Monday, August 31, 2020

Quoting an Art School Professor

When I was in art school I stayed sane by drawing my professors while they gave critiques. I also wrote down exactly what they said. 

This is Joel Bass (1942-2019), who taught a class called "Visual Form." He looked at my picture and said: "We're alienated from this design. We're thrust in a domain that's totally alien to what we had before. We're in a situation of no more intimacy. When we put color down we materialize the decision-making about the physicality. There's a sense of closeness. There's a sense of intimacy. It's a giving source. The opaque domain will begin to happen if we can get information about the most simplistic relationships that are existing. The density confronts the density of other things. Push for more convincing densities."

As I listened to him talk I was lulled into a stupor by the smell of solvents and the buzz of the fluorescent lights. My head began to vibrate in unison. I felt the magnetic poles in my head shifting. Meaning became meaninglessness. Form became formlessness. All at once he made perfect sense. I've been pushing for more convincing densities ever since.

Art school days. That's me on the far right posing for photo reference for cartoonist Paul Chadwick (left), as Thomas Kinkade looks on, center.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Can We Reconstruct Vision from Brain Activity Alone?

Scientists have scanned the visual brain while a person is looking at something to figure out if there were recognizable patterns in the brain that corresponded to the image the subject was looking at.

Researchers then took information from the scan feed and input into an image generating network (Deep Neural Network) that went through a series of iterations to match the inputs coming from the brain. (Link to YouTube) The resulting video of the evolving iterations is paired with the original target image.

The flickering, abstract video seems to put special weight on symmetry, heads, and eyes.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Jess K. Recommends Some Art Books

(Link to YouTube) Thanks to Jess Karp for shouting out a recommendation for Color and Light: A Guide for Realist Painters and Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist along with some other intriguing books. 

Check out Jess Karp's YouTube channel. Her sketchbook tours are inspiring, and I look forward to reading her book one day. 

You can also get my books signed from my webstore

Friday, August 28, 2020

How Insects Fly, Shot in Slow Motion

Insect flight involves coordination and effort that can only be appreciated by slowing time. Taking off often requires precise movements of wings and legs to get the wings far enough off the ground.

This video is filmed at 32,000 frames per second, with narration that helps us see what's going on. Insects shown include stone fly, moth, firefly, mayfly and lacewing. Link to video on Youtube 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Cheap materials for priming / underpainting

Flame Boy asks: "I paint in gouache and I don’t have either acryla gouache or casein to prime with and a very limited budget. I have watched a fair share of your videos and you always seem to prime your canvas. Is it possible for me to reach a similar result to you without priming beforehand?'
Answer: Yes, you don't have to always prime your surface. You can paint right on the white paper or board. Or you can just get a couple tubes of acrylic (say Venetian red and Ultra blue) to tint your gesso or your acrylic matte medium. Acrylic gesso is pretty cheap. You could even prime your surface with a matte acrylic house paint. If you want to build up some impasto-like texture and you're working on a board, you can use modeling paste.

Steve asks: "How do you keep gouache from cracking and flaking?"
A: Here are some suggestions: Use rigid board, not paper. If you have thick gouache on thin, flexible paper, flexing the surface will cause it to crack or flake off. The surface should be matte & absorbent, not shiny. A glossy surface is less receptive for later layers to adhere to. Be sure not to use oil priming under any water media. Avoid impastos in paints like gouache or casein which have a weak emulsion strength. If you want the thick-paint impasto look, you can prime with modeling paste or other acrylic texturing which dries with a tough glue-like emulsion. As always, experiment first.

Previous post: Priming for Gouache

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Behind-the-Scenes Doc about 1930s Cartoon Animation

Animator Walter Lantz produced this behind-the-scenes documentary in 1936 about the making of one of his black-and-white cartoons.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

What is Overmodeling?

Emanuele Sangregorio asks: "I must ask what is the meaning in English of 'overmodeling.' I found it also in some Andrew Loomis books, but for shadow tones: Don't 'overmodel' shadows."

Michael Cooley asks: "What exactly is overmodeling? You mentioned this in one of your blogs. I was told I was overmodeling one of my early portraits. Im not sure what this means."

Gurney answers: I'm glad you asked. Overmodeling means using too large a range of values to describe a form, and often too many hard edges and planes. 

For example, in the anonymous war bond poster at left, the artist used some rather dark values in the light areas and some rather light areas in the shadows. The plane changes in the forehead and the nose are stated more harshly than they need to be. 

Typically beginning painters overmodel areas in the shadow when they should be handled simpler, softer, and flatter. The effect of overmodeling can be to make the form look shiny and hard and to break up the simple poster-like impact of the whole picture..

By contrast, John Singer Sargent (above) is a good artist to look at for modeling that is restrained and disciplined, with no misplaced accents, unnecessary details, or overstated value ranges.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Painting a Postal Service Delivery Truck

What is the history and future of the USPS delivery trucks? I do the job of sketch-reporter to find out. (Link to YouTube view)

This truck is one of the commonplace things we've seen every day for 30 years. But once they take them all away, we'll miss seeing them, just like we miss the yellow Checker cab and the phone booth.
Watch the 11 minute video on YouTube

Sunday, August 23, 2020


The Japanese language has a word for light streaming through a forest: komorebi. 

Photo of komorebi by James Gurney

The word refers to sunbeams interacting with leaves and atmosphere as the rays pass through the trees and fall in dappled patches on trees, the forest floor, or curtains in a cabin.

It also conveys a sense of nostalgic longing for something or someone far away.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Donkey Ride on the Beach

Wikipedia says: "Verhas was inspired by his experiences during his lengthy stays at the Belgian coast. Here he not only observed the tourists but also the local people and customs. Working en plein air he created lively, sun-drenched scenes set on or near the beach."

Jan Verhas (1834-1896) Donkey Ride on the Beach (1884)

"A representative work from this period is the Donkey ride on the beach, which shows a bourgeois family riding donkeys on the beach. The family members are all dressed in fine clothes while the donkeys are being led by local children in plain clothes."

Friday, August 21, 2020

How Thomas Hart Benton Paints a Mural

This brief documentary from 1947 shows how Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) produces a mural. (Link to YouTube video)

He starts with thumbnail sketches that emphasizes abstract rhythms, then he sculpts a maquette to work out the arrangement of figures and the lighting.

He brings in models to take each of the poses and sculpts more exact maquettes before scaling up the final "cartoon," or comprehensive line drawing, to the full size of the mural.

Thomas Hart Benton, Achelous and Hercules mural, 1947,
created for the  Harzfeld's Department Store in Kansas City,
Now kept at the Smithsonian Institution. 

The final mural illustrates a scene from ancient mythology in terms of the American heartland. Once you see his process, you can see why his paintings have such a 3D presence despite the expressionistic styling of the poses.
Thanks, Mark Giaimo

Thursday, August 20, 2020

First Reading, Second Reading

Jan Verhas (1834-1896) The Lion

In a painting, you've just got just one image to tell the story. But you can design it so that the viewer begins to receive one impression, and then switch to a different impression after a moment or two. This is called the first reading and the second reading.
In this picture, I'm aware of myself reacting that way as I decode the image over the first two seconds. "There's a lady with kid reaching up....The kid is scared...Oh! There's a crouching did he get in that house?....Oh, I see, it's a lion rug, and her little brother is under it, pulling a prank."

To carry off this narrative device, Belgian realist painter Jan Verhas had to make sure the viewer recognized the snarling lion before the boy's face.
Related post: "Invite and Delight"

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The Science of Color by Captain Disillusion

This new YouTube video by "Captain Disillusion" (Link to YouTube) explains a lot of important points about color: how we perceive it and how we chart it, from the hue circle of Isaac Newton to modern 3D luminance diagrams. 

Every second of the video is packed with information, all beautifully illustrated with motion graphics.  It goes by so fast you almost have to watch it twice to get it all.

For painters, a key quote is "A limited palette works just fine as long as the color relationships remain the same."

In the comments, can someone please share the links to the free software he mentioned that lets you chart 3D color gamuts and luminance charts?

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Painting a Sunset Glow Effect

Arthur Parton, Lake Scene, 1876

Several artists have accomplished this effect of a big gradation around the sun, which influences everything around the source. 

Frederic Church

It's kind of difficult to paint this situation from real life because you can hurt your eyes looking straight into the sun. If it's veiled behind enough clouds, you can do it. Scenes like this are composed from memory and imagination. 

Russian seascape painter Aivazovsky often applied the effect to seascapes. He suppresses contrasts in the far waves, allowing the big gradation to envelop them. 

Franz Richard Unterberger, Venice Under Sunset

Unterberger captures an effect that is more of a perceptual impression than a photographic transcription.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Sending fire from our eyes

We take it for granted that we see by means of light entering our eyes. The chain of effects begins when a source emanates light energy, which interacts with the surfaces of objects and then travels in all directions, some of it finally entering our eyes and activating our retinal receptors. The signals travel on to our brain, which decodes the information coming from those energized receptors. 

The replicants in Blade Runner seemed to have light emanating from their eyes.
The effect was created with a light shining on a half-silvered mirror set at
45 degrees to the axis of the camera.

People haven't always imagined that vision works that way. Greek writers proposed that we see by means of a kind of fire that is emitted from the eyes toward the object. That idea, known as "emission theory" was bolstered by the reflective retinas of cats and other mammals at night. Other Greek writers doubted that notion. How could we see faraway stars at night? Could it be instead that all objects constantly emit a stream of particles? 

It took centuries to arrive at our modern concept of the eye as a organ receptive to bouncing beams of light. But the story doesn't end there, because vision turns out to be much more active and top-down than we thought. 

The eye is much more than a passive camera. A poet might say that a kind of fire comes from our mind and it meets the light at the front door of our eyes. The stream of data coming from our receptors is really very limited and fragmentary, and our minds have a very active role in fleshing out that trickle of information.

In the 1800s, German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz proposed the idea of "unconscious inference." The idea is that we receive incomplete information and the brain makes unconscious assumptions from this partial data based on previous experience.

As brain scientist Robin Carhart-Harris puts it: "We house internal models constructed by the brain rather than perceiving huge volumes of unfiltered raw information. "So much of our experience of the world is the product of our brain's internal predictive models rather than some kind of receptivity of information coming in." 
Wikipedia on Emissions Theory

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Sorolla's Admiration for Zorn

Spanish artist Joaquín Sorolla was a great admirer of Adolph Menzel and Jules Bastien-Lepage, not only for their virtuosic technique, but also for their attachment to the commonplace beauty of regular people in their home region.

Joaquín Sorolla Y Bastida - Paseo a orillas del mar 1909 Museo Sorolla

Sorolla said to a student: "An artist who belongs to no part of the world is a useless being. Take my advice and go home." 

He reserved his utmost admiration for the Swedish contemporary Anders Zorn in an article that he wrote in 1903. 

Anders Zorn - Flickan från Älvdalen 1911

He said (loosely translated): "Zorn was the one who had reached the closest to perfection of what I believe to be the aim of oil painting. I always kept track with lively emotion of what the master Zorn produced, and each painting reaffirms my belief in him. I have tried to explain to myself how he manages to achieve such a powerful interpretation of natural effects. Whenever I believe I've gotten close to achieving it, I am left wondering if I really have found the true key."

"I have already said that his technique is what we Spaniards are trying to do, but his way of painting is broader, firmer. He plucks the most delicate note from his palette, and with great care he places it in his painting. He never betrays nature with painting gimmicks like rubbed textures or glazes, by means of which other painters just try to achieve the superficial appearance of good painting."

The two artists remained friends throughout their careers. Sorolla never visited Sweden, but in 1902 he received Zorn as his guest in Spain.
SOROLLA, J. (1903), “Apunte sobre Zorn”, en La Lectura, Revista de Ciencias y de Artes, Año III, Tomo 1º, Madrid, pp. 571-572. Read more in the free pdf at Sorolla y Los Pintores Escandinavos

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Deep in the Forest by Bodarevsky

Deep in the Forest by Nicholai Kornilovich Bodarevsky (1850-1921) 

A little girl is lost in the forest while gathering mushrooms. The painting is by Nicholai Kornilovich Bodarevsky (1850-1921), a Ukranian painter of historical scenes, nudes, and portraits.
See more works by him at Wikimedia Commons.

Friday, August 14, 2020

How to get unusual animal poses when working from life?

After looking at yesterdays' video about painting a dog from life, Ellen Edgerton said, "Unfortunately for me when I keep an idealized animal form in my mind, the painting I end up with seems stiff and without spontaneity. What are some ways to overcome that?"

Answer: I know what you mean. That happens to me, too. If you're painting them from life, you can start with a pencil or pen doodle sketchbook to notate the very quick gestures and weird poses and then you have those locked in to guide your painting. 

This video might have a few more tips. 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Portrait of Smooth (Who Doesn't Hold Still)

Dogs don't pose for their portraits, and Smooth is no exception, as I demonstrate in this new video (Link to video on YouTube). 

I start wild and loose, skipping a preliminary drawing and painting the main lines with a brush. There's a big change halfway through, as I decide to put him in a standing pose instead of a sitting pose. 

The painting remains for a while in a chaotic, fluid state until, little by little, it starts to look more like the model. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Monday, August 10, 2020

The Rise and Fall of Betty Boop

Let's wrap our five-part interview with toy collector Mel Birnkrant with this question: Did the sensibility behind the Hays Code for movies in 1934 filter down to children's toys or animation in that period? I'm thinking of Betty Boop. Didn't she become less sexy and more cutesy? What examples could you show for this?

Mel says: "The Hays Code literally led to Betty Boop's untimely death. They made her button up her mouth and her dress.  And in the end, even her proportions changed, as she travelled down the road that led to the Uncanny Valley. I just spent a miserable afternoon watching Betty Boops Final cartoons.  Betty’s image is very popular today, but few of those who wear her image on their clothes and fashion accessories actually know her story. 

"To put it in a 'mutt-shell,' she began life as a dog, and not a particularly attractive one. Here she is in making her first appearance in a cartoon called Dizzy Dishes. Bimbo too looked different then.

"Soon, Betty transformed into a human. Nonetheless, she still chose Bimbo as her boyfriend.  Here they are, Ahem, in bed. 

"Soon Betty got much better looking, This image below presents her at her most perfect,  Of all the images of betty Boop this one remains for me the most iconic. I used it on the box for a Betty Boop doll I designed half a century ago. At that moment in time, 1970, she had become virtually unknown. Thus, this was the first Betty Boop product to appear since 1939.  I stumbled across one of these in mint condition on eBay, just the other night. For Twenty dollars I couldn’t resist buying it. 

"Betty Boop’s career spanned a short nine years, from 1930 to 1939. Halfway through her journey, in 1934 the Hays Bureau clipped her wings. The comparative drawings below graphically demonstrate how they compelled Betty to change.


"Nonetheless, she carried on for a five more years with her attire and innocent sexuality toned down. In spite of this, her delightful voice and sparkling personality remained the same. In this latter part of her career, she stopped hanging out with animals and clowns. Bimbo and Koko both disappeared, and her world was suddenly populated with human beings of the same species as her own. She also got a puppy called Pudgy, who often stole the show.  Slowly, it was all downhill from there. 

"The official model sheet below conveys how Betty had changed by 1938. Her head became much smaller, she also became taller, and her proportions were more conventional.  Her original outrageously stylized proportions had been easier to accept than this newer version. Now with a body that was more anatomically correct, her slightly oversized head seemed uncomfortably out of place.. 


"Bettys final cartoons are hard to watch.  In this one from 1938, Betty, looking spanking clean, attempts to discipline a monkey. That was a high point compared to what was to follow in 1939.  

"In a short titled, “Musical Mountaineers,” Betty encountered hostile hillbillies who were definitely not of the Beverly Hills variety. Fortunately, she survived, Her career was not so lucky.

"Worse still, was a 1939 cartoon called, Rhythm On The Reservation. By any standard it would be considered outrageously racist. In it, Betty wins over a menacing tribe of Native Americans by teaching them how to play musical instruments.  This image reveals how dramatically Betty’s look had changed. 

"In what amounted to the final indignity, the studio forced Betty to introduce her own replacement, “Sally Swing.” It appears that the studio saw Sally as a big deal. 

"They even created a poster for her. They hoped that Sally would take Bettys place for the next decade. Sally’s voice was purported to be that of 15 year old Rose Marie.  

"Here we see the two of them together, along with Sally’s poster, upon which Betty appears in name only."


Thanks, Mel Birnkrant for sharing these fascinating guest posts about popular culture in the 1930s. For more stories of vintage character toys and the art of toy invention, visit his website.  

This series:

Part 1: Materials and Workmanship of 1930s Toys

Part 2: 1930s Toys, Comic Types and Characters

Part 3: Why Did Animation Flourish in the 1930s?

Part 4: What They Cut from King Kong

Sunday, August 9, 2020

What They Cut from King Kong

Continuing the series on the popular culture of the 1930s, I asked toy collector and inventor Mel BirnkrantFrankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein and many other great monster movies come from the 1930s. How do those films relate to the economic background that they came out of?

Mel says: "I guess you would call it Escapism, or getting away from the monstrous reality of the Depression to embrace reel monsters instead. Compared to 1930s reality, Frankenstein was barely scary. The ultimate cinematic Monsterpiece that set the bar sky high for all the creatures that followed after was King Kong.

"King Kong was not quite the pussy cat that millions thought him to be. When the film was re-released in 1938, Hollywood censors cut out several scenes that they considered to be either too violent or too sexy. Thus many of us grew up thinking Kong was not a ruthless killer, but essentially a nice guy who was just misunderstood.

"In 1972 a copy of the original movie was discovered in England, and copies of the film with the missing sequences restored have since been released. One of the most stunning aspects of these missing scenes is the contrast in quality. The copy found in England was dramatically superior to the copies of the movie that had been copied and recopied over the years.

"The missing sequences include this shocking scene, in which Kong exercises his dentures to masticate a tribe of natives, gnawing them to death, then, stomping on them for good measure.

"Another sequence that is genuinely horrible is this one in which Kong reaches into a high-rise window and pulls out the wrong girl, upside-down. When he realizes it isn’t Fay Wray, he casually drops her to the ground.

"The most fabled of the missing scenes is this, in which Kong playfully undresses Fay, then, sniffs his digits.

"There was also a legendary lost spider pit scene that was repudiated to be removed after the first showing, at the time the film was released in 1933. In 2005, Peter Jackson recreated the scene in the style of the original, based on a few surviving stills and drawings."

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Why Did Animation Flourish in the 1930s?

Continuing the series on Toys of the 1930s, I asked toy collector and inventor Mel BirnkrantFor all the lean times and economic challenges, the 1930s strike me as a time of incredible creativity, too. In the decade from 1928-1938 you go all the way from Steamboat Willie to Snow White. There's all the surrealism of Fleischer, too. How do you explain the innovation that grows out of those tough times?
"Throughout the Great Depression, the enchanting pages of the Funny Papers offered the world a welcome diversion, and one that was nearly free. These pleasant personalities snuck into our lives, hiding among the pages of the daily newspaper, and they appeared there in glorious full color every Sunday. This simple form of in house entertainment was the TV of its day.

"Meanwhile, the movie industry had been growing dramatically, throughout the 1920s. Even in the depths of the depression, many families could afford the modest fee that was required to spend an entire evening escaping from reality at the movies once or twice a week. 
"Now, beginning with the advent of sound in the early 1930s, Hollywood burst into flame in a great conflagration of creativity. 

"This ignited the Golden Age of Animation, and the World would never see the likes of it again. Sadly, the Second World War abruptly snuffed it out."
Books on animation history:
Mel Birnkrant website

Friday, August 7, 2020

1930s Toys: Comic Types and Characters

I asked toy collector Mel BirnkrantAs you get into the 1930s, was there a difference in the imagery, the sorts of characters, and the "attitude" of the comic types? 

Today, it’s hard to visualize how small the toy industry really was for the first half of the 20th Century.  What in those days would be considered a bestselling toy would qualify as a flop today. Most toy designs tended to be generic. Then, starting in the 1920s, comic character toys began to appear. For the most part, these images were derived from the Funny Papers. Thanks to which whole families of popular personalities appeared on America’s doorsteps every day.  

Here is the complete set of bisque figurines based on 1920s comic strip characters. They were referred to  as “nodders,” and were made in Germany, in 1928.  

1920s Comic Characters also generated a growing repertoire of tin windup toys., colorful and always sculptural.

With the introduction of sound movies in the 1930s, a great explosion of creativity took place. With it, came the Great God Mickey. His image dominated the toy industry for the next 10 years.  Compared to him, the Funny Paper personalities of the 1920s seemed tame. They were politely whispering, while Mickey Mouse and a growing number of his animated friends were shouting at us from the silver screen.

Throughout the 1930s, Mickey was the undisputed King of Toys. This 1937 cover of Playthings Magazine celebrates The Eighth Year Of His Reign.


Read more at Mel Birnkrant's website

This series

Part 1: Materials and Workmanship of 1930s Toys

Part 2: 1930s Toys, Comic Types and Characters

Part 3: Why Did Animation Flourish in the 1930s?

Part 4: What They Cut from King Kong

Part 5: How Betty Boop Changed in the 1930s

Windows to Forgotten Worlds

Building windows to forgotten worlds. Thanks to Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine for profiling me and the field of imaginative realism.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

1930s Toys: Materials and Worksmanship

How did toys and comics change during the Great Depression? I interviewed toy collector and inventor Mel Birnkrant. Over the next few days, I'll share his answers. 

Question 1: If you compare toys from the 1920s to toys of the 1930s, was there a noticeable change in materials or workmanship? 

Mel Birnkrant says: "The materials and workmanship of toys changed dramatically during that period of time. There were several factors at play. The first was country of origin. Hand in hand with that was the changing materials from which the toys were made. 

"But most importantly, to understand toy history, one must see it as an ongoing quest for new materials, with which to render and manufacture objects in 3D.
"Throughout the first quarter of the 20th Century, most toys were made in Germany. German toys were often made of wood. Hand carving was commonplace and considered manufacturing. This early wooden Mickey brush holder was “Handufactured,” (a term I just made up,) in Germany.

"Cast iron was also used worldwide to render objects that could be duplicated in quantity. Although cast iron toys were durable, they were also extremely heavy. This cast iron Andy Gump car, made in the 1920s is considered a classic.
"Throughout several centuries, dolls were mostly cast in bisque, and most of these were made in Germany. Heavy and easily breakable, bisque was then the only means by which one could replicate a realistic face. Some doll collectors would maintain that this is still true today. This Rose O’Neil Kewpie is an exquisite example of the lifelike delicacy that German bisque achieved.

"Tin toys were another means by which one could render objects in 3D. Tin imposed a stylized look of its own. This Barney Google windup toy is a good example of that principal. The Image is transformed and enhanced by the limitations of the tin medium to, perhaps unintentionally, achieve a stylized elegance. To see this toy as a stunning sculpture, visualize it twelve feet tall.
"Throughout the first quarter of the 20th century, Germany was to the toy industry what Hong Kong is today. Then, in the early 1930s, Japan stepped onto the stage, and with them came a new material, celluloid. Suddenly, there was a cheaper, lighter means to render images in 3D. 

This skating Mickey is an excellent example of the beauty and perfection that celluloid could achieve.

"Although, this new material could render almost any image with newfound fidelity, it also developed a look and language of its own that was totally unique, and highly Geometric. Celluloid was also Depression friendly. Unlike toys made of wood, bisque and cast iron, toys made of celluloid were lightweight and cheap.
"After the Second World War, celluloid which was extremely flammable was deemed illegal, and overnight replaced by the ever-growing list of modern plastics we know today.

"Throughout these years, toys were also made in the USA. Early in the 1930s, new materials were introduced here. Dolls might now be made of rubber and also of a paste like material, called composition. Each of these new materials enabled a unique look that altered the appearance of the original subject matter, in some instances for the better. 

"In my humble opinion, the entire series of composition and wood jointed dolls, created by doll maker, Joseph Callus were always exquisite sculptures. The restrictions of this medium lent a new dimension to the comic characters it portrayed.
"Here is an exquisite pair of composition jointed dolls by Joseph Callus. They represent Betty Boop and her then boyfriend Bimbo, at the peak of their refinement. This particular Betty Boop doll was originally owned by Max Fleisher.

"The Second World War put an end to these visually exciting playthings. And after the war, toys were never quite the same, or quite as great. Wartime toys were often awful, mostly made of paper. And what few toys there were, were made entirely in the USA. 
Here we see a cardboard Lionel train. Much to my disappointment, Santa brought me one of these in 1943.
Tomorrow: Changes in Imagery