I thought I’d share some of the drawings by Osamu Tezuka that I referred to several times to try to work out doing nature with ink. All three of the main pictures I’m showing here are from his Buddha series. The one above is from Volume 8, the last one. Now, when I look at that I’d call it fairly realistic. But when you start looking at the individual parts we can see how he’s combining abstract patterns and textures to construct it.
Posts Tagged ‘texture’
So I’m finally back after the hiatus. I’ve been antsy about the time off, so I’m glad to get to this one. I first ran into Charles Vess’ work in the Sandman comics and his association with Neil Gaiman (Stardust, The Blueberry Girl, etc.). I find it easy to pick out his art based on style alone, and I also think it draws heavily on golden age illustrators like Rackham and Dulac. (I just picked up a good book on Dulac, so I’ll be doing one of his soon).
Vess’ book Drawing Down the Moon is a great overview of his work. (Great production values too – the chapter division pages are really cool.) I picked The White Goddess because it’s a rare opportunity to see two finished versions of the same piece – one in color and one in black and white. What decisions does Vess make differently based on the choice of medium? We’ll look at several examples, plus we’ll check out the overall composition.
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.
I added Seven Handed Musician to my favorites the day it was featured as a Daily Deviation on DeviantArt.com. I’d never seen anything like it. Here’s what Sadlos has to say about it in the image’s description:
Cover for new album of some multiinstrumentalist. The idea of giant creature, ancient and multihanded with different instruments is clients idea. Ive done all in photoshop using some textures of stones and trees. Hope You like it C&C most welcome.
I’m particularly impressed by the sense of scale Sadlos gets into the picture. There’s no doubt that this guy is huge, but in the wilderness setting we don’t have normal geometric cues like vanishing points to help us. We’ll look at the image’s perspective, plus its lighting, colors, textures, and overall design. I’ll also point out a probable mistake and take a guess as to how it came about.
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.
Last week I said that this time I’d write about something old. I hope 1498 qualifies. Thanks to a timely birthday present from my brother, I’m doing a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer, a German painter and engraver best known at the time for his highly skilled prints. At Illuxcon a couple of years ago I saw some fantastic ink work by Ian Miller, like Trees and Insects. He was kind enough to do a portfolio review for me, and during the process recommended that I start with Dürer. So, here we are.
I chose The Men’s Bath because we can clearly see the techniques Dürer used in the linework. This in a medium in which the artist and craftsmen who then cut the blocks had to be aware of and consider every line, every mark. We’ll look at examples of how Dürer handled form of the body, textures like wood and stone, and background elements like buildings and trees. He used hatching, feathering, and cross-hatching to establish values in what is basically a black and white medium. While that medium may be woodcut, the principles apply equally well to inking with brush and pen today.
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.
It doesn’t happen often that I buy a comic based on the strength of a cover, but Locke & Key is an example of a comic that I knew nothing about before I saw it on the shelves of my local shop. I picked it up and flipped through it on the strength of this cover. I thought it looked interesting, but put it back on the shelf. A few weeks later, though, I noticed another cover that was just surreal and slightly disturbing without being overtly horror. Just my cup of tea. I picked it up again and saw that the guy crawling out of someone’s head was literal, not just metaphor. I’ve been reading it since. I decided to do this cover because it was the first one that did the job of making me notice the series.
Yigit Koroglu, an artist from Turkey, posted this painting just a few weeks ago. (Click here for a larger version.) I’d been planning to pick something from his gallery when he posted it, and one of the first things I noticed was the way he’d used textures to really sell the realism on a fundamentally bizarre creature. There’s also nice stuff going on with depth and composition, so I’ll touch on all of that in looking at how this picture works.