Gurney Journey at 10

James Gurney's Gurney Journey art blog at 10
Congratulations to James Gurney for 10 years of authoring his superb blog, Gurney Journey.

What started as a modest intention to chronicle his travels on a book tour — in a way mirroring the journaled adventures of the character Authur Denison in Gurney’s popular illustrated adventure series, Dinotopia — has grown over time into not only a superb blog among art blogs, but one of the most in-depth and useful sources of art information and instruction on the web.

Gurney has been unstintingly generous in sharing his experience as an illustrator, author, plein air painter, instructor, model maker, videographer, and restless experimenter and investigator of artistic topics.

Over the course of time his posts on painting techniques, equipment, paints, color theory, drawing, and related topics have been turned into instructional books, YouTube videos, and most recently, a series of full-length instruction art videos.

Gurney has been a proponent of misunderstood and often overlooked painting mediums like gouache and casein, and Gurney Journey remains one of the definitive sources on the web for information and instruction in their use.

Long time readers of Lines and Colors will know I’ve long enjoyed Gurney Journey and recommended it often, along with Gurney’s other projects.

For those who may be new to Gurney Journey, I will recommend that you take a look at the post he did in 2016 on the landmark of 4,000 posts. In it he links to a quick overview of some of the most prominent topics. You can also explore using the list of topics in the blog’s left column, or the search feature at the upper left of all pages.

If you take the plunge, I will issue my Timesink Warning, and point out that I fell down that rabbit hole myself for a couple of hours while preparing this post, bookmarking along the way numerous articles I had forgotten about for future reference.

 
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Pablo Carpio

Pablo Carpio, concept art and illustration
Pablo Carpio is a freelance concept artist and illustrator based in Madrid, Spain. He has worked for Ubisoft Montreal and MPC and his work has been featured in publications like ImagineFX and 2DArtist.

A number of the pieces on his online portfolio are Star Wars themed and were apparently done as part of an ILM Art Department challenge.

I like his sense of scale and the way he utilizes texture and atmosphere to give his work a tactile feeling.

 
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Jesper Ejsing (update)

Jesper Ejsing, fantasy illustrations
Jesper Ejsing is a Danish fantasy illustrator living in Copenhaen.

When I last wrote about Ejsing in 2013, it didn’t seem like he was updating his web presence frequently. Since then, he’s been adding more of his wonderfully wild illustration to his website, Artstation portfolio, and the group blog, Muddy Colors, where he is one of several contributing illustrators and concept artists.

Ejsing’s dragons, warriors, monsters and elves are rendered with wonderful touches of texture, varied palettes from almost monochrome to brightly colored and have a particularly appealing dimensionality to them.

Many of the pieces on his Artstation page are accompanied by preliminary sketches.

For more, see my previous post on Jesper Ejsing.

 
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James C. Christensen, 1942-2017

James C. Christensen, 1942-2017, fantasy illustrations

James C. Christensen, a highly regarded illustrator and gallery artist who worked in the vein of fantasy, spiritual inspiration, and works tinged with the flavor of Renaissance portraits, died on January 8, 2017.

Though there is a jameschristensen.com, it’s a commercial gallery’s site, and the images are watermarked (though not terribly so). A better source is the Greenwich Workshop (note the links at page bottom to subsequent pages).

There are a number of books featuring or collecting Christensen’s work (Amazon link), including A Journey of the Imagination: The Art of James Christensen, which has an introduction by James Gurney.

For more, see my previous post on James C. Christensen from 2010 (which is more informative than this brief one).

 
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X-Story, Vitaliy Shushko

X-Story, Vitaliy Shushko, animation
X-Story is an animated short (roughly 12 minutes) by Vitaliy Shushko.

At first, I thought this was a promo or incorporated animation for a game from a major company. Given the production values, length and level of accomplishment, I was surprised to find that this was an independent animation project.

I checked Shushko’s blog and found this described as his first animated short, and that it was two years in the making.

For an indy project like this, even though he had assistance (please see the Vimeo link for credits), I’m not surprised it took that long.

The story (which can be slightly gruesome in places) is not the point of this for me; it’s the level of storytelling, production, design and realization.

I’ve seen indy animation projects at a high level before, but they’re usually much shorter.

This is done in an anime-influenced style (particularly with reference to Otomo’s classic Akira), but it doesn’t succumb to the stylistic excesses that sometimes plague that genre. The design feels fresh and direct.

I hope somebody throws lots of money at Shushko, so he can keep producing animations like this.

View the video at full screen; my small screen captures don’t do the visuals justice.

[Via digg]

 
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Vladimir Kush (update)

Vladimir Kush, surreal, butterfly ship
Vladimir Kush is a Russian painter now living in the US, who I first wrote about in 2007.

Kush paints in a style derived from Surrealism, but that might more correctly be thought of as Magic Realism.

Since my last post, his website has been expanded with additional work, but it has also become more overtly commercialized, with an emphasis on prints, limited editions, and a series of brick and mortar galleries (perhaps following in the tradition of Thomas Kinkade).

Despite the commercial emphasis, I still find Kush interesting and fun, with clever juxtapositions of commonplace objects casting them into alternate meanings and roles.

He often explores repeated themes, most notably that of butterflies, and his most recognizable work is the butterfly-sail ship shown above, middle.

His website offers relatively small images, presented in a pop-up-and-close fashion that is not conducive to extended browsing. You may find it easier to browse through the larger images in some of the third-party articles linked below for an overview, and then come back to his site for more depth and additional images.

 
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