Dick Stone told me that he especially enjoyed working for Collier's... that some of his favourite pieces (which he hung onto) are the ones he did for that magazine.
I asked him which artists he admired at the time and he listed 'the usual suspects': Al Parker, Austin Briggs, Robert Fawcett... then he mentioned a name you don't hear often enough when discussing great mid-century illustrators... Noel Sickles.
That confirmed for me something I'd thought about Stone's work since I first saw it. This piece below, one of my favourite Dick Stone illustrations, really has a Noel Sickles feel to it. So much of Stone's work does.
Recently I'd been discussing Sickles with Charlie Allen, whose line art was our topic just a couple of weeks ago, and Charlie put it so succinctly:
"[Sickles]... was one of the greats of my time," writes Charlie, "and I was, and still am, in awe of his amazing work. He demonstrates the juggling act that I've mentioned....drawing, composition, and value dominate....color is secondary."
"If you notice, each figure he draws, even in a loose line sketch, is a different person....a real individual. And they're not from model shots. I've never seen such a fluid, relaxed, but disciplined draftsman, composer, with such dramatic control of values."
I think you can see many of those same qualities in Dick Stone's work.
Stone told me that he had the greatest admiration for Sickles, and that he thought "the illustration work Noel Sickles was doing during W.W.II is some of the finest ever done by anyone."
My Dick Stone Flickr set.