Eye Candy for Today: Howard Pyle illustration for Mother Hildegarde

The Princess looks into that which she should not have done., from Mother Hildegarde, from The Wonder Clock, pen and ink illustration by Howard Pyle
The Princess looks into that which she should not have done., from Mother Hildegarde, from The Wonder CLock, pen and ink illustration by Howard Pyle (detail)

The Princess looks into that which she should not have done., from Mother Hildegarde, part of The Wonder Clock, a collection of new fairy tales with pen and ink illustration by Howard Pyle. I don’t know the size of location of the original (though I can hope it’s in the collection of the Brandywine River Museum).

Image sourced from this page on the Art & Artists blog.

Pyle was famous for his illustrations of great American adventure stories by prominent authors, but he was an author himself. He wrote and illustrated a wonderful collection of 24 new (at the time) fairy tales, one for each hour of the day. This was one of the illustrations for one of the stories.

If you look on Amazon, you’ll get the impression that the book is out of print, but not so. You can order it directly from the Dover Publications website.

Eye Candy for Today: Van Gogh Wheat Field ink drawing

Wheat Field, Vincent van Gogh pen and brown innk drawing
Wheat Field, Vincent van Gogh pen and brown innk drawing (details)

Wheat Field, Vincent van Gogh; Reed pen and logwood ink over pencil; roughly 9 x 12 inches ( 24 x 31 cm); in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has both a zoomable and downloadable image on their site.

I love these pen and brown ink drawings Van Gogh did late in his career. I feel like he was trying to express color monochromatically. You can actually think of his ink as multi colored in the way he as used it with different size strokes and what looks to me like the addition of small amounts of water.

I think of these effects as highy sophisticated. When you look at the work from early in his full time period as an artist, how rough and basic it was, and compare it to the work in his later years (less then 10 years later), the progress he made as a determined self-taught artist is remarkable.

Eye Candy for Today: Carl Larsson domestic interior

When the Children have Gone to Bed, Carl Larsson, watercolor
When the Children have Gone to Bed, Carl Larsson, watercolor

When the Children have Gone to Bed, Carl Larsson, ink and watercolor, roughly 12 x 17 inches (32 x 43 cm). Link is to image page on Wikimedia Commons. Original is in the NatinalMuseum, Stockholm.

Another of Carl Larsson’s wonderful ink and watercolor domestic scenes. This was part of a series called “A Home”, based on his own home and family.

I particularly like Larsson’s treatment of the lamp and its effects in the directional shadows of objects against the wall and the value statement of the faces.

Eye Candy for Today: Tenniel’s Jabberwock

The Jabberwock, John Tenniel, pen and ink illustration
The Jabberwock, John Tenniel, pen and ink illustration (details)

The Jabberwock, John Tenniel, pen and ink. I don’t know the size or location of the original drawing. Link is to the image page on Wikipedia, which in turn links to a very high resolution image (11.62 mb).

John Tenniel’s beautifully iconic illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s books have never been equaled for their visual charm and definitive interpretations, though Arthur Rackham has perhaps come closest.

I think Tenniel pulled out the stops (or the ink bottle stopper) for his illustration of the Jabberwock, a pseudo-mythical beast that is the titlular creature of Carrol’s nonsense poem Jabberwocky. The poem was part of Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The poem itself, filled with nonsensical terms that are the kind of verbal ticklers that sound like they almost make sense, has been influential and the topic of much conversation and speculation.

I’ve quoted it here for your nonsensical enjoyment and comparison with Tenniel’s illustration:

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

-Lewis Caroll

Eye Candy for Today: Jean-Pierre Gibrat comics panel

Jean-Pierre Gibrat comics panel, Flight of the Raven, Quai de Valmy
Jean-Pierre Gibrat comics panel, Flight of the Raven, Quai de Valmy

Quai de Valmy, Flight of the Raven, Jean-Pierre Gibrat; ink, watercolor and gouache on paper; roughly 25 x 20 inches ( 65 x 51 cm).

Link is to listing on Christie’s auction, where the original art sold for almost 44,000 Euros (roughly $46,000). The listing desctiption is in Franch; (Google Translate to English here).

This is the art from a single panel, part of a single page of a more than 100 page French graphic story (or bande-desinées — literally, “strip of drawings”) titled Flight of the Raven (link is to Amazon used listing). The Englich translation volume is unfortunately out of print and going used for about twice its cover price used, but several English translated editions of Gibrat’s other graphic stories are still available at regular price, and I recommend them highly.

This story, and Gibrat’s drawings, beautifully evoke the look and feel of Paris during the German occupation in WWII.

I love the details of daily activity that Gibrat has worked into the panel. Just beautiful.

For more, see my previous post on Jean-Pierre Gibrat.

Eye Candy for Today: Franklin Booth Esty Organ advertisement ink drawing

Franklin Booth Esty Organ ad pen and ink drawing
Franklin Booth Esty Organ ad pen and ink drawing (details)

Advertisment for Esty Residence Pipe Organ, pen and ink illustration by Franklin Booth, as it appeared in the November, 1923 issue of Country Life magazine. I don’t know the dimaneions of the original art. Link is to the Organ Historical Society.

Interesting to compare this illustration to another of his for the same company.

Who knew a pipe organ could be so transcendent, etherial and vaguely suggestive?

Franklin Booth was a master of pen and ink with a unique style – formed by his missinterpretation of woodcut illustrations as pen and ink when he was learning.

He was absolutely brilliant at creating a wide range of tones from hatching. I love the way he has so effectively and sparingly used areas of pure white — from the light globes to highlights on the figures to the emphasized area of the checkered tile floor.