Monday, November 21, 2011


I have previously written about my admiration for illustrator / cartoonist Erich Sokol, whose brilliant work appeared in Playboy Magazine.  A collection of his work recently published by Residenzverlag includes some of his preliminary studies.

Napoleon (preliminary study)
Napoleon  (finished version)
Sokol does not wait until the final image to worry about good design and composition.  They are present in the very first small fragments.

Note how strongly Sokol locates this sketch on the page...

 ...or how he starts out early identifying and then emphasizing the rhythm and harmony of the human forms:

Like many other  artists, Sokol's building blocks contain the DNA of a finished artistic statement.

No matter how small or incomplete, details and fragments such as these can encompass the artist's  genetic code and are well worth our attention.


Blogger Joel Brinkerhoff said...

Really lovely work. The weight of the pencil lines, the bold statement with little exploratory searching. The composition, color combinations and beautiful brush work. I'm eight shades of green with envy.

11/21/2011 9:38 PM  
Anonymous larry said...

Come on!... draftsmanship, design and sex, who could ask for anything more?

11/22/2011 11:45 AM  
Anonymous MORAN said...

I remember Sokol's work from the 1970s. Beautiful stuff. Nice to see the pencil sketches.

11/23/2011 7:57 AM  
Blogger El caimán de Legutiano said...

It's a awesome Blog!
Best Regards from Spain :)

11/24/2011 2:54 AM  
Blogger Li-An said...

Buy, buy, buy (my God, too much good books...)

11/25/2011 9:43 AM  
Anonymous sun card said...

The appearance colored is very interesting.

11/26/2011 1:11 AM  
Blogger i believe i can fly said...

amazing work.Really lovely :)

11/27/2011 8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sokol was always my favorite of the Playboy cartoonists.


11/30/2011 1:13 PM  
Blogger chris bennett said...

It’s strange, but there is a deliciousness about Sokol's pencil marks that is very similar to Ernest Shepard’s initial roughs for Winnie the Pooh. It’s a sort of glamorous ecstasy in the way pencil marks conjure up luminous form.

Which is intriguing, since the subject matter is superficially entirely different. And yet, is there not an element of other worldly nostalgia in the erotic dream?

12/01/2011 2:06 PM  
Anonymous anon said...

I hate this kind of trash.Waste of talent.

12/01/2011 3:07 PM  
Anonymous raphael said...

i wonder why this post gets so little commentary.

the drawings sure are darn beautiful, and while they dont seem to spark the big, heady debates that happen at this place, they sure as hell can incite strong emotions (*glances at anon above*)

in a way, they remind me a lot of what is touted in animation circles: always describe volume, always do so in an economic manner. also, his gestures are very direct and strong, so maybe thats making me draw animation conclusions as well.

thanks for posting those, david!
now that i am thinking of animation drawings, what is your opinion of milt kahl?

12/01/2011 3:43 PM  
Blogger Matthew Harwood said...

Chris and Kev,
FYI - I mentioned both of you on my blog harwoodART regarding the raw symbols debate on a previous post of David’s Illustration Art. Your point of view about the meaning of marks in line drawings inspired me to push a technique I am playing with to have more expression and complexity in a portrait I am working on. Thanks to both of you.

12/03/2011 11:03 AM  
Blogger Eric Noble said...

These are stunning! Seeing these things fill me with conflicting emotions. On one hand, I think these are beautiful pieces of work. On the other hand, it makes me want to cry when I look at my own work.

Thank you for sharing.

12/04/2011 1:43 AM  
Blogger kev ferrara said...

Best wishes, Matthew.


12/04/2011 7:22 AM  
Blogger chris bennett said...

You are more than welcome Matthew, and thanks for the credits!


12/04/2011 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Term Papers said...

Good Blog

Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, photography, sculpture, and paintings. The meaning of art is explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics, whereas disciplines such as anthropology, sociology and psychology analyze its relationship with humans and generations. Post by

12/09/2011 4:28 AM  
Blogger Hart said...

cool post,good for my reference,'re the best

12/09/2011 11:28 AM  
Blogger milind said...

beautiful drawings

1/20/2012 1:07 AM  

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