Monday, November 20, 2006

"The Dean of Illustrators"

For all but the most knowledgable of fans of classic illustration, the name Dean Cornwell (1892-1960) might mean nothing; but during the 30's and 40's his impeccable work and his name were well known and loved by not only his peers in the industry but by the public at large.I must admit that with my own narrow focus on illustration of the 1950's I had only a passing awareness of Dean Cornwell. That's because his work is not present in the mainstream magazines that make up the bulk of my collection. But with the assistance of a couple of TI list members and a few nice Cornwells I did manage to find on my own, I can now show you a week's worth of his art and pass along a little information about this worthy artist.So let's take a look at the life and art of the man who was called "The Dean of Illustrators": Dean Cornwell.You'll find some of this week's images at a larger size in my new Dean Cornwell Flickr set.


  1. Leif....Cornwell is the best illustrator bar NONE....remember that huge drawing I have.... wow....
    And that illustration on the blog.. of the camel...I have an original book.....

    more Cornwell...more Cornwell

    Rene will go nitz too

    Great stuff pal!!!!!!!


  2. Thanks Leif: I looking forward to a week of Cornwell! Like so many illustrators of those days: the reproduction of his work pales in comparaison to the original paintings! Just like J C Lyendecker, Cornwell's original paintings suffer a lot at the reproduction stage. And if one is lucky: to see original paintings, like some of us did, one is blown away at the painterly skills of Cornwell! (one should check the Illustration House's auctions in NYC)

  3. favorite draftsman!!!
    I have one of the large Mexico travel posters he did hanging in my studio as a reminder to keep pushing my work!

    I wouldn't be sad if this lasted two weeks. So many today have so much to learn from this consummate illustrator.

    And yes, his originals, especially his Captain Blood stuff is my favorite!

    p.s. The first thing I learned with in a matter of minutes glancing at his work, was his strong use of negative space and edges around his subjects. Very defined shapes.

  4. Leif..if you want.... I will try to shoot a pic of the art I or pm me

  5. Love Cornwell , he makes his marks with such authority .