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Illustrating History

Before the invention of computer-aided design illustrators used art to bring stories to life.

I use a style of illustration contemporary to the time being written about in the pages of articles or books.

Brushes, pencils, watercolours and pens were part of an illustrator’s kit in the 19th century, goache and photography for the 20th.

Book Illustration

Barnett Bibbero was Mira’s grandfather. Alive in the mid to late 19th Century until the early part of the 20th he was a well-known Freemason.  A keen sportsman he rode early Norton motorbikes through the streets of Hull.

His portrait pictures him in 19th century Freemason’s costume.

Illustrations using simple pen and ink was a technique widely used in the years Barnett was alive. 

Barnett Bibbero 

Barnett Bibbero Book Illustration 2018 copyright CarrieHenderson.uk
Illustration of Barnett Bibbero for Miriam Bibbero Johnson Family, Philanthropy Fashion a Biography of Hull’s Actress-Entertainer © 2018. 

Illustrating Vintage Fashion

The earliest depiction of fashion happened using woodcut and block printing then, as clothes became a significator of status portraiture showed opulent designs but it was in the 20th century fashion illustration had its golden age.

In the early part of the century newspapers and magazines exploded with brightly coloured artwork, paper sewing patterns also until in the 1950s and 1960s art was gradually replaced by photographs and the style seen today. Pictured in black and white, the illustration was created in watercolours, pencil and ink.

 “The art of fashion is as important to get right as the book’s content. A drawing has to show an outfit accurately but also suggest an atmosphere sympathetic to the era in which the original outfit was worn or seen in the pages of newspapers or magazines.” 

Vintage Clothing Book Illustration carriehenderson.uk
1949 Spectator Sports navy coat and diamond-printed stole. R. M. Hats’ white-brimmed cloche with bootlace dark trim. A vintage outfit illustrated by carriehenderson.uk for the forthcoming book The House of Mirelle: 40 Years of Fashion History. © 2020.

For many years photographers were not allowed to take photos in couture fashion shows. As a result late 1940s photography mixed with black and white and coloured hand-drawn renditions of outfits like that which originally advertised this Spectator Sports outfit for sale.