Another Norman Rockwell exhausted Santa

Norman Rockwell Santa

Norman Rockwell Santa (details)

Another of Norman Rockwell’s tired Santa illustrations, this one before rather than after his world-round ride, as in the illustration I featured in this post from 2017.

I love the fact that Santa is apparently oblivious to the elf on his shoulder hanging onto his ear as he leans out to point.

Source for the image is this article from the Union College Clocktower.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Will Terry

Will Terry illustration

Will Terry illustration

Will Terry is freelance illustrator with a history of both editorial and children’s book illustration. His emphasis currently is on the latter, and he has worked with publishers like Random House, Simon Schuster, Scholastic, Penguin, Klutz, and Albert Whitman.

He has also created widely circulated indie ebooks and is the co-founder of the online children’s book illustration instruction program Society of Visual Storytelling.

Terry’s style has a lively cartoon-like energy combined with sophisticated rendering. I particularly enjoy his textures and theatrical lighting effects. On his website you will also find examples of sketches and drawings.

Will Terry has a YouTube channel on which he offers advice to aspiring illustrators.


Austin Briggs, The Consumate Illustrator

Austin Briggs, The Consumate Illustrator

Austin Briggs, The Consumate Illustrator

I initially encountered the work of Austin Briggs (see my previous post) in his role as a comics artist — working as an assistant to the great Alex Raymond, and eventually ghosting Raymond’s Flash Gordon newspaper strip, and taking over in a credited role on Secret Agent X-9.

Briggs’ work in comics was a sideline, however; he was primarily known as one of the great American illustrators of the 20th century. He started in advertising illustration, but moved into editorial illustration, which is where he made his mark, providing illustrations to prestigious magazines like Redbook, Cosmopolitan, and The Saturday Evening Post.

Briggs was a relentless experimenter; he was always pushing the boundaries of his approach to illustration, and expanding the language and range of that art form in the process.

I was delighted to receive a review copy of a new book from Auad Publishing that showcases the work of Austin Briggs from all phases of his career.

Austin Briggs: The Consumate Illustrator is an absolutely beautiful volume; nicely sized at 9×12″ it features 160 pages crammed with Briggs’ illustrations in both color and black and white. Briggs exceled in both areas, his black and white and tone drawings are remarkably economical given their power and expressive nature. His color work is simultaneously bold and subtle.

The range of his work, its dynamism and nuance is captured beautifully in this volume from Auad. They already have a reputation for presenting the work of great illustrators with high production values and great attention to detail and selection, and this book continues in that fine tradition.

The book includes a knowledgable and fascinating text by David Apatoff, that drew on an interview Apatoff was able to conduct with Briggs’ son, Austin Briggs Jr., who also contributed the forward.

Apatoff has two posts about the book on his own, always excellent blog, Illustration Art: here and here.

I had seen some of Briggs’ work in pieces here and there, but to see a collection like this upped my impression of his accomplishments even further. I recommend the book highly and suggest that if you’re interested, you should order sooner rather than later. Auad Publishing limits their print runs and does not do reprints.

Austin Briggs: The Consumate Illustrator is available direct from Auad Publishing for $34.95 plus $5 domestic shipping.

There is a small set of preview images on the Auad site if you click on the book cover image. I’ve added general links to Austin Briggs material below. You can find more if you do an image search for Austin Briggs.



Ariduka55, illustrations

Ariduka55, illustrations

Ariduka55 is the handle of an unnamed Japanese artist who, among other subjects, has a series of images in which humans are juxtaposed against unnaturally large animals, both real and imaginary.

These are presented in a style that is influenced by concept art, anime, and in particular, the anime designs of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.

I can’t find a normal website for the artist, other than Tumblr and Twitter, and a Pixiv site (that requires an account to view more than the first few images).

[Via Design You Trust]


N. C. Wyeth

N. C. Wyeth illustrations and landscape paintings

N. C. Wyeth illustrations and landscape paintings

When I first started Lines and Colors back in 2005, I actually wondered if I might run out of artists I admire to write about. Some fourteen years and several thousand posts later, my list of potential subjects is longer than the lost of those I’ve covered.

There are some artists, however, who are among my very favorites, that I have not yet covered. In the case of N. C. Wyeth, I’ve allowed myself to be intimidated by the task of conveying my respect and and enthusiasm for his work, and I’m remiss in not getting to this post sooner.

Along with his teacher, Howard Pyle, Newell Convers Wyeth was both one of America’s best and most beloved illustrators, and one of America’s great painters in any sense.

Given Pyle’s stature, influence and level of accomplishment, it’s no mean feat that — in my opinion, at least — the student surpassed the master in many respects.

While Pyle brought a new level of dynamics and drama to previously staid and theatrical approaches to illustration, Wyeth took his teacher’s mastery of drama and cranked it up to 11, placing the viewer on the edge of impending action or danger.

In the process, Wyeth developed a dramatic and remarkable use of light and strong value contrasts, often setting a foreground character in deep shadow against a brightly lit background.

Wyeth was also a master of texture, and many of his settings and backgrounds resound with a beautiful naturalism that owes much to his secondary practice of landscape painting.

If you search, you will find many references to N. C. Wyeth’s career as an illustrator, both in collections and reproductions of the classic books he illustrated, titles like The Black Arrow, Robin Hood, Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The Mysterious Island, The Boy’s King Arthur, The White Company, The Last of the Mohicans and many others.

What you will see less often, but can find with some digging, are examples of Wyeth’s landscapes, both of the area around Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania — where he settled after moving to the area from his home in Massachusets in order to study with Pyle — and of the area around his eventual summer home in Maine.

In his landscapes in particular, but also in his illustrations, Wyeth was a restless experimenter. He was familiar with Daniel Garber and other artists of the nearby New hope school of Pennsylvania Impressionists, and many of his paintings draw on Impressionist technique. You can also see the influence of regionalist painters like Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood.

Wyeth taught all of his children art, most notably, his son, Andrew Wyeth. N. C. was an imposing figure, both in personality and in his ability, and I have to wonder if his overwhelming command of drama and bold color led Andrew to choose his path of muted colors, textural paint application and contemplative subject matter.

N. C. Wyeth also did commercial illustration, murals, still life and other subjects. There are significant collections of his work in the Farnsworth Art Museum and the Portland Museum of art in Maine, and in particular, in the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA.

I grew up in the area around Wilmington, Delaware and the Brandywine Valley, and I’ve been going to the Brandywine River Museum since it opened while I was in my early 20s. N. C. Wyeth has been a big influence on my appreciation of art in general and illustration in particular.

The museum ordinarily has an extensive exhibit of N. C. Wyeth’s work — as well at the work of his son, Andrew Wyeth, and his grandson Jamie Wyeth — but at the moment there is a special exhibition, N. C. Wyeth: New Perspectives, that features work drawn from the permanent collection, as well as many pieces borrowed from other museums and private collections, and includes a number of his rarely seen landscape paintings.

The exhibit runs until September 15, 2019.

There is a catalog accompanying the exhibit, and there are a number of other books with Wyeth’s work, including beautiful hardbound reproduction editions of many of the classics he illustrated as well as collections, like Visions of Adventure: N. C. Wyeth and the Brandywine Artists, that offers and introduction to some of his contemporaries and other students of Howard Pyle.

There is also a Catalogue Raisonné of his work, expensive as a two volume boxed set, but accessible in an online version courtesy of the Brandywine River Museum that is one of the best places to see some of N. C. Wyeth’s landscapes, even if reproduced smaller than we might like.


Jean-Pierre Gibrat

Jean-Pierre Gibrat, French comics artist, Flight of the Raven, bandes dessinées

Jean-Pierre Gibrat, French comics artist, Flight of the Raven and others, bandes dessinées

Jean-Pierre Gibrat is a French comics artist and writer noted for his graphic historical novels set during wartimes in France.

He gained the attention of American readers of European comics with the translated version of his 2002-2005 graphic novel, Flight of the Raven, set in Paris during the WWII occupation.

The book is beautiful, filled with lush evocations of Paris. Gibrat studied various locations in pen and watercolor before translating them into story backgrounds in his comics drawing style, which is also done in pen and watercolor. Gibrat is also noted for his appealing depictions of female characters, and his attention to the visual details of everyday life.

Flight of the Raven was preceded by a related story (but not a direct prequel) set in the same time period, The Reprieve, and was followed with a three volume story, Mattéo. — also set against the backdrop of war, but further back in time, in this case WWI.

You can find a number of his books on Amazon, some translated into English, some in French and other language editions.

The Reprive and Flight of the Raven were published in multiple volumes in France (three and two volumes, respectively) but were combined into single titles in the English language versions. The three French volumes for Mattéo are apparently being translated individually; only one has been released so far, the second English language volume is due in November of 2019.

Though he is both the artist and writer for his current work, Gibrat’s history of comics art goes back further, through collaborations with Jackie Berroyer and other writers, and work in the French comics magazine Pilote.

As far as I can determine, Gibrat does not have an official website, so I’ll point you to what resources I can find. You can also just try a Google images search for “Jean-Pierre Gibrat“.

[Note: Some of Gibrat’s work is erotic in nature, particularly a graphic novel titled Pinocchia, and a search may turn up images that are NSFW.]