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Inspiration: Vintage Piano Exercise Book Illustrations

whimsical illustrated piano book

Hey guys! Today we’re featuring a handful of whimsical illustrations from a beginner piano exercise book in our inspiration collection. This is one of those pieces that would have completely flown under the art radar during its time, but now is a fantastic resource in nearly 50 pages of spot illustrations and 1/4–1/2 page scenes. 

There’s no publication date in the book, but the student’s certificate is dated March 1970, so the credited illustrator Ernest Kurt Barth would have completed the work towards the end of the 60’s. There’s plenty of detail to admire in the ornamented cartoony execution, but look beyond the linework and you’ll notice some really pleasing, well-balanced shapes.

(By the way, she did finish the course and get her certificate. Go Kathy!)

More inspiration:

Vintage Disney Vinyl Album Cover

What We Listen to in the Studio

We’ve always been big fan of listening to music in the studio, especially while drawing. There’s something nice about having your favorite tunes playing in the background to help you get in the zone.

We have a lot of music loaded up on our studio computer, compiled from the last 15 or so years, but more often than not these days we play albums directly on Spotify (even the free service is fantastic, despite the occasional ads—that’s what the mute button is for!) and occasionally Pandora.

Here are our four main categories of music to play in the studio, with some of our favorite examples… Read more