APRIL 25, 2007
On March 30th, 2007 I was lucky enough to visit Joe Bowler's home and studio with my Master's class for the day and discuss with him the history of his work as an illustrator through to his life as a portrait painter.
Bowler was part of Cooper Studios in New York City starting in the mid 50's and quickly rose in popularity as an illustrator at the tail-end of the 'golden age' of illustration. He was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1992.
Joe Bowler Website
It was a pleasure to meet with him and amazing to watch him paint. It is not often one would get to see a master painter work but able to meet someone who experienced that wonderful time in illustration history. I created a special 'History' gallery here on Drawger with over 50 photos of his work and photos of Joe working on a portrait as a demo for us.
The thing I always found interesting of his work is his handling of color, in particular, the temperature. Warm, cold, warm, cold. Joe's palette is set up based on the temperature of the colors as you can see in the photos. Warm yellows and reds to cool reds for the skin tones then same for the greens and blues. I had a note somewhere around here about what his exact colors are. I'll post that when I find it. Watching him mix and throw paint was worth the trip alone. I hope that the gallery will at least give one the mere impression of what he does and how he does it. Enjoy.
The portrait he was working on in these photos was done in under 1 hour.
Joe Bowler Photo Gallery
All images copyright Joe Bowler.
One of my all time favorite Bowler illustrations. I took this photo of the original art at his home.