Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Francis Marshall: Condensed

Thanks to TI list member Harold Henriksen, who sent all of the scans we are seeing here today.


While details of Francis Marshall's career don't seem to be readily available, we can guess that the 1950's were a busy, productive time for him.


In addition to whatever work he was finding in England, he had been discovered by the editors of Reader's Digest Condensed Books.


All of these illustrations date from 1955 to 1958...



then, in 1959, Marshall's book "Magazine Illustration" was published, which suggests that the artist was enjoying a busy career doing, well, magazine illustration.


Also in '59, Marshall's RDCB work was included in the first annual show (and book) of the Society of Illustrators, as noted in this November 1959 article from American Artist magazine.


We've already determined that Marshall preferred to sketch 'from life', and some of his large scenes like the one below might have been done on location...


... but I think its unlikely that, in some of the complex story specific scenes (like the one below), he posed everyone and asked them to hold still while he executed his drawing. Did Marshall rely on photo reference, drawings culled from his many sketchbooks, or did he create these figures 'out of his head' for these scenes?


Here's another interesting example: The background scene in the pub very likely was done on location. It looks like Marshall probably inserted the story's main characters (at lower right) to an existing drawing from his sketchbooks.


Once again, thanks to Harold Henriksen for sharing all these terrific Francis Marshall illustrations with us!


* My Francis Marshall Flickr set.

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