Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Jared's Project - Gil Elvgren

In Bill Presing's interview, he talked about a guy called Gil Elvgren, and I decided to check out this guy's art pieces.

Above is a link to the Gil Elvgren's website, which celebrates his artwork.

Gil Elvgren was born in 1914, and responsible for creating pin-up images of ladies during the 1930s-1970s period, before passing away in 1980. He was an extremely revered glamour illustration artist in America. Many other artists have been inspired by this influential illustrator

These are examples of some of Gil's work that I admire the most.

At first when I first discovered this guy's work, I felt kinda uncomfortable when looking at it. Being a tomboyish kinda girl myself, I thought that these girls in his pictures seemed very vain and tarty. I kept seeing more and more skantily clothed women in compromising positions, and I wasn't particularly impressed to start with.

However, I now realize what makes his work so successful. These images celebrate the youthful women, and present them in a fun and captivating way. The poses are extremely well drawn and demonstrate some fantastic life drawing skills.

The colours he has chosen have been thought through carefully, and I have noted that he uses complimentary colours in his work. For instance, the picture above has an orange belt right at its centre, and the figure is surrounded by blue fabric. This helps draw the viewer's eye into the picture.

Gil's compositions also help lead the eye around the paintings. The top picture features a lady whose arms and legs create a triangular shape. All the lines of the body draw the eye up to her pouting, mischievous face. Also, she is wearing bracelets on her wrist that stand out very clearly in the picture. These are very subtle and effective ways of guiding people to focus on the important parts of the picture.

What I love the most about his style of drawing is the way he makes these girls look so real and vibrant, whilst maintaining a retro feel to his pieces. I'm aware that I am not very good at drawing women myself, so I think I should study his work more so I can draw interesting lady characters. I want to be able to present them effectively by manipulating shape, colour and composition, and be able to draw a variety of poses involving challenging perspective whilst maintaining proportions

1 comment:

  1. Hi Emma, you might want to check out this website...

    That links directly to a page about Vargas, but they're all worth checking out at this site. Vargas and Elvgren were two of the most mimiced artists during the second world war. Copies, not always good ones were very often painted on the noses of American aircraft. You probably also want to check out images of Betty Page, the model who inspired a lot of these exaggerated images, I think there's even been a movie made about her, and she makes a guest appearance in comics/movies such as The Rocketeer...