Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Haddon Sundblom - Painter - Illustrator

Best known for his Coca-Cola Santa's from the '50's Sundblom had a solid stroke - economical and bravura.
Sargent, Zorn, Sorolla are the lights on this path... more to come on this skilled painter-illustrator.

Tell me a story...

Below is one of the great Christmas Coke ads featuring Santa creamily painted with lush strokes.  click on image to enlarge

Follow the edges both lost and hard that add so much interest to this image.  Hands that are rendered with authority and fur that reads as fur all done with brush size and stroke.

Here is a closer view of how the warm and cool light so often used by the illustrators of the time makes the forms set against the background. The sharp edge contrasting with a soft edge which adds interest. While we're here take a good look at those hands...

In case you are curious as to who posed for this iconic brand label painted by Sundblom look at this photo of Haddon himself.

Next time we will look at some of his "Home in America" series.


  1. Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous..I had to re-post your very nice note again below since the foolproof technology flew past the hands of a fool...I was delighted to hear from you.

  2. Thank you for this post. Sunny was my grandfather, and we always thought that if he had signed more of his work, he would be more famous than Rockwell, who's work is much less "sunny"

    I'm a scientist, not an artist, and it is particularly interesting to see you explain some of the science behind the art. I don't much care for the "throw stuff together and call it art" philosophy. I can't get away with saying "It's science because I'm a scientist, and I say it's science"- change "science" to "art" and see what happens.

    1. Thank you for your comment...He has always been an inspiration and a reminder that there are some painters really do know what they are doing! All the best.