Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Dean Cornwell

Today I thought I'd share something with a lot more people that only a few good friends have ever seen, that is my study by Dean Cornwell for one of his Fisher Body WWII ads. I bought this piece from Illustration House back in the early 90's when comics were flush with something called ROYALTY money. While those Phat days are long gone in comics, I still look at this painting every day as it hangs in my living room. Cornwell is maybe my favorite illustrator for his great drawing, though I do love his paintings. My favorite illustrators are NC Wyeth, Norman Rockwell and Dean Cornwell, and Maynard Dixon,though Maynard Dixon is considered more of a fine artist that the others by most.
Here is the finished drawing Cornwell made before he transferred the drawing to the final canvas for painting. His drawings always have a fantastic sense of mass and form to them, and in some ways I love his drawings more than his paintings because of this, there is a real classical sense of the delineation of form, like Greek and Roman sculpture in his idealization of form, it's the same thing I admire so much in the drawing by Scott Noel. You feel like you can grab the drawing and hold it. I got this copy of the drawing form my friend and comics legend Tom Palmer, another huge Cornwell fan, in fact Tom turned me onto Nicolai Fechin. Cornwell was a huge admirer of Fechin and met him at the dock and helped him get set-up when Fechin immigrated to America.
Details of the hand.
Details of the head.
Here's the study. It seems possible Cornwell went through changes on this illustration, adding a second gunner or soldier to the tank gunner team.


Mr. Hawthorne said...

Holy shit! You OWN this!!?? Man, this is amazing! I may have to visit you just to stare at this thing for hours!!!


Josh said...

That's great art. Are you going to return to DC or do some work for Marvel some time Mike? Your work on Batman was great.

ScottN01 said...

Y'know...I've been over your house a lot and never noticed it! How is that possible!?! I always remember the Struzan's first Star Wars poster on the wall behind your TV.

alan said...

A superb drawing

Dylan said...

what a beautiful drawing. I'm with you on often preferring the pencil "roughs". I got the Noel Sickles book a couple of weeks ago and what really got me was all the pencil prelims, I could just look at them allday.

Todd M. Casey said...

Wonderful post. I bought a Cornwell drawing through Illustration House a few years back. He was great at composition and truly wonderful with color. One of my favorites also. Thanks for sharing!

jimb said...

Really nice study, What is the size of this? I own a Fisher Cornwell from 1945. The size is 29 by 26 inches