Esther van Hulsen at work on an octopus drawing using 95 million-year-old ink. Photo by Stian Steinsli
Photo of the fossil on the left by Hans Arne Nakrem, photo of the powder on the right by Esther van Hulsen.
Image of the completed octopus ink drawing. Photo by Esther van Hulsen
Dutch wildlife artist Esther van Hulsen was recently given an assignment unlike her typical drawings of birds and mammals from life—a chance to draw a prehistoric octopus 95 million years after its death. Paleontologist Jørn Hurum supplied Hulsen with ink extracted from a fossil found in Lebanon in 2009, received as a gift from the PalVenn Museum in 2014. After several millennia Hulson was surprised to find that the color had remained so vibrant, preserved all of this time in the cephalopod’s ink sac. “Knowing that this animal has used this ink to survive is absolutely amazing,” said van Hulsen of the prehistoric ink.
The idea to make such a drawing came from the story of Mary Anning, an English paleontologist and fossil collector who made a similar drawing from a fossil’s ink sac in the 1800s. Hulsen’s replication of the octopus now hangs beside its material origin in the Natural History Museum in Oslo. (via MetaFilter)
Christian Watson, illustrator and owner of 1924, posts images to Instagram multiple times a day, pictures that showcase his cross-country adventures, vintage cameras, and sporadically his own miniature ink drawings that are often less than a half an inch tall. The tiny illustrations seem to mimic the rustic adventures found in his photographs—pulling in log cabins, lighthouses, and animals that teeter on the tip of his pencils or crawl to the top of his fingers. Take a look at more of Watson’s hand lettering and micro illustrations on his Instagram. (via Arch Atlas)
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)
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.
When in school, artist and penman Jake Weidmann watched as his classmates typed their notes in laptops. Weidmann instead took the old-fashioned approach and wrote everything longhand with pen and paper, using every opportunity to practice and perfect his exquisite penmanship. The hard work quickly paid off he’s now one of only a dozen people designated as a master penman—not to mention the youngest by three decades.
This new video from Uproxx profiles Weidman has he talks a bit about his process and shows off some of his delicate pencraft, much more of which you can see on his website where he also shares his paintings, drawings, and sculptural work. (via Sploid)
We continue to be awed by Serbian artist Endre Penovác's ability to somehow control the unforgiving nature of water on paper to produce ghostly paintings of felines. As the mixture of water and black ink bleeds in every direction it appears to perfectly mimic the cat’s fur. In his newest pieces Penovác introduces elements of color and negative space to add a slightly new dimension. You can see more of his recent work on Facebook and Saatchi Art.