As a teen-ager I had a poster of this painting thumbtacked to the wall above my bed (I wonder what my parents thought). Frank Frazetta, the artist who created that picture, was one of the reasons I even entertained the idea of becoming some kind of professional illustrator someday. Just this evening at the weekly get-together after work the costume designer mentioned he had a documentary about Mr. Frazetta. He popped it into the DVD player and I watched about half of it. It brought back all the feelings I had as a kid about Frazetta’s work – the savage energy, the beautiful women, the crazy drama, the seemingly effortless draftsmanship – and a bit of the story behind it all, which I hadn’t known. For instance, he painted most of his pictures in over the course of eight to ten hours each, usually the night before they were due. Another tidbit is that he never worked from reference; it was all in his head. That alone is mind-blowing. His official gallery has a ton of biographical information, and this unofficial site has a ton of fairly high-res scans of his paintings and pen-and-ink drawings. As I was checking out his site I happened upon this page showing sketches he made as a kid in a single night from an anatomy book in an effort to “learn anatomy”. They appear to be from George Bridgeman, only – forgive me for saying it – but more polished than Mr. Bridgeman’s drawings, in my opinion anyway.
I envy the student who happens upon Frank Frazetta for the first time.