hermann vogel

16 03 2014

I would like to introduce you to a german childrenbook illustrator that is not too well known today, HERMANN VOGEL, 1854 – 1921. he grew up in saxony and studied at the art academy in dresden. VOGEL’s illustrations are in the tradition of german ROMANTICISM, and their best known artists – LUDWIG RICHTER, MORITZ VON SCHWIND and CARL SPITZWEG. ALBERT HURTER introduced these artists and their illustration style to the disney studio and they influenced very much the look of the first animated feature films.

Hermann Vogel_musaeus 01
h.vogel H+G
vogel.milde winter

© hermann vogel


jiri trnka 7

14 03 2014

below some illustrations JIRI TRNKA created in 1958 for a children book with 1001 ARABIAN NIGHTS stories. the black/white ones are masterful pen+ink drawings.

1 trnka  6992
2trnka  6991
3 trnka 6993
4 trnka  6985
5 trnka  6990
6 trnka  6989
7 trnka  6988
8 trnka 6986
9 trnka 6987

© jiri trnka

wolf erlbruch 4

19 12 2012


all book-illustrations and calendar sheets were created by WOLF ERLBRUCH and published by PETER HAMMER VERLAG, wuppertal, germany

© wolf erlbruch / peter hammer verlag

mirko hanak 4

3 05 2011

MIRKO HANAK created these beautiful watercolors in the late sixties for a calendar.

© mirko hanak

jiri trnka 5

5 01 2011

JIRI TRNKA, the czech master of puppet-animation and children book illustration, created the artwork below. these beautiful colored pen and ink drawings are my favorite of his children book work. the book was published 1982 as LA CHAUMIERE EN PAIN D’EPICE by artia publishing prague and gruend publishing paris. ISBN 2-7000-1420-0

© jiri trnka


7 07 2010

probably around 1950, when I was two years old, I got a very simple childrenbook DORNROESCHEN ( SLEEPING BEAUTY ). the paperquality is typical ‘post-war’ and the printing is not better, below are the few pages that survived all these years. I found them some years ago buried with other old stuff, and I was shocked about the incredible bad illustrations. pure horror! it’s not only that there is not one appealing character, the way they are drawn is the worst, not to talk about the color choices. I can’t excuse that with the poor post-war times. anyway – since those days and after that horrific childrenbook experience ( you might see it in my 2-year old comments I left on the drawings ) I have collected the best childrenbooks I could find in bookstores all over the world. I have to admit, even today you see once in a while something that should not be printed, especially not for children…

german illustration 7

28 06 2010

some more of the illustrations DIETER LANGE created during the seventies and eighties for the children’s page STERNCHEN in the german weekly magazine STERN. he came up with a different style for every story he illustrated, all black/white and line art, pen+ink and pencil.

© dieter lange / STERN – gruner&jahr

wolf erlbruch 1

7 05 2010

WOLF ERLBRUCH, born 1949 in wuppertal, germany, studied graphic design at the FOLKWANG-SCHOOL in essen. that’s where our paths crossed. we both studied with the same teacher – PROFESSOR REKER, both from 1969 until 1974. and we worked both for the same advertising agencies in duesseldorf. his storyboards were better than the final live-action commercial, some became collector’s items. whatever he touched turned special, like the SAMSON-tobacco illustrations. after the advertising experience he started to illustrate for magazines like STERN and ESQUIRE. there as well he developed all different looks, tested different techniques and styles. in 1985 he was asked by the wuppertal publisher PETER HAMMER to illustrate his first children book. many more followed. wolf has won numerous awards for his very unusual styled children books. at the same time he became a professor for children book illustration at the duesseldorf art academy, some years later he took that position at the university in his hometown of wuppertal. the characters he creates are so different from everything you have ever seen, there is no disney- or other influence visible. his technique is ‘old-fashioned’ and very unique too. he uses ‘real’ cardboard and crayons, the textures in his illustrations are cut-outs from wrapping paper or other unusual sources. I am surprised that there are no animated films with his stunning animal characters and stories. following is some of wolf erlbruch’s work that I collected over the past 30 years. there will be more …

© wolf erlbruch / gruner & jahr publ./ peter hammer publ.

MULAN children-book

12 03 2010

september 1997, during the last months of the production of disney’s MULAN, I was asked by the N.Y. disney-publisher to illustrate the children-book of MULAN. timewise it was a challenge. to explain my layout ideas I sketched all the planned doublepages, showing an interesting combination of text and illustration. and I developed a style for the pictures that was slightly different than what we did in the film, but still kept the chinese feel. the publisher had very different opinions about the distribution of text on one side and illustration on the other. I suggested that someone else illustrated the book. below are some of the layout pages and a styled double page in color. the technique is a pen and ink drawing, using brown ink, then colored the old traditional way with feltpen and feltpen-airbrush, and a touch of colored pencil and gouache.

© disney enterprises, inc

german illustration 2

26 12 2009

the following are some illustrations from children books I enjoyed when I was a lot younger. I found out more about the illustrator, it is FRITZ BAUMGARTEN, 1883 – 1966. he studied art at the royal academy in dresden and munic. first he made a living designing picture postcards, but soon he became well known as an illustrator of children books. his imagination and the love for detail is impressive, no wonder his over 500 illustrated books were very popular and some still are in new editions.

© schwager & steinlein publisher / fritz baumgarten

The Hidden History of Oz

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