Reference photos for vintage pin-ups

Pin Up reference photos and their subsequent paintings

A little levity after last week’s heavy news.

We’ve seen reference photos for Norman Rockwell’s paintings in the past (now available in a book). A set of reference photos for vintage pin-up posters have recently been circulating, and they’re a wonderful look behind the scenes of mid-twentieth-century sexuality. Comparing the reference photos with the final product is fascinating. The poses and figure are often barely-changed duplicates from photo to painting; clothing fabric and extraneous details are cleaned-up or fabricated. The biggest changes can be seen in the faces. In the paintings the women’s faces are smoothed out, made thinner and younger, and if the hair is changed, it always gets longer.

More here, here, here, and Taschen’s book Gil Elvren: All His Glamorous American Pin-Ups.

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