Friday, June 20, 2014

A Master Illustrator and More!

Uncle Lubin (detail), by W. Heath Robinson

W. Heath Robinson's work has fired my imagination since I, as a college freshman, stumbled upon his work. Sadly enough, I didn't discover Robinson's legacy in my art classes. Back then this type of work (along with the works of Rockwell, Rackham, and that of modern masters like Bernie Fuchs) was dismissed as "just illustration". And while the work of Aubrey Beardsley has gained some positive attention in art history books, I've yet to see Heath Robinson's works get much of a nod by a critic--at least here in the United States.

Below is the full page illustration from which I took the detail above.

Illustration from The Adventures of Uncle Lubin, by W. Heath Robinson.

Not only is Robinson's pure drawing skill amazing; the use of black and white, the composition, the character's pose and expression, and the exquisite pen work are paragon!

Animator Tony White recently posted about Robinson, and included these words and a link with more info on Robinson.Tony wrote:
"I helped a little with this project in its earlier days and am still trying to get a movie on Heath Robinson's life and insane imagination - my favorite British illustrator incidentally - funded some day. (The script's all ready by the way folks!) Great to see the museum is happening at last, as William Heath Robinson is unquestionably a British national treasure. Bravo to all concerned!"

Tony also added to the post a trailer pitch to his so-far and sadly-yet-to-be-funded animation project. Take the two minutes and watch it--you won't be sorry!

"Here's a movie pitch trailer I directed/animated for Heath Robinson's most famous children's book - "The Adventures of Uncle Lubin" - way back in the 1990's! Everything was done using paper and cels and 35mm film in those days. The producer was the late, great Simon Channing-Williams and the actor David Thewlis (now of Harry Potter/Professor 'Lupin' fame) among other things)!"

Until Tony gets this worthy project going, we'll have to be happily satisfied with Heath Robinson's wonderful illustrations found in books (or British museums). Luckily, Dover Publications has an affordable, quality edition of Uncle Lubin available here (and on sale now!):

I'll leave you with this double page spread from David Godine's 1992 re-issue of 
The Adventures of Uncle Lubin
I also leave with the hope that someday, the brilliant Tony White will resurrect hand-drawn animation in the United States and will make his vision of an animated Uncle Lubin a reality.

Thanks for checking this out!


  1. I'm always delighted by the illustrators you introduce to me. Thanks for the links, too.

    1. You are welcome, Joy--it pleases me that you love these illustrators as well!

  2. One of my favorite artists too - I love his mermaids! Thanks for posting and sharing the info. and links!

    1. My pleasure, Laurie--I appreciate your visit!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...