• Thu, Sep 13 2012

Even Pin-Ups Were Retouched

gil elvgren pin-up

If you think modern photoshop fails are ridiculous, just look at what Gil Elvgren did to his pin-up models.

To be fair, he made them look great, and he rarely lost their limbs or chopped out all of their ribs in the process. But he did slim them, and change their hair, and sometimes even alter their poses altogether. The Daily Mail is showing a collection of before and after poses, and these are some of our favorites.

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  • ikea

    I’m confused by this post. Aren’t these illustrations? There’s nothing out of the ordinary in altering the reference material.

  • Lastango

    First, as “ikea” says, artists don’t paint verbatim. That’s because artists strive for what works on the canvas. For instance, in a painting of a farmhouse, an awkward tree might be removed, shadows deepened, and colors altered to bring the composition to life. The sky may or may not be depicted the way it was during the actual painting session. There is nothing cheesy about that… making choices is part of the art of painting. That’s partly why if 10 artists paint the same scene we will get 10 different paintings.

    Second, who wants to see reality in a pin-up? Olivia is famous for her drawings, not her photos. Al Capp, the creator of the Lil Abner comic strip, was once asked why he drew such spectacular women. As I recall, he replied, “Why not? I can draw them any way I want to!”