This is a personal painting by Henning Ludvigsen. You can see a larger version of it here, as well as a step-by-step of its development at his web site. For this analysis I’ll talk about several things, including composition, eye guidance, values, process, and texture. The first question to ask about it, though, is what’s going on? What is the point of the illustration? While there is certainly information about character and hints at a story, my take is that the painting is most about setting a mood and presenting a concept: that of a bleeding wall.
Posts Tagged ‘prep’
Daybreak was the 20th century’s single most popular print in America. According to Alma Gilbert, the House of Art (which handled the printing) estimated that 1 out of every 4 homes in America had a copy. When I first started reading up on this painting I constantly ran across the term “Dynamic Symmetry.” It was the system that Parrish had used to lay out the composition and arrange the elements. When I looked around for a good description of it, I didn’t turn up much. However, Jay Hambidge’s book on it from 1920 was available through Amazon, so I ordered it. This is, I believe, the same book that Parrish would have read on it.
Since Dynamic Symmetry is so important to the composition, I’m going to focus on that rather than on palette or other topics.
This is the last page of a 3 page article published in Look magazine in 1942 called “The Creator of Flash Gordon Envisions the World’s End.” Until just a few years prior to this Alex Raymond had worked mostly in comics with ink and line. He’d begun working in color, though, and delved into it in full force during World War II. A year or so after this image he joined the Marines and produced a number of works for them. This image, though, shows a blend of both his comics experience and an illustration style influenced by the likes of J. C. Leyendecker.