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Illustration Photography

Meticulous Digital Works Layer Petals, Leaves, and Natural Textures into Fantastic Creatures

March 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

Detail of “Kulu.” All images © Josh Dykgaaf, shared with permission

Melbourne-based artist Josh Dykgraaf has a discerning eye for matching two seemingly disparate elements. In his ongoing Terraforms series, autumn leaves become feathers, magnolia petals wind into scales, and plumes form fins that swish through water. Each illustration merges flora and fauna into an entirely new fantastical creature, and a single piece can take days to complete, with the pair of Tawny Frogmouths, for example, clocking in at 55 hours and more than 3,000 layers.

“My process for how I pair natural textures with animals is usually a bit like cloud gazing—like as a kid, did you ever stare up out the clouds and make out different forms and shapes among them?” Dykgraaf says, noting that he takes all of his own photographs of the source materials on hikes or walks around his neighborhood. Once he returns to his studio, he painstakingly collages the extraordinary creatures, coating a closed beak in bark or an echidna in regrown brush following the East Gippsland fires.

In the coming months, Dykgraaf is shifting to a portrait series focused on Indigenous people around the world. His digital works will be included in The Other Art Fair in Sydney from March 18 to 21 and the virtual edition, which runs March 23 to 28. Until then, see a larger collection of the intricately constructed creatures on Behance and Instagram, and pick up a print from his shop. (via designboom)

 

Detail of “Tawu Tawu”

Detail of “Burooli”

“Bunyjul”

Detail of “Kulu”

Left: “Burooli.” Right: “Thaumus”

“Kulu”

“Tawu Tawu”

“Tjirilya”

 

 



Illustration

Fantastical Cartoons, Robotic Pets, and Vibrant Architecture Populate Digital Illustrations by Ori Toor

February 18, 2021

Grace Ebert

“David and the Sphinx”

In Ori Toor’s Gibberish universe, it’s not uncommon to see bulbous cartoon creatures, leaves sprouting from pockets of machinery, or tunnels wrapped in rainbows. Set against solid backdrops, the digitally rendered dreamlands are teeming with fantastical elements and whimsy as Toor plays with scale and shape, planting a yellow pyramid or robotic cat on varying planes. Each drawing evolves naturally, a process Toor likens to creating a “Rorschach painting and trying to figure out what you’re seeing and then continuing work. I’m not sure what I’m trying to convey until the piece is done. I think mostly it’s me trying to feel safe in the world.”

Toor is based in Tel Aviv, and you can find a growing collection of his Gibberish series on Behance. Prints, masks, and other products featuring his illustrations are available from Society6.

 

“Lolopoola”

“Mirrrorrr”

“Gibberish Hubris”

“The Memory of Tommy Teacher”

 

 



Design

‘Same Energy’ is a New Visual Search Engine That Finds Related Images by Style and Mood

February 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

Toronto-based developer Jacob Jackson just launched a simple visual search engine that’s particularly adept at gathering results with similar patterns, compositions, and textures. Aptly named Same Energy, the tool is still in beta and minimal by design, with a focus on the image rather than keywords. Results are grouped together by category, which generates a more comprehensive set of findings than similar searches. “We believe it should integrate a rich visual understanding, capturing the artistic style and overall mood of an image, not just the objects in it,” a statement says.

Follow Jackson on Twitter for updates on the tool, and try it for yourself on the Same Energy site, where you also can save collections of your discoveries. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Illustration

Expressive Portraits, Line Drawings, and Foliage Are Superimposed into Rich Illustrations by Ana Santos

February 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Ana Santos, shared with permission

At the center of Ana Santos’s practice is a commitment to discovery. The Salamanca-based illustrator fuses multiple mediums—her work ranges from watercolor, ink-based drawing, and digital painting to embroidery and ceramics—into portraits superimposed with clusters of foliage, birds, and small, black-and-white renderings, a technique she’s developed through experimentation. “Enjoying the process is very important and being open to error has given me unexpected results, which I really appreciate,” she tells Colossal.

Santos begins the layered works on paper, which she then scans to complete digitally in Photoshop. The resulting portraits are expressive and complex, weaving in elements of emotion, fantasy, and nature.  “I don’t like to explain or give a concrete narrative to my work,” she says. “It seems magical to me that the viewer is open to a free and personal interpretation and that the viewer feels that it is their own.”

Shop originals and prints of Santos’s illustrations on her site, and follow her latest projects on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Fantastical Atmospheres Are Rendered with Dark Impasto Strokes in Digital Paintings by RHADS

February 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Continuation of the Dream.” All images © Artem Chebokha, shared with permission

Impasto strokes in deep shades of blue and gray form the volatile environments that backdrop Artem Chebokha’s surreal works. The Saint Petersburg-based artist, who uses the moniker RHADS, mimics the texture of oil paint in his digital pieces. Situated within heavy clouds and pockets of lightning, elements of unusual scale, like minuscule airplanes or an oversized octopus, create otherworldly atmospheres filled with unpredictable weather and open expanses.

Prints of Chebokha’s dreamy paintings are available on Society6. Head to Instagram to see a larger collection of his pieces, including a 3D shot of the work above, and keep an eye out for his upcoming project that merges art and music. (via Cross Connect Magazine)

 

“A Great Storm Approaching”

“City of Love”

“Floating in the Dark”

“Octosoup”

“The Longing to Air Trips”

 

 



Illustration

Bold Animal Portraits Emerge from Ornamental Backdrops in YoAz's Digital Illustrations

February 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © YoAz, shared with permission

In YoAz’s Ornamental Animals, vibrant portraits of lions, gorillas, and other large mammals pop out of an expanse of decorative flourishes. The new series utilizes an ornate motif that’s consistent throughout each piece, with the faces of each creature delineated by saturated tones that contrast the otherwise pastel backdrop. The Paris-based illustrator and graphic designer shares that for the digital portraits, he focuses on three colors that vary in shade, using one to outline the face, a brighter hue to add density and movement, and another to intensify the animal’s individual characteristics.

Prints of YoAz’s illustrations are available from Society6, and you can find an extensive collection of his work on Behance and Instagram.