Alina Chau (update)

Alina Chau, illustration
Alina Chau is a painter, illustrator and animation artist whose whimsical images are rendered in lively applications of watercolor.

Her work includes elements of children’s book illustration, concept design, naturalistic painting, stylized design elements and the influence of traditional Chinese ink painting. I particularly enjoy the way she incorporates design elements, textures and patterns into her images, often in way that suggests movement.

Since I last wrote about Chau in 2006, she has added to her online presence with a new website and a revised and expanded blog, and has engaged in several new projects.

Her website includes galleries of illustration, storyboards, gallery art and sketches. You can also find additional work, professional and personal, on her blog, Ice Cream Monster Toon Cafe, and on other online portfolios, linked below.

There are several interviews with Chau, linked from her website, some of which include tools and techniques.


Eye Candy for Today: William Logsdail’s St Martin in the Fields

St Martin in the Fields, William Logsdail
St Martin in the Fields, William Logsdail

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Tate Britain.

I love the atmosphere in this painting of London’s Trafalgar Square by Victorian painter William Logsdail — the wetness of the stone, the textures of fabrics, and the contrast between the muted grays and touches of higher chroma color.


Emmanuel Shiu

Emmanuel Shiu, concept art and design
Emmanuel Shiu is a concept artist and designer for the film and gaming industries, whose clients include SOny Pictures, Universal, Disney, Paramount and Warner Brothers, among others.

His images often combine high fantasy, futuristic cityscapes and high-tech environments with a feeling of tactile and sometimes gritty reality. I enjoy the way he can suggest immense scale an detail, while keeping the unity of his forms intact within the composition.

Shiu’s website features a sampling of his work from several projects, and his blog features more professional work, along with a number of personal projects. He also has an alternate blog with more professional work and you can find additional galleries on hie ArtStation and deviantART pages.

There is an interview with Shiu on CG Channel.

[Via Concept Art World]


Eye Candy for Today: Henri Rousseau’s Carnival Evening

Carnival Evening, Henri Rousseau
Carnival Evening, Henri-Julien-Félix Rousseau

Zoomable image on Google Art Project; high-res file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

When I was younger, I had a poster of this painting on my apartment wall, and I still enjoy its presence here in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Rousseau is often considered a “naive” artist — lacking the benefit of formal training — but sometimes that character, plus Rousseau’s unique personal vision, are what make his work powerful.

This picture, for example, makes no sense. Given the position of the full moon, none of the lighting would be as it is portrayed: not the bright clouds — particularly those near the ground with their orange glow — not the little dark cloud attended by two preternaturally bright ones, not the dark ground or the oddly lit couple in their carnival costumes, who seem lit as though from a daytime scene.

Also odd is the strange face peering out from what might be an oval window, or perhaps a mirror, on the side of the gazebo, or the strangely placed lamp above the corner of the roof.

Somehow, all of the nonsensical elements work together in Rousseau’s strangely innocent kind of magic realism, to make a painting that likewise has a magical charm.


Paul Dmoch

Paul Dmoch, watercolor cityscapes, landscapes, cathedral interiors
Paul Dmoch is a Belgian painter whose watercolors are playgrounds of light.

In them, light sparkles, bounces, glows, splinters and plays hide and seek amid the complexities of cathedral interiors, Venetian canals, narrow streets, dappled courtyards, open plazas and architectural landmarks of several cities.

Light is an actor in his paintings, alternately coy and bold, shining with bravado and peeking out from the shadows. I particularly enjoy Dmoch’s paintings of buildings and interiors by the brilliantly iconoclastic Spanish Architect Antoni (Antonio) Gaudí, in which his deft handling of color and value, backed with his solid draftsmanship, give Gaudí’s familiar landmarks a fresh interpretation.

Dmoch’s website is divided into three galleries; you can also view all of the images in a single gallery with multiple pages. Be sure to click on the images again when you arrive at the image detail page, to see a slightly larger version. You can also find larger images of many of his paintings on the Saatchi Art site.

[Via Adrie Hello (see my post on Adrie Hello)]


Eye Candy for Today: Frank Dicksee’s The Two Crowns

The Two Crowns, Sir Frank Dicksee
The Two Crowns, Frank Dicksee

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable high-res version on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Tate Britain.

In a turn of the 20th century painting of a Medieval scene, the crown of a king is seen in a different light when he is struck with the sight (or vision) of a representation of Christ’s crown of thorns.

Dicksee has lavished attention on the rich pageantry of the royal procession — the intricate gleaming armor, the beauty of the women and their luxurious garments and the tossed flowers. All are, in the moralistic nature of the work, meant to contrast the temporal nature of earthly life and the vanity of wealth and power with the presence of the spiritual; but to me (and I think to the artist) they serve much better as an actual indulgence in the beauty of the physical world.

For more, see my post on Sir Frank Dicksee.