Monday, March 30, 2009

Dracula ink line illustrations

In the early 1970's I was doing more work out of New York through my reps Neeley Mulvey Associates. Randy Mulvey sent me this great assignment, 35 illustrations for a Dracula story. I had done a few Dracula paperback book covers and had drawn a series of sample illustrations depicting Edgar Rice Burrough's stories which probably had a lot to do with Randy landing this assignment. It pays to do samples ! The book that the assignment was for was titled GREAT TALES OF HORROR AND SUSPENSE and was published by Galahad Books. Assignments like these were a welcome relief from the advertising work which usually were done under great pressure of tight deadlines. Of course, these particular illustrations had to be worked on between my regular advertising assignments, so there still was a certain amount of pressure involved. Pressure comes from all directions, not only deadlines but the pressure you put on yourself to try to do a great illustration.

Dracula 1  1973
These illustrations were ink line drawings with a color overlay. Above is the ink drawing and below is the drawing with the blue color overlay as it appeared in print. I shot reference photos in a local cemetery for this particular drawing.

Dracula 1A

This series of ink drawings were great fun to do. I rendered them using a crowquill pen and a brush using India ink on whatman hot-pressed illustration board

Dracula 3

Dracula 5

For models I used my illustrator friend Lou Perkowski for Dracula, just as I had done on the paperback Dracula book covers. I also used my wife Jeanne as well as some of my students from the art school where I was teaching.

Dracula 4


Charlie Allen said...

HARRY.....As usual, just great, great stuff! You definitely had more fun with story illustration than with stuffy advertising assignments. One thing....The black and whites are beautiful as is....they suffer when used with color on the finished reproductions. Except for the duo tones....they're great. Simplicity is better. Again, fine design, technique, imagination, the works! Thanks.

Vince A said...

Harry, could I ask about Jeanne?

I remember the drawing you made of her and I remember trying to do a similar drawing -- it looked so simple! I recall peering closely at each ink line, studying how one can shade a face with pure black ink.

Harry Borgman said...

Hi Charlie,
Thanks for your comments, that really was a great assignment to work on, I wish that I had gotten more book work.

Harry Borgman said...

Hi Vince,
I'm not sure just which drawing of Jeanne that you are referring to. Was it the one of her in Japan ? When rendering a face in ink line it's important to keep the tones simple. In other words, try to create one or two flat gray tones with your line work. It can be tricky working with ink line, it can be a great help to do a tight pencil tone sketch to follow when inking.

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Anonymous said...

I remember this book well from my own childhood (most especially the one of Dracula, arms bared, histrionically recounting his ancient heritage). The illustrations stuck in my head, as pictures from books you loved in childhood will. I recently gave the book to my ten-year-old nephew, so hopefully they'll get stuck in his long-term memory as well.

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what a great illustrations! Dracula has been a kind of hero for me. I love all related with him, and this drawings are not the exception. The quality of the designs is simply perfect.

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Anonymous said...

Hello, I am posting another comment tonight on your site, hoping that you rec them. I am Randy Mulvey's youngest daughter. Tonight it seems in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, I am thinking of my dad and sady remembering very little. I am hoping you could tell me anything you remember about him. I would treasure anything big or small that you can recall. Thanks so much.
Molly W