Walter Alois Weber is one of the most noted of wildlife illustrators. As I was sorting through my books about wildlife and animals, I came across Homes and Habits of Wild Animals. This is one of my very favorites. The wildlife portraits are breathtaking.
Weber (1906-1979) is a native of my own hometown, Chicago. According to interviews, Weber developed his talent for drawing at an early age and used to sell his drawings at a local tavern so he could buy soda pop. He later studied at the University of Chicago and the Art Institute, and worked for the Field Museum. His resume goes on . . . He spent many years as an artist for National Geographic Society and he was the first artist to win the duck stamp award.
I like the softness of his painting. While his wildlife drawing is excellent, there is a certain romanticism to the the picture as a whole, no doubt enhanced by the beautiful background landscape. Here are three from the book:
The Alaskan brown bear. The soft greens and blues of the mountain stream are lovely. Makes me want to take a trip up north.
The Barren Ground Caribou on its annual migration through the icy northern country. The lilac and blue tones truly evoke a feeling for that beautiful wintry land.
In the river otter portrait, I like the way he captures the playful nature of the animal.
Here, also is the cover of Friendly Animals. While the cover was illustrated by Weber, the inside pages were done by Percy Reeves. Reeves has a less realistic style, but it is quite charming.
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