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Art & Inspiration Rex Burnett

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 17,535

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

  2. hugh m
    Joined: Jul 18, 2007
    Posts: 2,122

    hugh m
    from ct.

    Quite a body of work, always wished I could do that. Wouldn't the originals make a great show for a museum?
  3. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,588

    from SUGAR CITY

    Ahh this is a Christmas gift in itself. As I said in Chrisman entry, I love these Cut-a-way illustrations/technical masterpieces. Thank you for posting them all in one place.
  4. ynottayblock
    Joined: Dec 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,954


    JeffreyJames was it you that suggested that the rodders journal should start comissioning these for their features? Regardless one of the magazines has to start doing this again, I love cut-aways/technical drawings they are becoming a lost artform
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  5. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 12,398

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

    The man was a fucking genius.
  6. Django
    Joined: Nov 15, 2002
    Posts: 10,193


    Those are unreal.

    Were you serving the river in downtown Austin?? :D
  7. Doc.
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 3,384


    Very cool. I wish I was setting in the ocean waiting on a wave.
  8. 31whitey
    Joined: Jan 2, 2007
    Posts: 2,214


    Haole...If your in the islands Im super jealous...N.S.? hanging with JACK J.

    great drawings...
  9. Thanks for putting those up. I wasn't familiar with his work, but have always dug tech.illustrations, and now those are some of my favorites. I'm with Ynotta, mags should definately start that back up.
  10. JamesG
    Joined: Nov 5, 2003
    Posts: 5,254


    Cool man, thanks!

    BTW, where are you if your sitting in water waiting on a wave at Christmas? Someplace I would rather be I can tell you!
  11. I can stare at those images for hours. Amazing.
  12. Ryan, if you sold those as large, framable prints, I'd buy at least one. Something to think about.

    Also, I'm curious, where exactly were you waiting on a wave?
  13. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,111


    Ryan, If you keep this up, I may have to buy a flatty.

    My less than traditional side is clinging to more modern engineering, but you keep taking a bite out of my argument.

  14. pacman
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 98


    Thanks Ryan.

    As a young man with small pockets, I do not have a complete reference of Hot Rod Magazine. I always appreciate postings from the magazine and more specifically Rex Burnett goodies.


  15. Great subject Ryan. Burnett drawings have always been bitchen to take in. Nice to see a ton of them in one spot in a digital way. Where you might be surfing seems to be the question of the post, but I will ask the real five dollar question. Where are all of the Burnett originals, and will they ever be available for purchase ala auction etc.? My guess is they are long gone or locked up in the Petersen archive. Anyone??
  16. SUHRsc
    Joined: Sep 27, 2005
    Posts: 5,075


    thanks ryan,
    I'm always studying those drawings.....
    i was just last night thinking about another car project and decided that this evening i will dig out the hot rod magazines with the cutaways to look at a few certain details
    saved me the effort and i can look from at work!

  17. 53chevy
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,491


    Love em'!!! His signature is down right beautiful!!!


    Note: the last one is illustrated by Robert Thatcher. Is there a link to the two?
  18. Aaron51chevy
    Joined: Jan 9, 2005
    Posts: 1,986


    I'll have to ponder those pictures, "sitting on a snowbank, waiting for the plow truck......"
  19. brjnelson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2002
    Posts: 322


    Here is one from 1950 June HR.
  20. Wesley
    Joined: Aug 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,670


    "Early this morning, I was sitting in the ocean waiting on a wave."

    Now that is just torture, I am here at work freezing my ya-ya's off, torture I tell ya. but the drawings are great.
  21. Ranunculous
    Joined: Nov 30, 2007
    Posts: 2,444


    Thanks Ryan for posting those! That's a nice Christmas present!

    Wonder if Burnett had Rapidographs back then,or just ruling pens and brushes?

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!
  22. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 4,084

    Deuce Daddy Don

    This man was always a gifted artist & perfect illustrater! I can remember all the great drawings he made for HRM since he started (1949 I think), for him to get in all the details was truly a work of art!--------Along with Tom Medley (Stroker McGurk), I hold these 2 way up there on a pedestal!!!------------Don
  23. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 3,451

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    Great post Ryan, Rex's son is no slouch either. He owned the Deucari, and I believe that Rex did a cut away of that as well. Very good inspiration.
    Where are you siiting in the ocean, Texas?
  24. Tinman
    Joined: Mar 6, 2001
    Posts: 963


    Always amazing to study his work. Thanks for posting your collection Ryan...
  25. swimeasy
    Joined: Oct 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,063


    I used to spend more time looking at those than any other part of the mags an I remember wondering where you could learn to draw like that...Now I believe that it's more of a tallent thing, I don't think anyone could "teach" how to produce such art! I would also buy nice prints if they were ever made available.
  26. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,685


    There have been other technical illustrators who've taken the automotive cutaway to higher levels of complexity -- David Kimble, James Allington and Yoshihiro Inomoto come to mind -- but Burnett's stuff is remarkable for the simplicity and elegance of his style, using only black line and fill with no shading (not to mention that he really drew hot rods well). I would guess that Burnett might have been inspired by Allington, who used a similar style on illustrations of European racing cars.

    I know nothing about Rex Burnett, but I'd bet that he was a pro technical illustrator who worked in the aircraft industry and moonlighted on cars; his skill and facility was too great to just be an ordinary illustrator with a technical bent. I think it's unlikely that any of today's magazines would have the budget to commission work of comparable quality in today's environment.

    For anyone interested in reading a LOT more about this specialty, go to
  27. Mr Haney
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,002

    Mr Haney

    Rex Burnett cutaway drawing of a model "B" engine. Hot Rod magazine may 1951. original Miller/Schofield/Gragar rocker arm head. Think he did some stuff for Harley Davidson..........not too sure............checking that out.

    Attached Files:

  28. weez
    Joined: Dec 5, 2002
    Posts: 859


    I see what you mean about his drawings kind of validating the design of a rod or race car. He's a big influence on my ink style, (and my signature! Heh.) I can never draw every tread detail in a tire and don't want to, but he did and made it look good!

    Didn't Mark Morton have a bunch of those? There were some in his gallery for sale at one of the Hop Up runs one time, maybe on consignment, but I bet he knows. Couldn't afford them then, sure can't right now!

    One of the greats!
  29. oldandkrusty
    Joined: Oct 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,024


    Dang, another day with nothing accomplished other than sitting here drooling over the Rex Burnette drawings. What a Chrismas gift! I am in utter amazement at the quality and simplicity of his drawings. They make me squirm as I spent quite a bit of my life as a patent draftsman, which meant I did all my drawings, many of which were perspectives and cutaways, in pen and ink. Sadly, I could never come any where near the artistic mastery exhibited by Mr. Burnette. However, to be able to see his works makes me smile and, with all that is happening in the world right now, that is a very good thing.

    Thank you Ryan, and Merry Christmas to you and Marcie and the little Cochrans.
    In fact, Merry Christmas to all the HAMBers out there wherever you are!
  30. i was sitting in the ocean waiting for a wave last weekend here in Norcal, and all else being equal, I will be surfing socal for the rest of the week.

    So Ryan where were you?
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2008

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