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. More
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. More
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. More
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. More
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. More
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. More
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. More
Tokyo-based illustrator Adrian Hogan created a fun series of sketches last April where he drew panoramic views of streets and sidewalks around the outside of his coffee cups. In these brief videos he then slowly reveals each drawing against the backdrop of its subject. (via MAS Context) More
From time to time we love to stop and marvel at the mathematical wizardry of artists and designers who make GIFs with code, but Sydney-based illustrator Nancy Liang takes an old-school approach with her imaginative scenes made almost entirely by hand. There isn’t a single element in her animations that doesn’t begin as a physical drawing or object. Liang works mostly with kraft paper cutouts and pencil drawings, all of which is carefully planned in copious sketches before each element is scanned and animated in Photoshop. More
Starting in February, Brisbane artist CJ Hendry embarked on an ambitious drawing project, the creation of 50 food drawings in 50 days, with a new piece posted to Instagram every 24 hours. Each black pen drawing of a photorealistic food set against the backdrop of an ornate French plate is rendered with a stunning grasp of shading and depth. You can scroll through the entire collection of photos here, and see some of her earlier large-scale drawings on Analogue/Digital.com.au. More
For most of us, a sketchbook is a playground of ideas, random thoughts, and plenty of mistakes. For Milan-based artist Marco Mazzoni it’s a place where new artworks are born, realized to perfection from margin to margin. In his colored pencil drawings Mazzoni tends to focus on dense arrays of intertwined flora and fauna, as well as depictions of female herbalists from 16th—18th Century, Sardinia—portraits that can be viewed as equally beautiful or unsettling. More
Editor's Picks: Art
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.