24 Hours: Glamour and Style with No Substance

2016-07-25 24 Hours

Sketches from the beautiful but dull pre-Code film, 24 Hours, about a bored wealthy couple who beat a murder rap and rekindle their flame-proof romance.

Kay Francis and Clive Brook as the Towners, whose lives are shaken up when the husband’s lover is murdered and he’s the prime suspect. (The wife has a lover, too. It’s pre-Code–fair’s fair.) They live beautifully, drink profusely, dress to the nines, but are so miserable, they can’t muster the energy to even quarrel. The energy comes in with Rosie, the nightclub singer played by Miriam Hopkins, Towner’s squeeze who is strangled by her jealous gangster husband. It was his second killing that night (he had energy, too!). The story is weak, Towner is a downer, but at least it’s beautifully shot. I focused my sketches on Francis and Brook because they looked like beautiful Jazz Age illustrations: all drama, style and glamour. The real study would be Miriam Hopkins–maybe next time. I think I’d need to do gif for her.

Brook was better in von Sternberg’s Underworld (1927), mainly for the earlier part when he was a down-and-out drunk and the end when he shows his boss what integrity is. (Integrity is when you want to steal the boss’s best girl, but you will rescue him from a police shoot-out anyway.) Brook does longing well enough, but he is leaden when it comes to playing a lover. Maybe they thought that was noble back then. I’ll pass.

Francis was beautiful but lugubrious. I haven’t seen her in anything else. I haven’t seen Miriam Hopkins before either, but I’ll be looking for a chance to see more of her work. She seemed very modern in this film.

The DP for 24 Hours was Ernie Haller whose work included Captain Blood, Jezebel, Dark Victory, Gone with the Wind, Mildred Pierce, Rebel Without a Cause, Whatever Happened to baby Jane? and one Star Trek episode (Where No Man Has Gone Before). No wonder it’s beautiful!

Inspiration from Many Sources

2015-10 Mary Kirk and Manga Girl

multi 1 multi 1_0003

2015-11-2 from Frank Stockton 2015-11-30 from Moebius 2015-12-01 from Skottie Young Oz mini 2015-10-25 Lizella multi 1_0002 dk mini

With my focus lately on wrapping up the Duckworth revision, I’ve not been posting as many of my drawings, but of course I am still drawing every day. There have been the usual ups and downs: late in October I was doing a lot of work I enjoyed, but more recently I’ve been on a downturn. With writing sliding into the back seat for a few miles, I hope to focus more on drawing through the end of the year. To kick off a little more intensity, I decide to post the best of what I’ve been up to.

I’ve been looking to many sources for inspiration: Downton Abbey, Star Trek, manga, people I see around me, Drawing Tutorials Online (especially the work of June and Alex), and the work of Frank Stockton, Skottie Young and Moebius. There are rendered portraits, original characters in several styles, caracatures….just about anything that struck my fancy. I imagine the ideal would be to be very serious and focused, working through various exercises to gain definite skills and improve where I’m faulty, and I hope that day won’t be far off, but for now, what I want to do is have fun when I draw. And that’s what this work is, the fruit of fun.

It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; I hope so. I’m trying to learn and so I choose the inspiration I like the best.

(Media: markers, pencil and colored pencils)