I’ve been wanting to do a Frank Frazetta analysis for quite a while, and finally it’s time. He was amazingly fast and produced many, many paintings. I thought about doing the iconic Death Dealer image, but picked this one instead because of its simplicity. I’ve been trying to learn more about silhouettes and values against a background, and this image makes good use of both concepts.
Posts Tagged ‘closure’
As I recently said on Facebook, “How have I not been aware of Donato Giancola before now?” This one stopped me as I was going through Spectrum 16, and I’ve kept coming back to it. The Archer of the Rose is the cover for Kathleen Bryan’s The Last Paladin by Tor books. We’ll look at the picture’s development and its use as a cover. Giancola likes to start with strong abstract compositions as the base and then work toward strong realism. We’ll look at the abstract patterns he uses and how they guide the eye, and we’ll also look at some of his finely detailed rendering. Finally, we’ll look at the thought and research that went into the narrative and characterization. For example, Persian manuscript covers inspired the patterns on the shields, yet the armor styles are more western European. What does this tell us about the events in the scene, and how does it contribute to mood and theme?
I suppose I’m dating myself, but I first saw a version of Le blanc-seing (The Blank Check) as the cover for the Styx album “The Grand Illusion” years before I read Understanding Comics. For this picture Magritte is playing with perception and the techniques we use all the time as illustrators. It’s a classic case of knowing the rules of perception well enough to know just how to break them. The two principles he plays with the most are occlusion and closure. (See the Leyendecker analysis for more on closure.)
J. C. Leyendecker is one of the key players in modern advertising, though few have heard his name. Working with Cluett, Peabody, and Company (the makers of Arrow collars), Leyendecker proposed not just one ad, but an entire campaign. He helped them work out the look and feel of the “Arrow man” and demonstrated the power of branding. This image is one of the Arrow collar ads, and it shows an emphasis not on the shirt or collar itself, but instead on an ideal. The ideal is that of the upper-class American man, at the same time masculine and refined.
Ideals are abstract, though. Let’s look at how he constructs this image to communicate that ideal.