Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wait, Someone Out There Hates Cross-Hatching?

Harry Clarke, illustration from Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allen Poe.

I LOVE pen and ink and cross-hatching. 
There are hundreds of masters of that medium, so there are many I've yet to discover. Can't wrap my mind around it, but there are people (including one "famous" critic and author-of-art-books) who are outspoken in their dislike. That to me is more mysterious--and shows less imagination--than Poe's tales. So I offer works by three of my many favorite pen-work artists. 
Harry Clarke's illustrations, like the one above, remain favorites, and I study his work continuously.

Maurice Sendak, illustration from his Higglety Pigglety Pop! or, There Must be More to Life.
This book is a masterpiece, as are all of Sendak's works, and I find his straightforward pen-work 
fresh,unpretentious, and absolutely paragon.

Bernie Wrightson, from Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley.
Every piece from Wrightson's Frankenstein portfolio is mind-blowing!

A few other obvious ink-masters: Franklin Booth, W. Heath Robinson, A.B. Frost, Joseph Clement Coll, and yes, Arthur Guptill.

A few modern virtuosos: Ian Miller , Mark A. Nelson , Douglas Carrel , Kevin Keele , and Boban Savic .

Of course critics, just like the power-hungry who would ban books, draw our attention to the very things they hate. So they have my thanks, sort of.  

But you don't have to scorn cross-hatching to get me to explore the masters of that medium. If you have recommendations and favorites, please let me know.

Peace and all good to you, and thanks for reading!


  1. I love cross-hatching and Maurice Sendak! Thank you for this article. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    1. Glad you liked it, Miss Gladys--I appreciate the comment and your visit!

  2. These are all super cool. And yeah, it's funny about the way suppression incites more interest. Good thing, too ~!

    1. Hi Erik! I find the hot air generated by most art critics tiresome, but the discussion and interest they generate inadvertently are good things I must concede. Glad you enjoyed these pics!

  3. There are cross-hatch haters? I'm sure not one of 'em!! Well, it's their loss! I really like the Sendak illustration in your post. I haven't seen it before, and now I want to look up that book.

    1. Your ink work inspires me, Laurie--glad you are into it! This particular Sendak book is all black and white--full of rich and wonderfully mysterious pen-works. A must-have.


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