Virgil Finlay (American)
Cover art for Fantastic Universe November 1959
Art 15” x 10 3/4”; Framed 20 1/2” x 15 1/2”
Known best for his contributions to the world of pulp art, American artist Virgil Finlay covered a wide variety work in the genre of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. Finlay started his career as an artist at the young age of 16 and started to submit his work to the horror pulp magazine Weird Tales at the age of 21. Including the final issue of Weird Tales in September 1954, he left his mark by appearing in a total of 62 issues.
Although he had a great eye for color composition, Finlay was best known for his detailed pen and ink illustrations. Finlay used techniques such as hatching, a technique that allows for texture by aligning a series of close, parallel lines, and stippling, which is a series of small dots used for shading, to add depth realism to the deceivingly simple medium for which he was best known. Additionally, Finlay would use scratchboard, which is a subtractive medium that uses a sharp object to deliberately remove a typically dark, top layer of pigment to reveal a white bottom layer that was the basis to many of the hyper-saturated black and white illustrations Finlay produced.
Finlay's artistic influence was acknowledged with his induction into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2012. He also won one of the inaugural Hugo Awards as the best interior illustrator of 1953.