I will admit that I’ve gotten a bit spoiled by the general tendency of the web to increasingly provide wonderful art images. If there is an artist whose work was not very accessible five or six years ago, chances are good that more resources are available now, or will be as time goes on.
(Hopefully this will continue, provided the web as we know it is not taken from us and handed over to big media, as they are constantly pushing for — and apparently succeeding, in light of the current legislative threat to net neutrality here in the U.S. — sigh.)
At any rate, I was somewhat disappointed to find that resources for Elizabeth Shippen Green, one of the wonderful artists from the Golden Age of American Illustration, do not appear much more extensive today than when I wrote about her back in 2006. There have been a few additions, but there is still not enough online to do her work justice.
Green was a student of Howard Pyle, and formed a fascinating bond with two of his other students, Jesse Willcox Smith and Violet Oakely, about whom there are somewhat more resources available than Green.
Though she occasionally painted in oil, like Pyle and many of his students, and sometimes worked monochromatic illustrations in charcoal drawings, her primary approach, shared with Smith, was to work in charcoal and watercolor.
An initial charcoal drawing was laid down, that was then fixed, and painted over with watercolor. This process was often repeated, with another layer of charcoal drawing, fixative, and then additional watercolor. The results could be luminous (particularly when seen in person), and often exist in that wonderful twilight between drawing and painting, with some of the best characteristics of both.
I’ve listed what current resources I can find for Elizabeth Shippen Green’s work below; but as I pointed out, they are more limited than I would like.
Fortunately, there is a new book on the artist, as far as I know the first to collect her work: Elizabeth Shippen Green, American Illustrator, by Paul Giambarba, author of the long running and excellent blog, 100 years of Illustration (my post here).
For more about the artist, see my previous post on Elizabeth Shippen Green.