Thursday, November 16, 2017

Mattias Adolfsson’s Wildly Intricate Sketchbook and Doodle Artworks



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Mattias Adolfsson's Wildly Intricate Sketchbook and Doodle Artworks
// Colossal

Like a mad hybrid of Where's Waldo meets Dr. Seuss—with healthy doses of absurdity and science fiction—Swedish illustrator Mattias Adolfsson (previously) fills his sketchbooks and canvases edge to edge with his manically dense drawings of… well, just about anything you can imagine. Around the framework of a known destination such as a small village or the interior of a church, the artist populates nearly every square inch with bands of unruly characters, Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions, and overly complex spacesuits. The purpose of everything seems to be a mystery, but the time spent trying to understand it all is always rewarding, a first-glance view can turn into minutes of exploration as each piece slowly unravels like a story.

Adolfsson is as meticulous in the documentation and sharing of his work as the subject matter itself. You can follow his process and peek inside numerous sketchbooks on his website, where you can also find many of his drawings gathered into a series of books. He also shares prints and a few original watercolor works in his Etsy shop.


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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Dark Matter: The art of Santiago Caruso



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Dark Matter: The art of Santiago Caruso
// Muddy Colors

The Lady of Haschisch
I've been a fan of Santiago Caruso's work for more than a decade now. I came across his work for the first time when I was 22 years old and, to witness such a talent on a guy my age (we were both born in 1982) was devastating. Completely heartbreaking. I'm 35 now, and I make a living as a full time Illustrator, but every time I see Santiago's beautiful, insightful work, I feel the same I did 13 years ago: Like absolute crap. Come on, you all know the feeling...

Creative Creature - Gouache - 2012
Creative Creature - Detail
For those of you who might not have heard of him, Caruso is a Painter/Illustrator from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and while his work is mainly associated with the dark/horror genre (to narrow it down) he has worked with a wide range of themes through his career, doing pieces that can be found in magazines, Illustrated books, book covers and album covers for several bands across the globe.

I won't bore you with a huge list, but if you want to know exactly which books, which Albums, or which magazines he's illustrated, here's a link to his Curriculum 

What I think is important here, what I think many of you will be happy to know, is the fact that Santiago has recently released a 192 page book, full color, Hardcover, with a selection of his work from the past 15 years. This book is "Materia Oscura – Dark Matter", and it's absolutely beautiful (in a very special and haunting way).

Cover of "Materia Oscura - Dark Matter"
Beside of his works, the book includes a few texts from Santiago himself, both in English and Spanish (Although the content of the book is 90% images). You can take a quick look at the interior pages in this video.

I got the chance to talk a bit with Santiago and here's what he has to say about the book:

Styria - Scratch - 2014
"I wanted to gather all the art that I made for covers and other single projects with my absolute free creations, all together in the same corpus, separately of my other illustrated books, you can find with many artworks. During the process of selection, I find that the book could be a manifest, a new body that represents the work of art I've been doing for 15 years. So the art is not ordered as a catalogue, it is displayed as some kind of poetic thesis, and then the need of the writings intervening the series of images."

Looking at the quality of the book (The paper and printing is impeccable), it's hard to imagine that the book was fund by himself. No crowdfunding, no backup from a publisher.

"As all the thing was a personal creation, I didn't want to call a publisher to release it. The idea, selection, display, design, calibration of color, writing, printing and part of the distribution. I had savings to cover the printing costs, and I used those to avoid the whole complication of crowdfunding."

Styria - Detail
As mentioned above, Santiago has worked with a wide range of themes and genres, but it's worth mentioning that the selection of images in this book includes mostly his darker works.

"Yes, I've started doing children illustration. However, my heart is with the fantastique and decadent symbolism, since I've read Marcel Schwob, Poe, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and many others. It is literature what ties my step into many territories that show us the fissures of the order we put over reality".

"I believe that the strange perspective that the genre of horror opens in our vision is a key to discuss the order and the corsets of injustice. MATERIA OSCURA - Dark Matter, is about that. The artworks I've been creating talk about that."

Jonas
Album cover for Big John Bates - "From the Bestiary to the Leathering Room"

Juventud Pasionaria
One of the think I like the most about Caruso's work is that it doesn't fall in the many clichés of the horror genre. There's always a haunting quality in his images, but never in an obvious way. What is also an unusual choice for a young illustrator is the medium he tends to use the most : The scratching.

"Since 2002 I developed a special mixture of techniques on the line of ink and scratch, washing or scratching with hard brushes, using rags, rubbers, etc. The other line of work, of color schemes, is done with gouache, mostly."

"The technique of ink and scratch offers me the chance to explore the darkness and to use the liquid shapes of the ink to have a background of influence, a space to move into. There, I can extract some things from the dark, and bring them into a style that is related to old engravings, a kind of art I love so much."

Zottique, Empire of Nigromancers
Sucubo - Sketch

When asked about his influences Santiago states "I think I can mention Kent Williams, Mike Mignola and Quique Alcatena and Jorge Zaffino from comics. Klimt, Mucha, Goya, Kupka, Redon and Nerdrum from painting. I would be satisfied if something from their sensibility and wisdom remains on my artwork"

"Materia Oscura - Dark Matter" is a limited edition of 1000 copies and it's available for purchase here. If you have any questions regarding the shipping costs, you can get in touch with the distributors here. I already have my copy and I strongly recommend you to get yours.

Caruso is one of those artists who seemed to know who he was from a very young age. It's rare to find a young artist with such mature and vast body of work on his back, excellent craftsmanship and such a personal and complex visual language. The guy is 35 years old and has already an artbook with almost 15 years of work!

As a bonus track, and to show you Santiago's range of styles, I'll leave you with a selection of works from when he's not visiting the dark side. Because he's good at that, too.

Mujer al Poder
Lovers



Maleducados

Over the Berlin Wall

Mummification

To get in touch with Santiago Caruso, you can write him at: carusoimago@gmail.com

You can also follow him on Facebook and Instagram
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Monday, November 13, 2017

Google Arts and Culture: Art Collection



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Google Arts and Culture: Art Collection
// Free Technology for Teachers

This is the second post in a series about Google Arts and Culture. In the first post, we took a look at the history of the project. Today we are going to explore some of the ways to access the artists and galleries. To access the menu of options you will need to click on the "hotdog" menu on the upper left corner of your screen once you open Google Arts and Culture.

Collections- This option lets you explore collections of art from hundreds of museums from around the world. When you open a collection from one of the museums you will see items in their collection that you can view by popularity, the year they were created, or color family. Information about the museum is available in this view as well including hours of operation and a link to the official website for the museum. In many instances when you open a collection you will see a little yellow Pegman icon. This indicates you can explore the collection by touring the museum using Street View. It is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the experience. The Musee d'Orsay is just one example of how this works. Click on Pegman to jump into the museum then navigate using the arrows, selecting an image from the tray, or by jumping around on the floorplan.

Artists- This is the best way to search the collection if you are searching for a particular artist. You will find biographical information as well as all of their items. Each of these collections can be shared directly to Google Classroom using the sharing button.

Mediums- If you are looking for a specific medium this is a great way to search the entire website for those pieces. There are well over 200 options which help narrow your search to very specific results. For example, there are numerous items for clothing including cotton, leather, gauze, nylon, wool, felt, satin, and velvet.

Art movements- This is one of my favorite ways to search Google Arts and Culture because I can rearrange the items by when they were created. It's fascinating to compare what artists were creating during different world events or to compare works from different artists during the same time period.

Applications for Education

Google Arts and Culture is such a versatile product and it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and used in many different subjects. Art can be used in math to teach about shapes and patterns. Social studies teachers can use art as a visual way to teach about what was happening around the world during different periods of time. It goes without saying this can be a very powerful way to get students interested in art.

This video demonstrates how to navigate using Pegman. There is no sound on this video.


This post originally appeared on Free Technology for Teachers if you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission.

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Eye Candy for Today: Rembrandt lion drawing



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Eye Candy for Today: Rembrandt lion drawing
// lines and colors

Lion Resting, Turned to the Left; Rembrandt van Rijn; ink and wash drawing
Lion Resting, Turned to the Left; Rembrandt van Rijn

Pen and brown ink, brown wash; roughly 5 1/2 x 8 inches (14 x 20cm).

Link is to WikiArt, which has a downloadable file (choose "Original, 1600×1067"); there is also a cropped version on Wikipedia. The original is supposed to be in the Louvre, Paris, but the Louvre website is so terrible, I can't find it, only a reference to a show in which it was included.

Rembrandt's drawings are among my favorites in all of art history, and this seemingly simple drawing of a lion is among my favorites of his drawings.

Rembrandt did a number of lion drawings, presumably of the same animal. This one stands out, however.

It has the calligraphic elegance of Chinese ink painting, but over the classical draftsmanship of the premiere Dutch master.

The rough, gestural application of wash succinctly defines the lion's head and mane, giving them an impression of texture, as well.

I love the implied geometric strength with which he's noted the lion's rear leg, suggesting the structural anatomy of the skeleton, the fluid sweep of the tail and the fierce but composed expression of the captive animal.

I'm sure to Rembrandt, this was just a sketch, a visual notation of something he found interesting, but it's completely satisfying as a finished work of art.

 

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

70sscifiart:Bernie Wrightson



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Reference Sketching.



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Reference Sketching.
// Pencil and Leaf

This last week I went out most days to make small sketches of the trees for the book. I find that just a short time sketching is a million times better than working from photos. Making a sketch, especially on a very cold day, requires you look hard and make fast, hopefully intuitive, decisions. So you tend to record just the essence of tree, very useful for the woodcuts which will have to be bold and simplified.

Also I have to say that once I have sketched something I understand much more about the thing, how it is put together, what interests me about it and I remember all those things more easily, especially if I make notes. I am in a hurry too because I need to draw the trees before they all lose their leaves. I need to make sure I draw the right tree. My bark ID skills are not brilliant.

IMG_1213IMG_1051

Hazel and Lime

IMG_1036IMG_1074

Alder and Elm

IMG_1229

Beech

IMG_1188
Elder

I have a tight deadline so I also took the woodblock out to draw directly from the elder tree. This old, much pruned, tree has snaky spotted branches which twist back on themselves. Wonderful and slightly sinister as befits the magical elder!

The tree prints will be based on trees I know well, what I like about them and what I know about them. A personal view rather than an archetype. I have discovered that one elm can look very different from another :). 


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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tom Gauld



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Tom Gauld
// lines and colors

Tom Gauld
Tom Gauld is a Scottish cartoonist and illustrator whose deceptively simple style is simply delightful and simply perfect accompaniment to his wry sense of humor.

Gauld is a regular contributor to the (most excellent) British newspaper The Guardian, where his "cultural cartoons" are often literary in subject matter, and New Scientist, where they are obviously science themes, as well as The New York Times.

Gauld's quirky turns on subjects both historic and contemporary (often mixed) can give you a delightful simultaneous brain tweak and laugh.

His website portfolio is not extensive, you can find more on the Guardian site or on his Instagram, Tumblr or Twitter feeds.

The image above, bottom, is part of this amusement on The Laurence Sterne Trust, in which you can assemble sections of it multiple ways.

Gauld is the author/illustrator of a number of books, the latest of which is Baking With Kafka.

Those in LA, can see Tom Gauld interviewed by Mark Frauenfelder tonight, November 6,2017 at Skylight Books in Silver Lake at 7:30 pm.

 

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With Art in Mind explores mental health issues showing the work of Dalí and Warhol



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With Art in Mind explores mental health issues showing the work of Dalí and Warhol
// It's Nice That

Salvador-dali-zebra-one-gallery-itsnicethat-list

A new exhibition at Zebra One Gallery titled With Art in Mind will show the work of contemporary artists who have dealt with mental health issues to help raise money for the Mental Health Foundation.

Read more


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Inking the Moonlit Vale



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Inking the Moonlit Vale
// Muddy Colors

An interview with Annie Stegg Gerard
by Justin Gerard


The Moonlit Vale is a collection of ink drawings by Annie Stegg Gerard. They are appearing in a coloring book which is being funded on Kickstarter and will be printed in December 2017. Annie was kind enough to stop by my spacious, zombie-proof bunker to talk with me about her process and motivation behind the creation of her forthcoming book.

So, I'll get right to the point: How are you doing these? And secondly; just how? 

ASG: "I begin with a rough layout drawing that I then transfer down to a clean sheet of heavyweight drawing paper (using a small light table). I keep the lines in my transfer very light and sparse. I don't like to over-detail the pencil. I want just enough to keep the proportions right.
To ink I use very fine Micron felt tip pens, and some bigger markers for the black fills."




As you can see from the video, the linework only offerst the barest suggestion of a guide, just enough to keep the proportions correct, but leaving out all the minor details and designs.

You are a mom of two now, has that affected how much you can work?

ASG: "Yes. Having kids has changed a lot of the ways I work and this project is in many ways a response to that change. I love being with my babies, but watching them can be exhausting and after they've gone to bed it would be easy to just do nothing and call it an evening. But I don't want to lose the creative part of my soul, so I started doing these ink drawings each night as a means to keep that part of me sharp and alive.
I wanted something to work on that I could do in the few hours at night after they've gone to sleep, but before I go to sleep. Also, I wanted it to be something that was mine, and not client-related so that it would offer that spiritual recharge that painting has always given me.


Why Ink?

ASG: "I wanted something that didn't need a lot of clean-up (like oils).  I love pencil drawing, but I decided to do ink since Inktober was on and it offered an interesting challenge. I've always loved the golden age ink illustrators, particularly Franklin Booth, Frank Pape, and of course Arthur Rackham, and they became my guiding lights for the project."

What made you decide to turn these inks into a coloring book?

ASG: "For me personally, drawing has always been a meditation. It helps me deal with stress and anxiety and is a great way to decompress at the end of a long day. In particular I find that getting lost in the rendering to be such a calming experience. Especially natural forms, foliage, figures, animals and organic patterns. A coloring book offers me the chance to share this meditation with others. I hope it brings the same kind of enjoyment to those who color it that I got from inking it."



Will you ever color these drawings yourself?

ASG: "Definitely! It will be nice to have a backlog of drawings to paint from in the future. But in the meantime I look forward to seeing what others come up with for these images!"




Any last words for our readers?

ASG: "Your hopes and dreams are what make you, you.  Life can be tough, but it's important for you to make time, push forward and pursue those dreams."

The Moonlit Vale reached it's funding goal on November 1st, and is available to back until the end November 2017.  You can check it out here.



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an-inside-look-at-comic-book-legend-geof-darrows

https://io9.gizmodo.com/an-inside-look-at-comic-book-legend-geof-darrows-stunni-1791698821

https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/04/geof-darrow-ressurects-bourbon-thret-reflects-on-s.html

Sunday, November 5, 2017

How to draw BRICKS, BRICKWORK and WALLS tutorial by...



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Mark Reep (update)



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Mark Reep (update)
// lines and colors

Mark Reep, imaginary landscape drawings in pencil ink and charcoal
Mark Reep is an artist based near Pittsburgh who I first profiled back in 2006. His dreamlike, enigmatic imaginary landscapes are rendered monochromatically in graphite, charcoal and ink.

His monochromatic approach seems to heighten the sense of mystery, as textural rock faces, towers and islands emerge from mist and fog, their exact boundaries obscured.

His isolated towers of rock, jutting up from valleys lost in mist, predate similar imagery from the movie Avatar by many years.

I particularly admire the geometric strength of his compositions, in which negative space often plays a prominent role.

There is an interview with Reep in the Strathmore Artist Papers site from February.

Reep's blog, which he titles dreams in black and white, sometimes has larger reproductions of his drawings than his website.

Thare are prints and other items featuring Reep's drawings and photographs on Fine Art America and RedBubble, and originals on West End Gallery.

 

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Ian Miller



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Ian Miller
// MONSTER BRAINS

Ian Miller - 01 Ian Miller - 02 Ian Miller - 03 Ian Miller - 04 Ian Miller - 05 Ian Miller - 06 Ian Miller - 07 Ian Miller - 08 Ian Miller - 09 Ian Miller - 10 Ian Miller - 11 Ian Miller - 12 Ian Miller - 13 Ian Miller - 14 Ian Miller - 15 Ian Miller - 16 Ian Miller - 17 Ian Miller - 18 Ian Miller - 19 Ian Miller - 20 Ian Miller - 21 Ian Miller - 22 Ian Miller - 23 Ian Miller - 24 Ian Miller - 25 Artworks found thanks to Meathaus. Original scans found at the tumblr Strawberry Tobasco. I will be sharing much more of Ian's artwork in the future. Also, during the first week that I'd created Monster Brains in 2006, Ian Miller was among the first artists to be posted there. to be shared here. Be sure to visit the official Ian Miller website to find recent works or purchase his artwork through.
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