Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Ronald Searle - Artist

Today I want to make a look at one of the most famous and influential cartoonists of all time, Ronald Searle.

I really like Ronald Searle a lot, his drawings are very good and amusing, and he has a lot of potential in his drawings and I like how rough he uses his drawings. He has penned so many drawings in his life, and he's currently still alive at 90, he is best known for his drawings and author of St. Trinians and he was written a few book series of them, it has adapted into famous comedy films in the 1950's and poor recent remakes.

Now, short bio:

Ronald William Fordham Searle was born on March 3, 1920 in Cambridge, England - he started drawing when he was 5 years old and left school at the age of 15 (that's how it was these days), and he used to draw cartoons for his local school newspaper in Cambridge, while training at Cambridge College of Arts and Technology. While he was writing comics, he started his first career of cartooning was very short, but he drew and written the first St. Trinians' story in the magazine Lilliput in 1941.

In 1942, he was stationed in the Army during World War II, and he was fighting against the Japanese in Singapore - he was later arrested and prisoned in a death camp in Singapore for the rest of the Second World War. He was liberated in 1945, and was reunited with his family in England, and he produced much, much artwork in the 1950's on Punch and his cartoons have spread overseas in the USA - and his work had influenced in the Walt Disney film One Hundred and One Dalmatians and his artwork has influenced Art Director Ken Anderson. For example, in an early scene where Pongo is sitting by the window sill, and pokes through magazines, and one of them is Lilliput - a magazine that Searle has illustrated a lot of.

Here are some of his famous drawings for St. Trinians:

Come along, prefects, playtime over.
St. Trinians.

St. Trinians

St. Trinians

Well actually, Miss Tonks, my soul is in torment.

Some little girl didn't hear me say 'unalarmed combat!'

Now I'm going to show you some of his cover artwork, for the magazine Lilliput - where he designed many front cover artwork for it.

Lilliput cover.

Lilliput cover from September 1950.
Caricature of Jackie Gleason for TV Guide cover in 1969.
Caricature of TV character Gomer Pyle. Date (?).

Now, here are a few of his additional drawings he's done that I like:

Here is a Mickey Mouse drawing I like a lot!

Palm Springs.

Ronald Searle.

Here is another one that I think amusing.

I think I will leave it here for now. Although, recently at the start of the summer this year, there was an exhibition about Ronald Searle in the Cartoon Museum in London - and I went to the exhibition - although it's now closed and they released new exhibitions once every few months I believe.

He's a very famous artist - and any of those people who love cartoons and comics, and are very knowledgeable about them should easily know Searle and recognize his style of drawings. He is a very famous artist and has inspired many artists.


Eric Noble said...

Very nice!!! Ronald Searle has definitely inspired a lot of artists. I think he inspired Mort Drucker, the artist from MAD Magazine I posted about. I love his work as well. I love his sense of caricature. His caricature of Jackie Gleason looks more like Jonathan Winters to me for some reason.

I actually have the book based on the film he worked on with Bill Melendez, Dick Deadeye, or Duty Done. Very cool to see. I'm not sure how much is actually Searle himself, or artists who worked on the film.

Steven Hartley said...

Ah yes, I believed he worked with UPA with Dave Hilberman and Bill Melendez.

Eric Noble said...

I don't know if he worked with UPA, but I know he worked with Bill Melendez for some sort of television production, possibly a commercial.

Anonymous said...

I am watching The making of "The Nightmare Before Christmas", and it was mentioned that Ronald Searl and Edward Gory were the main influence for the style and sketchyness of the scenes for Tim Burton.

Anonymous said...

R.I.P Ronald Searle. You will be sorely missed. (3 March 1920 – 30 December 2011)