Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lovell on Pyle and Dunn

Here's a letter from illustrator Tom Lovell on June 19, ’95 in answer to my questions about his preliminary drawings and his take on Andrew Loomis's material on Pyle in Creative Illustration.

"Yes, I still make great use of the mirror—just finished a painting in which all information derived from mirror drawings. Not easy, but at that stage you know what you want.

"All my work begins with charcoal drawings done on bond typing paper, with an effort to hold to black, white, and gray.

"I never saw any of Pyle’s writings but admire his work tremendously. Harvey Dunn (one of his students) said, 'Pyle did not understand color' and I wonder if he was partly colorblind. Remember the yellow night skies in some of the pirate pictures? I never heard of his color principles.

I saw Loomis’s book years ago and remember black was on his palette, which suggests that he had it to control his values, which is exactly the way he worked years ago in illustration: red + black, black + green, etc."

"Nowadays my task is to come up with subjects that have not been used before. Storytelling and history are not in demand—more interest in close-ups and artifacts. Keep up the good work."

Tomorrow: Lovell's mirror studies and miniatures
Lovell's charcoal, color sketch, and finish for "Battle of Hastings" (Thanks, Jeff!)


Shane White said...


I hope David Saunders spotlights him some day soon. You can tell there's a wealth of information in there.


combatartist64 said...

Dan Z. from Illustration-Magazine has had some terrific articles on the "Masters". Great mag. I was lucky enough to find the Loomis book, Creative Illustration w/ dust cover at a used book store - cheap! Damn near ran home with it.

Mark Heng said...

Pyle colorblind? Interesting theory, but I doubt it!

Unknown said...

Not understand color? What I have noticed is that those artists that 'know' the rules, tend to paint exactly the same way their entire lives.

I have been exposed to hundreds of thousands of works of art and they mostly meld in to single rule set and therefor become endless copies of each other.

Rules that they generally follow:
Mimic photography.
Show no emotion in the face.
Use golden triangle or other 'proven' layouts.
Painting must be rectangular.

Perhaps all he was doing was trying to be a bit more free than other artists.

There is blindness, but it isn't about color.