Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Illustration Inspiration: A Jolly Holiday illustrations by Beverly Edwards and Leon Jason

In the hope of helping to preserve vintage and historic illustration artwork from my own collection and in turn sharing it to inspire new artists and illustrators (and providing a reference for other fans of illustration), I am starting this series here on Rosehaven Cottage Studio called "Illustration Inspiration".

To coincide with the release of the major motion picture Mary Poppins, Walt Disney Productions partnered with Golden Books and published the book "Walt Disney's Mary Poppins: A Jolly Holiday" in 1964. Illustrators Beverly Edwards and Leon Jason were responsible for the illustration art and the story from the film was adapted for the book by Annie North Bedford.

Although I'm not necessarily a big fan of the illustrative treatment of Mary Poppins in all the book's illustrations, there are some art spreads that are quite charming. For example, the two-page illustration (below) of Mary helping the Banks children clean the nursery for the first time is delightful.

Once Bert, Mary and the children jump into the chalk painting to have their "jolly holiday", the illustrations get particularly charming. This illustration of Bert helping Mary take her seat is a favorite of mine.

The creative layout of the two-page spread below is impressive to me. It marries several scenes with the text in a way that's inventive and easy to follow.

A similar treatment is found at the end of the story (below) when Mary wins the horse race. There is an entire song scene in the movie that follows her win, but the storybook adaptation handles the removal of the iconic "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" number quite expertly and leads the reader straight into the close of the chalk drawing adventure when the rain comes.

What I find particularly charming about these illustrations is that they have a style that is uniquely 1960s while remaining true to the motion picture's storyline and Disney's stylings without being a carbon copy of the film.

DISCLAIMER: The sharing of the above vintage illustrations is for educational and referential purposes only. Copyrights are most likely still held by the original publisher/artist. Use of these illustrations for reproduction and/or derivative works for resale may be illegal and an infringement of the original publisher/artist's copyrights. So, in other words, don't make things with these illustrations. It's illegal; it's wrong; and it could cost you a truckload of money when you get sued.

Happy creating and remember...
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