Munsingwear - Games without frontiers, war without tears.

Underwear news now, from our 1947 bureau! Way back in '47, fathers and sons boxed in their underpants, just like they do today! OMG! They were just like us!
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There's some brilliant work in this weird painting. The artist was faced with the challenge of painting the father pretending to be knocked silly by a punch from his soon-to-be-confused son. Not an easy task.

So, like almost any artist on on a timeline in which results and a quick turnaround are important, he used photo reference. I cannot prove this, but it definitely has the look of heavily referenced art. There's no shame in it, and it's not a secret. One of the greatest pinup artists, Gil Elvgren, always staged photo shoots for his paintings. The photo is a head start, and there's still a long way to go once you've got a nice photo to help you get started. For a subtle and complicated like this dad's expression, it's a must.

Eyebrows up and eyes bulging comedically, chin tucked in a little to show that his neck is straighter than normal, and a little smile at the corner of his mouth to show us that he's only fooling around. He could have chosen to mess up the dad's hair, but that may have implied that there was a real impact when sonny hit him. That would have been over the top.

There is one little thing that bugs me. The boy isn't casting any kind of shadow on dad's chest, so they  look like they were comped together, instead of being photographed at the same time. When somebody is standing right in front of you, you'd expect to see a little less light on your shirt. Yes, it totally depends on the direction of the light and it's possible to take a photo with lighting exactly like we see in this painting. It may be that, because most of my career has been spent in the days of easy Photoshopping, I'm a little paranoid about people looking like they were pasted into a picture together. So, I'd probably fake in some really soft shadow on dad's shirt, especially since the light in the shot is coming from behind the kid and in front of dad.

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See? I did this really fast and hackey, but see if you don't agree it places them both in the same room a little better. This artist is way better at painting people than I am, of course. Adding one shadow does not make me a better artist.

Now please take off your pants and fight with your children.


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