Walter Hunt Everett

By Armand Cabrera

Walter Hunt Everett was born on August 20 1880. He spent his childhood on a farm in Haddonfield, New Jersey. In his teens he attended The Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art. Sometime later he attended the Drexel Institute and studied under Howard Pyle.

He began getting professional work in his early twenties. Everett worked for The Saturday Evening Post, Scribner’s Monthly, Women’s Home Companion, McCall’s, Collier’s,Ladies Home Journal, and illustrated a number of books. He provided color frontispieces for the eighteen volume set of The Works of Louise Muhlbach.

Everett also taught briefly at the Spring Garden Institute and The School of Industrial Art from 1911 to 1915 but quit when he felt teaching was too confining.

Everett’s early work shows the influence of Pyle and other successful illustrators of the day like E.A. Abbey. The designs while strong are simple and the color is subdued.
As he matured his work became more personal. He developed an intricate sense of design and color and he incorporated more figures in his work. His later work becomes more focused on flat planes of painted color and even more sophisticated designs. His brushwork is bold and free but never sloppy or haphazard.
Although he was in demand as an illustrator through the 1920’s and early 1930’s, his temperamental nature and perfectionism caused him to miss deadlines. In a fit one day he burned most of his life’s work and very few originals survive. He was married briefly but his wife left him when he continually failed to pay bills and rent on time. He ended up moving in with a brother in Pennsylvania sometime in the 1930’s and spent the end of his life painting for the pure joy it gave him. Walter Hunt Everett died in 1946 at the age of 66.


Walter Everett Forgotten Master
Step by Step Graphics Volume 4 Number 1
Benjamin and Jane Sperry Eisenstat

200 Years of American Illustration

Henry C. Pitz

The Illustrator in America (3 volumes)

1900-1960, 1880-1980, 1860-2000
Walt Read
I want to thank Kev Ferarra for some of the Everett pictures and information in this article.
Other Articles on the web about Walter Everett

Surface Quality

by Armand Cabrera

Oil Paintings are more than just good drawing and good color and design. Often the way the paint is applied can be just as important. Once you learn the basics of representational picture making in oils it is important that your work take advantage of all the properties of the paint.


One way of achieving this is the use of paint quality and handling. Imprimatura, scumbling, impasto and glazing all add an extra dimension of interest to traditional work when applied with intelligence and forethought.


Walk into any museum and look at a representational painting from the impressionist painters or golden age illustrators and you will see the use of all dimensions and properties of the paint at play. Nowhere was this more apparent than at the Howard Pyle show at the Delaware and the concurrent N.C. Wyeth show at the Brandywine Museum. Huge areas of the total canvas rendered with nothing more than a dark imprimatura. Lights loaded with impasto, color glazed and scumbled over other colors instead of blended. In some places the raw weave of the canvas showing through all to great effect.


It’s the same for the impressionists here and abroad at the turn of the 20th century. These artists knew their materials and let the unique properties of each artists chosen medium exert itself in the image. It is this philosophy of fidelity to the paint itself that give these works so much power and beauty.
It is an important lesson to be learned, that a thing has an inherent beauty and purpose. As an artist we must be sensitive enough to recognize those qualities and use them in service of our ideas so that it complements the work and raises it beyond the commonplace.


Zdenek Burian


Armand Cabrera

Zdenek Burian was born in 1905 in Morovia in the Czech Republic. Burian showed talent at an early age. He was accepted into the art academy in Prague at 14. He completed two years of training at the academy but dropped out in his third year to take professional illustration assignments. Burian received regular assignments for illustration magazines and books all through the 1920’s. Burian married in 1927.

 It was about this time he started illustrating famous adventure novels and classics for English and Czech publishers. The titles included the Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling, Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World and Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea.

 In 1935 Burian met professor Josef Augusta and in 1941 started a collaboration on recreations of prehistoric man and flora and fauna. In the 1950’s a series of books were published that would bring Burian world renown. They were reprinted by Paul Hamlyn in England in the late 50’s and early 60’s.

Burian’s prolific output is estimated to be in the range of 15,000 to 20,000 drawings and paintings. He has influenced generations of comic book artists and illustrators who grew up seeing his depictions of their favorite stories and his paintings of prehistoric worlds.

 Zdenek Burian Died in Prague in 1981. There is a Museum now dedicated to his work In the Czech Republic.


I usually get my information for these biographies from books. In this case all the biographical information I found was on the internet. Most of it was in Czech  and was translated by the computer. There are a few references in English

English References

The Edgar Rice Burroughs ERBzine website an article written by Camille Cazedessus

Bud Plant Illustrated Books website

Jim Vadeboncoeur

Czech Reference

Zdenek Burian Museum

Quote (translated)

You know, a painter, as well as an actor must be able to experience all the adventure of his drawing in his imagination. If he wants to paint a horse that swims the rapids, he must be on that horse for a while. 
Zdenek Burian

Illustrating Modern Life

Armand Cabrera

The Kelly Collection of Golden Age of American Illustrators including Leyendecker, Pyle, Cornwell, Wyeth, Dunn, Rockwell, Scheaffer, among others will be on display at the Frederick R Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University.

The dates are January 12 through March 31 2013, The opening Reception is Saturday January 12, 5-7 pm



You can find more information about the show here
And more about the Kelly Collection here
I want to thank Richard Kelly for sending me the information about this important show.

Rien Poortvliet

Armand Cabrera

I have been planning to do a post on Poortvliet for some time when I found this video in English on YouTube put up by Erik Fernström  its about 20 minutes

He is most famous for his book of Gnomes but had many other books including Journey to the Ice Age, Noah’s Ark, The Living Forest and He Was One of Us. He was the first artist I ever came across that produced books that seemed to be based on sketches loosely built around a theme. They were very organic, and looked to be created the way one would create a personal sketchbook.

While there have been many artists who have produced books of sketches or drawing going back to the beginning of representational art, those books always seemed planned and very formal to me. His books are a marvel, filled with hundreds of drawings and watercolor or oil vignettes stuck all over the pages. Each book also has full page finished paintings every few pages to anchor the rest of the work.  Usually the accompanying text is in script.

I don’t have any biographical information from any of his English language books that I own but Wikipedia has some information here

If you are not familiar with his work I suggest picking up one of his books, The Farm Book, My Grandfather’s House or Dutch Treat are a good place to start. All of his books show a joy of drawing and painting.


The Living Forest

He Was One of Us

The Farm Book

 Co-authored with Wil Huygen


Dutch Treat

Secrets of the Gnomes

Noah’s Ark

In My Grandfather’s House

The Book of the Sandman

Daily Life in Holland in the Year 1566


Journey to the Ice Age