He who knows how to appreciate colour relationships, the influence of one colour on another, their contrasts and dissonances, is promised an infinitely diverse imagery.
- Sonia Delaunay
Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.
- Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Machiavelli, online graphic novel by Don MacDonald

Posted by Charley Parker at 2:22 pm

Machiavelli, online graphic novel by Don MacDonald
Niccolò Machiavelli was a 15th Century Italian diplomat, philosopher and writer, from whose political treatise, The Prince, along with other writings, we get the contemporary usage of his name in the term Machiavellian, referring to the use of deceptive cunning and planning in politics.

Machiavelli himself, however, was hardly an example of the intricate political deceit with which his name is associated, and is largely unknown for his own life and deeds.

Machiavelli is an ongoing graphic novel written and drawn by Don MacDonald that explores the life and times of Machiavelli the man.

MacDonald is posting the story to the web, two pages week. He plans a story of about 170 pages. The home page of the site always opens up on the current page (as of this writing, page 42), but you will want to start with the first page.

He usually annotates each page with comments about Machiavelli’s life and the history and politics of the time, in which he has obviously immersed himself in preparation for telling the story.

The story is drawn in a slightly gestural informal line style with gray washes. MacDonald’s line and tone approach, in which he emphasizes light and shadow, is ideal for the subject and his evocation of 15th Century Florence.

The site also includes a blog, poster size images that can be printed out for free, and a small selection of his earlier watercolor portrait paintings (above, bottom).

You can check back periodically as he adds to the story, or be notified by one of several methods he mentions on the About page.

[Via BoingBoing]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Margarita (Hampa Studio)

Posted by Charley Parker at 10:01 pm

Margarita, Hampa Studio
Margarita is a beautifully designed, drawn and realized animated short (about 12 minutes long) from Hampa Studio.

Another example of small independent studios doing high level work, this award winning story follows the adventures of a young princess (lived in the imagination of our actual protagonist, a young girl being read the story by her mother), who sets out to find an evening star that has captured her fancy.

The film is based on a poem by Rubén Dario, and the adaptation works to evoke the poetic images wordlessly, with only sound effects and music to accompany the images.

The animators chose to take the approach of traditional hand-drawn animation, with wonderful backgrounds, delightful character design and fluid, elegant animated motion.

There is a Making Of feature that is actually a bit longer than the film itself, in which the creators discuss the conception of the project as well as their process in bringing it to fruition.

There is also a trailer that was released prior to the final film. In addition to the page on the Hampa Studio site, there is a site for Margarita, that has an English version, as well as a blog.

[Via Animation Blog]

Monday, October 18, 2010

Southwest Art Magazine

Posted by Charley Parker at 10:10 pm

Southwest Art Magazine:<br />
(Images above:
Southwest Art is a print magazine devoted to American Western art, with a focus on contemporary artists. The magazine is a division of F+W Media, and is related to sister publications that include The Artist’s Magazine, Watercolor Artist and The Pastel Journal.

They post a number of full articles from the magazine on their website, along with related images, currently including several from their November 2010 issue. These feature artists like Clyde Aspevig, Rock Newcomb, Mark Haworth, Raj Chaudhuri (who I featured previously here) and Daniel Keys (who I featured here).

There is a blog and lists of other articles (accessed from the drop-down menu in the red navigation bar), that also frequently features entire articles and images.

The magazine holds competitions, one called 21 Under 31, focusing on young, emerging artists under 31 (featured in their September 2010 issue and linked on the website here), and another called 21 Over 31, focusing on artists from 31 to 64 years of age (featured in the November 2010 issue and arranged as a linked list here).

Though the focus is on a a particular region of the U.S. that is often considered to have its own approach and range of subjects, the artists and work featured would be of interest to anyone who enjoys contemporary landscape, still life and figurative art.

(Images above: Daniel Keys, Clyde Aspevig, Rock Newcomb, Raj Chaudhuri, Mark Haworth)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Benoît Mandelbrot, 1924 – 2010

Posted by Charley Parker at 3:50 pm

As I described in my post about him from 2008, Benoît Mandelbrot was not an artist, but a mathematician.

His work, however, has enabled others, from dedicated computer artists to dabblers, to create the multitude of stunning images we know as ‘fractals”. In the process, he deepened our understanding of nature and the concept of infinity.

Benoît Mandelbrot died this morning at the age of 86.

There is a bio on Wikipedia, from which the images above were taken. They are part of a set of images in which each is a magnified crop from the last (I’ve skipped some in the sequence above).

For more, see my previous post on Benoit Mandelbrot, in which I give a better overview of Mandelbrot and his contribution, a brief explanation of fractals and links to images and other resources.

[Via Kottke]

Posted in: Digital Art   |   5 Comments »

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bill Mayer

Posted by Charley Parker at 2:23 pm

Bill Mayer
Bill Mayer’s wonderfully energetic and delightfully loopy illustrations are flashes of pure visual hyperbole.

His intensely colorful and beautifully rendered animals, monsters and freaked-out people just about jump off the screen, eyes a-goggle and huge toothy grins as wide as their heads (if they have heads).

Mayer has a website with examples of his work in several categories, as well as extensive Flickr galleries, a presence on Drawger, a section on Behance Network, and a portfolio on the site of The Weber Group, his artist representatives.

You’ll have to go to the latter two for information about the artist and his clients, as his own site doesn’t have a bio or information page.

Mayer works in a variety of media and combinations of media, gouache, oil, airbrush, scratchboard, digital and I’m not sure what else.

He works for a variety of clients, including he United States Post Office, Coca Cola, DreamWorks, Blue Sky Studios, Cartoon Network, GameStop, Hasbro, Levi’s for Women, Jose Cuervo, Time Magazine, IBM, Delta Airlines, RJR Nabisco, Yupo Paper and Stueben Glass.

Mayer cites influences as diverse as Jack Davis, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Monet, Picasso and Boterro in the formation of his style. He studied at the Ringling School of Art in Florida, and is currently based in Decatur, Georgia.

Mayer is a friend and collaborator of Goñi Montes, who I recently profiled.

Posted in: Illustration   |   1 Comment »

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Art in Flanders, animated view of Flemish art

Posted by Charley Parker at 7:06 pm

Art in Flanders
Art in Flanders is an animation that serves as the introductory page for the Lukas image bank of digital reproductions of Flemish art.

The image bank itself can be searched and browsed by theme, timeline, or style. The image previews are zoomable, though within a frustratingly small window.

The animation, however, is larger. In it the creators (for whom I couldn’t find credits) have taken a number of wonderful Flemish paintings and, with considerable computer artistry, separated parts of them into planes, filling out areas where one plane was in front of another.

The result is an animated view of the works, and wonderfully handled transitions between them, that I cannot adequately describe, or show with the static screenshots above.

You simply have to see the animation to appreciate its visual charm.

Beautifully done.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Laura Barnard

Posted by Charley Parker at 11:48 pm

Laura Barnard
UK based illustrator Laura Barnard specializes in cityscapes and architectural subjects, “the more complicated they are the better”.

She works in both traditional and digital media, mixing them at times. Her fine line approach works well in her portrayal of complex jumbles of buildings, latticed with detail and texture.

She has an informal line, allowing her freedom in her portrayal of buildings at odd angles with one another, and license in her use of perspective, as well as lending the work a feeling of informality that softens the hard geometry.

In addition to the textures created with hatching and line, she often mixes in passages of tone or color, sometimes restricting them to certain parts of the drawing.

Her website has a gallery of her work, a blog-like news section and a shop in which she sells posters and prints.

You can also find her work on the Behance Network, Flickr and in this post on Neatorama, which is where I encountered her drawings.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Goñi Montes

Posted by Charley Parker at 7:59 pm

Freelance illustrator Goñi Montes works his fine line and color fill approach in a number of ways, creating a variety of emotional feeling and visual style.

Montes often makes use of a restrained color palette, limiting the range and value of his major colors, and offsetting them with dark but saturated colors in certain areas. He sometimes uses those dark but deeply saturated colors as his primary palette.

His subjects often seem to express surprise or alarm, adding to the edge of tension set up by the color range and subtle shifts in value.

Montes was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and studied at the University of Poerto Rica at Mayagüez, later moving to Atalanta, Georgia and continuing his studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He now lives in nearby Decatur, Georgia and teaches classes at SCAD in addition to his freelance work.

His clients include The Washington Post, The Village Voice, Draft FCB, Puerto Rico Sea Grant, and Oz Magazine.

In addition to the portfolio on his website, you can find his work on Tor.com, Behance Network and Richard Solomon Artists Representative, where you will also find a description of his process.

Posted in: Illustration   |   2 Comments »
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