Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Donald Teague's Procedure

Illustrator Donald Teague (1897-1991) was known for his adventure illustrations. His process began with small pencil compositions. 

According to Ernest Watson, "He may make up a score, fifty or even more of these before he takes up his brush for color studies—these also at small scale. 'There is nothing I can add to this,' Teague said."

"'The preliminary sketches are just blood and sweat.' After he has produced a satisfactory color comprehensive, he goes out on location to sketch from models which he poses as they are to appear in the composition. There may be a dozen horses, three or four figures, and a vehicle or two in the picture. All will be sketched in pencil and afterward."

After that the sketches are projected on a sheet of watercolor paper. The pencil lines are finalized without resorting to an eraser, which could introduce unwanted oils. He then produces the final illustration in watercolor or gouache. 

Teague also traveled and sketched from observation with his watercolor set.

Quotes are from the book Forty Illustrators and How They Work


Susan Krzywicki said...

Am I understanding this correctly - he starts from his imagination? Then he goes onsite? The work is lovely and so detailed.

widdly said...

@Susan The pencil drawing caption says drawn from Models and Objects, so not quite from imagination.

That 40 illustrators book looks amazing. Going to try and track it down.

Paul Sullivan said...

"Forty Illustrators and How They Work” was one of the first books I bought as a young artist in the late 1950s. At the time, it was one of the few books available that dealt in depth with with professional illustration. Today’s art students have an amazing amount of information and instructional sources available—from books and blogs to the YouTube.