Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Brian Sanders: Illustrating Stamps & Coins, Part 2

Guest author Bryn Havord, following his overview of English illustrator Brian Sanders’ work produced in the 1960s, 1970s and early to mid '80s, which we featured in April and December 2011, continues with samples of Brian’s work made from the mid 1980s until 2005, for stamps and coins.

In 1985, Brian went from the miniature to making a watercolour of HM Queen’s presentation of new standards to the Royal Tank Regiment then stationed in West Germany, which measured six feet by four feet.

(Below: the half size study of that painting, previously featured on Today’s Inspiration in December 2011)

In the same year he prepared in small scale ‘The Royal Air Force’ stamps, which were published in 1986.


(Above: original art of Lord Trenchard founder of The Royal Air Force. Below: Air Marshal Lord Dowding Chief of the Air Staff Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain)


(Below: Air Marshal Lord Tedder with Typhoon Fighter Bomber)

"Stamps here in the UK were very well paid," says Brian. "We were paid by the Post Office to produce the presentation set in competition and if it was accepted the fee doubled. It was certainly much better paid than editorial illustration."


1987 saw the publication of a set for Guernsey Post Office (below) featuring Guernsey born Sir Edmund Andros, who later became Governor of Virginia, Boston, and New Amsterdam—before it was renamed New York.


"I was never given another project from Guernsey," says Brian. "I had dared tell another Illustrator (Eric Stemp) how much I had been paid. He rang the client to ask why he had received less."


He continues, "The early stamp commissions came at a time when there was no shortage of work for me in other areas such as magazine illustration, packaging and book jackets, which is why I wasn't really worried about losing the Guernsey commission. I have never suffered insecurities felt by many illustrators, as I have never not had work. This is because over the years I continually experimented or changed in an attempt to do the sort of work I wished to."

Continued tomorrow.

* Previous posts on Brian Sanders' career as written by Bryn Havord have been collected on the Art of Brian Sanders blog


  1. Superb draughtsmanship and composition. The stamp illustrations were also available as postcards which I collected. The Post Office in the UK has a great reputation for producing well designed stamps using the best illustrators, designers and photographers.
    They also produce a very good stamp album every year.

  2. I'm sorry for an unrelated comment, please feel free to wipe it.

    I don't know who the artist is but based on the text~ 'Not as a Stranger' by Morton Thompson, 1954 Woman's Home Companion. Now, who did it? Cheers.

    (google books)

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