Inktober

Inktober 2017, Jake Parker, Moemai, Max Dunbar, Meredith Dillman, Abbe Branberg, Camille Marie, Chordephra, Loish, Alyssa Tallent, Jason Chan, Mack Chater, Sweeny Boo, Yuko Shimizu, Paul Heaston, Nick Nikopoulos, Stoaty Weasel, Ian McQue, Ira Sluyterman van Langeweyde
Inktober started as a challenge illustrator and cartoonist Jake Parker set himself in October of 2009, to draw 31 ink drawings in 31 days.

The goal, as in any exercise of this sort, was to get better end develop a more consistent working practice.

He repeated the idea the next year, promoting the notion that others should join him, and since then it has grown into a worldwide endeavor.

If you search on Twitter, Instagram or other social media platforms for #inktober, or #inktober2017, you’ll find the stream of those currently participating.

There is a lot of variation in style and level of ability, from novice to professional, and that’s part of what makes it such a great practice. There is no barrier to entry.

It’s not a contest, there are no real requirements or central authority deciding who can participate.

The rules, such as there are, are simple: do an ink drawing and post it online with the hashtags #inktober and #inktober2017 — repeat every day in October.

Even though this is the fifth day, it’s not too late to join in, I see lots of posts that say “late to the party” or “just joining in”. If you want to, you can throw in a few extra drawings along the way to come up with 31 by the end of the month.

You don’t have to use a dip pen or anything fancy; anything that makes marks in ink counts: ballpoint pens, markers, brush pens, whatever. The drawings don’t have to be elaborate or finished, and you can add color or not as you choose.

If you need suggestions for subject matter, there is an official prompt of 31 subjects on the Inktober website.

You don’t have to follow it, though. Lots of people make their own prompt list, or choose to do a single subject (e.g. cats, cars, portraits or monsters….), or just do whatever comes to you.

You can look through the social media feeds to see what others are doing, or simply for the enjoyment of it.

You will encounter a lot of work by beginners, and this is a Good Thing; part of the value of the practice is encouraging folks to get started. If you’re looking through with the thought of finding professional work, you might do better to seek the more curated experience of following Jake Parker’s Twitter feed, or the @inktober feed.

The images above are just some examples (mostly by professionals) that caught my eye. I particularly enjoy those images in which the artist has included their drawing tools in the photo with the drawing.

(Images above [some of these names are just Twitter handles]: Jake Parker, Moemai, Max Dunbar, Meredith Dillman, Abbe Branberg, Camille Marie, Chordephra, Loish, Alyssa Tallent, Jason Chan, Mack Chater, Sweeny Boo, Yuko Shimizu, Paul Heaston, Nick Nikopoulos, Stoaty Weasel, Ian McQue, Ira Sluyterman van Langeweyde)

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Leo (L.J.) Jordaan

Leo (L.J.) Jordaan, anti-fascist art, andi-nazi art
Leo (L.J.) Jordaan was a Dutch anti-fascist artist and political cartoonist who was living and woking in Amsterdm at the time of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in 1940.

Prior to the invasion, Jordaan has been working for the magazine Green. The Nazi occupiers shut down the magazine, along with most of what could be called a free press — always an enemy to fascists — and Jordaan took his work to underground publications.

Jordaan had a powerful graphic style, emphasized by his use of both dark and light hatching. He showed the Nazis a bringers of death, terror and pestilence to his beloved Netherlands, and was particularly harsh on Dutch fascist sympathizers, who he portrayed as shooting loyal Dutch in the back.

His most famous image was “De Robot” (images above, third from the bottom), which portrayed the Nazi war machine as an unstoppable robot trampling Dutch soldiers beneath its metal boots. It was published in the underground newspaper De Groene Amsterdamme (“The Green Amsterdamer”) during the occupation.

His portrayal of Hitler as a brooding Lucifer (above, second from bottom) seems to give a nod to Gustave Doré’s image of the Ninth Circle of Hell. The image of Christ in thorns above him refers to an image I’ve seen before, but I don’t actually know its origin. It may be a Gothic or early Renaissance icon.

In the image above, bottom, we find Jordaan mocking the Nazis’ attempt to appropriate Dutch culture — and Rembrandt in particular — as part of “Aryan Heritage”.

Jordaan survived the occupation, and after the war became a noted film critic.

The best source for images of Jordaan’s work is the Illustration Art blog, which has comments under some of the images that put them in context. Also good is this post on Dr. Tenge whhich features large images.

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Jack Davis, 1924-2016

Jack Davis, cartoonist, caricaturist, comics artist illustrator
Cartoonist, caricaturist, comics artist and illustrator illustrator Jack Davis had a pen that connected directly to the funny bone.

Noted for his horror comics work for EC Comics and Warren magazines, his movie posters, TV Guide covers, celebrity caricatures and, in particular, his loopy, wild, frenetic, over-the-top and uncannily hilarious comics and covers for Cracked and MAD Magazine, Davis influenced cartoonists and comics artists across the board.

Davis often left his readers in simultaneous paroxysms of laughter and wide-eyed admiration for his drawing skills, producing contorted reading positions that looked like.. well, like jack Davis illustrations.

Jack Davis died on July 27, 2016 at the age of 92.

The links below are mostly to recent obits and articles. For more links to image resources, see my previous post on Jack Davis.

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Je Suis Charlie, Charlie Hebdo: Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut, Charb (Stephane Charbonnier), Tignous (Bernard Velhac)

Je Suis Charlie, Charlie Hebdo: Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut, Charb (Stephane Charbonnier), Tignous (Bernard Velhac)

Among the 12 dead and 11 wounded in today’s cowardly and loathsome attack on the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris were four cartoonists: Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut, Charb (Stephane Charbonnier) and Tignous (Bernard Velhac).

I dug up what I could quickly find on the four cartoonists, and have included relevant links below. Most of them don’t seem to have a dedicated web presence, but my French is weak, and I’m not certain where to look. (I also have not taken the time to translate the text in the drawings above, so I’m not certain what they say. I was just trying to quickly find some representative artwork.)

Charlie Hebdo (Charlie Weekly) is known for it’s provocative cartoons and mocking satires of religious fanatics (across the board), political corruption and whatever they find worthy of ridicule. They have pissed off just about everyone, but they have particularly come under attack from professed Muslim extremists (I say “professed” because claiming you are something does not make it true, and certainly does not give you the right to speak for others). The Charlie Hebdo offices were firebombed in 2011, supposedly in response to cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad.

To those who are tempted to respond to this kind of act with anti-Muslim sentiment, I’ll point out that in doing so, you are handing these terrorists their victory. They want nothing more than to incite kneejerk, reactionary anti-Muslim sentiment in the West, and fan the flames of religious and cultural intolerance on all sides. To do so allows them to think they are warriors in a holy war, rather than the rat-like, delusional petty criminals they are.

Those who are doing the most to defeat their aims are spreading messages of tolerance and acceptance, not returning hatred for hatred.

Supporters of freedom of expression are using the phrase “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) and the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie in messages of solidarity around the world.

[Images above: “Je Suis Charlie” from Charlie Hebdo website, Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut, Charb (Stephane Charbonnier), Tignous (Bernard Velhac)]

[Via The Comics Reporter]

[Addendum: Slate has been publishing some of the responses to the tragedy, in the form of cartoons, from cartoonists in France and elsewhere: #JeSuisCharlie: Cartoonists Raise Their Pencils in Solidarity With Charlie Hebdo.

Also, reader julien has contributed an account of Cabu and the history and place of Charlie Hebdo in French society, with insights only available to someone living in France. See this post’s comments.]

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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.

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Théodore Rousseau

Theodore Rousseau
Étienne Pierre Théodore Rousseau was one of the first of the French painters to be attracted to the gnarled trees, bolder-strewn hillsides and deep forests of Fontainebleau, and after visiting frequently, one of the first to move to the small nearby village of Barbizon, where he became one of the premiere painters of the Barbizon School.

After early acceptance at the critical Salon, Rousseau’s predilection for Romanticism ran afoul of the Classicists in control of the Salon at the time, and kept him from acceptance for a number of years, earning him the unenviable nickname of “le grand refusé”.

He managed to impress patrons sufficiently to carry on, however, and eventually regained acceptance, though he was consistently denied the kind of official recognition due a painter of his ability.

As a leader of the Barbizon School, his often dark and moody canvases with their roughly scumbled surfaces and open brushwork, contrasted with those in which he applied sensitive glazes, helped usher in modern styles of painting.

It would be a stretch to think of Rousseau as an actual Tonalist, but the Barbizon painters exerted considerable influence on the American painters of that style, and I see in Rousseau’s compositions — particularly those of illuminated skies seen through the framing of dark masses of foreground trees — many of the compositional conventions taken on by painters like George Inness.

Unfortunately, reproductions of Rousseau’s work on the web seem to suffer more than some of his contemporaries. The widest selection is probably at WikiArt, though the images are not large, and The Athenaeum has a decent selection. The best reproductions are probably those of the excellent collection of Rousseau’s work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery, London.

You can also go to Artcyclopedia and search through the links to individual museums.

There is currently an exhibition of Rousseau’s work at the Morgan Library and Museum in NY, the first of its kind in the US. Titled “The Untamed Landscape: Théodore Rousseau and the Path to Barbizon“, it concentrates on his drawings and plein air oil sketches, forms at which Rousseau, much like Constable, excelled. The exhibition runs until January 18, 2015.

If you visit, and come out wanting to see Rousseau’s more finished work, the Met is just a cab ride away.

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin