William Stobbs Illustrator

Recently, it seems that I have found a number of pieces by book illustrators.  Especially those involved in children’s literature.  This week’s chapter is from another illustrator and his name is #WilliamStobbs (1914 – 2000).  He was born in June of 1914 at South Shields, England.  His childhood was spent by the North Sea which appears in many of his drawings later in his life.  He graduated from the Durham School of Art and took a post at Rolls Royce where he was involved with the development of the Merlin Engine.

Piper with Reclining Woman drawing with wash by William Stobbs @ 1942

Piper with Reclining Woman drawing with wash by William Stobbs @ 1942

Shortly after WWII, Stobbs became head of the design department at the London School of Printing and Graphic Art.  In 1958 he became Principal of Maidstone College of Art where he remained for 21 years.

William Stobbs illustrated over 100 children’s books.  In 1959, he won the Kate Greenaway Medal – being cited for two books that year – Kashtanka and A Bundle of Ballads.

William Stobbs was a master with black line drawings.  A wonderful sense of detail which leads to intricacy of texture and intimacy of decoration.

The illustration I have comes from a time when Stobbs was still settling into his artistic style – pre children’s illustrator.  From this piece one can see the foundation of his art – the basis of his style.  There is an ease and sureness to the lines, definition and detail and yet done with a minimum of fuss, intimacy and warmth, and truth in relationship.

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