May 03, 2010

Frank Frazetta (Part 5) More sketches

I'm posting a couple more examples of Frank Frazetta's preliminary sketches to compare with his final illustrations,  That he traced some of his initial drawings onto his canvas before painting is in no way an unusual practice among painters, in fact, it is one of the most logical ways to transpose a drawing that is best created on a substrate meant for drawing, over to a substrate meant for painting.  To re-sketch it from scratch onto the canvas could run the risk of losing the essence of the sketch.  The whole point to sketching is to flush out the design.  It's like a wire frame for a sculpture.  If the final is not to be painted but finished with ink, he may have traced the sketch onto Bristol paper, which is a very smooth paper made for illustration. It's especially good for inks.  I've been using it for all my airbrushed acrylic illustrations because the smooth surface is ideal for using Frisket film. 

Above is Frazetta's pencil sketch side by side with the final ink drawing.  I've laid the sketch over the ink drawing and merged the two at 50% opacity to show how closely they match up.  He seems to have stayed close to the original sketch and it leaves little doubt that he traced one onto the other.

That he traced some drawings over to Bristol paper doesn't mean he always worked in this way. He doesn't really have one set method. In some instances he sketched right on the canvas and sometimes he sketched with paint rather than pencil. 

In this example of about a dozen people fighting, you can see the darker lines which were most likely the lines he traced over and applied pressure in order to get an image on the paper beneath it.  Then he'll have a clean surface to begin inking it in and he can refer to the drawing for shading if he needs to.

Again, I merged the two to see how they fit together and how closely he followed the drawing.  
There's no real point I'm trying to make here.  I just find it interesting.  Frank Frazetta is known as the Grand Master of fantastic art and the most influential illustrator of the 20th century.  He is without doubt one of the great artists of our timeHis work has had a profound affect on many artists, including me, even though I can't say my style is anything like his.  I've simply admired his genius and talent.  He wowed me, as did Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, Michael Whelan and Roger Dean, among others.

Here's one more sketch by Frazetta that he did for Savage Pellucidar.  The parts don't necessarily line up exactly with the painting so he must have reworked the design on the canvas.  But there are some heavy lines that seem to indicate a transfer.  You be the judge.  I just love the way the shadow under the tiger becomes an abstract shape.  Pure genius!

Links to this 6-part series on Frazetta by Mark Astrella are found here:
Frazetta Part 1
Frazetta Part 2
Frazetta Part 3
Frazetta Part 4
Frazetta Part 6

Click on the header at the top of the page (A Burning Designer) to see the most recent posts by Astrella.

No comments:

Post a Comment