I’ve been wanting to do a Frank Frazetta analysis for quite a while, and finally it’s time. He was amazingly fast and produced many, many paintings. I thought about doing the iconic Death Dealer image, but picked this one instead because of its simplicity. I’ve been trying to learn more about silhouettes and values against a background, and this image makes good use of both concepts.
Posts Tagged ‘eye guidance’
As I recently said on Facebook, “How have I not been aware of Donato Giancola before now?” This one stopped me as I was going through Spectrum 16, and I’ve kept coming back to it. The Archer of the Rose is the cover for Kathleen Bryan’s The Last Paladin by Tor books. We’ll look at the picture’s development and its use as a cover. Giancola likes to start with strong abstract compositions as the base and then work toward strong realism. We’ll look at the abstract patterns he uses and how they guide the eye, and we’ll also look at some of his finely detailed rendering. Finally, we’ll look at the thought and research that went into the narrative and characterization. For example, Persian manuscript covers inspired the patterns on the shields, yet the armor styles are more western European. What does this tell us about the events in the scene, and how does it contribute to mood and theme?
What a difficult choice! There are a lot of great illustrations in the Dover book, and it was hard to decide which one to look at for an analysis. If you’re a fan of golden age illustration, you should definitely check this one out. I chose this one in the end for a few reasons. For one, we get a clear sense of character – to me this seems like more than just your generic old woman. She’s been through a lot. Also, Rackham gives us lots of texture and line work that is fun to get lost in. The recent analysis of Dürer was an example of highly precise, controlled linework. This drawing, though, shows linework that is loose and flowing, yet still controlled. Rackham’s picture has clearly separated foreground, midground, and background elements, and it also has an effective silhouette and composition.
On November 14, 1960 federal marshals escorted Ruby Hall to her first day of kindergarten. She was the only black child to attend the school, and after entering the building she and her mother went to the principal’s office while the white parents entered the school and took their children out. Thereafter she was the only student in her class. You can read more about the story at her entry in Wikipedia.
Norman Rockwell painted this picture for Look magazine. Though J. C. Leyendecker did more covers for the Saturday Evening Post, Rockwell is best known for his long run with them. Their art direction and editorial guidelines constrained his work, however, and after his last painting for them in 1963 he moved in a more socially outspoken direction, and Look was buying. In this analysis I’ll go over what makes this very simple painting so powerful.
Last week I told how Ian Miller pointed me to Albrecht Dürer. He had a table at the first Illuxcon and had some of his fantastic ink drawings on display. It was great to be able to get up close to see just what was going on, because unlike most comics inking you couldn’t really see the individual lines until you got up close. For example, I remember looking at Castles for quite a while.
I’d like to thank him for providing a high resolution version of THD for the analysis. I first saw it on his web site, and he was kind enough to send a version I could use to take detail images. THD is an ink drawing, but then he colored it, I’m guessing with watercolor. I’ll go into the color choices and linework, but I’ll also touch on the composition, concept, and ways he guides our eyes through the picture.
This painting is… awesome. It’s a great example from the collection of the Museum of Bad Art. It fills me with wonder. Among other things I wonder what on earth the artist was thinking. Because I certainly can’t tell from the painting. It’s horrific. Yet… you can’t look away. Like many good pieces of art, this image poses more questions than it answers. It’s a visual train accident that spins our heads on their rubber necks. Somehow mixed metaphors seem appropriate. As its source implies, this is one bad painting, and I’ll go into why below. But you know what? I’m glad somebody made it.
That “somebody,” according to MoBA is K. Koch. The museum got it at a yard sale in 2007, and that’s all I really know about the painting itself. Well, OK, it also says that it’s oil on canvas and 2 feet by 1.5 feet. We know in our gut that it’s a bad painting the moment we see it. But why is it bad? What about it is so bad that it qualifies for the MoBA collection? Let’s see.
This painting is from David Mack and Brian Michael Bendis’ Daredevil story Wake Up. I happened by Mack’s table at the New York Comic Con last year and liked the art on the Kabuki books he had out on his table. At first I wanted to do a Kabuki painting for the analysis, but as I was looking for one I realized that he sets up a rhythm and visual language that builds on itself. It’s a case of the individual parts being strong, but the sum being more than those parts. Eventually I settled on this image from his sketchbook series Reflections because it seems more self-contained. Then again, I haven’t read much Daredevil so maybe I’m just not bringing outside context.
I came across this piece at this thread on conceptart.org, which is well worth a look. Here’s a bigger look. You can also see an even larger, slightly earlier version of this painting here.I haven’t really written about a painting that has significant abstract elements before. The closest is a comic cover by another Jones, Erik Jones’ cover for The Unknown #6. In that case he used abstract versions of gun silhouettes, bullets, and targets. They were still recognizable as those thing, though, whereas Mind Machine uses abstract shapes for layering and textures that build up form on their own – to a point.
Brian Bolland was one of a wave of artists from the U.K. who crossed the pond and made a name for himself in the comics industry. He’s best known (to me) for his work on Judge Dredd, creating several iconic characters including Judge Death. I picked up his book The Art of Brian Bolland recently, and of all the great artwork in there this was the piece that jumped out at me. I’m not even a particular fan of Prince’s music, but this is just one cool portrait. It’s in a comic style, but a quite realistic and detailed one compared to most superhero rags. For this analysis I’ll focus on the composition of the portrait, the colors and values, and the linework.
“Tales” was the front and back cover art for Yes’ album Tales From Topographic Oceans. Since the album cover opened out, Dean faced an interesting problem. The right half of the painting is all that would be visible to most customers in a record store, so that had to work as an image all on its own. But, since it wrapped around to the back side the entire thing had to work as a coherent image as well. Basically, he had to construct two halves that add to a greater sum that the parts. To solve this problem Dean came up with a picture that has one focus when you’re seeing the right half and a different focus when you see the whole thing.