Some very interesting things are revealed about W David Shaw's working methods in Ernest W. Watson's October '55 interview with the artist. For instance, Shaw only worked four days a week. His weekends began on Friday and he never took work home. In fact, the artist told Watson, "I don't do any artwork at home."
Yet Shaw was able to produce a tremendous amount of work for a broad range of both advertising and editorial clients. His pictures appeared in Esquire, Holiday, Collier's, Woman's Day, This Week, Reader's Digest and many others.
Advertising clients included Grace Line, T.W.A., American Express, the Nassau Development Board, Johnson and Murphy Shoe Company, and National Distilleries.
Watson wrote, "the answer [to Shaw's prodigious output] lies particularly in the character of his work and the astonishing facility with which he handles the watercolor brush."
Shaw never did rough sketches of comps - every piece he began was a potential finished piece. If a drawing didn't come off at the first attempt, he'd throw it out and start a new one! If that also failed to please him, he'd begin a third.
In this manner, writes Watson, "[Dave's] work is impressionistic; it is free and impulsive. It is entirely devoid of laborious and time-consuming detail."
"His brush does unpremeditated things as the picture develops."
* My W. David Shaw Flickr set.
* My thanks to Harold Henriksen, for today's scans, and to Jaleen Grove for providing the W. David Shaw article from American Artist magazine.