Thursday, April 21, 2005


Drawings have always been a more intimate measure of an artist's greatness than paintings. In the words of Roberta Smith, "drawings are a direct extension of an artist's signature and very nervous system." Measure the drawings of illustrators and cartoonists by the same standards you would apply to the old masters, and I promise you some of them come out very well indeed. Here are samples of lovely drawings that were probably worth a closer look than ones you gave them while flipping through your newspaper or magazine:




Arthur Szyk

Frank Frazetta


leifpeng said...

Amazing. You could gaze upon it for hours and still learn something new. How the public's perception of what is art and what is "pop culture" trash came to be so rigidly and exclusively defined, I'll never understand.

leifpeng said...

That Frazetta piece is a revelation, David! Could frank have been paying homage to R Crumb, do you think...?

David Apatoff said...

I hadn't noticed the similarity, Leif, but you're absolutely right. This drawing is very Crumb-like, although I doubt it was self-conscious. I suspect that this drawing was about two things only: cross hatching and breasts. When Frazetta pulled himself out of the drawing trance, this was what he found.

art tart said...

david.. i find drawing to be a recorder of thinking which some painting does not do for me and as such as a tool for learning, understanding, and experience. The mark seems integral to the illustrator artist but as for the separation of 'fine' art etc, its about a different sort of commerce maybe?... thanks for such a wonderful site which i just found... jan

David Apatoff said...

Thanks, Jan-- I feel the same way, and I'm very glad that you stumbled across my little blog. Fred Ludekens said that "drawing is thinking," and that makes perfect sense to me. Van Gogh, on the other hand, said "drawing is everything." Something of an overstatement, no?

Anonymous said...

Ahhh ha. Just this morning I posted somewhere else, at one of your great entries...

(I've been all over your blog and back/forth several times since I found your awesome blog last night)

..... something to the effect that The Van Gough Drawings Show at the MET made me a lover of Van Gough, once again.

Anonymous said...

Vincent Darling... Please don't cringe in your grave.

I promise to learn how to spell your name correctly.

P.S. I may never learn, however. I've been spelling it that way for over a hundred years.

Please forgive me?

Anonymous said...

It's great to find such a great site. I have always enjoyed drawing, but felt badly because my oil painting is not very good.

Ed C.

Anonymous said...

Very nice examples and thank you for sharing.
A well done drawing no matter how simple is elegant and a treasure.
It is often through the drawings of great masters known for their paintings that we see their true artistry and brilliance. If you can look up the American illustrator Rose O'neill's figurative drawings, they are some of the most beautiful drawings I have ever seen.

Eline from juegosjuegos said...

rally nice! that is cool.,

so good