Yu Cheng Hong

Yu Cheng Hong
There are times when I like certain science fiction, fantasy, comics or concept art specifically because it’s completely and gloriously over the top. (I mean, who doesn’t love a trident-wielding Valkyrie princess, saddled up on a cross-breed allosaurus/styrachosaurus, galloping through mist-shrouded mountains? Really.)

Yu Cheng Hong is an illustrator and concept artist, working primarily in the gaming industry. His illustrations — that blend influences from those genres, as well as steampunk and who-knows-what-else — are pull-out-the-stops over the top — and wonderfully rendered as well.

His website includes galleries of work in several categories. The quickest way to get an overview of his work is on CGHub.


Painters of the cliffs of Étretat

Cliffs of Etretat Eugene Delacroix, Gustave Courbet, Eugene Boudin, ustave Loiseau, Claude Monet
I had the pleasure today of re-watching one of David Dunlop’s informative episodes of Landscapes Through Time (which I profiled previously here on Lines and Colors).

In this segment, he visited the famous chalk cliffs of Étretat, on the northwestern coast of France, where several generations of painters have been drawn to paint the dramatic geological features and beautiful sea. Dunlop discussed the different approaches taken by Eugene Delacroix, a Romantic painter, Gustave Courbet, a painter of Realism, and Claude Monet, the archetypal Impressionist painter.

I thought it might be interesting to compare some paintings by those artists, as well as two others, Gustave Loiseau, a Post-Impressionist, and Eugéne Boudin.

Boudin was Monet’s first teacher, and introduced Monet to the importance of painting en plein air along the coastline near Étretat and La Havre, where Boudin painted and Monet grew up.

Monet, known for painting the same subject multiple times in differing conditions, painted the cliffs at Éretat numerous times, and from both sides of the headland. Some of his canvases from there are among his best known works.

(Images above: Eugene Delacroix [1,2], Gustave Courbet [3,4,5], Eugene Boudin [6, 7, 8], Gustave Loiseau [9], Claude Monet [10-16])


Il Duomo: Daring Design

Il Duomo: Daring Design is a short animation by Fernando Baptista. It serves as a brief introduction to the marvel of architecture, engineering and design that is Filippo Brunelleschi’s dome for the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.

Though it doesn’t go into great detail, it hints at the amazing accomplishment of Brunelleschi’s solution to a seemingly intractable problem.

For more, you can see the article in the National Geographic February issue, or (in theory at least) the online article that the animation is meant to accompany.

[Note: You should be able to access the video, and presumably the rest of the online article, from this link. If you click away, however, or close your browser and come back, the site blocks you and insists that you create an account to read anything.

Somehow, I didn’t expect National Geographic to be this clueless about the web (sigh). I guess — like so many others who have tried this — they will have to learn the hard way that this kind of policy just keeps people way in droves.]

Alternately, you can pick up Ross King’s nicely written account of the dome and its creation: Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture.

One thought about the dome that is worth keeping in mind: unless you have seen it in person, it’s hard to get a sense of just how large this structure is. When I was in Florence, I had the opportunity to see the dome from the top of the campanile at the other end of the cathedral, and it is simply staggering. The last few images in the animation show you a human figure in scale.

[Via @juanvelasco]


Eye Candy for Today: Greenhill’s Lady as a Shepherdess

A Lady as a Shepherdess, John Greenhill
A Lady as a Shepherdess, John Greenhill

On Google Art Project, also downloadable high-res from Wikimedia Commons. Original is in the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Though she is well presented, I don’t think Greenhhill has gone out of his way to flatter the sitter — or the sheep.


Sun Jiapei’s sun-dappled canals and bridges

Sun Jiapei
Originally from China, and now living and working in Japan, Sun Jiapei is a painter with a particular fascination for canals and urban streams.

He paints these with a keen sense of the play of light across water as it flows through the angularly defined defined spaces of rock channels, walls, quays and bridges.

The broadest selection of his work is on the Eleanor Ettinger Gallery. Unfortunately, many of the images have been either over-compressed or improperly resized, to the point of degraded quality. There are still a sufficient number of them to warrant a look.


Eye Candy for Today: Simon Vouet drawing

Creusa Carrying the Gods of Troy, Simon Vouet
Creusa Carrying the Gods of Troy, Simon Vouet

Black and white chalk on paper, 11×8″ (28x20cm). Original is in the National Gallery of Art, D.C.

The image on the linked page is zoomable. Click Download for larger images. You have to create a (free) account to download the high-resolution images.