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November 11, 2015

Beauty in the Unfinished

There’s something appealing about seeing the skeleton of a drawing, the bare bones version before it has been perfected. It looks like Marjolein Caljouw knows this, because she often takes photographs of her works in process and shows them side-by-side with the completed illustration. With pencil, ink, and paint, she depicts the female body in all its mystery and sensuality. The soft, organic features are charged with human intimacy that is easily palpable even in the rough sketches.

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October 22, 2015

Dreaming in Blue Ink

My mind is having trouble wrapping itself around how many pen strokes it takes to complete just one of these drawings. Kevin Lucbert is a French artist who specializes in making incredible monochrome illustrations with biro pens. His favorite is a familiar shade of blue ink that I personally associate with tedium — lecture notes and office forms. I can imagine the artist zoning out in the middle of the mundane and using the pen to doodle his surreal daydreams. Yet, amazingly, Lucbert’s attentiveness from line after line after line never slips. His elaborate line work is painstakingly methodical, layering strokes of the pen in varying directions to create awesome depth and texture. This obsessive repetition of lines consumes almost the entire page, carving brilliant ethereal scenes out of the white space. 

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October 21, 2015

Sketches From the Dark Side of the Moon

Moon is a French illustrator and graphic designer whose drawings devise a mysterious mythology of their own. Spectral girls in preternatural environments carry an elegant darkness with them, like characters in a grim fairy tale. The artist’s ink and pencil lines vary between sharp and wispy in a dramatic style, sometimes complimented by subtle watercolors. It’s an an incredible illustration style that draws elegiac scenes with poetic undertones while sticking to visual basics. You can see more of these melancholy mysteries if you check out Moon’s instagram.

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October 12, 2015

Doodling the Mystical

Sometimes I peek into the hashtag #doodlersanonymous on instagram just to see what kind of trouble doodle addicts are cooking up. In today’s case, @nothingwolf’s Inktober series that he has been sharing on our hashtag got me really excited. The artist is Federico Tobon, who also goes as wolfCat. Diverse lines vary between thick black or fine dotting, the strong alongside the delicate in mysterious harmony. The symmetry of simple shapes form compelling compositions that naturally pull your eyes toward the peak of their design. I enjoyed his series of doodles on sheet music, with crazy characters creating chaos over the orderly notes. Clearly, wolfCat is not one to follow the rules and the results are nothing short of mystical.

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May 29, 2015

Ola Szpunar: Summer Sunlight

I recently returned from a trip to Texas where the days were unexpectedly filled with clouds, rain, and chilly temperatures. When I saw Ola Szpunar's "Summer" series, the images matched what I had thought my trip would look like: scenes of warm, sun-drenched indoor and outdoor settings. You cannot feel any other season besides summer when observing these pictures, not only from the sunny glow emanating from each scene. I see myself as the girl standing near the sink in a bikini top and black pants, coming in from the pool to take a break from the sun.

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May 19, 2015

Javier Ordaz: Women in Black

Javier's Instagram and website are filled with black & white sumi ink illustrations painted with a thick brush. The bold strokes and deepness of the black makes the images feel as if the ink is still wet on the page. Many of his images have a dark, slightly sinister feel to them, but a series of portraits caught my eye. Javier has painted a series of women in loving detail while still maintaining his gestural, loose style. The series makes me wonder who these women are, and what part they played in Javier's life.

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May 12, 2015

Dorothy Leung: Etched into Paper

In one of the gallery sections of Dorothy Leung's website, she describes how viewing vintage cartoons at a museum in Basel created a turning point in her style as an illustrator. The influence of that style is apparent in the tiny line after line after tiny line and minuscule details of this plant series. The dark lines seem scratched into the surface so deeply and precisely as if they are etched in my screen. I see more influence than just the vintage cartoons in these pieces - she has imitated the bare layout used in old drawings cataloging flowers, plants and vegetables.

Dorothy is an expert in creating delicate dimension with only these small lines. With mostly very thin objects, she knows how to meticulously layer the lines to create a tiny shadow. She is creating all these drawings of plants as a part of #The100DayProject, and will have a beautiful, complete series – her own plant catalog - once the 100 days come to an end.

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