One of my favorite illustrators is Rien Poortvliet
. You may not recognize his name but you would most likely recognize his work. He is most famous for his illustrations in the book "Gnomes
," which was published in 1977 and written by Wil Huygen.
This was one of my favorite books as a kid, and maybe one of the reasons I liked to draw so much. The paintings are beautiful, and the paintings of the evil trolls and Snotgurgles
(below) haunted me. We also had a pop-up book of gnomes illustrated by Poortvliet.
For a long time I forgot about him and it wasn't until a few years ago that I was given the Gnomes books we had in the family. I've really found an appreciation for his work. He doesn't just paint cute little gnomes; he paints intricate landscapes and is able to capture a fox's fur or a bird's feathers with expertise.
He also does a great job painting buildings and adding interesting details to the gnome world he creates. He created the way we see the world of the gnomes - how they live and what they eat. The way we think of gnomes and how we see them is thanks to Rien who creatively gave them tools and clothing made out of things small enough for them to use.
As much as I enjoy the Gnomes series, I recently came across a copy of his book, "Noah's Ark
." I had never seen this book before and as it was the only copy in the store I bought it right away for a great price. It's full of incredible paintings of animals. The theme is Noah's Ark, but it was really an excuse for Poortvliet to showcase his love of drawing animals. With oil paintings, watercolors and charcoal and ink studies this book is an extensive gallery of the animals on the ark. He paints them in their natural habitats and even illustrates how he feels the ark was designed, built and maintained.
There are a lot more books out there that he's illustrated that I'd love to have in my collection. He illustrated more than twenty books in his career.
Rien was born in 1932 in Schiedam, Holland and died at the age of 63 in 1995.
A museum of his work, The Rien Poortvliet Museum
, opened in Middelharnis, Holland in 1992 and was dedicated to his works. Unfortunately the museum closed in December of 2006.
The illustrations shown here have been scanned from the Noah's Ark and Gnomes books. I highly recommend them!