Friday, November 13, 2009

Classic illustrations

Came across an article on classic Penguin book covers. It brought back some good memories of the little library in my mum's study when I was growing up. All of the books were given away or thrown when my mum converted the study into another bedroom in the late 80's. Now I feel all nostalgic when I see some of the covers featured in an interview with David Gentleman, an Englishman who started illustrating book covers for Penguin way back in the 50's and was best known in the industry for his detailed engraving, lithograph and watercolour work as well as his designs for British postage stamps.

Loved the illustration he did for the cookery book Plats du Jour in the mid fifties. I seem to remember seeing this book in my mum's collection. The front cover was of a French family beginning their meal; when you turn it over, you see the table at the end of the meal, with the cats sitting among the debris.

He was also very fond of having his illustrations drawn on blotting paper with a felt pen as seen in the book " In a German Pension", " Homecomings", "Room with a view" and "Last Things". By doing it this way, he mentioned that one had to get it right or else you would have to start all over again.

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