Kelvinator - Hybrid Species

For a long time (I'm going to say 1950's -1960's), it was pretty fashionable to use photographs in print ads, but to "plus them up" with some airbrushing - either lightly or rather heavily. In this ad from Kelvinator we see a strange array of airbrushing, from mostly-photo-with-light-airbrushing, to completely cartoony.

The topmost picture is only lightly retouched, but if you look really closely at her face, her eyebrows are pretty seriously drawn in... like with a sharpie. The woman in the middle picture is a kind of middle ground, as if they started with a photo and then had the artist paint over her completely. Cute eyes though. At the bottom we see Wilma Flintstone a cartoon of a woman completely made up. She could have been drawn by Hanna-Barbera. When I look at her, I imagine her being voiced by June Foray.

Here's a perspective goof they missed. Look at the floor area of the bottom picture (even though there is no floor in it). The fridge's front and back feet are even with each other, as if the camera is lying on the floor. Now look at the woman's feet. The front foot is lower than the back foot, as if the camera is at waist height. The perspectives don't match. Maybe she's stepping down off a little footstool that wasn't painted in, along with the unpainted floor? This is a pretty minor fumble, but it makes me feel like a big man to point it out. There. Now I am a big man. That would explain the difference in floor height.

The tile in the top picture is very anachronistic. That tile may have been in fashion in 1961, the year this ad was published, but I associate that green-with-white-smears tile with basements and gas station bathrooms. Now that I picture this tile in my head, I also see it chipping away in spots, revealing salmon-colored tile underneath, with the chippy green crumbly bits sliding around under my feet as I wonder if I've just contracted dysintery from the sink.

Wait a second. Those aren't coffee pots in these pictures. They're hukka pipes! What goes on? Now I know the truth behind her smile. Look at her. That's a "please don't tell on me" smile. It looks like people really knew how to start the day right, back  in '61!


bigbry said...

Both funny & interesting... mostly because you sound exactly like my highscrewl art teacher Mr. Gideon! He loved to point out how unproportioned some drawings looked. But truthfully, he was one of the best art teachers I ever had so I still appreciate when someone has really good eyes for detail. Glad I found your blog, keep up the good work!

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Thanks, Bry! All this stuff was drummed into me by my old boss who directed the cartoon studio I worked at. In that job, any perspective mistake or anatomical "whoopsie" would be called out and you'd have to re-do it. So, we learned to police ourselves pretty hard just to avoid embarrassment. Shame is the best teacher.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you comment again!


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