Frank Frazetta is one of the most notable illustrators of the 20th century. He was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1928 and was a talented artist from a young age. He worked on many projects throughout his life, including comic books, posters, a majority in the style of science fiction and fantasy. He is also notable for his work done for the comic book character Conan.
He passed away May 10, 2010, but left a legacy behind that influenced many modern illustrators. Although I am not a fan of the fantasy style that he emulates, it is a great example of how far you can go with Illustration and the amount of skill it requires to create such pieces.
Looking at Frazetta’s artwork, one can see the talent required to express the overall feeling and detail. A majority of his pieces have moody color choices and are contrasted extremely well. The contrast leads to a wonderful “vignette” appearance.
Looking below at the Swamp Demon, which was done for a comic book cover, these elements are both evident. My eyes move from the bottom of the page up the arm of the woman and towards the torso and head of the Demon depicted in the painting. The sharp highlights create the effect of patches of light barely piercing through the gloomy swamp.
The colors chosen are mixtures of a variety of both warm and cool colors. There is a great balance between the color usage which bring about unity in the piece. This technique ensures that nothing stands out too much
I also find that the figures in his pieces are astounding. Frazetta focuses on the importance of the muscles. The accentuation of the muscles are often exaggerated (comic book-like), but it demonstrates his knowledge on how the figure is built. This is an integral part of his illustrations because the eyes are often drawn in awe to how built up the figures are painted.
Frank Frazetta is someone to take a look at to study his figures, compositions, and use of shadows and highlights. I recommend taking a look at the website below to view a large amount of his works.
Featured Image : http://capnscomics.blogspot.com/2014/04/conan-by-frank-frazetta.html