Pen & Ink Stipple Portrait of the Cowardly Lion

Stipple portrait of Bert Lahr as "The Cowardly Lion" from "The Wizard of Oz"Back in 1986, Turner Entertainment purchased MGM’s film library including the 1939 classic, “The Wizard of Oz”. Several years later – to coincide with its first telecast on their own cable channel TNT – I was commissioned to create pen & ink renderings of the four iconic leading characters (plus Toto).

Back then, it was (unfortunately) customary for a client to keep an illustrator’s original artwork (unless specified differently in my contract). I was really pleased with the way my drawing of Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion turned out so I thought to make reproductions of it (stats!) before shipping it off…and I’m glad I did. I have absolutely no idea where my drawings of Dorothy, Scarecrow and the Tin Man are today – perhaps in a flat file somewhere on the Warner Brothers lot…or (more likely) thrown away. And – at least I have this one drawing to remind me of the fun project!

Disney’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” opened this past weekend, and having loved the original film – of course I had to see it opening night! It wasn’t horrible…it definitely had it’s moments…but I’ll sure be surprised if I am commissioned to create portraits of this new cast of players 50 years from now.

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