Roy G. Krenkel - "at The Earths Core" - Original Pencil Illustration - Erb For Sale
"At the Earth's Core" an Original Drawing by Roy G. Krenkel. Soft pencil on a creme 9.25 x 6 inch card with a slightly smaller image, signed.This drawing
executed in 1936 is one of the earliest Krenkel drawings we have yet put up for
sale. It was executed in 1936 when the artist was only 18 years of age. This
said it is an amazingly confident piece of draftsmanship for one so young. The
drawing is essentially a copy of one of Allen St. John's interior illustrations
for At the Earth's Core. Roy left much of the detail out of the background
rendering only a portion of the dense foliage of the original although the long
necked reptiles and their mounts are fully sketched in but only in outline.This
is unusual in that the artist fully signed this work and dated it, something he
would not have done - had he not felt it was finished as is. Perhaps Roy felt
the drawing would be made more effective if the details of the background were
only suggested, as if the creatures were lost partially in mist. This however,
is just an educated guess.The foreground figures by contrast are amazingly close
to St. John's original.
In his numerous copies of drawings by Norman Lindsay and J. AllenSt. John (two of his favorite illustrators) Roy would often add details or leave out details . Many of the copies are adaptions...learning experiences in adapting an artist's approach to his work while assimilating his technical process. The changes also reflect not only an attempt to put something of himselfinto a copy of a work by another artist but also an attempt to add details or subtract details that the artist felt would improve the overall look of a given illustration. For instance in a copy of one of Lindsay's wonderful pen drawings from the Satyricon, Krenkel both alters the background details slightly and corrects the anatomy of the womanin the foreground making her shoulder and clavicle more anatomically correct. Even at this stage of his career Roy was an astonishingly astute designer and an exceedingly skillful draftsman. Many of his early drawings are superb examples of skillful draftsmanship. The pains he would take to assure that all the elements of a composition were correct in drawing are readily apparent in the early sketches, all elements of a composition being worked out separately in detail. It is this exhaustive preparation undertaken when the artist was still in his teens that allowed Krenkel to execute his later illustrations with only the slightest reliance on reference material. Frazetta also used only intermittent referencepossibly influenced to some degree by Krenkel's scrupulousness. (both artists spent time in their youth copying a complete book on anatomy cover to cover to learn the salient details of the human machine.)
This drawing is the only copy of a St.John drawing by Krenkel we have offered to date and one of the very few to surface that I'm aware of, certainly from this early period. It once more calls attention to the close association (certainly from an iconographic standpoint)between these two great illustrators both amongst the foremost Burroughs artists of their generation. It brings the two together both the earlier master and his brilliant disciple. in a single work. I'm doubtful another drawing like this one by RGK will come up any time soon.This drawing comes from the archives of the RGK Estate and has never been offered for sale before. Authentication upon demand will be sent. The new book of Krenkel drawings Sirens and Sibyls will be out this summer. Look for it for a wealth of more great drawings by this major fantasy illustrator.
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