Joe Banana’s “The Rocketeer 20th Anniversary”

Joe Banana's Rocketeer Homage
As someone who very much enjoyed Dave Stevens’ comic book The Rocketeer, and the Republic Pictures 1950’s Commando Cody serials, to which Steven’s character was a loving homage, I couldn’t help but like 3-D animator Joe Banana’s The Rocketeer 20th Anniversary, which is in turn a homage to Steven’s character and the underrated 1991 Disney live action movie adaptation (a homage to a homage to a homage?).

Banana, who is co-creator and animator of the berserk game characters the RABBIDS, has created his delightful interpretation of the Rocketeer character done as a 3-D animated feature or TV show, giving us just enough of a taste to make us hope that Pixar will take the hint.

[Via Cartoon Brew]


Nina Johansson

Nina Johansson
Swedish artist, designer and teacher Nina Johansson subtitles her website “Because drawing is good for you”, and its pages are filled with the ripe, healthy fruit of that philosophy, lots of wonderful drawings, sketches and watercolors.

Johansson seems to take as her favorite subject that most perfect of all drawing subjects — what’s in front of her at any given moment, be it food, a street, cars, plants, buildings, train passengers, a camera, pens, hands, pedestrians or travel scenes.

Her efficient, casual notation, textural ink lines, pencil shadings and brilliant dashes of watercolor enliven her take on even the most mundane of subjects.

She also has a portfolio of more finished work and several galleries of sketchbooks. The home page of her site is arranged as a blog.

You can also find her work posted on Urban Sketchers.

[Via Escape Into Life]


Joe Fenton

Joe Fenton
Joe Fenton started in sculpture, moved into concept art for the film industry and then transitioned into children’s book illustration. He also creates the large scale drawings shown above, which I assume are gallery pieces.

For these, Fenton works initially in a detailed graphite drawing, then works over that in ink and acrylic or gouache. The drawings are large in scale, as you can see from the photo of him working on the top drawing, “Solitude”, in its pencil stage.

“Solitude” is 8ft x 5ft (243 x 152cm), and took 10 months to complete.

Fenton’s intricate, highly realized drawings emphasize value contrasts and tonal shading to achieve a stunningly dimensional quality, and evidence his experience as a sculptor. These drawings are almost monochromatic, but his use of gradations and textural details give them a rich variety of surface quality.

His subjects and influences draw on Aisian mythology, Northern Renaissance art and contemporary pop culture, with a bit of M.C. Escher and Arthur Rackham thrown in for good measure; creating a wild visual stew of eclectic elements.

Fenton’s books include What’s Under the Bed? and Boo!. He is currently working on his third book.

Unfortunately, the gallery on his website is a bit awkward to navigate, requiring the selection of a third level in a drop-down menu to access each drawing. You may find it easier to initially browse his gallery on Behance Network. In addition, there is a brief interview with the artist on My Modern Metropolis, accompanied by illustrations.

Fenton offers giclee prints of some of his drawings.


Vincent or Theo?

Vincent or Theo?
It has long been assumed that Vincent van Gogh never painted a portrait of his brother Theo, despite the number of self-portraits he completed during the two years he lived with Theo in Paris.

Now researchers at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, think they have determined that the presumed self-portrait at right, above, is in fact a portrait of Theo.

They are basing the assertion on an analysis of the facial features in the portrait, other Van Gogh self-portraits, particularly the one shown above, left, and photographs of Theo, who was in many ways similar in appearance to Vincent.

Both paintings, along with 91 others, are part of an extensive exhibition called Van Gogh in Antwerp and Paris: New Perspectives that runs to 18 September, 2011.

There is a feature on the museum’s site about the analysis, and a comparison of the above two portraits.

[Via Art Daily]


Four Go Painting in Provence

Four Go Painting in Provence, Katherine Tyrrell, Sarah Wimperis, Robyn Sincliar and Ronelle van Wyk
In what would surely count as a dream painting excursion in the eyes of many artists, myself included, four painter/bloggers who are familiar to many, Katherine Tyrrell, Sarah Wimperis, Robyn Sincliar and Ronelle van Wyk, arranged a joint painting trip to Provence in the south of France.

With the exception of Van Wyk, who could only join them for a week, they are staying for several weeks in the department of Vaucluse, of the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

Not only are they painting in the general region of France where Van Gogh and Cézanne painted, they are staying in the home of contemporary painter Julian Merrow-Smith, while he and his wife are in England.

Merrow-Smith is known for his beautiful small paintings as displayed on his blog, Postcard from Provence.

The four have a joint blog devoted to their stay, Four Go Painting In Provence, posting both information about the region and their painted an drawn interpretations of it as they create them, as well as posting work and accounts on their own individual blogs in their usual manner.

The group blog includes links to their individual projects, as well as a page on the places they’ve painted and information on art materials and equipment.

If, like me, this kind of painting trip is high on your list of “would love to do” but not in the current realm of practicality (sigh), you can enjoy vicariously through the blog(s). You can read about their experiences to date, and continue to follow them for the remaining 10 days of their stay.

(Images above: Katherine Tyrrell, Sarah Wimperis, Robyn Sincliar and Ronelle van Wyk)


Illustrator Shaun Tan Draws Conclusions on Spiegel Online

Illustrator Shaun Draws Conclusions on Spiegel
In a delightful twist on the usual interview format, Australian illustrator, author and concept artist Shaun Tan replies to a series of interview questions on Spiegel Online with pictures instead of words.

The images have a little magnifier icon for viewing them larger.

See my previous post on his beautiful wordless graphic story The Arrival.

[Via @thebookslut by way of @BibliOdyssey]