Gil Elvgren’s Pin-Up Girls And Their Photo Reference

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The Pin-up girl culture became very popular during the early 20th century and continued well into the 80s and even late 90s. Many pin-ups were photographs of celebrities who were considered sex symbols. Other pin-ups were artwork, often depicting idealized versions of what some thought a particularly beautiful or attractive woman should look like. The genre also gave rise to several well-known artists specializing in the field, one of whom was the American painter and illustrator Gil Elvgren.

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Gil Elvgren was one of the most important pin-up and glamour artists of the twentieth century. He was a master of portraying the feminine, but he wasn't limited to the calendar pin-up industry. He was strongly influenced by the early "pretty girl" illustrators, such as Charles Dana Gibson, Andrew Loomis, and Howard Chandler Christy. Other influences included the Brandywine School founded by Howard Pyle.

Elvgren was a commercial success. His clients ranged from Brown & Bigelow and Coca-Cola to General Electric and Sealy Mattress Company. During the 1940s and 1950s he illustrated stories for a host of magazines, such as The Saturday Evening Post and Good Housekeeping. Although best known for his pin-ups, his work for Coca-Cola and others depicted typical Americans — ordinary people doing everyday things. The women Elvgren painted were never the femme fatale, the female adventuress, or somebody's mistress. They are the girl next door whose charms are innocently revealed in that fleeting instant when she is caught unaware in what might be an embarrassing situation.

This gallery shows some of his artwork of pin-up girls and the photos he used as reference.

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Sources: ElvgrenPinup.com, ulkacurl

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10 comments:

  1. Hello, 41 of the images above are of Janet Rae. I'm the owner of the original photos and the images were stolen off my ficker account 2 years ago, it's amazing to see how they have traveled over the internet all this time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey 'Anonymous', please publish the book of these pictures like you were planning to - they are works of art. Please keep it really simple - photo and painting on facing pages, all full page. And thank you for sharing them in the first place.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Might you have the image he used for the girl and the turtle?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I envy Gil Elvgren's talent for capturing the female form on canvass. He's very inspiring,too. I'm going to try to learn how to paint pinups, someday.

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  5. LOL THE MODELS ARE SO UGLY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. REALLY? I don't think so. Adjust your eyes, pal.

      Delete
  6. The models aren't supposed to be gorgeous. Pin-up art is about the legs, small waist, and the right perky attitude. The faces get changed! Just like runway modeling is about fitting the clothes and when I modeled, we had to stick to special specific measurements that basically correspond to a size 1 in the U.S. except with better proportions: same size chest & hips and a full 30 cm less (12in.) on the waist.

    ReplyDelete
  7. WOW! The models are "ugly"? Your comment is ugly! Real women don't look like glorified embellished pin-up models, Lame-O.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love how even tho he is paying close attention to the reference pictures he is in no way limited to them. Variations of body positions and the proper lighting that would go with the adjustments show his true skill to not only observe but properly render.

    ReplyDelete

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