Millions of Hand-Inked Dots Comprised this New Stippled Illustration by Xavier Casalta 

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Artist Xavier Casalta (previously) wows us again with his miraculous patience and steady hand in this latest illustration titled Autumn, a flowing depiction of intertwined flowers, gourds, plants, and other vegetation. Casalta uses a technique called stippling, where a multitude of tiny ink dots are made it various patterns to create shadows, lines, and textures throughout the piece. The 23-year-old illustrator estimates Autumn contains roughly 7 million dots applied over a staggering period of 370 hours. You can see more close-up views of the piece here. (via Booooooom)

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Autumn. 56×56 cm ink drawing on arches sheet.

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Cinematic Photographs of Tokyo at Night by Masashi Wakui 

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All photos © Masashi Wakui

Tokyo is an infinitely photogenic city. And there’s no shortage of photographers capturing its vibrant landscape. But local resident and photography aficionado Masashi Wakui has a unique, surreal style of capturing Tokyo by night and making it look like an animated still from Akira or a Ghibli film.

Wakui has a penchant for the backstreets of Tokyo, specifically those with plenty of lanterns, streetlights and neon signs that only add to the surreal, cinematic quality of the scene. And those who have spent any number of nights wandering these streets will find Wakui’s photos achingly captivating.

Once the scene is captured Wakui then digitally manipulates the image, giving it a color grading effect that works perfectly with his busy nighttime cityscapes. There are tutorials that have even sprouted up, analyzing the “Masashi Wakui Look,” as its been coined. Wakui himself even points to one, admitting it’s close but not perfect.

You can see many more of Wakui’s photos on Flickr, where he constantly posts new work. (syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

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New Sunset Candles Burn to Reveal a Hidden Rainbow of Color 

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All photos by Akihiro Yoshida.

Japanese design studio Nendo (previously) just announced their first product designs for 2016 including the Sunset Candle. On the outside the candle appears completely white, but the inside contains a hidden core of colored wax evoking the hues of a sunset that gradually appears as it burns. Not only does the candle change color, but each stage is scented differently, emitting fragrances of bergamot, lemongrass, sweet marjoram, lavender, and geranium. As most of their products are designed in collaboration with clients, with retailers in Japan, or as concepts, these might not readily be available for sale. However you can see more on their site. (via Designboom)

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Expansive New Geometric Drawings Trampled in Snow and Sand by Simon Beck 

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Driven by super-human forces and undaunted by the powers of nature, artist Simon Beck (previously) trudges across sand or through knee-high snow to create massive geometric drawings left behind in his footprints. From sandy expanses on the shore of New Zealand to frigid outlooks in the Swiss Alps, any pristine surface that stretches for hundreds of meters can work as a suitable canvas for Beck’s designs.

Each site-specific piece is planned well in advance on a computer and carefully mapped out on-site before the artist begins his grueling expedition. After walking for entire days, the painstaking details of enormous fractals, snowflakes, dragons, and undulating geometric forms are left in his wake—often with barely enough sunlight to snap a few quick photos.

Seen here are a number of pieces by Beck from the last year or so. You can learn about the fine details of his process in this FAQ and see additional photos over on Facebook. He also published a book of his work titled Simon Beck: Snow Art.

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The Dense Microcosmic Worlds of Painter Robert S. Connett 

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“MICROVERSE II” (2015)

Since he was a child, Robert S. Connett was fascinated by nature. And not just any type of nature, but the tiny worlds that quietly exist without being discovered. They thrive under rocks and under microscopes and Connett was the kid who went out looking for them, bringing home everything from spiders and earwigs to snakes. This perhaps explains the self-taught painter’s equally fascinating worlds he conjures on a canvas, often in painstaking detail.

These “underworlds,” as Connett describes them, are often comprised of densely populated organisms. Some look like a droplet of seawater under a microscope. Others resemble a Where’s Waldo version of our amazing animal kingdom. Any could be a small square of Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” magnified hundreds of times.

The organisms are a combination of accurate depictions based on scientific observation, as well as plucked from the artist’s own mind. They are worlds that Connett himself would want to walk into and we can’t blame him! His most recent work—a total of 7 paintings—will be shown at the upcoming annual Los Angeles Art Show that runs from January 27 – 31, 2016. You’ll find Connett’s work at the Copro Gallery booth in a section aptly titled “Littletopia”. Many of his pieces are also available as prints. (via Hi-Fructose)

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detail of “MICROVERSE II” (2015)

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“MICROCOSMIC GARDEN” (2015)

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“MICROCOSMIC GARDEN,” detail

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“STAR FISH” (2015)

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Sea Flowers (2014)

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Clever Projected Animations of a Tiny Chef Cooking Meals Atop Actual Table Settings 

The folks over at Skullmapping created this fun series of animation projections that portray a miniature chef (Le Petit Chef) laboring to cook a meal atop a real dining table. Each clip is mapped perfectly to the table setting to create the convincing illusion the tiny chef is interacting with everything on it, and some objects, like a fork, are incorporated directly into the animation itself. So far they’ve made two: Bouillabaisse and another where he whips together a grilled steak. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

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Sponsor // Improve Your Drawing With This Online Craftsy Class 

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Improve your drawing skills and achieve more realistic results. Join Professional Artist and instructor Patricia Watwood for her online Craftsy class, 10 Essential Techniques for Better Drawing, and get 50% off with this special, one-week offer for Colossal readers. Through Patricia’s class, you’ll learn principles of composition, perspective, value, form, mark-making, and more to render simple subjects with impressive accuracy.

Watch these lessons anytime and as many times as you want to gain confidence drawing and shading lifelike three-dimensional objects. Along the way, Patricia will help you avoid common mistakes so your drawings always turn out the way you intend. From basic drawing concepts to foundational techniques for working with different mediums, Patricia will help you jumpstart your drawing journey.

Visit Craftsy now to get 50% off the online class, 10 Essential Techniques for Better Drawing, and enjoy your video lessons risk-free with Craftsy’s full money-back guarantee. Offer expires January 25, 2016 at 11:59pm MT.

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