Wonderful life advice by Neil Gaiman. He is a writer (of comics like “The Sandman”), but all applies fully to any other artist… and beyond. Including some practical freelance-tips. A must see.
Links to other blogs or pages.
I’m really impressed by the art of Kent Williams. He manages something rare: Making his images look real, nearly touchable, while distorting and mixing up reality.
Since I try to twist reality in my paintings too I know how hard it is. Especially with people as subject, it becomes tricky to find the right balance. It is easy to go too far and loose the real three dimensional look – or go not far enough and make it look unintentionally wrong.
For this first one he has all work in progress steps on his blog. Gives some interesting insight I think – especially how well he plans this seeming crazyness.
That blog he also uses for his sketches – and he has another one too. Also intriguing is his background in comics – I wonder if that helped him. At the end I’ve put some examples of his comic work.
And the 3rd version of the Marta Oil painting (after first WIP and second one). Near the end of the session the model agreed to come another time – so it would have been done, but I sure appreciate having lots of time to do the face, and then just tweak. I really spent a lot of time just observing and thinking – and that paid off in my opinion.
Some finds on vastness of the internet space:
- Illustration art blog at a really touching update of the “Artists in Love” series.
- Ok, this “Jeff Koons must die” video game is a bit radical – but hilarious. Funny how much time the artist must have put in to copy Koons’s artworks – considering he doesn’t seem to like it.
- And some inspiration for concept artists: Forget Hollywood – these insects (called treehoppers) have the most alien body-appendages ever. Scientists just found out that it is transformed wings from ancient evolution. But what they are for is mostly unknown. (more pictures are here, and here)
It might even be a contender for biggest artwork ever. I originally planned to put this into an article about “what is art” – because, wow – i love it. It is about the Chinese equivalent of Google maps. But instead of satellite pictures, they make pixel art. Yes that’s right – all major cities have pixelled maps (click here for a German article about it).
Apparently they have this on several map services. The biggest one being baidu (click the second button on the left to enable pixel maps).
This is a bit of an outlier in the ongoing postings on modern variations of woodblock prints: Those are actually backgrounds of an Anime. I’m not sure which technique they use, but it surely has the woodblock style.
The name of the show is “Katanagatari” – and while the story is stupid to borderline annoying, the beautiful art kept me at it. Simple but striking characters, and those wonderfully executed backgrounds.
If any animation fan comes across here and knows more about the artists of this show, their techniques or maybe art books, I would be curious to hear about it.
I recently got the DVD with the documentation about Amsterdam I was part of called “Weit Weit Weg“. Here is a little snipped of it, where I am going to the church in the city center to paint.
I thought the whole show was very nice, very centered on the people rather than tourism views. If you notice the word “Rembrandt” somewhere at the end, it’s because they’re saying I’m three times better than him. Trust me!
Now as it gets warmer, I really wish I had more time to paint outside. But I’m concentrating a lot on “Caromble”. Here are two images that I’ve made for the website. I think I’m slowly closing in to the image I have in my head of the whole thing.
And on another note: there is a inspiring read at the Illustration Art Blog about “Words that Shouldn’t Be Illustrated“. I always tended to think that words are more powerful than images – they are way more precise in telling a specific idea or emotion. Which made me a bit envious of singers and poets. But the examples there make it really clear – images have something else that make them more dangerous in another way. Clearly, saying “he got stabbed” is way less stirring than seeing a graphic illustration of it. Food for thought.
Those rooftops remember me on towns and villages near my hometown (which is not in Japan, but Saxony, Germany).
And this is what the people on the intertubes think about Japanese art. Loved this – and the comments on the page there are glorious.
Again via Seth’s blog I found this article about a guy who describes his way to become US champion at memorizing. Amazingly, he just started as journalist wanting to find out how those guys manage these awesome memory feats.
It’s not only interesting for this specific topic – but his general ideas how to get better at something blew my mind.
This led me also to one of Richard Hamming’s talks, called “You and Your Research” – which is actually not much about research. It’s a very inspiring insight into what makes you productive – and reaffirming what the other article said: It is mostly not some magical talent that defines what we become, but more the drive and circumstances (although maybe not what you expect they should be).
And relating to the memorization: There is this blog by Ed Cooke, a British memorizer. He is describing lots of neat little tricks for remembering everyday things. Like you should imagine your keys being a little weird monster and you’ll never forget where you put it. But again, the whole thing generalizes very nicely for broader skills.
I think this will spawn some further posts – it’s just too many inspiring reads this has led to. But I’ll close with some amazing art by Brian Dettmer. He cut out parts of out-of-date encyclopedias, and glued the pages together in new shapes… he did not add anything, just cutting. …talk about drive and dedication.
I am now going to hang up my latest painting into the Yoga lab Displays. An scan is coming later this week.
I want to post some modern wood block printers from Japan – but this gotta become a series: There are just so many great ones. Hokusai and Hiroshige pictures are everywhere – but the artists of the last 100 years seem under-appreciated.
I’ll start with is Kawase Hasui (1883 – 1957). Wikipedia says that he’s one of the leading ones to revive traditional printing (where the work is shared between several craftsmen) depicting classical subjects. But what do I know – probably just something that museums made up. Anyways, it looks sweet. Love especially his night-scenes.
On flickr you can come across lots of old Japan photos – and I find it surprising how similar they look to the artworks, especially composition-wise. Probably the photographers tried to stay close to what costumers knew – but I think also that simply the shape of the objects you can work with determine a lot of what you can do with the composition. I mean… much more so than I would have thought.
The first one here was a 3D photograph, so I made it into an animation for a nice effect.
There are these amazing vintage photos on the Library of Congress flickr page. Worth loosing some time on.
Just something about the photo below that I was wondering: Would you ever paint it like that from your mind?
- Like the light coming though some random panels on the top. Why doesn’t it come through all of them? Or more like the shape of the sun?
- And look at the sunlit shapes on the ground, they look nothing like the window patterns.
- Where are these two odd half moon shapes at the rays come from?
- The shadow of the left cop has some weird effects – like this one light cone coming in.
Reality is often way different than one would ever think of. Just take a look a anatomy in photos of real people – the weirdest things are going on. Or likeness: Most photos of my friends look nothing like my friends. People would complain if you paint things like this, but they accept it in photos without a second thought.
I’ve found that one by the way on Kyle Johnson’s Photography page – nice pictures too. And since I’m at it – here two more vintage photos from flickr.
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