Illustration

Section



Illustration

Celestial Illustrations by Diana Sudyka Fill a New Book Celebrating 19th Century Astronomer Maria Mitchell

October 11, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A new book written by Hayley Barrett and illustrated by Diana Sudyka (previously) celebrates the life of pioneering 19th century astronomer Maria Mitchell. Mitchell was America’s first professional female astronomer and taught at Vassar College (a single-sex institution at the time). She also used her platform as an internationally renowned scientist to advance women’s rights and abolition. What Miss Mitchell Saw tells the story of Mitchell’s life, geared toward young readers with lush, star-filled illustrations that intermingle celestial shapes and patterns throughout the story’s earthbound elements.

“I immediately was struck by the beauty of Barrett’s writing, and her deep respect for Maria Mitchell was very apparent,” illustrator Diana Sudyka tells Colossal. “It was also important to me is as a manuscript about the power of observation, and a woman in science at a time when there were very few, and even less being recognized for their contributions.” The artist shares that she didn’t know much about Mitchell at the start of the project, but learned through research how Nantucket whaling culture and the Quaker faith shaped Mitchell’s character and point of view.

Sudyka used india ink, gouache, watercolor, and handmade indigo to build the imagery for What Miss Mitchell Saw. The artist works by hand and in full color from the get-go, and uses some digital techniques at the end of the editing process, once the images are ready to be integrated into the book. To complement the artist’s established aesthetic, which naturally meshed with the storyline, Sudyka tells Colossal that she drew inspiration from scrimshaw (decorative and narrative carvings into whale bones by whalers), as well as Rockwell Kent’s illustrations for an edition of Moby Dick. “The biggest challenge for working on this book was simply finding good reference material to make sure I got the look and feel of Nantucket and that time period right,” Sudyka explains.

In addition to her work as a children’s book illustrator, Sudyka has volunteered at the Field Museum of Natural History’s bird lab for over a decade, and is drawn to science and natural history. You can see more of the artist’s work on Instagram and find prints in her online store. What Miss Mitchell Saw was published last month by Simon and Shuster, and is available on Amazon.

Scrimshaw (resin replica), photo: Diana Sudyka

Scrimshaw (resin replica), photo: Diana Sudyka

Concept sketches by Diana Sudyka, courtesy of the artist

 

 



Art Illustration

Scribbled Portraits of Brooding Figures by Adam Riches

September 25, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Artist Adam Riches uses pen and ink to create frenetic portraits of brooding anonymous figures. The monochrome illustrations emerge out of blank backgrounds, with broad, gestural lines skittering and looping across the paper. Often, pen drawings fall into two stylistic categories: contour drawings that capture the outlines and edges of their subject, or super-smooth ones that seem to defy the fine point of the pen with layered hatch marks. In forging his own style, Riches uses highly varied density in his mark-making to create volume and suggest shadows, while also utilizing each line as a distinctive shape. In a recent video interview with BBC, the artist explains, “the drawings are quite intuitive and are done spontaneously. They reveal themselves as I’m making them.”

Riches will be showing his work at PULSE Art Fair in Miami Beach in December, 2019, and his artwork is available for purchase through Nadia Arnold. See more of the artist’s scribbled portraits as well as his work in charcoal on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Adam Riches (@adamrichesart) on

 

 



Illustration

Perfectly Round Tattoos by Eva Encompass Miniature Worlds Inspired by Art History

September 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Turkish tattoo artist Havva Karabudak (who goes by Eva in the U.S.) creates incredibly detailed illustrations on clients’ limbs, all carefully rendered within the confines of perfect circles. The artist, who splits her times between residencies in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, has been honing her craft for almost nine years. Previously, Eva worked as an art teacher and muralist; she got into tattooing through a friend who worked in the industry.

Using almost impossibly small lines, Eva inks interpretations of famed paintings by Matisse, van Gogh, and Klimt, as well as Hokusai’s The Great Wave woodblock print and Maurice Sendak’s illustrations in Where The Wild Things Are. The artist also specializes in water scenes and evening skies, giving a suggestion of infinite depth to her petite tattoos.

Eva is currently booked through November, but you can see more of her recent illustrative tattoos on Instagram.

 

 



Art Illustration

Mountains and Rivers Merge with Feathers and Fur in Sujay Sanan’s Finely Detailed Watercolor Paintings

September 5, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Watercolor artist Sujay Sanan (previously) continues to build his “A Place I Know” series, which melds flora and fauna in delicately rendered paintings. Hummingbirds and whales, owls and tigers, and other land and sea-dwelling animals form the outlines for snippets of natural landscapes. To further enhance the naturalistic feeling of his paintings, Sanan often documents each work in the outdoors, framing the painting with the colors and textures used in its composition.

With a degree and career in graphic design, Sanan began working on fine art projects in 2013, when he moved to South Africa from the Himalayas, and now focuses almost exclusively on his art practice. Originals and limited edition prints are available on the artist’s website.

 

 

 



Art Design Illustration

Delicate Flowers Blossom From Inky Black Backgrounds in Esther Garcia’s Stylized Botanical Tattoos

August 29, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Chicago-based tattoo artist Esther Garcia creates inky black backgrounds on her clients, which are interspersed with delicate floral designs. Sweet peas and garden roses, along with butterflies and birds, emerge from black palettes edged in stylized patterns. Garcia, who is largely self-taught and has twenty years of experience as a tattooer, is known for her lush botanical designs and her artistic project-based approach to tattooing. She shares with Colossal that her current series of black background tattoos began as a solution for cover-ups (a new tattoo deliberately designed and placed to obscure an older one that is no longer wanted).

“I found it meditative and very enjoyable to make a smooth saturated surface where there was chaos before, but pretty soon I was looking for ways to make it a bit more ornamental,” Garcia explains. “I am very influenced by Dutch master paintings of lush florals and fruit, and I love the depth and richness that a dark background offers. It turns out to be a great way to evoke delicacy in a tattoo, and doesn’t need to involve cover ups at all.”

In addition to continuing her tattoo practice, Garcia is also working on a textile and commercial design collaboration with Chicago designer Kyle Letendre, and a traveling workshop series to educate younger artists on cultivating a unique style and sustainable business. You can see more of Garcia’s tattoos on Instagram, and see what upcoming projects she has available on her website.

 

 



Illustration Photography

Playful Doodles by Shira Barzilay Add Stylized Dimension to Classic Portraits

August 13, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Tel Aviv-based illustrator Shira Barzilay creates expressive line drawings on top of editorial style portraits to provide a more exaggerated expression for the subject, or produce an entirely new face on the back of their head. The digital illustrations are created via iPad, and range from simple lines to filled in multi-color shapes that give the pieces an almost cubist appearance. You can see more of her photographic illustrations, in addition to recent clothing and handbag collaborations, on her Instagram. If you enjoy Barzilay’s itinerant illustrations, also take a look at Shantell Martin’s work.

 

 



Art Illustration

Meticulous Portraits of Young Women by Ozabu Are Eerily Fused with Plants and Feathers

July 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Mysterious women are delicately rendered in surreal graphite portraits by Japanese artist Ozabu. Working on warm-toned paper, Ozabu uses a combination of meticulous linework and astoundingly smooth blending to create images that are simultaneously dramatic and soft. Young female subjects seem to fuse with ravens, chrysanthemums, and bonsai trees, blurring the boundaries between human and nature. The self-taught artist refrains from speaking about or explaining her work, instead allowing each ineffable drawing to spark the viewer’s imagination. Ozabu is currently working on an upcoming solo show and regularly posts in-progress and completed pieces on Instagram.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by おざぶ (@ozabu) on