Pazo - The Scratchboard Coincidence.

Today's 1961 ad for Pazo hemorrhoid cream features another impressive illustration, but THIS time, the artist left a signature behind (heh heh). Nice work, Mister or Missus Ravielli. We're onto you now!

Behold the happy shopper lady, delighted with her supermarket find, presumably a package of Pazo hemorrhoid cream. Or, possibly, they're just showing us how you can get back to normal life with the help of Pazo. I doubt any normal person would hold up a box of Pazo like that in public. They'd more likely 1) memorize the location of the Pazo in a store in a neighborhood where there's no chance of running into someone who knows you, and 2) then quickly tip the Pazo into their cart and make good their escape.

So what's with this drawing?. Well, the artist is A. Ravielli, and some quick Googling finds the culprit: Anthony Ravielli. He was a commercial artist who did a lot of work in the 150s and 60s, becoming known for his proficiency in "scratchboard". "What the hell is 'scratchboard'???" you demand? First settle down.

Sratchboard is a piece of heavy paper with a black, waxy coating. Instead of a pencil or brush, you use a pointed steel stylus to scratch away the black wax, making white lines. By varying your pressure with the stylus, you can taper the lines and do intricate shading that looks a lot like an old engraving. The results are striking if you have the patience and temperament. You generally can't hide mistakes with any level of undetectability when using  scratchboard. You can paint over a bad line here and there, but you'll probably be able to spot the hidden boo-boo.

Our art instructor in high school had us do a few projects in scratchboard, just to wet our beaks, but Mr Ravielli seems to have focused on it for the majority of his career. Damn good stuff, too.

I'll leave it to you to make various jokes about the irony of using a piece of scratchboard art to sell hemorrhoid cream, har har!

Please enjoy the shopper lady from today's Pazo ad, cleaned up and lifted from her natural setting, as an addition to your clip art folder. You're welcome.

Click for big.

600px tall.

1000px tall.


phil said...

Hahaha! There's an overpriced douchey restaurant (or at least overpriced douchey people go there) here in Baltimore called Pazo. Wonder if they know about this?

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Let the jokes begin:

1 - "Man, Pazo is so expensive! They really charge you up the ass for everything they can think of!"

Fil said...

2 - "We put the 'Pazo' in 'su-PAZO-tory'!"

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