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All images © 2013 Estate of Reynold Brown / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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 Short Bio / Books / Video Documentary / Main Art Section / Early Artistic Development / Other Illustration Work / Movie Illustration / Fine Art Painting / News / Contact / Sales



Video Documentary

In Print

Biographical Information

 For a summary of Reynold Brown's life go to the short biography found here. Additional biographical information is spread throughout the site. For a more detailed look at specific areas of Brown's life with sample images go to the main art section below

A television documentary on Brown's art was first shown about 1994. The award winning documentary is called "The Man Who Drew Bug-Eyed Monsters" and was produced by Mel Bucklin (Lincoln, NE).

A number of periodicals and books on the art of Reynold Brown are available.


Main Art Sections.

Reynold Brown did a massive volume of artwork. For the purposes of this website it is split into two primary categories, the period of artistic development up to 1946, his main period of illustration work and finally his focus on fine arts.

It is all art. Often what is a called "Fine Art" might also be called gallery or easel art, it is generally meant for sale to a client, a buyer. It is shaped by the interests of the artist as well as the need to sell the work. Illustration, a second form of work, is generally shaped first by the need to satisfy a clients need to visually communicate some idea . Such an idea might by the promotion of sales of some consumer item such as a car, food and so forth. Illustration may also be used to promote an idea (as in art in churches, political posters and editorial cartoons) or promote an act such as charitable giving, cancer screening, or stop smoking campaigns.

In his early years (up to age 18) Brown did a substantial amount of drawing. Basically this was developmental as Brown learned the artistic skills necessary to produce good work. After graduation from high school Brown continued to hone his skills. Although he had hoped to attend art school his plans were interrupted by the death of his father and so he needed to start taking care of his mother and two younger sisters, for a nineteen year old a daunting task. To earn money he did drawings for the newspaper, then got a job doing the illustrations for an aircraft comic strip (Tailspin Tommy). He was encouraged to move into illustration by Norman Rockwell. The outbreak of World War II led to his job for North American Aviation depicting aircraft. In 1946 he left North American, married fellow NAA employee Mary Louise Tejeda, almost died of pneumonia and was "miraculously" cured by a new wonder drug, penicillin, and then moved to New York.

In New York he was able to focus on illustrations for periodicals and pocket books with work appearing in Boys Life, Outdoor Life, Popular Aviation, Popular Science. Unfortunately the growth of photography was causing it to replace painting for illustration. Much illustration work disappeared.

Brown returned to California with Mary and his first three of eight children. A teaching position at Art Center College led to his first contacts with the movie industry and kicked off his successful career producing art for movie promotion. It was primarily used in posters  but was also seen in periodicals, on bill boards, in promotional brochures, books and other material.

With the changes in subject matter for movies Brown became discouraged, quit the work in 1970 and entered the fine arts market just as western art was growing in popularity due to support from the Texas oil industry boom. From 1970 to 1976 he focused on cowboys and Indians as his favorite subjects although he also did paintings of ships, landscapes and an occasional portrait. He had a particular love of Spanish and Mexican themes due both to the fact that Mary was part Spanish-Mexican and his younger sister married an important Mexican businessman.

A stroke in 1976 resulted in considerable damage with near total loss of his left (drawing) side. Much of his ability to process imagery was harmed. Although doctors said he would never recover from this the efforts of Mary Louise to help him recover resulted in a final beautiful body of work considerably different from the more representational work done prior to 1976. Brown continued to paint until his death in 1991.


High School

Tailspin Tommy
Comic Strip, 1930s

Early Artistic Development.

This section looks at early work before Brown was heavily involved with the illustration field. Early poster work shows high school designs and a few posters for US government plus the development of Brown's "Killing Time" poster."

North American Aviation
World War II

Study for "Killing Time"

Poster for CARE

Illustration work.

 Non movie illustration work from about 1945 to 1976. Commercial, Record Jackets, advertising, government posters etc. Special showing of unpublished children's stories for record jackets. Among the many projects was one in which Brown produced portraits for all the presidents up to Lyndon Johnson, each had to be completed in a day. Another project was used in a historical documentary for El Paso Natural Gas.

Against All Flags

Movie Illustrations.

Tap Roots

Mutiny on the Bounty -1962 
click image for discussion on production of this poster.      


To Fine Art Section

Discussion of
Fine Art Before 1976

Link to list of all Pre-Stroke fine art paintings

Fine Art Paintings

Fine art generally is that art done by the artist to satisfy his own artistic objectives (realistically it must also satisfy the aesthetic needs of the people who will buy it). Some call this easel or gallery painting. Illustration often is done to satisfy the visual requirements of someone other than the artist. This of course makes all the great painters of the past into illustrators for many of them painted or sculpted to satisfy the needs of an emperor, the church and later kings, bankers, leaders of commerce and so forth. Most commissioned portraits are in effect illustrations meant to satisfy the desires of the painted subject to make a statement about themselves.

An illustration may however also satisfy an artist's needs to combine visual imagery with the written word (for example, as in the case of an illustrated book, wherein the artist does both the story and the imagery). Fine art is usually sold through an art gallery for purchase by private parties or public institutions such as museums and hospitals.

Historically various art forms and styles have been condemned by one group or another as not "real" art. Usually such condemnation seems as much at directed towards controlling a limited market as at anything else. Original art is produced at considerable cost, especially where there is only one of an item produced. This is because the artist cannot directly take form of mass production which can reduce the unit cost of an item. This limits the number of people who can afford to buy a work of art to the more wealthy individuals who can afford an individually crafted sculpture or painting. The commercial use of art is directed at reproduction of an original work such as in prints of paintings or so called "limited editions." Most of modern illustration is done for reproduction in books, magazines, posters and "art prints." More of it is used in product promotion, where theoretically the primary purpose of the art is to encourage some buyer to purchase the product or perhaps an idea.

As far as this writer is concerned there really isn't much difference in the various art forms. They are all some form of visual communication. The quality of the art work is determined by the ability of the artist to use his artistic tools to present a visual image that provides some sort of aesthetic pleasure on the part of the viewer. "Good" and "bad" art may be seen everywhere. I would wish that all art were judged for value on artistic skill but unfortunately art is more often valued based on the imagery or the artistic preference of some trend setter who determines what is or is not in fashion.

Reynold Brown's work was done as illustration. Most of this was so because as Brown grew up illustration for periodicals and books was in its golden age. Illustrators were highly sought after and were well paid. Brown loved illustration and admired such greats as Norman Rockwell, N. C. Wyeth, Frederick Remington, Charlie Russell, Maxfield Parrish and J. C. Leyendecker.

Besides doing his substantial body of work for the movie industry and periodicals (illustration and its subgroup commercial art) Reynold Brown did many paintings for himself (and ultimately galleries and their patrons).

Although he did many fine paintings throughout his life Reynold Brown began focusing on his fine art work in 1970 after dropping out of the poster illustration field. His art was shaped primarily by his love of representational painting. His subjects of choice included primarily the historical and mythical west, ships and landscapes and Spanish/Mexican themes. He loved machinery, especially aircraft and so did a number of paintings as a result of a request from the Air Force.

After his stroke in 1976, which did considerable damage, he went through a long recovery with the help of his wife Mary Louise. The stroke changed his ability to see and interpret the visual world. After the stroke Brown would continue to produce art for himself.

This section is divided into two groups, those done before Brown's stroke and those done after. This is simply because of the radical changes forced on Brown due to the stroke damage. To Fine Art Paintings

Fine Art After 1976

Link to list of all Post-Stroke fine art paintings


Exhibitions and Reynold Brown Events in Progress or Planned

For information about current exhibitions of Reynold Brown and Mary Louise Tejeda go to News and events.

Lists and Other Information

Movie List for a listing of the movies Brown worked on. 

Periodicals listing. To be developed.

Contact Information

There are many sites that now discuss the work of Reynold Brown. I suggest you do a search the various search engines using terms such as "Reynold Brown", "Man Who Drew Bug-Eyed Monsters" and "Movie Poster Artist".

link to MB site

This site is temporarily closed .

Go to wife of Reynold Brown: Mary Louise Tejeda Brown

Now 92, Mary Louise Tejeda (b1921), married Reynold Brown in 1946 and remained with him until his death in 1991. She also is an artist and does pastel paintings. Her emphasis has been on landscapes in Nebraska where she currently lives.

Go To son of Reynold Brown:

Franz is Reynold Brown's son. He currently resides in Hot Springs, SD where he is painting and photographing the Black Hills landscape and other things. On "Facebook" at

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