Thursday, July 24, 2014

Oceans and Orbits (1980)

This is outside of the date scope of my usual posts but as I was sorting through books last week the illustrations in here reminded me of the previous book On the spacecraft (1968). A little psychedelic space art for a hot July day.

This is a textbook that is an anthology of children's fiction and non-fiction.

Eller, William Eller; et al. Oceans and orbits. River Forest, Ill. : Laidlaw Bros.216 p. 1980
The Laidlaw reading program, level 13.

Those in the know see how this story seems to mix a early 1960s animal astronaut with a Gemini capsule. which seems to be on its way to the Moon.

Luckily a friendly alien sends the dog home to his master. The next story (or really art from the story) is a futuristic flight on a space shuttle in the year 2025.

These next few illustrations are wonderful surrealistic journeys into outer space (art).

Look for more wild stuff soon.

Monday, July 14, 2014

On the Spacecraft (1968) (Part 2)

Part 2 of my post on this colorfully illustrated book. I find the colors and illustration style of this book really unique.

See part 1 here:

On the spacecraft. Painted by Stakhursky. Poland: Zaklady Graficzne. 22 cm. 134 p. 

The mechanical device see almost surreal and I have never seen a "space dog" anywhere that was as strange as this.

The beautiful weirdness just goes on and on.

I am not sure if these are supposed to be androids or just heavily modified humans.

Exploration of alien worlds seems to include meeting aliens themselves.

 The books ends on a realistic note showing some of the actual planned spacecraft on both the Russian and U.S. sides of the space race.  I hope you enjoyed these illustrations, I am glad I had a chance to share such great bits of imagination.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

On the Spacecraft (1968) (Part 1)

This is yet another "lost" children's book treasure from the Soviet Union. As always if you have a better title translation or can give me better author or publisher information I will add it to the entry.

On the spacecraft. Painted by Stakhursky. Poland: Zaklady Graficzne. 22 cm. 134 p. 
The illustrations/paintings in this book stretch space art into an abstract direction. I am fascinated how soviet art in these children's books can be so much more abstract/surrealistic/impressionistic than the American. Because there are so many great illustrations I will also break this up into 2 parts.

The colors and style make these illustrations beautiful objects separate from the text (which I can't read anyway.)

For example, the cosmonaut floating in the cabin look wonderfully symbolic of the tubes and fitting that you need to stay alive in space. The cosmonaut with his glass of water looks less than graceful and yet the overall image is framed beautifully.

This Russian space station illustration also is wonderful. The purple and blue make it glow like a jewel floating in space.

The rest of the illustrations are even better (and stranger) so be sure to look at the next post when I get my act together.

Monday, June 23, 2014

How to Draw Rockets & Spaceships (1958)

Probably not a children's book but I imagine a child finding this and learning how to draw their favorite stuff. Certainly I would have cherished this one if I had seen it at the right age (back when we decorated our notebooks).

Sargeant, Charles. Illustrated by Sargeant, Charles. How to Draw Rockets and Spaceships. London : The Studio Publications. (64 p.) 18 cm. (1958) 

 An unusual "children's" book, it is dedicated to "The Spaceship Pilots of the Future".  Straightforward text on drawing, shadow, perspective etc. with short sections on rocket theory and the future of space travel. It has very nice drawings of rockets, space stations, Moon landers and a moon base. Worth seeking out for the beautiful art. Part of a series of "How to draw" books. (How to draw, no. 43.)

What I enjoy most is that it gives you some basic art techniques to start but then much of the book is "inspiration" and examples of what you could draw. These examples are beautiful.

Charles Sargeant did a very nice job with the text describing the scenes he drew. He seems to have had some interest in manned space flight so the book reads like a guide for both non-fiction and fictional illustrations.

I have not been able to find out very much about him except this book and a science fiction novel of the time that he illustrated.

These illustrations show how perspective can be changed to create some dynamic illustrations.

Finally I love this flying car.  Most illustrations just show them going downtown but this one really can take you places!