Saturday, November 23, 2019
How did this elaborate drawing get whittled down to the spare image adorning the back cover of the book? For such drastic changes to an image, Edward Gorey would typically either redraw the entire piece, or glue pieces of paper over the parts to be removed and redraw on the art itself. Today the image would be altered in a matter of minutes by erasing the dragon on a computer, but in 1971 the process would have been done by hand as a cut and paste using a stat or film. On the original artwork, there are a series of four xeroxed border panels affixed to the surface of the drawing, indicating the new placement of the horizontal decorative border row on the wall. Were the xeroxes made and affixed by Edward Gorey himself? This is one mystery that may never be solved.
Thursday, November 7, 2019
A recent post features a drawing from Edward Gorey's third published book, The Doubtful Guest (1957 Doubleday & Company). Arguably one of Mr. Gorey's most beloved publications, the drawing is captioned:
It would carry off objects of which it was fond,
And protect them by dropping them into a pond.
Illustrators have many tricks they employ to quickly make changes to a piece of artwork so they do not need to redraw the entire image. For this Doubtful Guest drawing, multiple changes occurred within the image that are not seen in the printed version. After 62 years, the changes become more obvious as the paper tones slightly, revealing many white gouache (opaque watercolor) corrections.
Crop marks placed by the artist in the four corners of the drawing indicate to the printer the final size and shape of the printed image. For this drawing, the crop marks on all four corners have been adjusted larger than originally indicated. The adjusted cropping changes the feel of the image in the same way that a movie camera can be pulled back to show more of the scene.
Just like a good murder mystery, this piece of artwork has many clues indicating how it was done and why it happened the way it did! To view more treasures from the Edward Gorey archive, follow EdwardGoreyTrust on Instagram.