Chien Chung-Wei is a Taiwanese watercolorist who early in his career emulated the painstakingly detailed methods of 19th century European watercolor painters like William Henry Hunt and Myles Birket Foster, but as his career progressed moved to a looser, more open style emphasizing the gesture and light of his subjects.
He most often paints urban scenes and architectural subjects, capturing the play of light with fresh, clear color and a superb balance of free brushstrokes and sharp, controlled edges.
On his website, you will find galleries of recent work, as well as a selection of early work in his previous style (accessed from a drop-down menu at upper right).
I particularly like the work in his “Demo” section, which I presume is done even more quickly than his studio pieces. In these, he often takes on very humble subjects, finding in them a variety of patterns of light and shadow, as well as contrasts of muted and higher chroma color.
Chien Chung-Wei occasionally tours the US doing workshops. You can find some time-compressed demos on YouTube, along with video samplers of his work.
Like many artists, I enjoy seeing how other artists arrange and use their studios and work spaces. This is partly out of curiosity and partly with an eye to possibly useful ideas.
Here are a couple more sources for photos of artists’ studios, in this case mostly illustrators, concept artists and comics artists. One is an article on Muddy Colors and the other a Tumblr blog called art workspace. In both cases, the images are linked to larger ones in which you can see more detail.
As always, the range of environments and approaches is fascinating, and it’s particularly interesting to see the artist’s working space when you’re familiar with their work.
I’ve selected example images here for the studios of some artists I have previously featured on Lines and Colors, and provided links to my articles below.
(Images above, studios of: Tom Kidd, Andrew “Android” Jones, Yuko Shimizu, Michael Whelan, Paolo Rivera, Jean-Baptiste Monge, Tran Nguyen, Shawn Barber, James Gurney, Iain McCaig, Eric Fortune, Donato Giancola, Chris Buzelli, Drew Struzan)
[Via John Gallagher]
Jim Kay is a British illustrator know for his illustrations for A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, and the pop-up book, Bugs with George McGavin, and lately — in particular — for his work on the new Illustrated Editions of the Harry Potter series.
The first in that series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition is due to be released in the U.S. on October 6, but pre-release previews are already bringing Kay well-deserved attention.
His take on the stories is unique and different — no mean feat for a series with a visual look already firmly entrenched in popular culture by the wildly successful movies. His approach, however, has a visual charm and quirky character that make me wish the movies were animated in that style rather than live action.
Kay’s other work is similarly idiosyncratic, with lots of attention to mood and texture.
Unfortunately, his website gallery is a bit more limited than one might like, and his website is hampered by a terrible navigation system — in which everything must be accessed by a drop-down menu hidden under an uninformative “home” link that doesn’t even look like a menu (sigh).
However, once you find your way to them, his site does provide some large images (there is a separate Harry Potter section), as well as a brief description of his process. Kay works in ink (much of it “thrown or blown on”), watercolor, pencil and monoprints, as well as collage and some compositing in Photoshop. He does a lot of preliminary and alternate versions, and says that less than 15% of his working output makes it to the final book.
You can find additional previews of the Harry Potter Illustrations on io9, Tor.com and Scholastic.