Chris Seaman

Chris Seaman, illustration
Chris Seaman is an illustrator working in the gaming industry. His fantasy-themed illustrations are highly rendered, but always keep a feeling of cartoony verve and springy stylization, and often contain fun little touches in the details.

Seaman works in acrylic. There are a couple of brief process videos on his website, where he also has both originals and prints for sale..

I particularly enjoy his take-offs on famous images. like Holbein’s portrait of Henry VIII, and J.C. Leyendecker’s Arrow Shirt ad (images above, bottom three).

Adair Payne

Adair Payne, landscape painting
Adair Payne is a California painter whose landscapes are richly textural, often deeply atmospheric and highly evocative of place, season and time of day.

Payne uses a restrained palette, emphasizing the value relationships and textural elements in his compositions. Though many of his subjects are identifiably west coast landscapes, many resonate for me with creeks and forests of the Eastern Seaboard, and I believe Payne was located in the eastern US for a time.

I particularly find resonance with some of his deep woods subjects and the creeks and woods of 19th century master William Trost Richards from the Brandywine and Wissahickon Valleys here in Pennsylvania.

Though he is equally at home in brightly lit fields and hillsides, I find Payne to be most fascinating when he is exploring the subtle light and color of shadowed streams and misty woods. In those subjects, the visual appeal of his finessed textures and naturalistic foliage emerges slowly, entrancing you much as the real environment would.

There is a brief interview with Payne on YouTube that gives you a feeling of the scale of his work, and another here, as well as on his website, in which he discusses how he hopes to communicate with his work.

Ron Monsma

Ron Monsma, pastel and oil, figures and still life
Though he works in oil as well, Ron Monsma creates his figures and still life primarily in pastel.

He has a refined approach, with subtle attention to edges and values and a Baroque sensibility for composition and light. I particularly enjoy those pieces in which he appears to revel in the textural characteristics of his subjects.

Monsma ia an Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Indiana University South Bend, and is represented by Miller Gallery in Cincinnati, OH.

Eye Candy for Today: Dore illustration for Fables of La Fontaine

Shepherd Wolf, Gustave Doré

Link is to WikiArt, from this page.

19th century illustrator and printmaker Guatave Doré is noted primarily for his dramatic illustrations for Dante’s Devine Comedy and Inferno, Milton’s Paradise Lost and Cervantes Don Quijote, as well as The Bible.

Less well known are his illustrations for Shakespeare plays, other epic poems and a number of fables and fairy tales.

This wonderfully sly example is from his illustrations for Fables of La Fontaine (link is to Dover book of just the illustrations).

I love the delicately rendered plants, the wonderfully casual hatching in the handling of the clouds and foreground, and the “WTF?” expression on the foremost sheep. As always, Doré and his engraver exhibit a mastery of establishing value with cross hatching.

I’ll leave it to you to wonder if there is any connection to current events.

Julian Alden Weir (revisit)

Julian Alden Weir
Julian Alden Weir was an American painter and printmaker active in the later 19th and early 20th centuries.

He was one of the the painters loosely known as “American Impressionists”, and more relevantly, was a member of “The Ten” — a group of influential painters in Boston that included Frank W. Benson, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Childe Hassam, Willard Leroy Metcalf, Robert Reid, Edmund C. Tarbell, and John Henry Twachtman (links to my posts).

Julian Alden Weir is the younger brother of John Furgeson Weir, also a well-known painter, with a somewhat more conservative style in keeping with the Hudson River School and later in his career, with the Barbizon School.

I first wrote about Julian Alden Weir back in 2008, since then more resources and better reptoductions of his work have become available on the web, though his paintings still seem to suffer in reproduction more than some of his contemporaries.

Amei Zhao

Amei Zhao, concept art and illustration
Amei Zhao is an illustrator and visual development artist based in Sydney. She has a bright, graphic style that uses theatrical lighting to nice effect. She has a minimalist approach to her shapes, foregoing detail in favor of color and the textural effect of smaller shapes.

Many of her pieces show a character apparently wandering through various environments, though I’m not certain if these are for the same project.