What was Arthur Rackham's usual medium?
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    What was Arthur Rackham's usual medium?

    I'm a huge fan of Arthur Rackham and have seen his originals in galleries several times (every chance I get). I've given them a good, hard look and always assumed they were watercolor over ink on paper. Googling seems to confirm this.

    So, I was just looking for a specific Rackham illustration and ran across this photo in a Britannica article of Rackham at work. Flippin' 'eck -- is that oil glazes he's using? If it's watercolor, that's a demned peculiar setup.

    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    kev ferrara is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Hey Stoat,

    I'm looking through some illustration house catalogs right now and each says for Rackham "ink & watercolor." He may have used, like many watercolorists a bit of gouache, or even tempera, who knows. But ink and watercolor were his mainstays.

    If that is oil he's painting with in that photo, don't let that throw you. It could be a publicity shot or something he just experimented with later in life.

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    Elwell is offline Sticks Like Grim Death Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Rackham did do the occasional oil painting (mostly portraits), but I'm with Kev in thinking that that's probably a posed publicity shot. All his illustration work was ink and/or watercolor.


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    Ohhhh...that makes sense. "You're an artist -- here, hold this and stand over there."

    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    I think most of the experiments in oils were from later in life, like the mid to late 20s.

    Hamilton's biography is probably still the best, but most of the images in that one are from the published illustrations. Pretty exclusively in ink and watercolor, with the occasional color woodbloc. What few oil paintings I've seen are decidedly less impressive than the stuff he did in ink, but I wouldn't even bother searching for those online, since all you're going to find is a bunch of knock off "hand painted oil reproductions" of works that were done originally in other mediums.

    Also, this is sort of an aside, but does anyone else wonder what the hell is going on with Rackham on the internet? Its like every site is still stuck in 1993, with just the most terrible font selections and jpeggery run amuck. Seems to be a recurring theme with all the Edwardian illustrators

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    did find this one using google

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    knock (v.)
    O.E. cnocian (W.Saxon cnucian), likely of imitative origin. Meaning "deprecate, put down" is from 1892. Knockoff "cheap imitation" is from 1966. Knock out "to stun by a blow for a 10-count" in boxing is short for to knock out of time; slang knockout "attractive person" is from 1892. To knock oneself out "make a great effort" is from 1936. Knock-kneed first attested 1774. Command knock it off "stop it" is first recorded 1902. Knocker "door banger" is from 1598; knockers "a woman's breasts" is from 1941. Knock up is 1663 in sense of "arouse by knocking at the door;" however it is little used in this sense in Amer.Eng., where the phrase means "get a woman pregnant" (1813), possibly ult. from knock "to copulate with" (1598; cf. slang knocking-shop "brothel," 1860).
    "Knocked up in the United States, amongst females, the phrase is equivalent to being enciente, so that Englishmen often unconsciously commit themselves when amongst our Yankee cousins." [John Camden Hotten, "The Slang Dictionary," London, 1860]

    I probably shouldn't even open up that book, but since we're time warping.

    *Also, I like how he situates his sig/symbol inside the date like that. And forget what I said above about being 'decidedly' anything. I just checked the measurements on that one - impressive, no doubt.

    Last edited by Jasonwclark; July 19th, 2009 at 04:01 PM.
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