Archive for July, 2013

The American Portraitist

Posted in John Singer Sargent with tags , , , , , on July 24, 2013 by bigbabyhead

John Singer Sargent in his day at the beginning of the 20th Century was the man.

Here is a nice list of his works with images and chronology.420px-Sargent_John_Singer_Spanish_Dancer This particular work is so strange to me it looks like she is going north and south at the same time.

Painting Pirates

Posted in David Shannon, Old School Illustration with tags , , , , , , on July 9, 2013 by bigbabyhead
Cover of "How I Became a Pirate"

Cover of How I Became a Pirate

David Shannon_pirates

One of the joys of reading bedtime stories to Sophia, is choosing the material at the library.

She gets to choose a couple and I get to choose too, and I ALWAYS judge a book by it’s cover.

I ran across “How I became a Pirate” a couple of weeks ago and really, really dug the artwork by David Shannon.

The paintings are very old school, brushy and full of color, in the style of Howard Pyle and N C Wyeth.

I don’t know much about David Shannon or his other work, I just wanted to share my enthusiasm about this book.


The Floating World

Posted in Hokusai with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2013 by bigbabyhead

I started this post on Hokusai and his influence as an illustrator in the early age of mechanical reproduction and just got real carried away on the definition of Ukiyo-e, this style, content and technique of woodblock prints when literally defined sounds a lot like the “love culture” of the 60’s or “glam culture” of the 70’s or even “hip hop culture”. After I spent way too long pondering all this work and reading this quote, the continuity of Hokusai’s work made a lot more sense:

Usually the word ukiyo is literally translated as “floating world” in English, referring to a conception of an evanescent world, impermanent, fleeting beauty and a realm of entertainments (kabuki,courtesansgeisha) divorced from the responsibilities of the mundane, everyday world; “pictures of the floating world”, i.e. ukiyo-e, are considered a genre unto themselves.

I was simply trying find a category for him. Here is a nice collection of 5000 or so pieces of every description.

Chip Kidd on Book Covers via TED

Posted in Chip Kidd with tags , , , , , , on July 4, 2013 by bigbabyhead

A little bit Illustration a little bit graphic design a little bit typography.chip-kidd-book-covers-gallery-page

Another experiment in trying to embed vids.  BTW, TED has a simple embed link just for WordPress.

I first heard of Chip Kidd as the hot new book designer when I read “Dry”  in 2004. I had never heard or thought of a book cover designer before then.

Anatomy of a New Yorker Cartoon

Posted in Robert Mankoff with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2013 by bigbabyhead


From the looks of it, I suppose I gotta upgrade in order to embed video. Until then, here’s one of Bob’s and here’s the link.

Bob Mankoff comics editor at the New Yorker on TED

Commie Pinko Comics

Posted in Burne Hogarth with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2013 by bigbabyhead









HogarthTarzan_GoT29Hogarth D A cover

Hogarth Hand


I was doing some research On Burne Hogarth for the Illustration class and found out all this. I never owned his anatomy books but I have used them for sculpture reference because of the way he masses muscle form very cleanly, regardless of lighting direction, so it seems. His book Dynamic Anatomy is linked through Amazon and I would recommend it to art students interested in a serious study of human form.

What I also found out was that after his successful run in comics as the illustrator for Tarzan, he was instrumental in founding the School of Visual Arts in NYC with Silas Rhodes in 1947. SVA was set up as a trade school for returning veterans after WWII who were interested in entering the Advertising industry as artists and was budgeted largely by the G I Bill.

Just as the school was beginning, it ran into trouble that threatened its existence. In 1956 Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Hogarth were called before a Senate investigations subcommittee and asked whether they were members of the Communist Party. The committee was trying to determine whether Communist influence had tainted vocational schools that were supported largely by federal money.

The SVA is a very legit and accredited art school today largely because of the efforts of Hogarth and Silas. That whole story is at the NY Times obit of Mr. Rhodes here.
Hogarth enjoyed a long and successful career as a teacher and an artist who legitimized the comics trade as sequential art, at least in the eyes of the French. His website, with bio and a lot of images is here.