Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Nikolai Lockertsen (Nikko)

Nikolai Lockertsen, Nikko, art director an visual development artist, Norway

Nikolai Lockertsen, who signs his work “Nikko”, is an art director an visual development artist for the film industry, working with Storm Studios in Norway.

His approach to digital painting is often rough-textured and gritty, in keeping with the subject matter at hand, but can also be lighter and more cartoony. He frequently casts his compositions in almost monochromatic color schemes, sometimes punctuated with high chroma spots of the complementary color for dramatic effect.

His website has examples of both his professional work in environments, character development and matte painting, as well as personal work and sketches.

Lockertsen has a number of tutorial videos available on digital painting, and in particular Procreate for the iPad. They are available through Art Study Online, and you can see short trailers for them on YouTube. There are also a couple of longer time-lapse step-throughs (and here).

[Via io9]

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Eye Candy for Today: John Hamilton Mortimer’s Frontispiece from Fifteen Etchings

Frontispiece (from Fifteen Etchings Dedicated to Sir Joshua Reynolds),  by John Hamilton Mortimer
Frontispiece (from Fifteen Etchings Dedicated to Sir Joshua Reynolds), John Hamilton Mortimer

In the Metropolitan Museum of Art; image area is roughly 4 x 10 in. (35 x 25 cm).

Whenever I see etchings like this, I’m reminded how much I love the character of etched lines; though similar in many ways, so different from pen and ink, scratchboard, fine marker or technical pen.

I particularly love the loose, almost scribbled freedom with which Mortimer has rendered the trees.

I did an Eye Candy post about another etching in this series, here.

Discovering Dinosaurs, Walters & Kissinger

Discovering Dinosaurs, huge new dinosaur book by Bob Walters and Tess Kissinger
There is something particularly fascinating about dinosaurs and dinosaur art. Here are the dragons and monsters of myth and story, but actually real — science with all the dazzle and mystery of fantasy.

Those of us who remember a fascination with dinosaurs as children, whether or not we have been fortunate enough to keep it as adults, will recognize particular dinosaur books as “Wow!” books.

These are the kind of dinosaur books that are so spectacular they make kids’ eyes bug out of their heads and cause them to produce involuntary exclamations like “Woah!” and “Cool!” as they grip the book, nose to the pages, in absolute fascination.

Discovering Dinosaurs, a new dinosaur book by the highly regarded paleo art team of Bob Walters and Tess Kssinger, is one of those books — a dinosaur “Wow!” book.

The book is huge — physically big in size at over 10 x 13 inches, hugely entertaining and hugely informative. It’s loaded with information on over 160 fascinating and bizarre dinosaurs, arranged by period and family, with page after page of striking images, lots of two page spreads and three huge triple-page fold out banners.

Publisher Cider Mill Press has done an amazing job. The book design is beautiful and well thought out, and the book is rich with wonderful details, from the dinosaur-pattern end papers, to the foldouts, to the cover — which is, well, cool. The images I’ve been able to provide here don’t convey it, but the scales on the cover are actually physical bumps. Pick up the book and you can feel the scale texture on the front and back covers. In addition, the eyes and horns of the dinosaur, along with the title text, are glossy with spot-varnish, lending even more punch to the image. Somehow, they managed to price this thing, all 140+ pages of it, at $25.00.

One of the things I particularly like about Walters’ work, which I’ve written about previously, is that I know he is one of the relatively small percentage of paleo artists who makes a point of working with paleontologists who are also anatomists (which many paleontologists are not). Despite the dramatic appeal of his striking and detailed renderings, they are mercifully free of paleo-fantasy like enormous sauropods standing on their hind legs, or multi-ton tyrannosaurs running at a gallop. (These things are fine in fantasy art, but not appropriate for books that are supposed to be scientifically accurate.)

In addition to holding fast to scientific accuracy, the book is very up to date, with lots of the latest dinosaur discoveries and information. Game of Thrones author Geroge R.R. Martin gave Discovering Dinosaurs a nice plug in his blog.

The big, immersive pages and images, succinctly informative text and fun touches make Discovering Dinosaurs the kind of dinosaur book that would have had 12 year old me curled up on the couch for hours, learning my brains out and involuntarily exclaiming “Woah!” and “Cool!”

You can see more on the Discovering Dinosaurs website.

Discovering Dinosaurs can be ordered from Amazon and other online booksellers, or, if you’re fortunate enough to have one, from your local independent bookstore.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Eye Candy for Today: drawing by Jean “Moebius” Giraud

Jean Moebius Giraud, flying boat in mountains
Drawing by Jean “Moebius” Giraud

From the GeekDraw article marking his passing. (See also my post: Jean Giraud (Moebius) 1938-2012).

I don’t know if this has a title, many Moebius drawings do not. I think this one is old enough that it was done with ink and watercolor, rather than digital.

One of the things that consistently amazes me about Moebius, beside his astonishingly fertile imagination, is the remarkable effects he achieves with areas of relatively flat color and subtle gradations. Yes there are hints of modeling here, but only hints — gentle suggestions that let your mind fill in the rest.

Just wonderful.

Armand Point

Armand Point
Armand Point was an Algerian born French painter, draftsman and decorative artist who was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, but took much inspiration from Leonardo and other masters of the early Renaissance.

He is generally considered a Symbolist, which is a loosely defined school of art, and his style varies from the influences mentioned above to Orientalism to styles more associated with classic book illustration.

Resources are a bit thin and scattered, I’ve listed what I can find below.

[Note: some images on the linked sites can be considered NSFW.]

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Eye Candy for Today: Jean-Baptiste Greuze chalk drawing

Head of a Young Woman,  Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Head of a Young Woman, Jean-Baptiste Greuze

Red chalk on paper. 16 x 12 inches (41 x 31 cm), 18th century.

In the Morgan Library and Museum. Use download link under image, or zoom version.

Greuze has drawn an understated but elegant and remarkably strong study. The hands and bonnet are quickly realized, but the face is an authoritative statement of the geometry of the human head.

I can see the influence of drawings such as this on later anatomists like George Bridgeman and John H. Vanderpoel, and illustrators like J.C. Leyendecker, Dean Cornwell and Andrew Loomis.