Monday 13 August 2012

Fans of Frank: Tim Keable

My tentacles stretch far and wide throughout the Internet and my contacts are really good to me. Richard Sheaf alerted me to some look-a-like art that I may be interested in.  Off I went to Justyce Served: A Small Start with a Big Finish

Tim Keable's 'Justyce Served'
It looked so much like Bellamy I had to ask the artist about it. Sure enough it turns out Tim Keable's influences certainly include Bellamy. But I also felt that this looked like something I'd seen by Kelly Freas, the famous American SF artist. Why did I think this?

Kelly Freas 'Lorelei of the mist' borrowed from

I'd seen the above many years ago and thought although obviously not Bellamy it had an aspect of his work and this helped me to think about FB's work in better terms.Look at the square thumb, the hairy arm, the impressionistic 'slashes' of lines and the shadowy implied figure, oh, and there's a naked woman.

Frank Bellamy: Radio Times17 June - 23 June 1972, p.12
Compare the above to Tim's drawing and you see immediate inspiration. The above was drawn by Bellamy to accompany The Quatermass experiment a programme about Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Hammer Horror films. "The blob that won the Queen's Award" was the byeline under the picture - sorry for the awful photocopy.

Frank Bellamy: Radio Times 11 - 17 May 1974, p.54
Another Bellamy extended arm, in this piece to accompany  The Movie Quiz Late horror show "Can you escape the icy grip of the Movie Quiz late horror show: 11.12?"

After asking Tim about this, he kindly wrote back to me regarding this work:
The brief was to do a Doctor Who illustration that couldn't have the Tardis or Daleks or anything that might be deemed as copyright material. That's why that box with the light on top might just be a rectangular spaceship passing in front of a big star! As to my influences you're right. Frank's RT horror pix are among my very favourite of his illustrations. Yes, Kelly Freas too.  I did the art on white scraperboard which allowed me to scrape away highlights much as Kelly Freas did.I think Frank used this technique and surface for some of those early magazine illustrations he did in the 1950s There's a pic of a lizard that springs to mind [Norman: see FB and Lilliput].I was also influenced by another Analog artist called called George Schelling. If you Google him you'll see that he shares a similar approach to his work that Frank had.

Frank Bellamy: Radio Times 29 May - 4 June 1971
 Frank Bellamy was extraordinary in so many ways. Firstly, as a comics artist the number one priority is clarity of storytelling. Frank always achieved this and then delivered a page that always had so much design going on there too.Then there is the impeccable draughtsmanship. Second to none in my opinion. He always knew when to apply the "less is more" principle and in most cases his drawings are much simpler than they look.This applies to his colour work as well. Often he used a very limited palette to achieve his desired result. Take the RT cover "Movie Crazy Years": Mostly brown but with a touch of green in there with very little red, yellow or blue to be seen. Add to this the speed at which he (and his contemporaries to be fair) had to work. There are few around today who could deliver this quality of work within the time frame. Often when I'm struggling I'll ask "How would Frank have got over this problem?" and it always helps! Once again Norman I'd like to congratulate you on a wonderful site. Keep up the good work! Kind wishes,Tim.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my questions Tim and to allow me to add some new pictures to the blog.

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