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The First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Volume 0379

A Master At Work

The JoN & Dejah Sketch
Part II

JoN and Tom Yeates

on the 
Tom Yeates
Dick Spargur
La from the Dick Spargur Collection
Tom did the picture of La for me, with knife upraised.  I watched him do most of it plus the picture of Sue-On and Bill (of course).  His process was to sketch and lay out the whole thing in pencil.  Then he used an artist's pen to do the inking over the pencils.  It looked a little like a marking pen but must have been a special pen for this kind of work.  The pen point was rather pliable and the ink flowed from it quite readily.  He got a lot of thick, bold strokes from it by pressing a bit harder and finer strokes by pressing less hard, all with the same pen.  If this had been a professional job, he'd no doubt brought out more pens for different strokes and textures, I imagine...  The heavy dark background areas were also filled in, I believe, with the same pen, pressing the point flat onto the paper to let a lot of ink flow out.  I must add that, whatever stroke he made, it ALWAYS looked good too.  Fascinating..  He must go through those pens in a hurry, using up the ink and needing another.

When he was done inking and the ink had dried, which it did rapidly, he brought out a good gum eraser and removed all of the pencil marks.  It was fascinating to watch this beautiful drawing emerge.  The inking was the most amazing thing to see.  His pencils were sketchy and looked like a typical doodle due to their lack of detail but when he applied that ink...  Wow!  What a craftsman!  I loved to watch him!

I asked him how he kept things, i.e. the figure's, in such proportion and he said it's a struggle for all artists as there's a tendency, which he said he has to fight, not to draw them with the legs or torso too short. He did say that he was past putting huge noses on them (my own problem, one I can't shed).  He didn't need to do the kind of tricks to maintain proportion that I'd read of other artists using, such as keeping the torso at three or four times the head size, the legs even more; he just eyeballed it.  The results were really impressive!

Proud Owners of Other Yeates Originals
Mary Burroughs with SketchesBarry Stubbersfield and Bill Hillman
Yeates Pellucidar painting from the David Critchfield collection

Copyright 2000 ~ Bill & Sue-On Hillman, Inc..

Continued from Part I

Volume 0379

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