Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Al Parker

Norman Rockwell was a great fan of American illustrator Al Parker, so he seems like a reliable source to research. He works a lot of type into his work, including this example where the girl's feet wrap around the letter forms. The colours used here are pastely and show the girl in a relaxed position.

Type from a candy cane, a holly wreath, a baby's bib, a trumpet with string attached, candles, a fire place and a Christmas stocking. He takes advantage of the basic shapes that objects take.
The TV Guide series. The TV Guide logo is in the same place on every cover. On this particular cover, the logo is worked into the image. Parker shows a really diverse style from simple line drawings (above) to more detailed paintings. Despite the man in the image having only one eye on show, he still has character.

I like this one because it is quite abstract. A painting of a man who, at a glimpse, looks a little bit like Colin Firth! Before Parker's time, though. On top on the painting is a seemingly random image stuck on top. Worth remembering for when a painting goes wrong.

A child's drawing (presumably) with Parker's work over the top.The colours from his drawing complement the colours present in the child's drawing. I like how he's done the hair! I also like her blue mascara. I have some myself and it's so cool. It's a bit confusing the way it has been signed twice but it marks the collaborative effort. The patchy blue background has a wonderful texture to it. I like the way it surrounds the face and it's not too fussed about filling every white space. Worth bearing in mind if we decide to do more children's books.

This is so pretty - a wash of colours, perhaps with pastels or watercolours, with a simple, rough-but-detailed line drawing over the top. It's worth learning which details need to be kept in and which are not needed when making a line drawing such as this. The line looks almost continuous with the exception of details around the eyes, eyebrows and forehead.

This one looks like it's been applied with a stick. I did a drawing for my Friday project using a match stick to apply acrylics and it came out really well, although I needed the initial pencil drawing to guide me. Someone with Parker's precision could probably go straight into using paints by marking where the eyes, nose, mouth and hairline should fall and working around it.

I was drawn to this because of the type. Hand drawn type like this is strange and awkward; when you have made it yourself, it looks uneven and wrong because it is too familiar as your own writing, however when you look at someone else's type in the same style it looks fun and almost calculated even if it is still as uneven as your own.

Just a word of advice in case anyone wishes to search for more Al Parker work... make sure you specify the ILLUSTRATOR. I found out the nasty way that there is a gay porn star with the same name!

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