Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Norman Rockwell is a CHEATER!

My kids have been asking me for art lessons lately. Lillian has been making anime and manga, and wanted to learn to create action scenes. First, I directed her to WALLY WOOD'S 22 PANELS, an invaluable document which every Marvel Comics artist has at his drawing board.

Next, we went to the Brooklyn Museum to see the work of my favorite illustrator, Norman Rockwell. Rockwell was an expert at telling a complete story using wordless images. He's world-famous for the realism of his paintings. How did Rockwell create such convincingly photorealistic illustrations? By copying photographs!

A lot of stupid fanboys have recently been mocking some Marvel and DC comics artists for using photographs to create realistic art, as if the artists are somehow "cheating."
Well, guess what, morons? We all do it. It's what they teach you in art school; How to trace and copy to make art.
My job as an illustrator is to entertain, not to make things up out of my head. It's not a memory test.

Norman Rockwell is one of the greatest painters of all time! If you want to be as great as he is, do what he did! Trace photographs!
Below, another great artist, Gil Elvgren reveals his secret...

The brilliant Maxfield Parrish:

Vermeer used a camera;

Alex Ross's hands (from his web site)

The Greatest Cartoonist Of All Time™

I'm too lazy to track down the photos I used. I don't usually hold on to reference, but I assure you these images were all traced or copied.