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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 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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May 22, 2015

Elena Chetverik: Hide and Seek

I have to let my emotions get the better of me on this post: I LOVE this series. I don’t understand everything that is going on in this game of hide and seek, I don’t know what happens when each character is found. Why are they wearing animal masks? In what kind of world does this take place? The viewer is left to either answer these questions, or leave them unanswered.

There’s a balance between beautifully illustrating a scene and telling a story. This series by Elena Chetverik allows the two to meet in the middle. The story exists but is not defined. The people are over-large, awkwardly positioned, the setting rough and unfinished and yet both have more character than had they been drawn down to the last detail. Elena’s style is so much her own: her shading haphazard, her lines imperfect. I love it all.

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May 21, 2015


Crystal balls, ouija, magic circles… Is this a sketchbook or a spellbook? Emma Black pulls art and occult together in a hypnotic style. There’s something in the cryptic imagery that makes it come off more spiritual than spooky. Again and again I find myself mesmerized by her ritualistic repetition of geometric patterns and shading in thin, straight lines. Her series of animal sketches has the same magical undertones, where in pencil she draws the natural, then adds an element of the unnatural in red. It’s a compelling sketch style that’s simplistic and mystic. 

You can follow Emma Black on instagram to keep up with her witchy business.

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May 18, 2015

Barcelona, 365

I'm in the mood for some sight-seeing today. I took a quick tour around Barcelona through the sketchbook of Òscar Julve. He is an illustrator from Spain who challenged himself to draw his city for an entire year. Barcelona, 365 is the well-chosen titled for his blog. I really enjoy seeing artists set specific motivational challenges for themselves to get sketching, even if it's an idea as simple as doodling your way through your hometown. It's easy to get caught in the details when sketching something right in front of you, but Julve's talented hands stick to creating rough sketches out of thin lines that evocatively capture the ambiance of Barcelona's corners.

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May 11, 2015

Soft Shading, Bold Contrast

Elfandiary’s sketchbook is magic. I’ve been bewitched by the soft shading + sharp geometric cut-outs coming together to make something that is delicate and bold at the same time. Page after page of glamorous people are drawn in a style that is realistic in some parts and sketchy in others. It’s both exciting and elegant! The artist has also posted a few mesmerizing time lapse videos of their drawing process that you can see right here.

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