In my view the classical tradition of comic art began with Hal Foster's Tarzan and Prince Valiant, and Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon and Rip Kirby. They were influenced by the heroic illustration style of Howard Pyle, NC Wyeth and others of the Brandywine School.
Classical comic art reached its peak in the 1950's with the young artists of the EC Comics staff, notably Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson and Wally Wood. While Frazetta and Wood could cartoon with the best of them, they shared with Williamson an ability to create realistic, dramatic images and compositions that matched the figure drawing ability of the French salon artists with incredible inking control with brush and pen.
They also influenced the next generation of artists, including Bernie Wrightson, Jeff Jones, Mark Schultz, Dave Stevens and others, who carried on the classical tradition. I feel there's a lot to be learned by reproducing the work of these modern masters. These are my efforts, both good and bad.