drawing

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Animation

A Transfixing Animation Utilizes the Optical Illusions of Pareidolia to Parallel Two Narratives About Birth

June 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

Created by London-based animator and artist Vier Nev, “A Mind Sang” plunges into an entrancing journey of life’s stages. The short film is centered on themes of transformation as it hypnotically shifts perspectives scene-by-scene. “It began with twenty drawings I had created about different cultural representations of birth and identity. I find that in my drawings I often come back to the same characters: queer couples, mothers, and, for some inexplicable reason, cats,” Nev said in a Vimeo interview.

Relying on pareidolia—the tendency to see objects or patterns where they physically don’t exist—each frame simultaneously depicts two different narratives. “I wondered if I could create a film that merged the stories of these characters into the same shapes and shadows,” Nev said. The characters seamlessly change from fully realized figures into amorphous shapes, animals, and single body parts throughout the illusory project.

Although Nev originally planned for the entire film to be black and white, he instead infused bits of crimson and shades of violet. “The two red moments are particularly special to me as they signal moments where blood (sangue) fills the frame,” he said. “First as fire and then as water, blood represents death or birth.”

“A Mind Sang” recently won a Staff Pick Award at the 2020 Annecy International Animation Film Festival. Check out stills of the transformative project on Nev’s Instagram, and follow his upcoming animations on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Art

In Artist Adrian Brandon’s Incomplete Portraits, A Year of Life Equals One Minute of Color

June 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

Breonna Taylor. All images © Adrian Brandon, shared with permission

When Adrian Brandon starts to color a portrait, he sets a timer. For his rendering of Breonna Taylor, the clock is set to 26 minutes—for George Floyd, 46 minutes, for Tony McDade, 38, and for Aiyana Stanley Jones, just seven. “When the alarm sounds, I am hit with a wave of emotions ranging from anger, to deep sadness, to hopelessness, to feeling lucky that I am still here,” he says.

The Brooklyn-based artist is working on Stolen, a series of partially filled-in depictions of Black people murdered by police. Each portrait remains incomplete as Brandon only colors one minute for each year of the subject’s life before it was cut short. “Aside from being able to give the viewer a visual of the various ages affected by police violence, the timer creates a lot of anxiety for me as the artist,” he says, wondering, “’When is the timer going off?’ ‘Will I be able to finish this eye?’ ‘Damn, I haven’t even gotten to the lips yet.’” In a note to Colossal, Brandon expanded on the project:

Although this anxiety may seem minor in that the consequences for me are very low, it does really have an effect on me. Anxiety is a feeling that black people are far too familiar with, and to experience that feeling while illustrating these portraits allows each piece to feel like a performance. A lot of Black people are forced to live with this anxiety and accept it as part of our every day. But these feelings build up and are exhausting. I shouldn’t have to do a prayer every time I see police pursuing a Black person in the streets. I shouldn’t feel anxious when the police are talking to a person of color. I shouldn’t feel so damn anxious that I remove my hat and jewelry when the cops pull me over. I shouldn’t feel so anxious that I would second guess calling the police if I ever needed to. This series is pulling me in, in ways that art has never done.

Brandon has been sharing deeper insights behind the portraits, in addition to timelapse videos, on Instagram. (via Kottke)

 

Aiyana Stanley Jones

George Floyd

Left: Samuel DuBose. Right: Jordan Edwards

Botham Jean

Tony McDade

Left: Gregory Gunn. Right: Jemel Roberson

Sandra Bland

Left: Philando Castile. Right: Eric Garner

Akai Gurley

 

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Art Illustration

Shadowy Geometric Shapes Rendered with Meticulous Crosshatching by Artist Albert Chamillard

May 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Albert Chamillard, shared with permission

Tucson-based artist Albert Chamillard (previously) spends hours, if not days or weeks, crosshatching cylinders, sliced cubes, and three-dimensional arrows. Rendered on vintage ledgers and graph paper, each geometric shape relies on the density of the artist’s pen markings to create works that appear to stand straight up off the page.

Chamillard describes his process as absorbing, often occupying him for hours at a time as he meticulously draws line after line. “A much longer process is developing the drawing in pencil first so it looks ‘right,’ meaning it fits within the page and balances the shape and looks like it belongs there,” he says. “Composition is a huge part of my work, and if it doesn’t fit on a page correctly, I won’t bother finishing it.” Despite being non-representational, the works also hold information like a diary or journal. “When I’m drawing, I thinking about everything else in my life, and usually title them in a way that conveys that snapshot of time for me, so I can look at my older drawings and know roughly what was going on.” The artist hopes to convey the necessity of devotion and patience in creative work. 

Each monochromatic drawing has a meditative and hypnotic effect, and Chamillard’s fascination with light and shadow began in 2017 when he started rendering three-dimensional shapes. Since then, though, he’s shifted his intention. “I am currently focused on drawing fabric, specifically folded fabric, and translating it into drawings using the same crosshatching technique I’ve been using 6 or 7 years,” he says. “I’m also experimenting with larger drawings comprised of multiple sheets of ledger paper.”

Often sourcing his materials from thrift stores and yard sales, the artist tells Colossal it hasn’t been as easy to obtain old notebooks in recent years. “They have since become much more difficult to find, so I rely on Etsy if I want a specific one, and I’ve also had the benefit of strangers on Instagram sending me ones they find (If you have an old ledger you want to see go to a good home, please contact me!).”

To see more of Chamillard’s volumetric drawings, and perhaps to share some of those papers you’ve got piling up in the attic, head to Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Gears and Dials Rendered in Intricate Drawings of Gem-Encrusted Insects by Steeven Salvat

April 30, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Steeven Salvat, shared with permission

French artist Steeven Salvat (previously) cloaks his beetles and butterflies in an elaborate armor of rotational gears, jewel-toned gems, and muted stained glass. He tells Colossal that the heavily adorned insects merge his passion for nature, history, and science. They’re “an ode to exceptional craftsmanship and luxury houses. I want to showcase a full range of beetles species wearing some highly detailed goldsmith work, gemstones, mechanical gears, and luxury watch dials—in the style of entomologists’ studies,” Salvat says.

The artist soaks each piece of his 300 gsm watercolor paper in black tea before rendering his ornate pieces with a combination of watercolor, China ink, and white ink. “The smallest piece took me more than 30 hours of work, painting and drawing thousands of black lines with 0.13 millimeter Rotring pen,” he writes.

Salvat has two more insects currently in the works and plans to exhibit a few at DDESSIN 2020. Follow the ongoing series on his Instagram, where he also shows progress shots and deeper insight into his process. Check out his available prints in his shop.

 

 

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Art

Aerial Views of Switzerland Capture Saype’s Massive Artwork Painted on the Alpine Terrain

April 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Valentin Flauraud and Saype

Although many of us won’t be flying over Leysin, Switzerland any time soon, French artist Guillaume Legros, who’s better known as Saype, has painted a hopeful new work on a grassy hillside that’s best seen from the air. Across 3,000-square meters, “BEYOND CRISIS” shows a little girl with a hand-drawn farandole circling around her. She peers across the mountainous region toward the horizon.

The expansive piece is Saype’s encouraging response to the ongoing threat of COVID-19 worldwide. “During these times of pandemic, a majority of the world population is confined. Although we are all affected, we live different challenges or struggles and I choose to paint this fresco entitled ‘BEYOND CRISIS’ close to home to share with you an optimistic message and a breath of fresh air,” the self-taught artist wrote on Instagram.

Saype explores themes of humanity through existential philosophies, he said in a statement, by inviting “us to wonder about our deep nature, our spirit, our place on earth and in the society.” The artist began working on grassy landscapes in 2015 as a way to merge his penchant for land art and graffiti, which since has inspired an artistic movement. For his massive projects, Saype uses paint derived from natural materials like coal and chalk.

To purchase a lithograph of the artist’s ephemeral artworks, check out what’s available in his shop. (via Street Art News)

 

 



Art Illustration

Sprawling Pen Illustrations in Sketchbooks by Mattias Adolfsson Incite the Wild and Absurd

April 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Mattias Adolfsson

Mattias Adolfsson’s (previously) impeccably detailed illustrations demonstrate his propensity for a controlled frenzy that borders on the chaotic but never quite passes the threshold. The Swedish artist creates fantastical drawings of city blocks, bizarre collections of writing utensils, and intricate menageries of deceased animals that merge science fiction, whimsy, and the absurd. While some of the muted artworks feature a central narrative, like the sea-bound ship below, each of his incredibly intricate pieces are impossible to consider with a single glance, in part because they cover the entire sketchbook spread. For more of Adolfsson’s sprawling illustrations, visit Instagram or Behance, and head to Etsy to add one to your own collection.

 

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