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Harry Beckhoff

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Harry Beckhoff (1901-1979) was an illustrator who was known to begin his pictorial compositions with small sketches that were almost thumb-nail in size.  These tiny drawings contained all of the information needed for the final rendering even down to facial expressions.  He then pantographed the drawing, about five times larger, and inked in the outlines.  The tone or color areas were painted in with flat washes.


Beckhoff described his work as having been influenced by the French illustrators Martin, Brissaud, and Marty.  He also cited his teachers, George Bridgman, Dean Cornwell, and Harvey Dunn for their encouragement and training.


Country Gentlemen published his first magazine illustrations in 1929.  He subsequently worked for many of the other periodicals, but Beckhoff was most closely associated with the wonderful Broadway characters he drew to illustrate Damon Runyon's famous stories that ran for many years in Colliers Magazine. 


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Information in the biography above is based on writings from the book, "The Illustrator in America, 1880-1980; a century of illustration", by Walt and Roger Reed.

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