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Figure Drawing Artist Paper: The Life, Process and Work of Frank Frazetta

3 examples of Frank's artwork.

3 examples of Frank's artwork.


Frank Frazetta an Analysis

Frank Frazetta was born Frank A. Frazzetta on February 9th, 1928, and raised in Brooklyn, New York he would later take off the extra z as he found it redundant and useless and to make his name look better. He played baseball as a child, but he excelled in his art classed and because of his great skill in art his teachers in early grade school pushed his parents to enroll him in an art school. He enrolled in The Brooklyn Academy of Fine Arts at age 8 where he was taught by Michele Falanga a famous Italian artist. Where he says he learned little from his teachers and more from his classmates and friends Falanga was so impressed he wanted to take him to Europe however he died when in 1944. He learned figure drawing just by reading Bridgman’s Drawing from Life. He played baseball as a child and well into adulthood almost playing for the dodgers instead, he pursued a career in art but stayed in shape as he would use himself as a model and would pose in photographs for his art.

At age 16 after the Brooklyn art academy closed because of the death of Falanga, Frazetta went out to find work where he started in comic books. Frazetta had "always had this urge to be doing comic books," and he began his career by working in comics artist Bernard Baily's studio doing pencil clean-ups. After he left the Brooklyn Academy for Fine Arts, he started doing children’s comic books, silly stuff specifically animal cartoons. He later worked on for EC Comics, Shining Knight by national comics or dc as they are known today, as well as mad magazine painting Ringo Star for one of their covers. He later married Eleanor Kelly in New York City in November 1956 and together they had four children. In 1961 Frazetta also helped Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder on three stories of the parody strip Little Annie Fanny in Playboy magazine.

After his work on Mad Magazine he was later approached to do the movie poster for “What's New Pussycat?” and earned the equivalent of his yearly salary in one afternoon. Then he got into dark fantasy doing work on the Conan the Barbarian series as well as Lord of The Rings and several more Movie Posters and Album Covers notably Molly Hatchet who he did his first Death Dealer Paintings which became a book series because people were so infatuated with the character. Eventually, with the help of Ralph Bakshi, he made his own movie Fire and Ice, which was the last movie poster he made and included many of the original characters from his paintings, foremost being influenced from the Deathstalker paintings, a pale rider cloaked in black on a dark horse carrying mighty weapons. However, in the movie, he was named Darkwolf which also gave the character a bit of a Batman feeling because his cowl was black with ears and had white eyes much like the Caped Crusader.

Frazetta created a Gallery in the early 1980s called Frazetta’s Fantasy Corner, in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. After suffering a stroke on his right side rendering his right arm useless, he learned how to draw and paint again with his left hand just as well as his right in a single night. His artwork influenced fantasy art as well as DnD Lord of The Rings and other fantasy fiction some of which Frazetta made covers and artwork for. He died on May 10, 2010, in a hospital near his residence in Florida. His painting “Egyptian Queen,” sold for a world-record USD 5.4 million or £4.2million British Pounds, on 16 May 2019 at a public auction of vintage comic books and comic art held by Heritage Auctions in Chicago, Illinois.

In summation, Frazetta was so good at drawing 'gesture', thanks to his athleticism playing baseball running the bases swinging a bat throwing a baseball all of which helped his skill as an artist and why he didn’t have to learn gesture because it was all second nature to him. He was naturally talented and used all his life lessons in order to further his artistic ability incorporate his athleticism into his gestures and his fine art education into his detail value and texture his ink work was learned from the people he worked with in comic industry from the ’40s to the ’60s until the comics authority came down on comics and he had to find work elsewhere. Where he started making movie posters and then mostly doing his famous realistic paintings that cover the walls of fantasy fans everywhere. Frazetta was inducted into the comic book industry's Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1999 and is still today one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

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Works Cited

Snapper, The. “Frank Frazetta Bio.” Frank Frazetta: The Life and Works of A Master Artist: Bio,

Weber, Bruce, and Dave Itzkoff. "Frank Frazetta, Illustrator, Dies at 82; Helped Define Comic Book Heroes", The New York Times, May 10, 2010

"Frank Frazetta Interview". The Comics Journal. May 10, 2010. Archived from the original on May 14, 2010.

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