charles robinson.

A few years ago, I found an amazing coffee table book about children’s book illustration at the Goodwill Superstore in Portland. Since then, it’s been a valuable source of graphic inspiration. I found myself over and over again gravitating toward illustrations with a similar style. Further investigation indicated that all of my favorites were by the same illustrator: Charles Robinson.

Robinson was an illustrator during the “Golden Age” of illustration, the late 1800s into the early 1900s. His illustration style ranges from bold lines and stippling (sometimes even just silhouettes) to elaborate Art Nouveau styling. His simpler, bolder drawings have a block print feel. These images lend themselves to use in tattoos.

Why am I telling you about this artist? For some time now (think 2 years) I have been planning on having one of his illustrations tattooed on my arm. The figure (from the cover of a book entitled Babes and Birds, published in 1910, selling for upwards of $475) resembles Dylan with her little banged bob and chubby cheeks. I have always wanted a tattoo commemorating my spawn, and this seemed like the most interesting way to do it. So…finally…next Monday I am having it done. I wish I had a scan of the art to post right now, but I loaned the book (containing many other amazing illustrations) to my tattoo artist. You will have to wait until next week.

In the mean time, some other amazing work from Charles Robinson:

This cover has fine tattoo potential.

The illustration I am using is more in the style of the cover above. I’ve also noticed that Robinson is quite a fan of large ruffly collars, as many of his sketches of little girls include them.


Little Red Riding Hood!

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