Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Felideus (Juan Parra)

Felideus (Juan Parra)
Based in Madrid, Spain, Felideus (pen name for Juan Parra) has worked as an art director, animator, screenwriter and graphic designer for film and video productions, and is now a freelance illustrator, designer and writer.

As a writer and illustrator, Felideus has worked on book projects and in comic books.

He works both in traditional media like watercolor, acrylic, pencil and ink, and in digital media, using applications like Photoshop and Painter.

Felideus maintains a blog which also functions as his website, though the Portfolio section is labeled as Under Construction, and points to his portfolios on CG Society, deviantART, CG Gallery CGHub and Behance.

These appear somewhat redundant. I found the ones on CG Society or CG Hub as complete as any.

His blog, however, provides discussion of the work, names the projects for which the illustrations were intended, and provides additional images, including detail crops and in some cases, step-through process in the form of animated GIFs. The most recent blog entries feature translations of the text in four languages.

Felideus’ highly rendered, richly detailed style feels fresh and resists any feeling of being overworked, partly because of his superb use of value and color, and partly in his use of texture, contrasting highly detailed passages with areas that are almost flat. I particularly like the way he uses a limited palette and deft control of value, to push layers of an image back and dramatically bring others forward.

His more recent images, some of which are part of an advertising campaign for Buskers beer, and a few of which are for an in progress book project called “The Automatic Forest” (images above, bottom two) carry echoes of some of the Golden Age illustrators who worked in detailed and highly textural styles, like Arthur Rackham and Gustav Tenggren. Felideus manages at the same time to make his images feel ancient and modern, and uses his digital tools to great advantage.

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