Saturday, 25 October 2014

Raymond Sheppard and Liss Fine Art

Paul Liss has let me know that there are some original Raymond Sheppard artworks for sale and I thought I'd highlight them as they are gorgeous studies. Click on the captions to get to Liss Fine Art site


Servals (Leptailurus serval) are a medium-sized African wild cat.  Sheppard did not have the means to travel to Africa and based most  of his drawings of animals observed at Regents Park Zoo.  On the strength of these - through which he gained a reputation as one of the finest artists in this field - he was made a Fellow of the Zoological Society in 1949. In the same year, he published ‘Drawing at the Zoo’, one of three collaborations made with The Studio magazine

Studies of hippopotamus
Hippo resting
Study of a tiger

Polar Bear glancing right


Monday, 13 October 2014

Animals and their young by Raymond Sheppard (Part Four)

In my previous three articles we have seen all the pictures, from the Longacre Press book, 'Animals and their Young', taken from the series first published in Swift during 1957.

Now let’s look at how the reprinted artwork differs from their appearance in the original feature. The format of the 1962 book, has a comprehensive description of the animal on the left hand side of each page-opening, with the illustration taking up the complete right hand page. The Porcupine is shown below and, where possible, an accompanying copy of other features taken from Swift is also included with the original published artwork.

Page 60 showing text on the Porcupine

Swift 21 Sept 1957 The Crested Porcupine
Page 61 Porcupine

While it’s not especially obvious in this example, another artist has completed the drawing of the baby porcupine in the foreground, also adding the rocks and earth surface, to the bottom right hand corner of the reprinted illustration. On closer examination, the treatment of the boulders and ground area does vary slightly from Raymond Sheppard’s original handling of the remainder of the artwork. Each of the pictures included in the book contains a similar reworked section somewhere..

David Slinn who, as previously mentioned, worked for Swift in the late Fifties, provided this clearer explanation:

“All the illustrations for ‘Animals and Their Young’, and also ‘Birds and Their Nests’, incorporated a panel of flat colour to accommodate the short descriptive text. This would then be lettered on a thin cartridge overlay, attached by a small taped-hinge to the adjacent margin of the artwork. During the preparation of the four-colour separations at Eric Bemrose Limited [the printers based in Liverpool], the overlay was flapped aside, leaving the artwork fully exposed. Then, with the overlay back in place, a second black negative was made of the lettering in its correct position. This procedure ensured the printed caption would be on a solid area of colour, free of any reversed-out image of the lettering. If you examine the reproductions in the books closely, although the majority of these later additions to the artwork are very skilfully executed, it is possible to see where each of the original illustrations has been extended.”  

David’s informative revelations led me to publishing another article on my other blog Visual Rants. 

And here are some other featured animals where either – thanks to the kindness of Christine Sheppard – I have cuttings or, more recently, further scans from David. Now look carefully to see where each caption panel has been replaced, with an area of additional artwork, on these pages from the Longacre Press book.

p.73 Tapir (top left filled easily!)
Swift 2 Nov 1957 The Malayan Tapir

p.37 Leopard
Swift 31 Aug 1957 The Leopard

Cover of reprint book uses The Tiger and the box is easily filled in!

Swift 27 April 1957 Tigers

p. 11 Bison

Swift 13 April 1957 Bison
And lastly, particular thanks to David Slinn for this scan of the single example that I don’t own in any form – as it doesn’t appear in the reprint book – so, that’s the whole series reproduced for the first time in 57 years! Although, for followers of my Frank Bellamy blog, this won’t be the first time a missing Lynx from Swift has been provided by David – giving me the opportunity to acknowledge his collaboration, in both putting together and writing this series of articles.

Swift 5 October 1957 The Lynx

Monday, 6 October 2014

Animals and their young by Raymond Sheppard (Part Three)

Here's the rest of the alphabet from Animals and their young published by Longacre Press in 1962 based on the original series drawn by Raymond Sheppard in the Swift comic

Llama p. 41

Monkeys p.43

Okapi p.47

Orang-Utan p.51

Panda p.55

Platypus p.57

Polar Bear p. 59

Puma p.63

Rhinoceros p.65

Seal p.67

Tapir p.73

Wolf p.77

Zebra p. 79
NEXT: Part Four in which we investigate the differences between the reprinted art and that which appeared in the Swift comic