Friday, January 6, 2012

RBW: Count Rene Bouet-Willaumez, Fashion Illustrations: June 1950

1950s illustrations
50s fashion illustrations
The three fashion illustrations here are editorial drawings from the June 1950 issue of "Vogue" magazine painted by Count Rene Bouet-Willaumez (RBW). He was a top fashion illustrator from the pre-WWII era, along with Carl Erickson, better known as "Eric", Christian Berard and Rene Bouche. Having built a strong reputation during the 1930's, RBW would continue to provide drawings for Vogue and Bazaar into the early 1950's.

His loose, Asian inspired brush work illustation style was part of the "Expressionist" movement. He was proficient in creating a dynamic illustration using black india ink on rough cotton paper. The 1950's would mark the end of fashion illustration editorials in glossy fashion magazines. Photography moved quickly into the dominant editorial position.

Drawing from a live model wearing the dress, his technique can be seen in the use of a wet paper to flow on the gray shaded areas. When that had dried, he painted the illustration, probably using a tapered asian paint brush or similar shaped water color brush dipped in deep black india ink. The textured areas are 'dry brush' painted with a brush that has had the ink pressed out, so the brush is damp. This style had a sensitive line that was popular through out the magazine and newspaper industry during this era.


What-I-Found said...

I love vintage patterns and fashion illustrations, but often have a hard time finding out much about these artists. Thanks you for this in-depth article, I'll be watching for his work. And now I'll know more about what I'm seeing.

Jen O said...

Thanks, I have been combing through my older fashion illustration text books, where bits of information are hidden away!