It’s early 1960s – time to sell something!

Something in me really likes those 1950s to 1960s advertising illustrations. Some of them are pretty cheesy, but on the whole they’re really quite a good example of skilled illustration, with great colour use. They’re certainly highly evocative. It’s a shame that commercial illustration these days seems to tend more towards the cutesy, deliberately bad whimsical drawings of pigeon toed girls with huge heads and men with birds in their beards – whereas illustration in this era was a more vibrant alternative to photography.

Anyway! Here is an illustration for A Single Man, a movie that’s very much about the 1960s, but not really so much about this very cheerful, white-bread nuclear family reality depicted in the advertising of the time.

A Single Man

Kind of a funny way to depict it, when you take into account George Falconer’s disdain for “the desire to raise Coke-drinking TV watching children who, as soon as they can speak, chant TV jingles and smash things with hammers” – which is, of course, what much of the advertising at the time was all about.

I am pleased about my ability to find a watercolour pad in widescreen format. The paint behaves very differently on pure watercolour paper to how it does on printing and drawing paper, and it’s an interesting change to once again paint something without the black outlines I’ve been using for my Bremen illustrations.