Friday, June 8, 2018

Book Review: Coby Whitmore: Artist and Illustrator

The Illustrated Press has released Coby Whitmore: Artist and Illustrator, the newest volume in its landmark series of art books immortalizing the leading 20th century illustrators.

America was booming and confident during the postwar era, and the women's magazines were overflowing with what they called "boy-girl" stories. 

Coby defined the look of glamour, along with his contemporaries Al Parker, Jon Whitcomb, Tom Lovell, and Harry Anderson

Born in 1913 in Dayton, Ohio, Coby was still a teenager when he decided to be an illustrator. He apprenticed with the mercurial but talented Haddon Sundblom in Chicago before moving to New York to work for Cooper Studios, a stable of top talent that did both advertising and editorial illustration.

Coby Whitmore, gouache on board, 15.25" x 20" Saturday Evening Post
Coby painted in casein and gouache, often combining well rendered face and hands with areas of flat color. His compositions were always fresh and surprising, with interesting cropping and color ideas inspired by one of his heroes, Edgar Degas.

The book is 224 pages, 9 x 12." After a brief introductory bio, the remaining 200 pages are devoted to color reproductions of the art itself. Some of of the reproductions are from the originals, so that you can see the colors and paint textures in detail. Other reproductions are taken from magazine tearsheets, letting you study how the art interacted with the headlines and type.

Here's the webpage at the Illustrated Press about the book, which comes in a standard hardcover edition for $44.95. It's limited to 900 copies, but don't wait, because other books in this series have sold out.

Publisher Dan Zimmer's next book will be about Haddon Sundblom.

1 comment:

Rich said...

Just amazing!
I think he's worth having a look at his use of "negative spaces" as well, going along with a great sense of artistic composition.

Those were the times.