illustration

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Art

Shadowy Animals Infiltrate Desolate Spaces in Illustrations by Jenna Barton

June 8, 2019

Andrew LaSane

“Stairwell” – Images courtesy of Jenna Barton

Utah-based illustrator Jenna Barton (previously) creates shadowy portraits of animals inspired by her dreams, travels, experiences, and the aesthetic and emotions of the rural environments where she grew up. While she does integrate watercolor into some of her illustrations, Barton’s work is primarily digital. The style she refers to as “magical-realism-animal-gothic” came about around 2017, after she completed her BFA in Illustration and decided to take some time to escape the constraints of school and to focus on art that she cared about.

I hark back a lot to my childhood in Idaho, as well as looking to my current environment in Utah, to inform my work. I’d like to capture the strange emotions that I always felt in rural and empty places, and the daydreams I’ve had there. It’s those liminal spaces that I like best, and I’m interested in the structures that bring the human world into nature—radio towers, houses, power lines—especially in the absence of humans themselves.

Barton tells Colossal that many of her subjects are mammals because they share traits with humans, “while at the same time existing in a very different world from them.” Lurking big cats and silhouetted dogs and deer stare blankly with white eyes and stoic postures against relatively simple backgrounds—a window, a staircase, clouds—which give the illustrations a sense of mystery. “Animals with elegant silhouettes, like canines and deer, are special favorites for their graceful looks and sense of motion,” Barton explains. “I give most of my subjects glowing white eyes to indicate the presence of a supernatural element and to suggest that the figures pictured are something between animals and spirits, or gods.”

Barton’s otherworldly works are available as prints via her webstore, and you can also check out more of her animal portraits on Instagram.

“Tracers”

“Gone Cold”

“Grease and Smoke”

“Sentinels”

“Black Lamb”

“Shiver”

 

 



Illustration

Watercolor Paintings of Imagined Trash Structures Packed With Advertising by Alvaro Naddeo

May 19, 2019

Andrew LaSane

“First Class”

Brazilian artist Alvaro Naddeo‘s watercolors imagine a dystopian world left in ruin by overconsumption and littered with the branding and logos of the past. Store walls, rusted out vehicles, and arcade machines gain new value as building materials and are combined with other objects and parts to form pop surrealist stacked structures.

Naddeo tells Colossal that he starts with a loose sketch by hand. He then uses 3D software to help define a plausible shape for his imagined constructions, and creates a reference composition in Photoshop. After years of practice, Naddeo shares that he is able to recreate the texture, color, and shadows of various building materials like brick and concrete from memory. He uses reference photos to help flesh out small detail items, which are similarly rendered in watercolor. As for the specific brands, Naddeo says that he pulls from his youth. “I think about the stickers and posters I used to have in my teenage room or the group of brands I used to like at a certain time. I also research at old magazines and look at the ads that shared a specific era. It’s a very fun and nostalgic exercise.”

In a statement on his website, the artist credits his career in advertising over the past 20 years as the inspiration for his work and for showing him the “duality” of such imagery, “both desirable and despicable.” To see more of Alvaro Naddeo’s work and to learn about his upcoming shows with Thinkspace Gallery, follow him on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

“First Class” (detail)

“First Class” (detail)

“One of a Kind”

“Gambiarra”

“The Flat”

“Escargot”

 

 



Art Illustration

Ceramic Dishes Drawn as Rippling Pools of Culture by Brendan Lee Satish Tang

March 17, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Untitled (Spode) 2012

For his “Swimmers” print series, artist Brendan Lee Satish Tang transformed traditional blue and white ceramic dishware patterns into a symbol for culture: the complex, learned, and shared pool that surrounds us all. Each intricately drawn work features two swimmers (parental figures and children, siblings, and peers) who are seemingly unaffected as they attempt to navigate the rippling waters together.

“Untitled (Ming 1)” 2012

Born in Ireland to Trinidadian parents, Tang received a formal art education in the United States and in Canada, where he is a naturalized citizen. He has lectured at conferences and academic institutions across North America, and his work has been exhibited and collected at museums and galleries across both nations. Currently based in Vancouver, Tang works primarily in clay to explore themes of tradition and culture with a particular interest in cultural appropriation and hybridity, which he says reflects his own “ambiguous cultural identity.”

The crosshatching and subdued blue tone give Tang’s drawings a sketch-like quality, while the morphing of the ceramic waves show a deeper level of planning and precision. A play on the idiom “a fish out of water,” Tang writes on his website that “we are the fish,” adding that humankind is “always finding our way through our greater culture.” Brendan Lee Satish Tang is represented by Gallery Jones in Vancouver and Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Portland. Check out his website to see where he will be showing next, and follow him on Instagram for closer looks at his latest work.

“Untitled (Delftse Pauw)” 2012

“Untitled (Ming 2)” 2012

“Untitled (Royal Delft)” 2012

 

 



Art Illustration

Loneliness and Belonging Explored in a New Children’s Book of Poetry and Mixed-Media Illustrations

March 16, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Images courtesy of Enchanted Lion

Author JonArno Lawson and artist Nahid Kazemi recently collaborated to tell a largely visual story about a young bird contemplating its own existence and trying to find its place in the world after losing its flock. Titled Over the Rooftops, Under the Moon and published by Brooklyn-based Enchanted Lion Books, the children’s book features poetic writing by Lawson which provides the framework for its complex themes. Kazemi’s colorful illustrations—a mix of pencil, colored pencil, chalk pastel, and collage—pull young readers into the colorful and curious world.

After studying painting at Art University in Tehran, Kazemi worked as a graphic designer for literary magazines, published children’s books in Iran, and participated in illustration festivals around the world. Kazemi tells Colossal that the collaboration with JonArno Lawson happened by chance, shortly after a move and career restart in Canada.

While looking through books at a library for publishers and authors, the artist came across one called Sidewalk Flowers. “It made me hopeful that publishers in North America were interested in publishing wordless books,” she said. “I searched for JonArno’s other books in the library and felt that his work was close to my own style. I found him through social media – he really liked my work as well, and after a short while, we started to think together about this project.”

The new book is available now on Amazon. To see more of Kazemi’s mixed media illustrations, follow her on Instagram. (via Brain Pickings)

 

 



Animation

Over 1,400 Hand-Painted and Drawn Frames Create a Maze of Emotion in a New Music Video for Mitski

March 12, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

For the recent music video for American singer Mitski, designers and animators Saad Moosajee and Danaé Gosset teamed up with creative studio Art Camp to create an animation from 1,480 hand-painted and drawn frames. Pearl follows a single character as she free-falls through a series of scenes, crashing through an ocean to finally land in the same environment where the music video started. 3D renderings merge with traditional mediums such as charcoal, paint, dry pastel, oil pastel, ink, and colored pencils. The result is a swirling and chaotic world that consumes the main character in a wave of adrenaline-pumping emotion. You can see the full video for Pearl below. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

 

 



Design History

A Dozen New Stamps Celebrate Leonardo da Vinci’s Drawings

February 13, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

The head of Leda (c.1505–08), on view at Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

The innovative yet timeless drawings of Leonardo da Vinci will soon be arriving in mailboxes around the U.K., thanks for a special stamp release marking the quincentennial anniversary of the Italian artist’s death. In tandem with the special stamp edition, twelve cultural institutions throughout the United Kingdom will be showcasing a total of 144 of da Vinci’s works in the dispersed show Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing. The exhibitions opened at the beginning of February and are on view through May 6, 2019 in Glasgow, Cardiff, Bristol, Leeds, and other U.K. cities. Stamp sets are available from Royal Mail. (via artnet)

The skull sectioned (1489), on view at Ulster Museum, Belfast

A star-of-Bethlehem and other plants (c.1506–12), on view at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

Studies of cats (c.1517–18) on view at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

The skeleton (c.1510–11) on view at Cymru/National Museum Wales, Cardiff

The fall of light on a face (c.1488), on view at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

The head of St. Philip (c.1495) on view at Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

The skeleton (c.1510–11) on view at Cymru/National Museum Wales, Cardiff

 

 



Art

Large-Scale Drawings of the United Kingdom’s 69 Cities by Carl Lavia

January 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Edinburgh, all images provided by Carl Lavia and Lorna Le Bredonchel

Self-taught artist Carl Lavia, who goes by the nickname “Sketch,” has been drawing intricate cities and architecturally-minded illustrations since he was the age of five. Although his early works were imaginative renderings of fictionalized cities, his practice has grown into immensely detailed depictions of large cities from an aerial point of view. Lavia uses ink and archival paper to produce each drawing, which appear like maps from a distance, but have a loose, almost Impressionist style when viewed up close.

In 2016 Lavia paired with photographer Lorna Le Bredonchel to form the project “#69Cities,” which aims to create a portrait of the whole United Kingdom through large-scale drawings of its 69 cities. It takes approximately 2-4 months for Lavia to create each drawing in the expansive project, with Le Bredonchel documenting the entire process from his wall-sized sketches to their time exploring each city by foot.

So far the duo has traveled to Birmingham and Manchester, England as well as Edinburgh, Dundee, Stirling, and Perth, Scotland. The completed Perth drawing will be on display at the Perth Museum and Art Gallery at the end of his month, and be on view through January 2020. When completed, Lavia and Le Bredonchel hope to develop an app that will allow visitors to explore each drawing in an immersive 3D landscape. You can follow along with the pair’s upcoming travels and future drawings on their website, Instagram, and Twitter.

City of Birmingham, all images provided by Carl Lavia and Lorna Le Bredonchel

City of Birmingham, all images provided by Carl Lavia and Lorna Le Bredonchel

Detail of Perth

Detail of Perth

Close up of Manchester

Close up of Manchester

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

 

Completed drawing of Manchester

Completed drawing of Manchester