Saturday, January 24, 2009

William Stobbs - Gianni and the Ogre











I do love a good bit of 1960s/70s childrens' book illustration and a dealer friend, knowing this, recently gave me a slightly mouldy copy of Gianni and the Ogre by Ruth Manning Sanders, not so much for the stories but for the illustrations by William Stobbs. I've picked 5 (which is the maximum number of pictures blogger will cope with in one post) but I could happily have shared all of the pictures in the book.

Stobbs was, like many working illustrators, also a teacher in art colleges, including the London College of Printing. His list of titles illustrated is quite impressive. Wikipedia tells us just a tiny bit more. And for those who like the striking character of the pictures above and would like to see more then there are few to find through Google and a very few at Flickr.

5 comments:

clixchix said...

Oh these are lovely. I guess they're ink... there seems to be evidence of brush work and pen... but they additionally have some of the heavy-lined qualities I associate with woodcut, which makes them handsomely traditional. What a beautiful gift. I don't know his work, but I shall be watching out for it in future.

clixchix said...

Mmmm! I've returned to look more closely at these by clicking on them, and I'm wondering now whether they may be scraper-board, The white on black fine details suggest that as a technique. Any ideas anyone? It was once quite commonly used by illustrators, and loaned that semi wood-cut quality, particularly to vignettes. You never see scraper-board these days. One of those old-fashioned things that slipped onto the lower shelves of craft shops and class rooms and stayed down there. A shame, as in the hands of someone good it can be a great medium. My partner Peter and I have a John Byrne painting (signed by his alter-ego 'Patrick'... no surname) of a sailor-suited boy reclining on a beach. Made on scraper-board and the colour etched through with a fine hatchwork of white. It reminds me of the fine engraving on banknotes. The sgraffito makes the image shimmer. But then Byrne's a marvellous painter steeped in traditional skills which have long since vanished from art schools. Oh dear. I've suddenly made myself feel rather sad!

John said...

I've fond memories of his evocative illustrations from reading the Ruth Manning-Sanders collections way back. Thanks for posting these, a shamefully overlooked genius.

Joachim Stobbs said...

Was largely ink on textured paper and went over with a dry brush with white acrylic to create texture -

Lovely page by the way - there will be a small exhibition, celebration of 100 years of Bill Stobbs work in the http://www.illustrationcupboard.com – 13 July – 11-5pm – you are welcome to come along

Jo Stobbs said...

Was largely ink on textured paper and went over with a dry brush with white acrylic to create texture -

Lovely page by the way - there will be a small exhibition, celebration of 100 years of Bill Stobbs work in the http://www.illustrationcupboard.com – 13 July – 11-5pm – you are welcome to come along

 
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