Entries in graphic (120)

Tuesday
Dec042018

An Edwardian Selfie

Eeep! The last few months of the year have just slipped away so quickly, and once more the only posts on this Sketchbook blog are calendar pictures one after the other. I’ve already blamed my old iMac last time, but it does inevitably get busy at this time of year.

Our Edwardian family here are getting ready for their Christmas selfie, a charming festive scene to end the year on. I love the small details in this painting, like the Dutch tiles on the fireplace, the decorated tree ornaments, and the way the child is playing with this new technology, pretending to take the cat’s photo with a box! And the cat is posing perfectly, of course.

It will soon be time to start the annual hunt for a calendar, but in the meantime, I hope your December is full of pleasant business and fun as you wind up the year.

Saturday
Nov172018

The Windmills of Montmartre

Hello! Belated November greetings, in part due to my poor old iMac dying a wheezing death and my website become partially inaccessible. I’m now up and running with a new iMac and all the latest whizz-bang software, so I am delighted to bring you this charming illustration of two black cats and a windmill.

I love the wobbly, hand-drawn text, the roughly-hewn windmill and muted colour scheme in this screen print. It’s easy to see the inspiration behind the vintage-style illustrations and fonts that are so in vogue today. The nostalgic charm with which they imbue designs is very appealing and uplifting.

I’ve not been to Paris, so it was interesting to read that once there were thirty windmills standing atop the hill of Montmartre – it must have been such a distinctive sight, though now there is only one functioning windmill left.

I hope you are having a happy mid-November!

Tuesday
Sep252018

Warhol’s Captivating Sense of Fun

Looking at Cecil Beaton’s illustrations immediately put me in mind of Andy Warhol’s own illustrations, which I have always preferred to his fine art output. In the 1950s and before he became his own brand, Warhol worked in the advertising industry as a very successful artist. He even won several Art Directors Club awards.

Warhol moved to New York in 1949 after studying commercial art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. And for the next ten years he worked on Madison Avenue, illustrating fashion, in particular shoe advertisements for I. Miller and other advertising clients; LP covers; and several books, such as 25 Cats Named Sam and One Blue Pussy, Love Is A Pink Cake, and Wild Raspberries.

He returned to drawing in the 1970s, continuing to his death in 1987, but probably his most famous are the shoe drawings, which were published on Sundays in the New York Times, with captions written by his mother. (I must say I much prefer Warhol’s shoe illustrations to the work of another famous shoe illustrator, that of Manolo Blahnik.)

There is a lovely, light unselfconsciousness in Warhol’s drawings; in the imprecise linework that charms; in the whimsical creatures that inhabit the drawings – unicorns, yapping lapdogs and well-to-do pussycats wearing pearls. The sense of fun is captivating.

Images found on Pinterest.

Friday
Aug312018

Spring is Coming Tomorrow!

Image from The Graphics FairyYes, tomorrow is indeed the first day of spring, although our city will not know it, with the temperature plummeting down to 13°C, and rain forecast.

This vintage illustration comes from an old advertising trading card for laundry starch. It’s particularly apt today as I have just accepted delivery of two packets of Retro Clean!

Tomorrow may not be a good laundry day at all, but here’s to the advent to spring – and spring cleaning!

Friday
Aug102018

Killer Diller

When I was a young teen I went through a short period of enjoying reading the adventures of The Phantom. Those comics were probably my last foray into graphic novels, but apart from the adventuring itself, the vintage forties illustrations were particularly appealing.

Click on the images for larger versionsOn the weekend I picked up a reproduction comic of The Phantom Versus “the Spy Ring” in an op shop for $1, and had fun reading it late yesterday evening. While this story came to a satisfactory conclusion, I had forgotten that these were serial! Damn. Now I’ll always wonder if the Phantom ever ran the spy chief Baron to ground.

I was glad however that his fiancé Diana featured prominently in this story, for I enjoyed her 1940s fashions, especially this beach pyjamas ensemble complete with headscarf and high heels that she wore on the dastardly Baron Danton’s yacht.

I have always hankered for a pair of beach pyjamas, but feel stymied not only by their rarity and expense, but the lamentable fact that any vintage jumpsuit I have tried on has proven to be too short in the body for me. You can see it a bit better in this detailed scan below.

In 40s parlance, aren’t they just killer diller*?

* That would be amazing.