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Showing posts from November, 2011
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Puss in Boots, photoshop.
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ERICH SOKOL'S PRELIMINARY SKETCHES

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I have previously written about my admiration for illustrator / cartoonist Erich Sokol, whose brilliant work appeared in Playboy Magazine.  A collection of his work recently published by Residenzverlag includes some of his preliminary studies.

Sokol does not wait until the final image to worry about good design and composition.  They are present in the very first small fragments.

Note how strongly Sokol locates this sketch on the page...


 ...or how he starts out early identifying and then emphasizing the rhythm and harmony of the human forms:


Like many other  artists, Sokol's building blocks contain the DNA of a finished artistic statement.





No matter how small or incomplete, details and fragments such as these can encompass the artist's  genetic code and are well worth our attention.

Class demo sketch

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.Here's a demo sketch I did for my head drawing class, I thought I'd pass along a few pointers to those of you interested.


First, simple but accurate construction drawing then massing the light and shadow, this should be as simple as asking yourself what's in direct light and whats in shadow. Then addressing the turning forms within the light and shadow and designing hard and soft edges.


This overlay shows how a simple construction drawing lays the foundation. Though it may seem a bit abstract, it helps place the larger masses of anatomy within the whole, it maintains the symmetry of the head and helps convey the simple three dimensional nature of the head (like longitude and latitude on a sphere).



Always look for the simple statement as shown in this photoshop paint-over. If you put anything (and I mean anything) in your drawing that varies from it's simplest shapes and values you'd better have a darn good reason. Variations in shape and value that don't convey …

THE SLAV EPIC

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I spent the past week in Prague where I was working on the World Forum on Governance.  Away from my books and art materials, I resigned myself to skipping this week's post.

However, the cultural attache at the embassy shared with me the happy news that Alphonse Mucha's masterpiece, the Slav Epic, will go on display in Prague next year, just 84 years after Mucha donated it to the city.

For those who only know Mucha for his art nouveau posters, the Slav Epic was Mucha's most important and meaningful work: 20 huge patriotic murals of key moments from the history of the Slavic people.


In times of trouble and uncertainty, Mucha "wanted to talk in my own way to the soul of the nation," reminding them of their proud heritage and the heroism and sacrifice of their ancestors.






Mucha presented his murals to the city of Prague in 1928, but some criticized them as old fashioned and nationalistic.  By 1933 the canvases were rolled up and placed in storage, and Mucha's …
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After a modest opening competing with Halloween and unseasonal NE storms, Puss in Boots has kept an unprecedented hold on movie goers during it's second week. Word of mouth is great and it looks like the show will hold strong over the next few weeks. We can stop biting our nails now.

This is some location design work, layout by Christian Schellewald and painted by myself.

NEW BOOK FROM STERLING HUNDLEY

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Award winning illustrator Sterling Hundley has come out with a collection of his art, Blue Collar / White Collar.


The book melds Hundley's commercial illustration, his gallery art, and his thoughts on working "between the demands of  Blue Collar ethic and the ambitions of a White Collar aesthetic."


Readers may recall that I admire Hundley's talent, his enthusiasm for nurturing young artists, and his thoughtful efforts to adapt to the circumstances confronting a 21st century artist. Many illustrators talk about diversifying and selling "fine" art to gallery audiences, but Hundley is one who seems to have pulled it off.  I was pleased to be asked to write the introduction for his book.

This compact volume (6" x 9") includes revealing preliminary sketches for some of his better known works.


I recommend that you check it out.

EMPTY ARMS

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You hardly ever see pictures of men carrying women in their arms these days, but once upon a time such pictures made up 71.32% of all illustrations in women's magazines.


Readers of Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal, Cosmopolitan and McCall's all seemed to love these pictures.








Then, sometime around the middle of the 20th century, such illustrations became extinct.  Why?


Apparently, women realized they could travel faster, and usually in a better direction, by walking on their own two feet.

Of course, there could be other explanations for why these illustrations were so popular with women.  If you accompany a man to the cave of the winds, being carried gives you deniability about assent.  In a subtler era, ambiguity about assent could play a significant role in your relationship with the man, or with your mother.  In the second half of the 20th century, ambiguity would become less important.

Or perhaps these illustrations began to lose their charm as women looked at t…
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The legend of Puss in Boots! Photoshop painting.
I think the movie is fantastic but of course I'm biased. Go see for yourself!
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