N.C. Wyeth ~ End Papers for Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island”.
Dean Cornwell ~ “Captain Blood had walked into a trap.”
-Dean was a student of Harvey Dunn’s.
Harvey Dunn and N.C. Wyeth were students of Howard Pyle.
Here’s the interesting part: Printing and Cost restrictions of the time forced artists like Pyle, Wyeth, Dunn, and Cornwell to come up with new techniques. In these examples, despite what you might think, Wyeth and Cornwell only used one color for these paintings, and then the rest was done in Black and White. They were simply not allowed to use any other colors, because the publishers couldn’t afford it, and the printing quality wouldn’t allow for more variation.
In Wyeth’s case, the figures are huge and imposing. Yet they seem to move with a grace and purpose not often seen since. The yellow used for the sky very clearly shows this to be an Island. The ground is actually White. But, because of the use of the yellow for the sky, your eyes actually fill in the missing details. The characters are all in Black and White. It’s just a yellow sky, but it’s don’t so well that you don’t really notice it.
Cornwell actually moved a good bit away from the teachings of Pyle’s school. Harvey Dunn was reportedly quite critical of Dean’s later work. Comparing the figures of Wyeth and Cornwell, Wyeth’s seem like big, muscular and dirty guys. Cornwell’s look like refined, polished gentlemen. Both work.
Anyways, in Cornwell’s case, he used highlights of a Reddish-Orange hue. The rest is just black and white. That single color-and there’s really only one shade of it-manages to enliven the entire scene. Every character seems very much so to be in full color, despite the lack of it.
Howard Pyle is referred to as “the Father of American Illustration”, and the students that attended his school in Delaware are referred to as the Golden Age of Illustration’s Masters.