How do you create breathtaking architectural paintings? Being an architect helps. The structure and detail of Polish artist Maja Wronska’s watercolors can clearly be attributed to this, but the vivid color and ethereal feeling she brings to each of them requires something more.
All of her cityscapes (including the Magic Kingdom!) are gorgeous, but it’s this one, entitled “Winter in Paris”, that I can’t stop looking at. This is the work of a gifted illustrator whose passion reaches far beyond mathematical perspective.
See more of these at Behance, and pick up some very reasonably priced prints at Society6.
Wow. What an amazing poster by Kilian Eng. Such epic scope, and an incredible level of detail. It’s been years since I’ve seen Disney’s The Black Hole, but I’m pretty sure this is way more exciting than the movie itself.
The poster is part of the Disney tribute show, Nothing’s Impossible, running from March 7th through the 11th at the Mondo Gallery.
I really need to get down to Austin one of these days.
Are they sculptures? Or are they paintings? Well, I guess they’re both.
Japanese artist Shintaro Ohata came up with the brilliant idea of placing 3D sculptures in front of 2D paintings, and presenting them as a single work. Their most distinct feature is Shintaro’s ability to capture the feeling of light, particularly in making the 3D portion look like it’s being lighted by the 2D portion. But there’s no light there. Just a masterful use of color!
Then we have these wonderful hand-sculpted clay illustrations by Irma Gruenholz. Rather than free standing works of art in a gallery, these are specifically meant for carefully crafted photographs.
Each one is lovingly sculpted from modelling clay, then placed in just the right lighting to be photographed. Gruenholz’s work appears in books and advertising, which means it actually is serving the purpose of illustrations. I love the warmth and charm she brings to each one.
This one is my favorite. I love how Irma did the little orbs of light around the lamp and in the bowl.
You can see more from Shintaro at Yukari-Art, and more from Irma on Behance, Facebook, and Deplastilina.com.
Recently, I saw a book cover that caught my eye. It was fun and well-drawn, so I looked at it (judging a book by its cover) and saw it had been illustrated by one John Hendrix. This prompted me to seek him out online, and lo and behold, I find this amazing comic The Adventures of the Holy Ghost, which Hendrix apparently draws in his sketch book in his spare time.
On the site, Hendrix describes the comic as “semi-blasphemous”, so I’m guessing it’s at least partially tongue-in-cheek (it really was hard to tell until I went back and read the earlier ones), but it would be great even if it wasn’t.
I love the whole look of it. The cartoony ghost design, the different logos Hendrix draws for each strip, even the squirrels’ yellow speech balloons. It employs subtle humor that makes you think, which is the best kind, and not something you’ll find in a typical comic strip today.
One would think a subject this sensitive might offend religious types, but I actually think this is great entertainment for believers and non-believers alike. If you know anything about Christianity, there’s a lot to enjoy here.
It seems like Hendrix produces a strip roughly once a month. I wish it were more frequent, but that probably means he’s busy with lots of paid illustration work. And that’s a good thing, too.
Launched at London’s Cob Gallery earlier this month, Miriam Elia’s We Go to the Gallery is both a spoof on Ladybird children’s books of the 1960s and a hilarious take on the world of modern art.
Characters Peter, Jane, and Mummy (mid-century stereotypes of traditional British family life) visit what Elia describes as “a really nihilistic modern art exhibition” and learn about fun things like sex, death, and the (non)existence of God. The art in the book emulates pretty dead-on the work of illustrators Harry Wingfield and Martin Aitchison, who provided the art for many of the original Ladybird books. We Go to the Gallery even follows the model of including key words at the bottom of each page to help children become familiar with new concepts, further underlining the dark humor behind them.
What I love best about this is that it manages to make fun of modern art while at the same time acknowledging its place in society. There’s no denying the importance of art and how it reflects us as we move through the ages, but… yeah, sometimes it takes itself a little too seriously. In that respect, I would consider this book a piece of modern art in and of itself (and I guess I’m not the only one, considering it premiered at a London art gallery). Also, it makes me laugh.
Elia raised £5,000 on Kickstarter to self-publish the book, and I kind of hope it brings her enough success to publish more.
Source: The Independent
The internet is a great place to discover new artists, and I find more and more each day. Most recently, I happened upon this wonderful illustration by Zara Picken, showing how Mary Poppins might get around London without her umbrella.
Based in northern England, Picken combines digital and handmade elements in a retro-modern style, resulting in delightful images that convey ideas clearly and concisely. This illustration that accompanies an article entitled The Final Cut, about a woman concerned about her husband wanting a vasectomy, is one example of how brilliant her designs can be.
Picken has won numerous awards, and has an extensive portfolio of work created for editorial, publishing, advertising, and more. Head over to her website and her blog to see more.
I live in Southern California, so I’m one of the lucky few US citizens not currently suffering the effects of the polar vortex. Not so lucky is New York-based artist Yuko Shimizu, who has made the most of things by compiling her past cold-weather-themed work to remind us that winter can be beautiful. Just so long as we’re only looking at it.
“Winter Wonderland” showcases Shimizu’s whimsical depictions of snow and winter, evoking a feeling of traditional Japanese art combined with unique charm and emotion. Whether you’re somewhere where you miss seeing snow, or you’re sick of it and ready for winter to end, these pictures might make your day a little brighter.
View the rest of the collection here.
Charles Joseph Hullmandel was one of the most important illustrators of the 19th century, developing groundbreaking techniques in the advancement of British lithography. His method of reproducing gradations in tones gave his work a naturalistic appearance.
One of his most impressive achievements is a series of landscapes in the shape of each letter of the English alphabet, produced sometime between 1819 and 1850, and currently in the hands of the British Museum. Check out the full collection below, as well as on the British Museum website, where you can also find a description of each one.
One of my favorite comic book artists of all time is John Romita, Sr. In fact, I would put him in my top 3. His style is so damn appealing, and one I unconsciously try to emulate in my own comics. Romita is probably best known for drawing the definitive version of Spider-Man in the 1960s, including the iconic cover to The Amazing Spider-Man #50.
Before that though, he was drawing for various romance titles. When you look at how he later portrayed Peter Parker’s interactions with Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane, it’s not hard to believe. His art had a great melodramatic quality that was on full display in comics like Heart Throbs and Falling in Love. Some of my favorite work of his appeared on the covers of DC Comics’ Girls’ Love Stories. You always knew when it was Romita’s art on the cover because there was always something about the composition and the lighting (read: inking) that made it stand out from the others.
So for your Valentine’s Day viewing enjoyment, here is a selection of some of my favorite John Romita covers for Girls’ Love Stories.
As you may or may not know (depending on if you’ve read the “About Nick” page), I studied art as an undergraduate at the School of Visual Arts in New York. They had graduate programs there too, and if I had entered one, it probably would have been “Illustration as Visual Essay.” I was always curious about it because, while the name might seem self-explanatory, I wasn’t sure what it actually meant or what classes I would have had. But it sounded interesting.
Luckily, we live in the age of Tumblr, where I discovered the artwork of Michael Hirshon. After checking out his personal website, I discovered he’s actually in SVA’s Illustration as Visual Essay program currently, and has posted a bunch of his work from it. Not surprisingly, it turns out to be a lot of beautifully illustrated essays.
They seem like really great editorial pieces you would read in a magazine. I don’t follow sports at all, but even his hockey and football essays pulled me in with his engaging illustrative style and the very personal way in which he writes.
There’s a lot more worth checking out on his site too. Even his sketch book looks like finished illustrations.
Beautiful work discovered, and a little piece of my curiosity satisfied at the same time.