Frank Schoonover story illustration for Outing Magazine (1905): a beautifully framed antique


Story Illustration: Outing Magazine
    "Hopalong Takes Charge"
    By Frank Schoonover

    For "The Fight at Buckskin,” by Clarence Edward Mulford

    Volume 47. No. 3. December 1905 Issue. 258.

    Image Size: H 10.00” x W 8.50”
    Matted & Framed:  H 16.00” x W 14.50”
    Framed Price: $225.00  
    Packaging and shipping
         approximately $22.00

One of Howard Pyle’s greatest admirers was his student, Thornton Oakley. Many years later, TO recalled his experience in Pyle’s school for illustrators in Wilmington, Delaware. The third gallery in HP’s French Street studio, TO remembered, was occupied by “two very august grandees” who the new men and women in the first two galleries admired from afar. One was Stanley Arthurs. The other was Frank Schoonover, who Pyle referred to as “his right hand man.”

     FES proved to be HP’s longest-practicing student, working from the time he finished his training in 1900 until he finally set his pallet down in 1968. Excepting the year he spent gathering material and painting in Canada, which began the fall of 1902 and continued into the middle of 1903, FES worked in a sequence of studios near Pyle’s school in Wilmington, Delaware.

     FES received his first magazine commission before he undertook his Canadian odyssey. In 1901, Harper’s Weekly asked him to illustrated a serialized version of Robert Chamber’s "Cardigan." Harper & Brothers published this story in book form the same year. In 1902, the artist placed a couple pictures in Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly. Soon after he returned from Canada, FES received four assignments from McClure’s. “Children of the Coal Shadow” by Francis F. Nichols appeared in the February 1903 issue of the magazine.

     The pictorial stories FES told during his decades as an illustrator reflect lessons he learned from “the Father of American Illustration.” In the scenes he depicted in "The Fight at Buckskin,” he captures his viewers’ attention in two different kinds of events, one being a physical conflict, the other being a mental drama. In both, by expressing an impending action, the artist draws his viewer in and makes him/her part of the affair. But in 1905, FES was already moving beyond the instruction he received from Howard Pyle. The Age of Color was dawning, and during his sojourn through the wilds of Canada, FES incorporated this essential aspect of the art into his storytelling technique. Bright colors intensified dramatic moments. Cool colors accentuated the intrigue. A master at integrating color, line, and composition, FES made his pictures fun to look at. “Hopalong Takes Charge” is a paradigm of the Schoonover method.

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