James Niehues

James Niehues, hand painted aerial maps of ski resorts
James Niehues ia an artist based in Colorado who creates hand-painted aerial maps of ski resorts, golf resorts and other outdoor sporting sites.

He paints these at relatively large scale in gouache, using both brushes and airbrush, which allows him to give a high level of detail and texture to his largely mountainous scenes.

In the galleries on his website you will also find ski resorts in other parts of the US and internationally, as well as golf resorts. In addition, you will find aerial map views of mountain landscapes in warmer months and more traditional landscape views that he calls “scenic paintings”. (These are accessed from a not too obvious pop-out menu in the main navigation, or from a list in the page footer.)

Niehuse has a number of his images available as prints through ImageKind.


Norman Rockwell Santa

And to All a Good Night, Norman Rockwell
And to All a Good Night, Norman Rockwell

This image is sourced from an interesting 2015 Wired article on Rockwell’s photographic reference for this and a number of his other holiday themed paintings.

As is often the case with Rockwell paintings, much of the charm for me is in the little touches — the position of the hand holding the pipe and the rendering of the wooden chair; but I also love the loose, cartoony feeling of the illustration overall, and that wonderful wide-eyed, frazzled expression on the face of the Jolly One.

Seems like it’s been that kind of year for many of us. Here’s hoping 2018 brings some relief (even if we have to wait for November).

Merry Christmas and Happy Other Holidays!


Iban Barrenetxea

Iban Barrenetxea, illustration
Iban Barrenetxea is an illustrator from the Basque region in Spain. He has illustrated numerous children’s books, including versions of classics like Snow White and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as well as one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories: The Red Headed League.

Barrenetxea works digitally in Photoshop with a Wacom tablet, but his muted palette and emphasis on textural elements give his work a classic look, a bit like textural watercolor.

His website is in Spanish, but is easily navigated by non Spanish speakers. The home page (Inicio) is the primary gallery, the other links on the left hand side are “Books”, “Illustrations”, Blog and “About”.

You will find a variety of images, and some larger ones, on his blog. You can also find a selection of images, including some older ones, on Tutt’Art.


Tom Gauld

Tom Gauld
Tom Gauld is a Scottish cartoonist and illustrator whose deceptively simple style is simply delightful and simply perfect accompaniment to his wry sense of humor.

Gauld is a regular contributor to the (most excellent) British newspaper The Guardian, where his “cultural cartoons” are often literary in subject matter, and New Scientist, where they are obviously science themes, as well as The New York Times.

Gauld’s quirky turns on subjects both historic and contemporary (often mixed) can give you a delightful simultaneous brain tweak and laugh.

His website portfolio is not extensive, you can find more on the Guardian site or on his Instagram, Tumblr or Twitter feeds.

The image above, bottom, is part of this amusement on The Laurence Sterne Trust, in which you can assemble sections of it multiple ways.

Gauld is the author/illustrator of a number of books, including: You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack (cartoons), Goliath (graphic novel) and Mooncop (graphic novel).

His latest book of cartoons is Baking With Kafka.

Those in LA, can see Tom Gauld interviewed by Mark Frauenfelder tonight, November 6, 2017 at Skylight Books in Silver Lake at 7:30 pm.


Sara Tyson (update)

Sara Tyson, lllustration
Sara Tyson is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Ontaio, Canada, who I first profiled back in 2007. Her illustration clients include the Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, Harvard Business Review, The Globe & Mail, Road & Track, Penguin Group, McGraw-Hill Ryerson and Harcourt Publishers, among others.

Tyson works in a highly stylized and often strongly geometric style, that at times is overtly Cubist in its effects.

Her rich but controlled palette is nicely augmented with textural passages, adding extra vibrancy to both her highly styled and more naturalistic subjects.