Illustration

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Illustration

Meet Tatsuo Horiuchi, the 77-Year-Old Artist Who ‘Paints’ Japanese Landscapes With Excel

December 4, 2017

Christopher Jobson

For over 15 years, Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi has rendered the subtle details of mountains, cherry blossoms, and dense forests with the most unlikely tool: Microsoft Excel. The 77-year-old illustrator shunned the idea of paying for expensive painting supplies or even a basic drawing program for his computer, saying that he prefers Excel even over Microsoft Paint because it has “more functions and is easier to use.” Using simple vector drawing tools developed primarily for graphs and simple shapes, Horiuchi instead draws panoramic scenes of life in rural Japan.

Great Big Story recently visited Horiuchi at his home for a brief interview and a behind-the-scenes look at how he works in the video above. If you’re even slightly skeptical, here’s two of his earlier Excel artworks you can download and explore yourself:

Cherry Blossoms at Jogo Castle (2006)
Kegon Falls (2007)

You can explore more of Horiuchi’s Excel drawings on his website and at Spoon & Tamago.

 

 



Art Illustration Science

The Art and Science of Ernst Haeckel: A Compendium of Colorfully Rendered 19th-Century Biological Illustrations

November 27, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

German biologist and artist Ernst Haeckel dedicated his life studying far flung flora and fauna,  drawing each of their peculiar specificities with an immense scientific detail. Haeckel made hundreds of such renderings during his lifetime, works which were used to explain his biological discoveries to a wide audience. In addition to these visual masterpieces, Haeckel also discovered many microbes, and coined several scientific terms commonly known today, such as ecology, phylum, and stem cell.

A new book from Taschen titled The Art and Science of Ernst Haeckel outlines the 19th-century artist-biologist’s most important visual works and publications across a hefty 704 pages. The compendium includes 450 drawings, watercolors, and sketches from his research, which was in large support of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Most notably the book contains the Kunstformen der Natur (Art Forms in Nature), a collection of 100 prints of varying organisms originally published between 1899 and 1904.

You can learn more about the collection of illustrations and Haeckel’s discoveries on Taschen’s website. (via Fast Co. Design)

 

 



Illustration

Cut-Out Ink and Pen Illustrations of London’s Oldest Pubs and Other Landmarks by Maxwell Tilse

November 24, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Traveling illustrator Maxwell Tilse documents his European journeys by creating small drawings of each city he lands in. After two years of living in London, Tilse has released a new series of miniature cut-out illustrations that depict the city’s oldest pubs and other famous landmarks.

The detailed works are merely 5 cm tall, yet capture the diverse architecture found in London’s pubs and other buildings. The Coach & Horses (pictured above) is a freestanding Tudobethan pub. “The pub itself isn’t anything unique,” explains Tilse in an Instagram post about the drawing. “In fact there are over 50 pubs named Coach & Horses in London alone. But I do love the mock Tudor architecture that’s nestled between the Grand Victorian hotels and galleries.”

In each post Tilse provides an historic fact about the provided building, and often describes his relationship to the pub or structure. You can see more of his illustrations documented next to the original building on Instagram, and browse his available works and prints on Etsy. (via ARCHatlas)

 

 



Art Illustration

Mattias Adolfsson’s Wildly Intricate Sketchbook and Doodle Artworks

November 16, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Like a mad hybrid of Where’s Waldo meets Dr. Seuss—with healthy doses of absurdity and science fiction—Swedish illustrator Mattias Adolfsson (previously) fills his sketchbooks and canvases edge to edge with his manically dense drawings of… well, just about anything you can imagine. Around the framework of a known destination such as a small village or the interior of a church, the artist populates nearly every square inch with bands of unruly characters, Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions, and overly complex spacesuits. The purpose of everything seems to be a mystery, but the time spent trying to understand it all is always rewarding, a first-glance view can turn into minutes of exploration as each piece slowly unravels like a story.

Adolfsson is as meticulous in the documentation and sharing of his work as the subject matter itself. You can follow his process and peek inside numerous sketchbooks on his website, where you can also find many of his drawings gathered into a series of books. He also shares prints and a few original watercolor works in his Etsy shop.

 

 



Art Illustration

Watercolor Illustrations That Trace the Dark and Light Elements of Storybook Myths by Amber Ma

November 15, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

New York-based artist and illustrator Amber Ma subtly integrates elements of darkness into her fantasy-based illustrations. Her inspirations are grounded in childhood stories, such as her series Pinocchio Forest which visually investigates the myth surrounding the storybook puppet’s long nose. In the series of watercolor and sumi ink works Ma mixes elements of tension and warmth. This contrast interrogates the notion of a lie, presenting how the action can both hurt and protect those closest to us.

Ma received both her BFA and MFA in Illustration from the School of the Visual Arts. This fall she was included in the group exhibition Parallel at Light Grey Art Lab in Minneapolis. You can view more of the illustrator’s work on her Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Art Illustration

Ethereal Acrylic Paintings by Duy Huynh Explore Cultural Displacement and Elements of Folklore

November 2, 2017

Christopher Jobson

North Carolina-based painter Duy Huynh (previously) infuses his acrylic paintings with whimsical elements of visual storytelling, where a plume of instruments rises from a rushing locomotive and the moon hovers as a balloon tethered to the wrist of a woman. Huynh arrived in the U.S. from Vietnam in the 1980s and often revisits this period of cultural acclimatization in his artwork. Via his artist statement:

Themes of geographical and cultural displacement are prevalent in Duy’s artwork. Ethereal characters maintain a serene, precarious balance, often in a surreal or dreamlike setting. With his figures, Duy explores motion along with emotion in order to portray not just the beauty of the human form, but also the triumph of the human spirit.

Huynh is the co-owner of Lark & Key Gallery and many of his original works and prints are currently available.

 

 



Illustration

A Collision of Flora, Fauna, and the Cosmic in Tattoos by Pony Reinhardt

October 30, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Artist Pony Reinhardt of Portland-based Tenderfoot Studio (previously) produces wildly creative tattoos which she describes as a “cosmic cataclysm of the Ghastly Phantastic.” Images of the natural world mingle with stars and elements of sacred geometry in a style reminiscent of old etchings and woodblock prints. Reinhardt has also exhibited fine art at the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art and is a US Presidential Scholar of the Arts. You can follow her recent work on Instagram.