Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gil Elvgren.


Plain and simple, Gil Elvgren taught me how to draw women, and this particular Veronica Lake-ish painting is probably my favorite. I've been such a huge fan of Gil Elvgren for a long time, and get ever so slightly riled up the more I hear people prattle on about Norman Rockwell. Let me be clear, every bit of the praise heaped on Rockwell is unequivocally deserved and I own volumes of his work. Its human nature I suppose to pick out the best of a crop or era, but also unfair, especially to an artist as talented as Gil Elvgren was. Certainly, the two have different styles, but they were different classes of art as well and I suppose that accounts for some of the reason he's overlooked so casually.

Its hard to imagine a life consisting mostly of hiring women as stunning as Elvgren had to stand in various stages of undress for hours and hours and hours, but he did it, and my hat is off to him.

Bottom line here, if you're an aspiring comic artist or have any problems drawing the ladies: Find a book of Elvgren paintings (preferably one with "behind the scenes" photographs and sketches. Buy it. Study it until the covers fall off.

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