Arthur Rackham’s art speaks to my inner child who yearns for a world just a little bit stranger, a litter bit wilder, a little bit magical. I only discovered his work last week and developed an intense art-crush immediately. As it turns out, Rackham was one of the leading artists of the “Golden Age of Illustration”, which I had heard of.
Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens
I’m most fond of his illustrations for “Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens”. I had no idea Peter Pan had adventures outside of Neverland; it seems a bit greedy really. Owning a copy of this book with Rackham illustrations has just been added to my wish list. If I ever have a child they will be so spoilt with all of the beautiful books I’ll read them.
Arthur Rackham’s Technique
Rackham invented his own unique technique which resembled photographic reproduction; he would first sketch an outline of his drawing, then lightly block in shapes and details. Afterwards he would add lines in pen and India ink, removing the pencil traces after it had dried. With colour pictures, he would then apply multiple washes of colour until translucent tints were created… (source)
Although digital art really isn’t my thing, concept artist Sean Andrew Murray has created a Photoshop tutorial which takes you through his entire process of creating an Arthur Rackham inspired illustration.
If your hankering for all things Rackham is insatiable, there’s an epic 8-part series on him and his work over at Poul Webb’s blog. Have at it.