Moscow-based illustrator Elena Limkina fills the pages of her sketchbooks with detailed Baroque-inspired drawings of architectural elements, anatomical studies, and flowing calligraphy. She refers to the books as her “artist’s diary” and indeed each page is practically an artwork unto itself. Limkina works primarily as a watercolor artist and creates concepts for brands, interior designers, and magazines, but also sells prints in her online shop. You can follow more of her work on Instagram and Behance. (via My Modern Met, Lustik)
Italian illustrator Alfred Basha (previously) continues his ongoing project of fusing animal forms with the branches of trees. The popular illustrations have recently been turned into both shirts and prints and you can see more of his recent work on Instagram.
New York City-based artist Nicolas V. Sanchez (previously) creates masterful drawings with only the aid of a few ballpoint pens, rendering unbelievably realistic portraits and still lifes in his many sketchbooks. Due to his precise application of highlights and shadows several of his works seem three-dimensional, such as the fruit bowl seen below which looks placed on the page and not drawn.
Sanchez is also a talented painter, working with oil to create blurred familial scenes on canvas or linen. You can see more of his sketchbook-based ink drawings, and browse his collection of paintings, on his Instagram and Facebook.
Thanks to the Library of Congress, you can browse and download high-resolution copies of more than 2,500 Japanese woodblock prints and drawings from the library’s online collection. The prints, most of which are dated before the 20th-century, were amassed from a large group of collectors, including notable donors such as President William Howard Taft and Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Despite the diversity of genres and traditions represented by the library’s large collection, the most prolific works are ones created in the tradition of the Japanese art form of Ukiyo-e or Yokohama-e. Ukiyo-e was developed in the city of Edo (now Tokyo) between 1600 and 1868 during a relatively peaceful period. The subject and inspiration for many of the prints includes that of entertainment and leisure, such as scenes from kabuki theater and fashionable restaurants.
The style of Yokohama-e was built on methods of production from Ukiyo-e around the time that American naval officer Matthew Calbraith Perry (1794-1858) led an expedition to Japan in the mid-1850’s. New trade agreements between Japan and the West brought travers to the country, inspiring Japanese artists to capture tourists walking throughout the port city, and borrow images from Western newspapers.
You can see the entire collection of historic works on the Library of Congress’s website. (via Open Culture)
The female characters inhabiting the world of London-based illustrator Miles Johnston appear to be undergoing near perpetual transformation, their faces or bodies split in half, or their entire form morphing into globby organic forms. Over the past few years he’s examined four specific transformations organized into series titled Deform, Divide, Attract, and Recur. Johnston will have work on view at the upcoming Small Works exhibition at beinArt Gallery and you can also follow him on Instagram. (via Booooooom, Artnau)
Artist Noel Badges Pugh (previously) creates studies of his own hands mixed with drawings of flowers and bees, adding color to the works with both watercolor and India ink. Pugh often photographs these works with the flowers he has drawn layered on top, allowing the viewer to examine how each is drawn to scale. Bees are also a fairly common subject matter in his pieces, and an interest he calls attention to on his site. You can see the field guide of California bees he illustrated on Amazon, and view more of his watercolor and ink drawings on his Tumblr and Instagram.