Sunday, October 26, 2008

J.C. Leyendecker

I just bought the coolest Leyendecker book. It is 250 pages of great reproductions which seems to have most of his work. If you don't know Leyendecker you need to see his work(start here, here or here), if you already know Leyendecker you've probably been looking for his work and this book is a great collection.
Thanks to Blake Loosli for the tip.


Anonymous said...

When I look at pictures from those great american illustrators, I'm always wavering between different feelings: a great admiration, or a bit of "sickness".
Sometimes I consider them the true heirs of the "great masters": perfect technique, wonderful-looking pictures, and a clear "purpose" for their images (making pictures for museums is a relatively recent tendence, and a bad one, I think - let your pictures go into the world and, if they are good enough, they will eventually go in a museum).
But sometimes I feel that such a strict, utilitarian use of images (advertising, etc) really make them poor: is painting all about these light, superficial, sugary subjects? Recently I was reading a book about the Wyeth "dynasty (N.C., Andrew and James), and I was rather upset discovering that they basically shared this opinion: N.C. was a great illustrator (of books, not magazines!), but he finally felt that his job was quite limiting; Andrew and James devoted themselves to "pure" painting.
I'd really like to know your opinion about that.

jordi said...

I love your work, really fantastic!

Rob Rey said...

I've got my copy already. What a great book! I've been waiting for a good collection like this for so long.

Your great work follows suit!

David Malan said...

I had similar feeling looking through this book (though I wouldn’t say sickness). He is a fantastic painter and I was very curious what he would have created had he done non-illustrative work. I do think Illustration has kept the dynamic of an artist that is needs to please the viewer, something that has changed with much of modern art. French Salon artists also had to keep the buyers happy, which was probably less confining then some corporate requirements that illustrators deal with.
While I can’t fault the guy for making a living I would have loved to see him really open up. My favorite artist is Alphonse Mucha, he became famous and grew as an illustrator then late in his life created some of the most fantastic artwork (see Slav Epic,)

Anonymous said...

David, thank you for your answer, and I'm happy that you had the same thoughts. In general, anyway, the problem is not pleasing the viewer (or the buyer), but which viewer.
(BTW, sorry for using "sickness", english is not my language, so sometimes I look a bit rude... :) )

Skeet Sirmons said...

David, I simply love your work and I want to thank you for your effort to keep J.C. Leyendecker's work in our minds. I have put this book on my "Christmas List." I have an asside question, I'm interested to know what pencils you typically use for your drawings?

SEILER said...

Your sketches make me drool . . . awesome style!

David Malan said...

Thanks guys,
Skeet, I use a .03 size mechanical pencil ussually. It's just easier to not worry about sharpening.

Shawn Colloton said...

Thanks for the links. I'm always up to be educated by seeing the work of masters. I have seen some of Leyendeckers work before. But it's always great to get reaquainted. There is something about his work that draws me in. I feel an emotional connection with the characters. I'm always amazed at how a simple picture or song can make a person see, feel, or experience something they might not have been able to do otherwise.

Keep up the great work. Oh...and congratulations. Has being a dad hit you yet?

Manoj Sinha said...

Hi David,
Your strokes really very strong and clean. I like your work as allways.

Kevin Keele said...

Leyendecker is my favorite artist. I've always been depressed that there wasn't a book like this available on him. Now there is! I'm going to buy it and look at it for a week straight!

Awesome sketch by the way.

Steven Keele said...

I love Leyendecker. I think he loved illustrating and that is why he did it.
I heard a talk by an illustrator that also does paintings for a gallery. He'd love to paint what he wanted and have the gallery sell it. But the gallery only wants his pretty girl paintings. That is what he is known for and that's what they will sell.

Jennifer said...

well, I think this is "brilliant anyway" ! Love your line-work as always~
Hey Dave I also have another blog I started:, if you ever like to critique others fine art- *I like honest to goodness critiques to help improve my stuff no wishy washy nice jumbo. (because i'm still learning) Thanks