Elliot is best known for the three Artist's Sketch Pads
he illustrated for Brown & Bigelow from 1949 to 1951.
Each page of these twelve-page calendars had a primary pin-up
figure surrounded by several razor-crisp side sketches,
commenting in some way on the main picture. The large pin-up
was painted in gouache, Elliots' favorite medium, the smaller
sketches done in pencil.
Born in 1922 in a suburb of Chicago, Elliot apprenticed
at the Stevens/Gross studio, where he had the opportunity
to learn from Gil Elvgren, Joyce
Ballantyne, Al Buell and Haddon
Sundblom. Shortly after serving in the Navy in World
War II, he was commissioned by Brown & Bigelow to create
two sets of double card decks: Winning
Aces and Hit the Deck
bacame runaway best-sellers. In 1953, Elliot's work appeared
on Brown & Bigelow's successful Ballyhoo Calendar, along
with that of Esquire artists Al Moore, Ernest
Chiriaka, Eddie Chan, and Ward Brackett. Millions of
Americans saw his pin-ups on the covers of Hearst's Pictorial
Weekly during the 1950s.
Elliot worked in gouache, watercolor, pencil, and oil on
illsutration board that ranged from 18 x 24 inches (45.7
x 61 cm) to 20 x 30 inches (50.8 x 76.2 cm). Though often
amusing, his pin-ups could also be sexy and sensual. Elliot,
who was represented by Stevens/Gross, had a cross-over career
that encompassed front covers for national magazines, story
illustrations, and advertising art.