Lines and Colors art blog

Eye Candy for Today: Franklin Booth pen and ink advertising illustration

Franklin Booth pen and ink advertising illustration

Franklin Booth pen and ink advertising illustration
Ad for Etsy Organ in House and Garden, Franklin Booth

American artist Franklin Booth, who was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was known for his marvelously intricate pen and ink illustrations, a style that came largely from the young artist confusing images in magazines that were done in wood engraving with pen and ink drawings.

Here, he pulls out the stops (oh, how I delight in that pun) in his illustration for organ manufacturer Estey Organ, printed in House and Garden magazine in 1922.

Booth has created a stunningly beautiful fantasy of the music that will come from the organ — with lines that follow both the volume of the forms and the direction of movement and action. I love the swirls in the hair and the sheen of the draperies.

In addition, all of this modeling and rendering is done at an entire level of values that separates the cloud of imaginings from the darker rendering of the “reality” of the woman and the organ!



4 responses to “Eye Candy for Today: Franklin Booth pen and ink advertising illustration”

  1. Peter Drubetskoy Avatar
    Peter Drubetskoy

    This is indeed quite amazing (contemporary artist Alberto Varanda comes to mind – he is also a master hatcher)
    Do you know if the “cloud of imaginings” was done is some sort of grey or diluted ink?

    1. Thanks, Peter. I’ve seen some of Varanda’s comics work, but not his pen drawings. I’ll check them out.

      I wondered about the ink color, but I didn’t speculate because I don’t have any real information on it. Where I run into difficulty is in the edges of the cloud — where it meets the darker drawing — many of the strokes seem in-between or even vary from darker to lighter within the same stroke. That makes me lean toward thinned ink rather than a different color ink. I don’t know if there is a good reproduction of the original art available.

  2. John Fishman Avatar
    John Fishman

    What an amazing piece! Thank you for bringing it to light. One minor, humorous correction: It’s an *Estey* Organ. Etsy wouldn’t come along for some time! 🙂

    1. Corrected. Thanks.