Monday, April 8, 2019

Designing Handy Mandy!

Here we have another design sketch by John R. Neill for Handy Mandy in Oz (1937) by Ruth Plumly Thompson. 

HANDY MANDY IN OZ  sketch by John R. Neill $500.

John R. Neill (American) 1877-1943
Pencil on paper, unsigned
Image size: Multiple images on sheet
Paper size: 11" x 8.5"
$500 SOLD 

There are very few of these preliminary drawings that survive, showing Neill's process illustrating the famous Oz books. This sheet shows two very early (and rather different!) ideas for Handy Mandy herself. In the main image she appears younger than she does in the final book illustrations, with Heidi-like braids hanging down her back. The second drawing at lower right shows her in the Dutch cap Neill finally decided upon and the semi-circle behind her shows Neill's pondering the chapter heading design.

HANDY MANDY design sketch showing Chapter Heading design.

Two more "chapter heading" shapes appear along the mid-right hand side of the sheet. Above them, to the right of the standing Mandy, is a rough for the final illustration of Mandy on the flying rock from page 22 on the published book.
HANDY MANDY design sketch & final illustration of Mandy on flying rock.

We have many other fine original drawings by John R. Neill on the website!

Come check it all out at

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