Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Attack of the EZ Sleeper Frankenstein Kids

Its been a little joke among a group of illustrator friends for years: things we hate to draw. Always near the top of the list is "children". Every time an art director calls with a storyboard assignment we say a small, silent prayer... "Please God, let it not be for disposable diapers."

That's why I give Andy Virgil a lot of leeway on this ad from Good Housekeeping's September 1957 issue. Its hard to draw realistic, well proportioned, cute children. There's lots of nice smooshing about of paint that speaks to the artist's obvious abilities with a brush - but let's be honest, those are some scary lookin' kids! How'd the client even accept this?

Nonetheless, Virgil vindicates himself further on in that same issue with the lovely editorial piece shown below.


  1. Painful.

    I agree, Leif, children are tough. Of course, Leyendecker did a great job painting babies for the Saturday Evening Post covers every new year. But my sentimental favorite is Wally Wood, whose drawings of children for Mad Magazine in the 1950s and 1960s were fabulous. Big heads, spindly little legs and great expressions, all rendered cleanly in a perfect ink wash.

  2. Too funny, Those are some damned scary kids .

    Rockwell probably did the best children.

    My kid'll be two later this year , so having access to a model def helps. Now if if he'd just stop running around for two seconds I might be able to get a half decent ref photo ;)

    The bottom piece is really nice too.

  3. David; Wow, I couldn't agree more - and my avatar is a tribute to those devilish little tykes Woody rendered so perfectly.

    Dom; how many times was I grateful that we had kids to photograph for job ref? Too many to count! Instead of family photos traditional we have hundreds of shots of our two boys throughout the years from baby to teenage-hood play acting whatever scenario dad neede for the current project of the time. ;-)

  4. I've been chuckling about those odd-looking kiddies all day. :)

    (Great hands, though!)