Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sidney Sime

I wanted to post a few images by one of my favourite lesser-known illustrators.

Sidney H. Sime was born in 1867 in Manchester, England. A contemporary of Arthur Rackham and Maxfield Parrish, his work has so far not enjoyed the renewed popularity of those artists.

In his day, Sime was a frequent collaborator with the poet Lord Dunsany, illustrating many of his fantasies. The influence of his imagery has been noted by writers such as H.P. Lovecraft and Ray Bradbury and echoes of his style can be seen in the work of artists like Dr. Seuss and Brian Froud.

Sime's use of Lampblack, a kind of charcoal applied with a brush and sponge, allowed him to produce black-and-white images of astounding delicacy. His mastery of this style is unequaled by any artist I have ever seen.

The images seen here are from the book Sidney H. Sime: Master of Fantasy by Paul W. Skeeters.


Tom P. said...

Jinkies! That's some fine stuff there, Steve. I think I can see some Beardsley influence there. Esp. in that fourth one down...

Maxetormer said...

Didn't know this fella, thanks for sharing his art.

Anonymous said...

I think the proper term for the art style used is "Lampblack". It refers to a medium produced from the carbon soot left behind by coal-oil lamps. The soot is mixed with water and gum arabic (I think, not sure).

It's an old medium that may be hard to find these days. I like to draw in silverpoint (literally a wire of silver) on gessoed board. No erasing involved and the drawing turns darker with age as the silver oxidizes. Kool effect over time.