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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 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 15, 2015

A Monochrome Moleskine

I am captivated by Vahid’s marvelous monochrome moleskine. It was no surprise for me to read that his illustration experience includes some projects in animation and cartooning, because the artist’s passion for it bleeds through into his sketchbook. My first impression of several drawings was that they seemed like paused frames in the middle of a movement. The boldness and simplicity of his illustrations, along with a story they seem to be suggesting, evoke ancient black-figure paintings with a modern spin. It’s a cool combination of sharp angles and soft curves creating fascinating figures that prove you don’t need color to breathe life into a sketch.

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June 5, 2015

Coloring Book Interview Series, #16: Annette Fernando

If you love oldschool film noir, I've got an artist you should meet. Annette Fernando's page left an impression on me when I first saw it, and continues to have a similar impact every time I flip through our coloring book. Her style is dark, dramatic, romantic—all the best elements of old Hollywood glamour. Read my interview with Annette to learn some cool stuff about the artist, such as how she taught herself to draw by copying comic books and recreating film stills!

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June 2, 2015

Japan and Mexico

I recently discovered the art of Monica Barengo when I came across some illustrations she did for the Australian Womankind magazine. These are drawings from two separate series on Mexico and Japan. The Mexican series revolves around bees and flowers, the Japanese one around cats and food. The drawings pull specific imagery from two very different cultures in mature and elegant forms, with whimsically surreal elements. The Japanese series made me so hungry, I’ll leave you to enjoy the thin lines and muted, earthy colors on your own.

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