Saturday, January 16, 2021

Illustration Techniques of Robert McGinnis


Robert McGinnis (born 1926) painted glamorous women and gun-toting spies for paperback covers and movie posters.  

This video by producer Paul Jilbert introduces McGinnis and his work and puts it in context. (Link to YouTube Video) Jilbert also produced a video showing the process of painting a standing semi-nude in egg tempera. 

The drawing is enlarged from photo reference on a Balopticon, similar to the one used by Norman Rockwell and Mort Kunstler. (Link to Video on YouTube

Book: The Art of Robert E. McGinnis 

Robert McGinnis on Wikipedia

15 comments:

Jared Shear said...

Thanks James! I know Heritage Auctions has a high res version of the second demo painting on their site, for anyone interested.

Rose Garland

Viktoria Berg said...

Great post! Very inspiring.

adriano mazzanti said...

Thanks for this, James. I guess it is an extract from docu “Painting The Last Rose of Summer DVD” isn’t it?

I’ve tried to buy the Dvd many times, but it is hard to find and expensive.
I’d have a question: Robert McGinnis is painting, in the video, using egg tempera but in his art-book most of the pictures are painted with “tempera” (a few of them are oils and the others in egg tempera): does it means that he was using simple gouache in that case?

GuzBoroda said...

In the second video, he is making quite a mess with the pencil drawing, but later it's very clean. Are these two different drawings or he cleans it from unnecessary strokes?

Joshua Johnson said...

It's always fascinating to see the differences between production art and fine art. When speed and quality are considered incredibly important, "integrity" doesn't matter quite as much. Some fine artists still hold a firm belief that tracing something is "cheating."

Historically, production artists would disagree, saying that if you have the ability to draw it without tracing, then it's not cheating to trace, it's just saving time.

Thanks for the post, good sir!

James Gurney said...

Thanks for the link, Jared.
Adriano, my understanding is that artists in McGinnis's generation often used the term "tempera" to mean egg tempera. Other people use tempera as more or less synonymous with gouache.

Susan Krzywicki said...

I started watching this and it was uncomfortable. And then the first quote was about "how men see women" and it was just as objects. I stopped watching.

Unknown said...

Commercial illustration is exactly that and reflects what is wanted by the marketing people at the time. One can chose to be offended or uncomfortable if they chose and they can also be Woke and point it out so we know they are politically correct.

Thank you James Gurney for putting up various types of art and artists. Your art is incredible and your willingness to share your knowledge and information you find is much appreciated.

nuum said...

"The only person that doesn't believe that Bob is a Genius is Bob"
Long live Master McGinnis !
Paulo - Rio

Dan Gurney said...

Susan, while I completely understand your response to the first video about depicting women, I think you might actually enjoy the second video on his process mixing the egg tempura and using the Balopticon. It's probably more in line with what you had expected to see.

Stephen Berry said...

Given the pencil work, it looks like he's painting on paper? I was trying to figure out what his substrate is. I've read that people suggest painting with egg tempera only on canvas or a hard backing...? Very neat to see the work here!

Richard said...

Thanks for finding these gems.

Richard said...

Thanks for finding these gems of a video. Making your own egg tempra paints is something I never would have thought of. Have you tried making your own paints?

Mark Martel said...

Thanks so much for this

Matt said...

Great videos – thank you for sharing. Had no idea he was tracing subjects, though makes sense seeing how stiff his subjects are on paper/canvas. Still, love the McGinnis look.