John Harrold (born 1947)
John Harrold is perhaps the most distinguished of the more recent illustrators of Rupert Bear, ‘a brilliant pen and ink artist who delights in fine detail’
(Brian Stewart, 1997, page 38).
John Harrold was born in Glasgow on 6 December 1947, and studied drawing and painting at Glasgow School of Art. Soon after he started working as an art teacher, in 1973, he was invited to provide a sample illustration to the Collins book, Lots of Fun to Cook with Rupert. He was selected to illustrate the book, and subsequently asked by the Daily Express to provide work for the Rupert Bear strip in the newspaper, as well as to contribute to the Rupert Annual. In 1987, he produced his first cover and endpaper for the Rupert Annual, and has done them ever since. In 1994, he moved from London to Paris.
John Harrold’s Acetates
The works by John Harrold included here represent a stage in the production of the Rupert Annuals. Like other illustrators of Rupert, Harrold drew monochrome strips in pen and ink, which were printed in the Daily Express. The outlines were then reprinted on paper in order to be hand coloured for their appearance in the annual. This was done by Harrold himself until 1993, and from then by Gina Hart. The outline was then also reprinted on transparent acetate film, in order to save the photographic separation from the colour positives during the final printing process.