite among fans for its dark, art deco style and complex storytelling. His deceptively simple, highly graphic illustrations have a classic sophistication that harks back to hard edge noir tales of the 1940’s and 50’s, with a loose, inky appeal that makes for inspirational viewing for students of black ink and brush; a look no more evident than in the Parker series. Those looking for intelligent crime writing matched with expertly considered illustration…

Eyvind Earle

Eyvind Earle - Artist Spotlight

Eyvind Earle (April 1916 – July 2000) was an artist and designer whose work at the Disney Studios during the 1950s contributed to some their best-loved features including two of my favourites, Sleeping Beauty and Lady and the Tramp. His unmistakable style is particularly evident in Sleeping Beauty with his beautifully designed backgrounds, characters and colour scheme making this one of Walt Disney’s most visually striking pictures. Earle’s is a clearly defined and confident style that continues to be heavily referenced by animators today. Owners of the Sleeping Beauty Blu Ray should seek out the special feature ‘Four Artists Paint One Tree’ which features Earle and other Disney artists on a research trip painting their own interpretation of the same subject. A brilliant little documentary and…

Coby Whitmore

Coby Whitmore

Coby Whitmore (1913-1988) was an American lifestyle illustrator whose prolific output working at the Charles E. Cooper studio was used in advertising for top brands of the 1940s and 50s and featured in magazines including The Saturday Evening Post, McCalls and Cosmopolitan. He was counted among the top illustrators in this field along with fellow artists Al Parker and Jon Whitcomb, with a particular gift for painting beautiful and fashionable men and women. Creative page composition, expertise with colour and the skill of focusing the viewer’s attention by placing carefully rendered details among bold shapes and patterns are aspects of his work that set it apart from similar illustrators from the period. Reference – Pinterest Board –Coby Whitmore Recommended Reading;  Lifestyle Illustration of the 60s by Rian Hughes Masters of…

Reynold Brown

Reynold Brown

Reynold Brown (1917-1991) was a commercial artist best known for his prolific output for movie posters during the 40s, 50’s and 60’s with a portfolio thought to be approaching nearly 300 posters. Although he also worked extensively for magazine and advertising clients, it’s his iconic work for movies such as This Island Earth, Attack of the 50ft Woman and Creature from the Black Lagoon that are most loved and remembered, and helped to define the ‘look’ that we all now recognise as 1950’s, B-movie science-fiction. As well as these atomic-age classics he also produced posters for the epic historical dramas Ben-Hur and Spartacus, along with more contemporary movies such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. But it’s the posters that ring with the sound…

Al Parker

Al Parker Illustrator

Al Parker (1908-1985) was a hugely popular American illustrator, often referred to as the ‘Dean of Illustrators’. His work appeared in all the major lifestyle magazines of 1930’s -1960’s including, Collier’s, Ladies Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, Saturday Evening Post, Sports Illustrated and Vogue. His colourful and lighthearted paintings helped to define the ‘look’ of lifestyle illustration of the period leading to a largely imitated style, though only a few managed to match his sense of colour, composition and page design. He later became one of the founding members of The Famous Artists School, a series of instructional art courses conceived by Norman Rockwell and Albert Dorne.   Reference – Pinterest Board –Al Parker Recommended Reading;  Lifestyle Illustration of the 60s by Rian Hughes  

J.C. Leyendecker

J C Leyendecker

Joseph Christian Leyendecker (1874 – 1951) was a prolific artist of the American Golden Age who’s fashionable depictions of sophisticated men and women graced the major lifestyle magazines of the period, including a run of 322 Saturday Evening Post covers; a figure unmatched before the arrival of Norman Rockwell. He is also well-known for his advertising work for clients such as Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Ivory Soap and most importantly, the creation of the Arrow Collar Man, a glamorous 1920’s fashion icon modeled on his lifelong partner Charles Beach. J.C. Leyendecker’s unique style is synonymous with a decadent past and won him a cult following during his own lifetime and artists of today such as Drew Struzan, in which Leyendecker’s influence can be seen in the Alice Cooper – Welcome…

Mark Schultz

Mark Schultz

Mark Schultz (1955) is an American comic book writer and artist famous for his creation Xenzoic Tales (otherwise known as Cadillacs and Dinosaurs) in which a world altered by ecological cataclysm is now inhabited by both humans and dinosaurs, not to mention all sort of other strange creatures. His work combines rip-roaring adventure stories with Frazetta style action and 1940s pin-ups to impressive effect and make for hugely enjoyable reading. His pen and ink work is highly accomplished particularly well known for the dry brush technique in which you allow paint to dry slightly on the brush before application resulting in a textured effect. For me personally, his pen and ink work is some of the best in comics and if you agree you’ll be…

Andrew Loomis

Andrew Loomis

Andrew Loomis (1892–1959) was an American artist of the period known as the Golden Age, with work appearing frequently in books, magazines and advertising and was comfortable in a wide variety of styles and mediums. Although all of his work is of an extremely high quality, it’s his series of popular instructional books that will remain his lasting legacy. Through works such as Figure Drawing for All it’s Worth and Creative Illustration, which give clear and thorough teaching he inspired scores of artists including modern comic books legends such as Dave Stevens and Alex Ross. Today they are gaining a new following thanks to Titan Books and remain the books of choice for those serious about developing their craft. Pinterest Board – Andrew Loomis Recommended…

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