michael charlton

December 1, 2010

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…a single line that looked so natural, so unforced, that it could just as easily be a spill from an ink bottle or a stream of smoke. But within that line he imagined an entire army laying siege to a craggy castle. It would be an image so unassuming that it concealed its beauty by appearing to be an accidental blemish. And yet when the viewer chose to focus on it they could discern all the information: the battered helmets, chipped swords, split shields, rocks, crumbling walls and all the emotion: the bleakness of the day, the striving of the army, the bucking of scared horses and the shouts of the men.

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I’ve pinched the quote from illustrator Rob Davis’ website and I like it very much. This is how Rob describes Mike Charlton’s idea of the perfect illustration. He drew many of the images familiar to those of who read children’s paperbacks published in the 1960s and 1970s. You might remember these, where the images punctuate the text on the same page, and are printed with the same ink? Lots of historic dramas, myths and nearly myths, these look terribly familiar. There’s a bibliography under the last image.

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One Response to “michael charlton”


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sean Longcroft, alison. alison said: http://wp.me/pExGV-52Z i like these words. cc @robgog […]


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