The great Mort Drucker is famous for drawing funny, not sexy. Yet, if you look back at his stories for MAD Magazine, you'll see they were often packed with beautiful women:
At the recent annual conference of the National cartoonist Society, Drucker was awarded the first NCS Medal of Honor for his lifetime achievement. I had the good fortune to interview him before the ceremony and he remarked that beautiful women were the most difficult subject for him to draw. Classically beautiful women lack distinctive features for caricaturists to exploit. Their faces are smoother and softer than men's, which makes them more difficult to capture with a hard ink line. Their features are more delicate, their shapes rounder and subtler. This requires restraint-- the enemy of a caricaturist.
Still, I was surprised by Drucker's comment because he managed to bedeck his stories with gorgeous females and made it look effortless. Note the array of facial expressions, hair styles, body language and attitudes in his crowd scenes above.
Nobody would ever think of Drucker as a pin-up artist; he was so damn good at drawing other things, few people ever got far enough down his list of accomplishments to pay attention to his beautiful women. So I've isolated a few high rez examples for your attention:
Think about the "serious" illustrators who've become famous specializing in nothing but beautiful women. Typically you'll see wooden postures and vapid faces (or even worse, faces wearing an adolescent notion of "desire.") I find pictures such as these inferior to Drucker's casual drawings of women that you find sprinkled around his panels as background jokes.
In addition, there are some highly skilled pen and ink artists today who specialize in drawing hot babes, yet their careful linework often strikes me as flat and uninspired when contrasted with Drucker's energetic, descriptive line.
|How often do you see a thoughtful expression on a drawing of a gorgeous woman?|
|A scene from the film Cool Hand Luke, where a young woman decides to torment a prison work gang by washing her car in front of them. Drucker was able to put extreme facial expressions on lovely women-- a delicate balance.|
|The face of ennui in an 18th century English bath tub|