Shooting Illustrations







Western Action Novel 1

(Courtesy of Steve Cherry)














From Steve Cherry comes a lesson in vintage paperback cover art. His father, Sam Cherry, was a prolific illustrator of these books. Steve sent me pictures not only of his dad's finished covers, but of one of his photographs, as well.

While professional photographers did not necessarily need to know how to draw or paint, professional painters DID need to know how to take a good photograph. As a rule, cover illustrations did not fetch a very good price, and artists couldn't afford to pay models for lengthy sessions, so they often worked from photos of various poses. Often, they painted using self-images ... as is the case here: this photo is of the artist himself. (Another famous paperback cover artist, Robert Stanley, worked almost exclusively from photo images of himself and his wife.)

Many of my reference books about illustrators (click HERE) reveal that several famous painters also ran photographic studios on the side (or perhaps they painted illustrations on the side).