Freeman Elliot

Elliot is best known for the three Artist's Sketch Pads he illustrated for Brown & Bigelow from 1949 to 1951. Each page of these twelve-page calendars had a primary pin-up figure surrounded by several razor-crisp side sketches, commenting in some way on the main picture. The large pin-up was painted in gouache, Elliots' favorite medium, the smaller sketches done in pencil.

Born in 1922 in a suburb of Chicago, Elliot apprenticed at the Stevens/Gross studio, where he had the opportunity to learn from Gil Elvgren, Joyce Ballantyne, Al Buell and Haddon Sundblom. Shortly after serving in the Navy in World War II, he was commissioned by Brown & Bigelow to create two sets of double card decks: Winning Aces and Hit the Deck bacame runaway best-sellers. In 1953, Elliot's work appeared on Brown & Bigelow's successful Ballyhoo Calendar, along with that of Esquire artists Al Moore, Ernest Chiriaka, Eddie Chan, and Ward Brackett. Millions of Americans saw his pin-ups on the covers of Hearst's Pictorial Weekly during the 1950s.

Elliot worked in gouache, watercolor, pencil, and oil on illsutration board that ranged from 18 x 24 inches (45.7 x 61 cm) to 20 x 30 inches (50.8 x 76.2 cm). Though often amusing, his pin-ups could also be sexy and sensual. Elliot, who was represented by Stevens/Gross, had a cross-over career that encompassed front covers for national magazines, story illustrations, and advertising art.

Additional Gallery

Freeman Elliot bio from 'The Great American Pin-Up