illustration

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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

 

 

 



Design

Illustrations Transform Nike Air Maxes Into Concepts That Pay Homage to Their History

December 5, 2018

Andrew LaSane

Images courtesy of Rosie Lee on Behance

London-based creative agency Rosie Lee took the original design inspirations for iconic sneakers and turned them into conceptual sculptures that architects and sneakerheads will especially appreciate. Paying homage to the Centre Pompidou, the museum in Paris that inspired legendary Nike designer Tinker Hatfield to create the Nike Air Max 1 in the late-1980s, the team at Rosie Lee transformed the iconic shoe into a 3D model of its Parisian inspiration. The illustration closely resembles the inside-out architectural elements that Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, and Gianfranco Franchini used when designing and building the complex in the 1970s.

The creative team also created 3D illustrations for two other Air Max models: the Nike Air Max 90 and the Nike Air Max 95. The Air Max 90 concept is built entirely out of speakers and rigging as a nod to the culture of record crate diggers (“early adopters” of the sneaker model, according to Rosie Lee), while the Air Max 95 illustration was made to resemble the anatomy of a human foot since that’s where the sneaker’s designer, Sergio Lozano, found inspiration over 23 years ago.

Rosie Lee works on interdisciplinary retail design, branding, and digital projects. You can find more of their latest work on Behance and Instagram, and view their full portfolio on the Rosie Lee website.

 

 



Colossal

Chain Reaction: An International Print and Illustration Show of Bicycle-Inspired Art

October 18, 2018

Colossal

As part of a unique collaboration with the Design Museum of Chicago, Colossal asked some of our favorite poster makers, illustrators, designers, and artists from around the world to make prints featuring bicycles. The international exhibition is in conjunction with the museum’s upcoming exhibition, Keep Moving: Designing Chicago’s Bicycle Culture.

Participating artists include Arna Miller (previously), Janice ChangAlex Senna (previously), Ovadia Benishu, Lisa Congdon, Fran Labuschagne, Jay Ryan, Eleni Debo, Mara PiccioneBrent Couchman, Mart Aire (previously), Daniel Jamie Williams, Vance Lump, Lydia Fu, JW and Melissa Buchanan, and Rafael Esquer (previously).

Prints will be available for purchase online in the Colossal Shop and at Design Museum Chicago’s Block 37 location, starting November 16, 2018. A portion of all proceeds will benefit Blackstone Bicycle Works, a local community bike shop and youth education program. If you’re in Chicago, join us for a free, all-ages opening party from 6 to 8pm on Friday, November 16th! Keep an eye on our event page and RSVP via Facebook for details.

 

 



Art Illustration

A Centuries-Old Art Form Hides Within the Gilded Pages of Antique Books

July 17, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Martin Frost creates paintings in places that people can’t see, or can only find if they know exactly where to look. The UK-based artist is a fore-edge painter, which means he produces elaborate designs and scenes along the edges of gilded books. The works are discovered only when you fan the pages in a certain way, and become hidden by the book’s gold edges as soon it is closed. “It is a discrete painting,” Frost tells Great Big Story. “It is only there when you know how to unlock it.”

Vanishing fore-edge painting dates back to about 1660, but didn’t become popular until the 18th-century. Frost has practiced the rare art form for the last 40 years, and as far as he knows, is the last commercial fore-edge painter in the world. You can view more of his hidden paintings, in addition to a series of illuminated miniatures, on his website. (via Great Big Story)

 

 



Illustration

Swirling Lines and Swaths of Charcoal Form Dramatic Portraits by Lee.K

June 5, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Seoul-based artist Lee.K creates incredibly dynamic portraits using combinations of charcoal, pencil, and ink. The artist layers fine cross contour lines over broad swaths of charcoal to build hair, cheekbones, noses, and eyes with a strong sense of life despite the grayscale palette. You can see more from Lee on Instagram. (via Booooooom)