A Comparative Analysis of Quentin Blake’s ‘the Bfg’ and Sara Fanelli’s “Wolf”

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  • Topic: Roald Dahl, Illustration, The BFG
  • Pages : 5 (1653 words )
  • Download(s) : 542
  • Published : May 18, 2012
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This essay looks at 2 artists who have had a massive impact on the illustrative world. Quentin Blake, best known for the hugely popular illustrations made for Roald Dahls books. I will be analyzing his illustration of ‘The BFG’, published in 1999 , alongside Sara Fanelis ‘Wolf!’ pictorial narrative. Sara Fanelli’s art brut style (Heller, S. 2001) of work is well known and respected by illustrators. This essay will examine the influences and motivations of the artists, the materials and techniques used, alongside issues that have been bought up in the past. This essay will highlight the similarities in Blake and Fanellis work as well as displaying significant differences.

Quentin Blake’s illustration of the BFG shows the image of a tiny girl standing on the palm of a very large man. The girl, dressed in a pink nighty, is reaching with outstretched arms towards the giant, although wanting to embrace him. The ‘giant’ appears to be quite old, black fine lines are drawn on his face to give the impression of wrinkles. His ears are disproportionate to the rest of his body, possibly being larger than the giants head itself. The tonal values in the illustration are very soft, suggesting the use of water colours, details have been gone over with waterproof black ink and a lot of scruffy looking dip pens (Blake, 2008). Sara Fanellis illustration of the ‘Wolf’ shows a very franticly drawn wolf (resembling Ed Korens scratchy cartoon creatures) (Heller, S, 2001) on a bright yellow background. He has random lines of red and black in his fur coat alongside paper cut claws and red eyes with pasted on eyebrows. He is wearing odd shoes, one an orangey red, the other a very soft turquoise. The wolf is giving a pair of red glasses to what appears to be an old woman in a blue polka dotted dress. Both Blake and Fanelli have sources of inspiration that motivates their work. Blake illustrated the character the ‘BFG’ for the book that Roald Dahl wrote; When it's a book for which someone else has written the words, the process begins when the typescript appears from the publishers. (Blake, 2008) this shows that the ideas behind this character were derived from the text of an author Blake was working with at the time, it was a comissioned project therefore creativity was limited. Fanelli however, created the book ‘wolf’ as she went along, it is a pictorial children’s story, therefore in some cases the pictures came before the text, therefore the bulk of her motivation came from her love of illustration; for [her] the main thing with children’s books is to enter a world that takes you somewhere else (Blake, 2008). Sara Fanelli, an Italian graphic designer, moved away from her roots in Florence to attend Camberwell college of Art and Design in London, coming away with a BA in graphic design. Fanelli also had the advantage of coming from an art-savvy family: her father teaches the history of architecture at the university of Florence, having also written about graphics, and her mother researches the history of textiles. (Heller, S, 2001). Blake on the other hand did not have a family with an artistic background, but started his career by studying English at Downing College in Cambridge, from 1953-1956. After completing this he went on to become a part-time student at Chelsea College of Art and design. Similarly, Both Fanelli and Blake are very educated illustrators, however Blake, being more educated in an academic point of view rather than an artistic point of view. When growing up, Blake was evacuated to the West Country during the war, which [he] hated. [he] enjoyed secondary school: [he] went to Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar Schoo] (Blake, Q, 2008) Fanellis inspiration did not come from a person she had met, she says she was influenced by the great pre-war illustrations and poster makers of Italy and Germany. (Smurthwaite, N 2003). Artists which Fanelli has isaid to be nspired by are Kurt Schwitters, the Dadaists and artists of the Bauhaus -...
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