Michael Whelan is one of the foremost fantasy and science fiction artists in the field. His superbly rendered illustrations convey a sense of classical realism and show beautiful control of atmospheric perspective.
Newspaper staff artists are the unsung heroes of illustration, usually in the shadows until they move to another position. Clay Bennett was a staff artist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Fayetteville (NC) Times before moving to The St. Petersburgh Times as an editorial cartoonist.
He was fired from The St. Petersburgh Times (I always have an interest in cartoonists who can piss off their papers enough to be fired) and now does Pulitzer Prize winning work for The Christian Science Monitor. His polished color renderings often convey complex ideas in elegantly simple images.
Bennett is married to portrait artist Cindy Procious.
Marshall Hopkins’ Lightning Studios is primarily a sketch blog in which the Brooklyn artist posts works in charcoal, pen, wash, graphite, watercolor and oil. Most of the pieces are for sale. Hopkins also does cartoons for The New Yorker.
His website includes a selection of his cartoons and illustrations.
Steven Mumford is a New York artist who has made several trips to Iraq during the war and recorded his observations in a series of remarkable pen, inkwash and watercolor drawings. The images range from intimate portraits of soldiers to battlefield scenes to pictures of the local citizens who were much less reluctant to pose for an artist’s pen than they might have been for a reporter’s camera.
This posting of his Baghdad Journal is part of the Artnet online magazine. The drawings are beautiful, scary, immediate and revealing in a way photographs couldn’t be. The work has now been collected in a book published by Drawn and Quarterly.
Ask comics fans about Alex Ross and you’ll get mixed but strong opinions. Many think his highly rendered watercolor and gouache comic illustrations “inappropriate” for comics storytelling, others find his work exciting and beautiful. I fall into the latter camp and have a tremendous respect for his water media technique. I also have no problem with his extensive use of photographic models. I feel that practice falls squarely in the tradition of great comic illustrators like Hal Foster, Alex Raymond and Al Williamson. Much of the most interesting art is to be found in the Ross Report newsletter section of the site.