Wednesday, May 17, 2017

FOR THE LEYENDECKER FANS OUT THERE




In my latest column for The Saturday Evening Post I've posted several close ups from original oil paintings by J.C. Leyendecker, so you can see his brush strokes and the finer details of his work. For some reason I can get bigger and sharper images through the Post's web site than I can on blogger.  Take a look!

The close ups are courtesy of the fabulous Kelly Collection of American Illustration. 





7 comments:

Astroluc (Find me on Tumblr and Instagram @Astroluc) said...

his brush work is ridiculously stunning and precise...

MORAN said...

Leyendecker is awesome.

Kitty Trundle said...

One of a dozen magnificent aspects of Leyendecker's true-talent (suck it, sjw's), was his ability to present *perceived* textures of skin, vs, cloth, while employing a limited selection of mediums within his oil-painting to achieve these effects. Without relying uponany 'social victim' status to have his work appreciated. Unlike Bechdel or Buttbisquit.

zoe said...

I'm obsessed with JCL's graphical use of his brushstrokes. What I'd like to know is, how much of these modeling choices were "mapped out" deliberately in the planning stages of the painting, and how many of them were improvised at the time of execution? I'm assuming it's largely the former, judging by the scraps of his studies and preparatory sketches that surface from time to time.

Seeing work like this has particular personal resonance to me. I'm a pretty hackish artist and spent many years miserably chasing after the notion of "realism" as the highest goal of representational drawing and painting. I even toured an ARC©-Approved© Atelier©©©© and considered enrolling there. Over the past ten years, though, I've gradually climbed out of the "realism" hole and discovered that good design kicks realism's ass down the street any day of the week. Now I'm fixated on good design in painting and can't shut up about it.

"Realism" is one thing, but all the artists I actually admire--Sargent, Zorn, Leyendecker, Gibson--were inventors, not copyists. That is to say...they were artists. They exaggerate. They accent. They find the appealing forms and shapes and push them to the extreme.

Kitty Trundle said...

right on, Zoe! I'd merely add that JCL's unparralled discernment between 'bold colour' and 'subtle hues' buttressed his brushstrokes leading to the effect his finished work had/has upon our collective eyes.

Kristopher Battles said...

I first noticed this phenomenon with illustrations-- i.e. the difference between what is RENDERED by the artist and what is REPRODUCED by the publisher. I was pleasantly stunned (also also felt a bit cheated all those years by reproductions) by the wonderful nature of the physical product before publication. I was also struck, and influenced, by what choices the artist made, knowing that not everything he produced would translate or be picked up by the limited printing processes of the day. This is true of everyone from Pyle to Leyendecker to Rockwell.

I think some of JCL's style comes from this understanding, and the "shorthand" so many illustrators developed came not only from deadlines and workload, but also from the limits of what could be reproduced.

But even with that, Leyendecker and the greats still managed to leave us so many wonderful little treasures when one sees the work close up.

And another thing about Leyendecker-- when I saw several originals at Illustration House in NYC a few years ago, I was AMAZED at the way even his studies on illustration board kept so well over the years. They oils still looked fresh, and as if they were just applied a couple years prior. Beautiful. Luscious color and surface.

Kristopher Battles said...

I meant to say I first noticed the phenomenon with illustrations severeal years ago with a visit to Illustration House and also the Norman Rockwell Museum.
I should also say, however, that I noticed the phenomenon of repro vs. original quality with "fine art" as well many years ago of course. But it was just a few years ago, when I began to see illustrations in person, that I noticed how not only was there a difference between the repro vs the original, but also how the illustrator seemed to have a knack and wisdom about how to utilize this and maximize both efficiency and quality.