Monday, February 25, 2008

Gustaf Tenggren

Gustaf Adolf Tenggren (1896 - 1970) was a Swedish illustrator known for his Arthur Rackham-influenced fairy-tale style. Tenggren was a chief illustrator for Disney in the late 1930s, his greatest work being designing the old-world style for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and developing the dwarfs personalities. He also worked significantly on Bambi and Pinocchio. He then illustrated many children's books including several Little Golden Books like The Poky Little Puppy and Tawny Scrawny Lion. Sadly, Gustaf destroyed much of his early work and too little survives to this day.

Gustaf Tenggren (Wikipedia)
Some beautiful childrens' illustrations
Classical childrens' illustration (ASIFA)
Cute childrens' illustration (ASIFA)
More Tenggren illustration (ASIFA)
Illustrations for advertisements
The Talented Herr Tenggren (Tinselman)
Bio with illustrations

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Color - Psychology and Trends

In your artwork you use color. But color should never be considered incidental. Color carries personal, cultural and instinctual meaning. Color also comes in and goes out of style on an almost yearly basis. As a fine artist you consider color on an emotional level - hues and tones, complimentary, contrasting, clashing, bright or muted - all generating an emotional response. As an illustrator, you consider your target audience - primaries, pastels, gem colors, saturated hues, soft or high-contrast - what appeals most to who will buy the product. Illustrators will often keep up with color trends, especially when they design high-impact sales products like packaging and magazine covers. But for any kind of artist, understanding color and its psychology and trends can improve your work and actually increase your creativity.

The meaning of color can be defined fairly well - for most of western culture... for instance, while white is associated with pureness in western culture, it symbolizes death in most Asian cultures where wedding dresses are often red, a lucky color. But instinctual responses to color can be fairly universal - such as, dye any food or drink a true blue (not deep indigo like blueberries) and it immediately becomes unappetizing. Blue is absent from fast food places - the most appetizing colors, red and yellow, are dominant.

So here's your project: Explore the links below (I highly recommend using COLOURlovers). Observe colors of products, magazine racks, clothing. Think about the personalities of people and the colors they choose for their environments and clothing. Then, do some art. Start with a very small palette - 2 or 3 colors - that you feel effect each other and the subject matter in some way. Slowly expand your palette for other art. Notice how you are thinking about color. You'll find a deeper love of color that will expand your world in wonderful ways.

COLOURlovers - all things color.
COLOURlovers blog of trends
In The Mod - download color palettes derived from artists' paintings.
Color symbolism and psychology (Wikipedia)
Color Marketing Group - color trend researchers.
Complete Color Harmony Workbook (Amazon)
Color Index (Amazon)

image from COLOURlovers

Monday, February 18, 2008

Franklin Booth

Illustrator Franklin Booth (1874 - 1948) Franklin Booth's amazing and unusual pen-and-ink drawing style came to him as a boy in Indiana, from hours of copying illustrations he loved from magazines - illustrations he thought were pen-and-ink but were actually engravings and woodcuts. His ethereal and careful work lent itself well to works of poetry.

On the Lines and Color blog
A nice gallery
Gallery of small images
3 more nice images
Google Image Search
Wikipedia entry

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

N.C. Wyeth

Illustrator N.C. Wyeth (1882 – 1945) Wyeth's illustrations were perhaps best loved by boys who would make a world of adventure in their backyards. His best known illustrations were for Treasure Island (1911), but he also illustrated Kidnapped (1913), Robin Hood (1917), The Last of the Mohicans (1919), Robinson Crusoe (1920), Rip Van Winkle (1921), and did work for prominent periodicals including Century, Harper's Monthly, Ladies' Home Journal, McClure's, and Outing. His children were raised wild, focusing more on discovery than academics. All his children became artists and scientists - Andrew, his oldest, went on to fame as a fine artist, his most famous painting being Christina's World (1948). N. C. Wyeth was the star pupil of Howard Pyle and became one of America's greatest illustrators. His paintings often reflected the wild west, with portrayals sensitive to the humanity of the Native American. Wyeth died too soon, in a car with his young nephew, stalled on the railroad tracks near his home.

Nice collection
Wyeth at Animation Archive
Robinson Crusoe
Google Image Search
Wikipedia entry

Monday, February 11, 2008

Arthur Rackham

Illustrator Arthur Rackham (1867 – 1939) was a prolific illustrator of children's and adult's books, from Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland, to Midsummer's Night Dream and Edgar Allen Poe. His work has influenced countless illustrators and artist, including Guillermo Del Toro and his Pan's Labyrinth. Enjoy!

Over 200 plates (graphic-heavy gallery)
Wikipedia entry
More Rackham pictures

Friday, February 8, 2008

Jeff Soto

Jeff Soto is one of my favorite artists on the lowbrow art scene. His art seems to me as graphic-heavy dreams, a dimension of logo-like gods invading into our own. And he's a real cool guy. It always amazes me how approachable these artists are. While highbrow artists of other genres can get wrapped up in their intellectual vanity, these "lowbrow" artists (and their kin, like graff artists, animators, comic book artists, etc.) really love the work of other artists and encourage aspiring artists. Anyway, check out Jeff Soto's website and then check out his blog (where he hangs with some of my other favorite artists like Mark Ryden and Gary Baseman).

Audrey Kawasaki

Super awesome artist, Audrey Kawasaki, has a really nice livejournal blog. Her art - with its graceful lines, soft lighting, and natural textures - is inspiring enough but she also blogs about things that inspire her. A must for your bookmarks. Also, check out her portfolio.

She recently scanned some background art for the anime movie Tekkon Kinkreet. The art is stunning! I own the movie and I think it's one of the best movies I've seen.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Disney Backgrounds

A really nice blog of some fine Disney backgrounds by Rob Richards (who plays organ at El Capitan). Explore by cartoon from the lables linked on the left. My favorites are Sleeping Beauty (seen here) and Alice in Wonderland (much of which is strongly Mary Blair influenced). I hope he gets some more Peter Pan backgrounds!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Old Children's Books

Another flickrset... some really incredible scans of illustrations from old children's books. A must-see!

Classic Posters

A flickrset of "Classic Posters"... I don't know about "classic" but these are certainly inspirational! Check 'em out!