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July 2, 2015

Giveaway: Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman

If you don't know the work of Julia Rothman, you better get to it. I've been a fan of her work for as long as I can remember, from her lovely hand-drawn patterns to her sketchbook pages of intricate drawn buildings. She's also authored and illustrated some of my favorite books, like Drawn In and Hello NY. And now she's released another book to rival all the others.

Nature Anatomy is 224 pages of hand-drawn goodness and features tons of drawings, diagrams, and dissections from the natural world. Julia takes us on a visual tour of trees, birds, insects, animals, wildflowers, ecosystems, and so much more.

You'll want this book and we've got one to giveaway. To be in the running, just leave a comment on this blog post with your single favorite thing to draw from nature. We'll pick a random winner from the hat. Comments close July 6th (Monday) at 11am Eastern. Good luck everyone... and for those of you that can't wait, you can get your hands on the book today on Amazon.


July 2, 2015

Layers of Doodles

The sketchbook of Stuart Adams is a wild ride. He draws in layers, which makes each page take a while to soak in while my eyes constantly find new visual details hidden underneath the doodled characters. Some of his backgrounds are unexpected textures, photographs, or a chaotic melange of colors which gives a certain depth to otherwise silly-looking doodles. My favorite thing Adams does is use white space to draw characters within the background, and then doodle more characters over those in black. The end product is crowded, messy, and full of spontaneous spirit. I see where Adams was coming from when he said, “The best way to describe my artwork is that it is like taking a mystery tour bus where Disney Land fuses into a Heironymous Bosch painting.”

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July 1, 2015

Kimmo Oja: Lots and Lots of Lines

I know what it's like to get lost in a repetitive action, that smoothing feeling of doing the same small motion over and over. When I look at these drawings by Kimmo Oja, I wonder if he chooses his imagery based on achieving that same feeling. The result is a dizzying amount of precise lines and strokes to create striking environments. But within each of these drawings, there is one peaceful object that stands alone and unaffected by the tangled setting: a bear, a line of trees, an owl, a wolf.

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June 29, 2015

Javier Perez: Drawing Inspiration

I was recently asked to participate in a drawing contest hosted by Udemy. The theme is based around the work of Javier Perez, who creates clever drawings built upon simple objects around him.

For my own drawing, I dug through my desk drawer at work and saw a fish peering back at me from a roll of correction tape.

While I’m not sure I was too true to the minimal nature of the drawn element of this creation, I did find the process and result very rewarding! This contest was a fun exercise in challenging my regular technique by inserting something foreign, and figuring out a way to incorporate it and fit into my drawing style.

You can enter the contest, too! Click here to see the details and more examples of Javier’s work, and have fun seeing objects around you in a different way!


June 28, 2015

More Illustrated Travel Journals: Анастасия Кардашова

This weekend, I experimented with a set of Prismacolor markers I received as a gift several months ago. My experience inspired me to look for more work in the same vein, and in my search I discovered the diverse portfolio of Анастасия Кардашова. I encourage you to scroll through her Instagram for examples of all kind of different imagery, mediums, and styles.

But for this post, I want to focus on the illustrated travel journal she created from a trip to Venice. I’m now able to relate to the process of working with markers, and I’m fascinated by how the colors are applied in these sketches. The irreversible strokes of markers made me very cautious about where to place my own strokes, afraid that I would make them too wide, too saturated, etc. Анастасия employs a style of layering vertical strokes to create a really interesting and effective way to apply color without just solidly filling an entire space. I also like her selective choice of white space. When viewing this journal I feel like Анастасия is telling me about her trip, and as she proceeds with the descriptions, the color creeps in. Not every moment of the trip is explained in detail, and therefore suggested in the negative spaces.

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June 19, 2015

Letting Go, Step by Step

"How a graphic artist discovers to free his creativity and have fun" is the alternate title for journal d’une décomplexion graphique, a record of an ongoing journey in letting go of artistic insecurities. A detailed, hand-written note on the blog explains, "I love my job, but I don’t love my work. Few are the projects which I feel proud of and would like to put in a book." Crushed by deadlines from time-consuming jobs, over years this artist began to feel their sense of creativity shriveling. When do I have fun in all this? Stuck behind a computer all day with no chance to mess around and then coming home too tired to do anything, there was a growing fixation on the idea of taking a pen or pencil to paper.

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June 18, 2015

Amliv Sotomayor: Women with Eyes Closed

Amliv is living and working among us here in Miami. The Cuban artist (who, according to her bio "eats her rice and beans regularly") creates delicate and ethereal imagery - it's hard to place the images within a city so much the opposite. Not only do I admire Amliv for her skill with graphite, but the imaginative nature of her images is also to be revered. As someone who at times relies heavily on source photographs, I'm in awe of the emotion and precision portrayed in these fantastical scenes.

I see Amliv's images and wonder about the story behind the characters and their interactions. What relationship does the artist see between these women and beasts? Almost all of Amliv's drawings of women show them with their eyes closed. I feel as if these women are completely engulfed in their personal experience, whether it be transformation, grandeur, dream, or sleep. It’s a beautiful and strange effect, and it is executed with such grace.

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