Monday, December 22, 2008



I know....a very retro Christmas CAWS this week. was ready to go and couldn't wait for next year.

It should be pretty obvious to any interested viewers that the CAWS is a 'limited edition' publication. The venerable large clip and proof drawer has definite limits. Hopefully, for what it's worth, we have several months of mid-century illustrative 'odds and ends' before a merciful fini is announced.

Leading off, a Bank of America billboard and bank poster, my oldest daughter and a neighbor youngster the models, about 1956. Not sure why the caption is missing. A challenging illustration for me at the time....trying for an early morning lighting effect, and that 'bicycle Christmas' expression with the kids!

Next, an early 50's PG&E pen and ink, one of the newspaper consumer ads in the B&W series we've seen before. This one timed for Christmas, the across the street roof lighted display a bit of a workout! There are a few more in that group still to be 'CAWSd' in weeks to come.

An E&J Gallo Brandy point of sale poster follows....the scan a bit weak, from a smaller reproduction that I had. Gouache again, largely done in watercolor-like washes. One of the advantages of gouache is the versatility....and it's faster and easier to use than acrylics.

Then another Gallo, this time Ernest and Julio's 'personal' Christmas card (I did several of those). It really went to hundreds, or maybe thousands, of Gallo clients and dealers.

Finally, two more B&W US Steel illustrations....featuring....and back by popular demand....our high heeled 'lady of steel hostess' with an all steel Christmas! No doubt a few more in that series will be seen down the line.

O.K....time to say 'Cheers and Happy 2009!' to viewers of TI and the CAWS.

* Charlie Allen's Flickr set


Anonymous said...

Charlie & Leif,
These are so awesome to look at at and imagine them as they were created.

Charlie, are we looking at all these as hand-illustrations/paintings of yours?


Did you paint these from your own home office/studio or directly from your employer's studio?

Merry Christmas,

Anonymous said...

Wow! I just discovered your blog, Charlie. How inspiring! I love looking at old ads and imagining the process that went into the illustrations. It's great to hear the back story on a few. Thanks for sharing this incredible portfolio!

The Christmas card photo is awesome too - what a car! Love the tag hanging off of the tree!


TerBear said...


Thank you for all of the wonderful things you continually share. You and "Leif" are fantastic.

I love the car photo of your family. Those must be happy memories for you.

Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas!

Charlie G. said...

Thank you so much for posting all of your amazing work! I always look forward to seeing your posts, they are a true inspiration.

Anonymous said...

TO ALL.... Appreciate the comments more each blog. I think, because there is such a time gulf between my illustration days and the modern generation's digital, LCD display, computerized gadgets of every sort and variety. I'll confess, just bought my first digital camera. Have a great Pentax that will do anything...but it's film. Turns out, the new one is overkill. Can shoot movies, videos, who knows...stuff I'll never use. Back to the subject....yes, 'hand illustrations/paintings'....computers had'nt been invented in those days. Really didn't need a studio or anything fancy....but it helped to have every aid possible. Some of our artists, Stan Galli, Bruce Bomberger, etc. would take basic stuff with them to New York, and worked in a hotel room for a short time to get established back there. Enough reminiscing. Again, thanks for the comments's nice to know we all have common interests...and to Leif for making them available.

Anonymous said...

Always a fresh joy to revisit and look at those pictures that early morning lighting effect on those figures, for instance... how you mastered that!
Looking forward to see Miss Thatcher, respectively the Steel Lady again in further roles. Wishing you a Happy 2009!