Two excellent books about major mid-century illustrators have been produced by Auad Publishing.
Dorne was a hard-working, self-made success. He brought a no-nonsense approach to the business and cofounded the Code of Ethics and Fair Practices of the Profession of Commercial Art and Illustration.
He had an extensive photo reference collection, and he worked quickly, producing a vast body of images, most of which haven't been seen recently except by collectors of old magazines. The bulk of the new book is pure artwork, beautifully reproduced, with some preliminary sketches to show Dorne's process.
Illustration historian David Apatoff chronicles Dorne's career and tells how he founded the Famous Artists' School. Apatoff's writing style is very readable, full of information and anecdote. There's also an introduction by Howard Munce, who knew Dorne, a recollection by Dorne's daughter Barbara Dorne Bullas, and a "graphic foreword" by Jack Davis, one of many cartoonists who Dorne inspired.
His pictures are mostly ornate colored drawings with a profusion of intriguing and believable detail.
Fawcett is best known for his Sherlock Holmes illustrations, twelve of which are included here.
Like Dorne, Fawcett was a legend among his peers, and this book is packed full of nicely printed examples. Some are taken from printed tearsheets and show the vintage graphics that went with the original illustration. Many others are scanned from originals. Altogether, there are more than a hundred color illustrations and numerous black and white drawings. Both books are hardcover, 9 x 12 inches, about 182 pages.
Let's hope that Mr. Auad and Mr. Apatoff will keep producing more of these great resources on classic illustrators.
Albert Dorne: Master Illustrator
Robert Fawcett: The Illustrator's Illustrator
Online portfolio on Leif Peng's Flickr sets:
Al Dorne (157 images)
Robert Fawcett (179 images)
Author David Apatoff also does the Illustration Art blog