Jakub Rozalski

Jakub Rozalski, concept 1920s farms peasants and mecha
Jakub Rozalski is a Polish concept artist and illustrator based in Krakow. His work, particularly in a series involving mecha in the context of rural farms, is particularly interesting for the way it combines sci-fi concepts with naturalistic landscape rendering.

Though primarily digital, Rozalski’s landscapes and machines have a wonderfully painterly feeling. In many cases, his landscapes, if they were done in traditional media, would serve nicely as stand alone gallery landscape paintings.

His farmlands are inhabited by working peasants that might have come from the 19th century or earlier, juxtaposed with what appear to be World War I era soldiers and grimy retro-futuristic mechs that somehow traverse the centuries as though they had always been present.

Rozalski blends these elements with his naturalistic, atmospheric and painterly approach into a seamless evocation of an alternate history.

Rozalski does’t have a dedicated website, instead relying on an ArtStation portfolio and Tumblr blog as his web presence. Neither provide a great deal of background information on the artist, but the mecha-amid-peasants series appears to be related to a game called Scythe.

There is an interview with the artist on print24.

[Via io9]

John Singer Sargent’s portrait drawings

John Singer Sargent portrait drawings
John Singer Sargent, one of the best portrait painters of the 19th century, eventually tired of his role as a society portrait painter. In his later career he greatly reduced the number of formal portrait commissions he accepted, preferring to travel and pursue his own on location watercolors.

However, he continued portraiture in a different sense, with informal portrait drawings, mostly in charcoal and many of notable figures of the time. Though Sargent drew in charcoal throughout his career, producing numerous life drawings as a student, his attention to this kind of portrait drawing was concentrated in his later years.

These drawings are remarkably fresh, loose and confident while maintaining the underlying precision of Sargent’s superb draftsmanship. The convey a range of personality, emotion and attitude on the part of the subject, and showcase Sargent’s masterful command of the most basic of all drawing media.

Unfortunately, I can’t point you directly to a trove of Sargent’s portraits drawings on the web, so I’ve gathered some scattered resources, including a couple of Google searches.

There is a nice, quite inexpensive booklet from Dover Books titled: Sargent Portrait Drawings: 42 Works by John Singer Sargent.

Eye Candy for Today: Arthur Streeton’s Railway Station

The Railway Station, Redfern; Arthur Streeton
The Railway Station, Redfern; Arthur Streeton

Link is to zoomable images on Google Art Project; high-resolution downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

The more I see of Streeton’s work, particularly in high-resolution detail, the more impressed I am — rich, subtle color, lively brush marks, beautiful economy of notation, and striking, inventive compositions.

This piece, with its Degas-like almost empty foreground, geometric arrangement of buildings, marvelous sense of scale and atmospheric evocation of a wet day, is a beautiful case in point.

For more, see my previous posts on Arthur Streeton, below.

Joseph Barbaccia

Joseph Barbaccia, illustrations made with strands polymer clay
In a process that combines elements of painting, mosaics and sculpture — and perhaps bears some relation to the image making process known as quilling (see my post on Yulia Brodskaya) — Washington, DC-based illustrator and designer Joseph Barbaccia creates his illustrations with colored strands of polymer clay.

Working from pencil sketches, Barbaccia create an initial concept image in Photoshop, prints it and places it against the back of a sheet of glass. He selects the colors of his polymer clay — familiar to many dimensional artists by the brand name “Sculpy” — and creates uniform strands by running the clay through a pasta maker. The strands are then painstakingly cut to length and trimmed to pointed ends before being placed in position. There is a bit more detail on his website page describing his process.

The result is a fascinating combination of areas that combine color, texture and direction in defining the forms, the latter often giving his images a feeling of motion.

Barbaccia’s images are most often portraits or caricatures of well-known people, though he also works with children’s illustration and other subjects.

Eye Candy for Today: Fragonard’s Progress of Love: The Meeting

The Progress of Love: The Meeting, Jean-Honore Fragonard
The Progress of Love: The Meeting, Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Link is to zoomable image on Google Art Project; high resolution downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Frick Collection.

This was part of a series of four large paintings depicting four stages of love. All four, along with several smaller canvasses, are now in the Frick Collection, which has special a Fragonard Room devoted to them.

Laura Quinn

Laura Quinn, wildlife art and pet portraits
Laura Quinn is a UK artist who focuses on wildlife art, portraits and pet portraits.

She works in Alkyd, a medium closely related to oil, but with a fast drying synthetic resin as the binder instead of linseed oil. Her approach pays particular attention to the textural qualities of her subjects.

Many of her pet portraits are composed more like portraits of people than is common for pet portraits, giving them an appealing immediacy.