The real life models for Classic Pin-Up paintings

2011-04-17 // Unusual Top posts

A series of comparisons between the classic pinup girls and photos that have served as models for achieving them;)



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  • anonymous

    I find it amazing how curvy and figure-full the actual models are compared to how the artists painted them.

  • its a nice point but..

    it’s just the same chick imitating all these old pinup pictures
    she’s a lot uglier and chubbier but of course the paintings are soo far from realism, almost like Disney princesses
    you can see in the mirror, and the heart picture she doesn’t even have her positioning right and in the couch picture her facial expression is way off
    not to mention in the cowboy costume boots in the background of the ‘slide’ picture which looks like it’s taken in somebody’s basement

  • Anonymous

    you’re wrong. To help them to create these old pinup paintings, the artist take a picture of a girl in the wanted position, and then draw the pinup from the model.

  • EMalyn

    Yeah. You’re wrong. lol.

  • Smartease_cherie

    Le nom de l’artiste : Gil Elvgren :)

  • Alguien

    There are two things wrong with your statement.

    1.) Curvy girls are ugly? Shoot, someone tell Marilyn Monroe and Bette Davis and them, because they haven’t gotten the message yet.

    2.) Have you ever seen a painting based off a photograph that came out JUST RIGHT?

  • Commentator

    Looking at the picture on the slide… that one is totally unrealistic. You can’t slide down a metal slide without fabric under your butt. That girl would get stuck. :P

  • R Basinger06

    these are all elvgrin pin-ups. my fav.

  • R Basinger06

    these are all elvgrin pin-ups. my fav.

  • Abdulsalam Almekhlafi

    very sexy

  • claire

    Honey, you do realize that the girls all look different, right?  The girl in the mirror and the girl in the cowgirl costume are obviously not the same person.  And uglier and chubbier?  Seriously?  The real girls have slightly smaller breasts, slightly larger other parts, and don’t have that perfect pinup smile on their faces all the time.  The horror!

  • TheLady0fShal0tt

    Actually no those are all  Gil Elvgren paintings and I have the book most of those are from….and all those photos are in it….Those were his models. 

  • Laserenita

    Except for the of the woman going down the slide, (model Myrna Hansen) all of the other models are the same woman. Janet Rae. Janet Rae was the daughter of one of Gil Elvgren’s neighbors. She often posed for him.

  • Jackelope Wrangler

    2. Yes, every Gil Elvgren painting!  :)

  • Gloria Pike

    I hate to nitpick, but the artist apparently never got up close with a pelican IRL. They are HUGE birds. For reference:

    But other than that the pics are great and it’s neat seeing the original models!

  • Women are not objects

    Of course, in the paintings they’ve all been made skinnier and skimpier.

  • Stan B

    “…uglier and chubbier..”???
    Well, at least she’s not a sad troll with woman issues from 60 years in the future, huh?

  • randomgirl

    and yet, these woman would be considered “fat” these days, yet, they were the inspiration for pin ups.

  • for your consideration

    Let us not forget that a photo changes the way a person looks. (Due to light, shadows and reduction to  2D as well as warping by the lens.)
    This is beautiful work.
    In fact, some of the women are more desirable painted and some are more desirable in the photos; but I find them all beautiful regardless of the medium.

  • Informal Matriarch

    I found it incredibly impressive that they didn’t make the girls a lot skinnier than real life.  Nowadays they would have taken them down to near anorexic.  *sigh*

  • Informal Matriarch

    I found it incredibly impressive that they didn’t make the girls a lot skinnier than real life.  Nowadays they would have taken them down to near anorexic.  *sigh*

  • Anonymous

    ? ???????,? ?????

  • Jé Xploz

    j’adore :))

  • Jé Xploz


  • Bri Banana

    They obviously weren’t going for the exact model, its just like for the pose so they could paint it. When I do art I use pictures for that but I still make the picture my own and “Improve” it in any way I see fit. So I totally believe that this is the real thing. Thankyou for posting this!!! Its amazing! 

  • Anonymous

    babes + art = amazing 

  • Tarrin aka At Tavets


  • Egirl630

    I don’t know what time you live in, but none of these women would be considered fat or even overweight. The paintings are exaggerated the same way we photoshop photos of models in magazines no matter how skinny and pretty they are. In the fashion world these women would be fat but not in normal society. In normal society men would jump at the chance to sleep with them and women would jump at the chance to look like them.

  • Valentin Guénec


  • Stefan Tonio

    sooo interesting!! whatchu call yer analog Photoshop, eh….

  • anon

    curvy girls can be beautiful; the two are not synonymous by any means. that being said, it’s not just because she’s curvy that she’s ugly. it just so happens that this girl has an ugly face. but that’s just my opinion.

  • Jacob Alexander VanLandingham

    It really bothers me how many of you can’t seem to understand that these paintings are PIN-UP PAINTINGS. They weren’t meant to be exact replicas, but rather the photos are used as a base for the artist’s vision. If I wanted a replica of the photo, I’d get a copy of it. 

  • Some1

    i personally like how modest the models are.

  • Corvo

    i guess u don’t even know the definition of word ‘imagination’. obviously u’re in between of 15 and 20 years. i feel sorry for u. :]

  • MichaelthePhotographer Velasqu

    these is mess up why can he draw the woman the way they are he dont like thick or fat people what the hell is wrong with him

  • Irin

    How do they make such paintings? They imitate the picture with paper and pencil? I could’nt find it on the internet (could only find how they make them nowadays with photoshop..)

  • TexanForever

    The model for the girl sitting and looking into her hand mirror was actually Evgrin’s wife. IMHO she was a lot prettier than the image depicted in his painting. He was heavily influenced by C.D. Gibson, as can be seen in the face and hair he painted in this one. Even though done in the early 1900’s, the “Gibson Girls” can’t be surpassed

  • TexanForever

    If you knew anything about art you would know that models are posed to give a starting point from which the artist deviated to suit his objective. Today we use posed photographs and preliminary sketches so the model doesn’t have to maintain a tiring pose. Artists usually took (take) reference photos in a place other than that depicted in the finished work. A basement or studio cluttered with other things works fine because they aren’t shown in the finished product, idiot. In the days of Michaelangelo and DaVinci they did charcoal sketches to work out the major design features before starting the finished painting.

  • TexanForever

    Bravo !!!