Happy Leyendecker Baby New Year 2015!

Happy Leyendecker Baby New Year 2015!,  J.C. Leyendecker New Year's babies from covers for The Saturday Evening Post
As I’ve done every New Year’s Eve for the past nine years, I’ll wish all Lines and Colors readers a Happy New Year with more of J.C. Leyendecker’s terrific New Year’s babies from early 20th century covers for The Saturday Evening Post.

Have a wonderful, art-filled year!

 
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Chris Riddell

Chris Riddell
Chris Riddell is British illustrator and political cartoonist, known for his cartoons in The Observer, and for a series of children’s books he has illustrated, written or co-written, including The Edge Chronicles, Goth Girl, Muddle Earth, and his new colaboration with Neil Gaiman, The Sleeper and the Spindle (images above, top three). The latter title is not yet formally released in the U.S.; there is a review on The Guardian, with an image gallery.

His own website focuses on his cartoons, including “Illustrations to Unwritten Books”; the latter consisting mostly of terrible (i.e. wonderful) literary puns.

There is also an Edge Chronicles blog at Weird New Worlds. In addition, Riddell contributed an illustrated essay to the Guardian’s series, “Love Letters to Libraries“.

Don’t miss his absolutely wonderful sketchbook blog (yellow pages above), which is an extensive Tumblog with some of his most imaginative, off-the-cuff and delightfully loopy work, along with various sketches, and a sort of intermittent visual diary of his comings and goings, some of them sketched in a lined accounting ledger used as a sketchbook.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Childe Hassam’s The Victorian Chair

The Victorian Chair, Childe Hassam
The Victorian Chair, Childe Hassam

Link is to the Google Art Project; downloadable high-resolution file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum (which also has a zoom feature, though the Google one is a bit smoother).

What a wonderful portrait — sensitive and delicate from the intended viewing distance — but when you get close enough to see the painter’s hand, it’s quite different. He’s chiseled the face out of crisp, sculptural brush strokes; the arms are smoothed; and the hands somewhat in between the two extremes. The sitter’s hair is flecked with highlights; her chair is a circus of color and her dress is a windblown fury of paint marks held together only by Hassam’s extraordinary command of color and value.

 
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Joseph Alleman

Joseph Alleman
Utah painter Joseph Alleman works in both watercolor and oil, though watercolor seems to be his primary medium.

Many painters in watercolor seek to take advantage of the transparent brilliance it makes possible, resulting in lots of high-chroma watercolors. Alleman takes a different track, seeking in watercolor its delicate and subtle qualities, variation in soft and hard edges and finessed value relationships.

Alleman’s quiet evocations of the plains — farms and fields, houses and small towns — resonate with keen observation and a deft touch for capturing subtle changes in light. There is also in his work a consistent sense of the geometry in his compositions, at times reducing landscapes to a fairly strong level of abstraction.

Unfortunately, the images on his website are smaller than you might hope for; there are somewhat larger ones on the sites of some of the galleries in which he is represented (links below). The selections on his site, however, are more extensive. Look for the link to “View Archived Works“.

[Suggestion courtesy of Kan Muftic]

 
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Kan Muftic

Kan Muftic, concept art for films and games
Kan Muftic is a concept artist and illustrator based in London, UK. His film credits include Dracula Untold, Godzilla 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy, Cinderella and Edge of Tomorrow; games include Batman Arkham Knight, Batman Arkham City and Batman Arkham Asylum.

The number of pieces available on his website and CG Society portfolio isn’t extensive, but they show a nice range of his different approaches. His style ranges from softly atmospheric to sharply detailed. He also varies his color palette from muted to intense. What carries through consistently is an emphasis on drama and visual focus.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Willem Claeszoon Heda still life

Still Life of Oysters, a Nautilus Cup, a Roemer, Lemon and Other Objects, Willem Claeszoon Heda
Still Life of Oysters, a Nautilus Cup, a Roemer, Lemon and Other Objects, Willem Claeszoon Heda

On Sotheby’s (zoomable). Direct link to image file here.

I love the subtle sheen of colors in the nautilus cup, and the way the glassware almost disappears into the dark background.

Interesting to compare to this somewhat more elaborate still life by Heda’s contemporary, Pieter Claesz, also featuring a nautilus cup.

 
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