Monday, January 2, 2023

Norman Rockwell: Drawings, 1911-1976


The first book on the brilliant yet little-seen drawings of Norman Rockwell—including side-by-side comparisons of his drawings and his finished paintings.

Before Norman Rockwell put paintbrush to canvas, he had a precise idea of what he wanted to create. A perfectionist and analytical thinker, Rockwell completed numerous preparatory drawings in the process of developing his paintings, much like the Old Masters before him. 

He worked in several stages, including thumbnail sketches and studies of particular details—culminating in a meticulous tonal drawing that served as a basis for the final painting. 

But Rockwell’s drawing was not only in the service of his painting: he also executed finished illustrations in pencil and charcoal; kept travel sketchbooks; and shared illustrated letters, caricatures, and comics with his family and friends.

This abundantly illustrated book reveals the entire scope of Rockwell’s work as a draftsman. 

It reproduces the full sequence of preliminary drawings (and reference photographs) that led up to some of his most famous Saturday Evening Post covers—and it also presents a generous sampling of his standalone drawings, many of them rarely published. 

The text, by curators at the Norman Rockwell Museum, illuminates Rockwell’s technique as well as the influences on his draftsmanship, including his instructors at the Art Students League and the great artists of the past.

Norman Rockwell: Drawings, which accompanies an exhibition at the Norman Rockwell Museum, will be a must-have reference for artists and illustrators, and a delight for art lovers.

Norman Rockwell: Drawings, 1911-1976
Stephanie Haboush Plunkett and Jesse M. Kowalski
Abbeville Publishing Group, 2022
256 pages
$ 54.
21.08 x 2.54 x 26.16 cm

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