Friday, March 31, 2006

Daren Bader

Daren Bader
How’s this for a transition, from yesterday’s post about eye-placement in portraits to today’s illustration of a cyclops. (What’s that saying? “In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed, giant-tusked, white veined, maniacal, rampaging cyclops is king.”?… or something like that…)

Daren Bader is a fantasy illustrator who, among other projects, does a number of illustrations for the Magic: The Gathering card-based game. He steps outside the usual approach to that genre, though, in that he treats his Magic paintings like illustrations for the grand adventure fantasy books that were the stomping grounds of illustrators like Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth, who he obviously admires.

He tackles his mythological or fantasy subjects with broad strokes and painterly chunks of color, using strong value contrasts for drama and nice tonal control for atmosphere. The result makes for images full of action, adventure and lots of visual fun.

He creates interesting fantasy animals that are wierd amalgams of dinosaurs and mammals, and also paints more straightforward images of dinos. Some of his pen and ink illustrations show the influence of Franklin Booth and Roy Krenkel.

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