Inspired in part by his graphic-designer friends disparaging comments about the lowly ballpoint pen, artist Ray Cicin took it upon himself to collect all their discarded pens and embarked on this drawing of a mammoth octopus. The piece is inspired by German naturalist Ernst Haeckel’s famous illustration of squid and octopi, and is part of Cicin’s ongoing Deep Blue series. You can follow more of his work on Instagram.
Deep Blue, Octopus. Ballpoint pen on archival Bee Rag paper, 62 x 64 inches
Artist Nicolas V. Sanchez fills entire sketchbooks with drawings of the world around him rendered in precise color ballpoint. Portraits of families page by page, sprawling scenes of rugged farms and livestock, and near photographic recollections of people and places from residencies in the Dominican Republic and China. Sanchez often explores the roots of his own identity, delving into a bi-cultural upbringing that spans from the American midwest to his family’s rural history in Mexico.
In addition to his exacting pen work, Sanchez is also a painter and works in a distinct style that’s quite different from his ballpoint pen sketches. The sketchbooks help him work through ideas to determine if they eventually meant for a larger canvas, or if they’re meant to exist only in the pages of a book.
Filmmaker Jesse Brass recently sat down to talk with Sanchez in his New York studio for this interview entitled Resolve.
English artist Ed Fairburn (previously) uses vintage road maps and star charts as canvases for drawn portraits. Cross-hatched patterns and shaded regions inside roads, borders, and rivers assimilate into the contours of faces, as if the images had always been secretly hidden in the map’s topography. “In his hands, both built infrastructure and natural phenomena echo the organic human form,” shares Mike Wright Gallery. “National highway systems become capillaries, and the tangle of Paris’ alleyways become the wrinkles that give the face history and individuality.”
Fairburn opens a new show of work alongside artist John Wentz today at Mike Wright in Denver.
Hungarian artist Benze produces intensely detailed ink drawings by fusing aspects of tattoo art and objects from the natural world, components the artist views as an important way to continuously open his work to new meanings and interpretations. The excruciating detail achieved through stippling and cross hatching with fine pens is stunning whether viewed in its entirety or zoomed in on various sections—simultaneously existing on a macro and micro level.
“Each work has its own gravitational field which irresistibly forces us to zoom in, explore more, discover new aspects within the whole,” says Benze.
The content of his drawings typically involves female faces with ornate head pieces adorning the women’s hair. Natural elements make up these decorative pieces, including objects like flowers, grasses, twigs and posed animal skeletons.
You can see more work from the artist on his Behance page here. (via Scene360)
San Francisco-based artist and illustrator Karla Ortiz works by day as a concept artist for Marvel Film Studios, but in her spare time also produces surreal fine art illustrations rendered in graphite. Seen here is a timelapse of a new piece that will be on view later this week as part of a new body of work titled Omens at Thinkspace Gallery.
Trying to pin down exactly what makes these urban landscape paintings by British artist Nathan Walsh (previously) so unusual is difficult, in part because of the variety of techniques he employs to get from a vision in his mind to the final, exacting artwork.
Starting with his own photographic references, Walsh first draws an elaborate blueprint of sorts by establishing a horizon line and a host of perspective strategies that varies from piece to piece. This is followed by several months of painting with oils to achieve the final landscape that appears to be a strange hybrid of both illustrative and photorealistic styles. Photography, architecture, and painting converge to create a “painted world which in some ways resembles the world we live in,” says Walsh. “The work aims to create credible and convincing space which whilst making reference to our world, displays its own distinct logic.”
Walsh is currently preparing for a group show titled “Cityscape Paintings: Looking from the Outside In” at Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in October, followed by a solo show during the same period in 2016. You can follow more of his work in progress on Facebook.
In December of last year London-based artist Patrick Vale spent several weeks drawing this impressive pen and ink illustration of the New York skyline as viewed from the Rockefeller Center. Luckily he photographed almost every moment of the endeavor to make this timelapse where we see building after building materialize at the tip of his pen. The final piece titled Colossus is a triptych of three huge A1 sheets of paper that he scanned and turned into an even larger wallpaper. You might remember Vale from his 2012 drawing timelapse of Lower Manhattan.(via Highsnobiety)