Friday, July 19, 2013

Illustration Inspiration: What Happened to George? illustrations by Marge Opitz


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 posting this series here on Rosehaven Cottage Studio called "Illustration Inspiration".

"What Happened to George" written by Betty Engebretson and illustrated by Marge Opitz was published by Rand McNally It has a copyright of 1958. It had been in print for over a decade when I received my own copy as a 2 year old toddler who loved picture books and greeting cards (anything with illustrated art on it).

The illustration style of the book is clearly fifties. As a kid, I so adored the pictures (I still do) because of Marge Opitz's illustration technique. The artwork has a soft feeling like it is done in combination of chalk pastels or color pencil with watercolor washes. I've never been able to determine exactly what medium she used. I do know that her technique is one of the reasons I loved the book so much as a kid. I had a great love for softly rendered colored pencil and pastel drawings even when I was 2 or 3 years old. I don't know why. I just did.

As I re-read the story to Hubby, I've concluded that it definitely wasn't the storyline of "What Happened to George?" that I loved. It was the art. The story is rather disturbing and probably wouldn't get published in today's children's book market.












Despite this twisted storyline, Marge Opitz's representatives of food are so charming aren't they? Especially the unadorned donuts. I think my favorite donut is the last one that is bursting out of the roof of the house. I know... it's supposed to be a tragic ending. But when I was a kid I was too mesmerized by the wonderful shading and textures of the exploding donut. Seriously, I was. And, frankly, I still am.

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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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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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Illustration Inspiration: Grandpa Bunny art by Dick Kelsey and Bill Justice


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 a new series here on Rosehaven Cottage Studio called "Illustration Inspiration".

I received this book when I was 5 years old, and it was already a classic by the time I received it. The illustrations mesmerized me. I was transfixed by the artwork.

I can safely say that this book is largely responsible for making me yearn to be an artist when I grew up. It is probably why I hounded my preschool relentlessly asking her, "When are we going to paint with the easels?"

I also fell in love with seasonal color thanks to these beautiful illustrations and the storyline. To this day, I still think of the seasons and months of the year in terms of what color represent them best.

The funny thing is that I never saw (and have never seen) the film "Funny Little Bunnies" that the book is based upon.


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.
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