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February 4, 2016

Doodling Dashing Strangers

I’ve been really into Pam Steenwijk’s portraits the past couple of days. Pam is an artist from the Netherlands who plays with details of the face in charming ways. Sometimes with cutesy blushing cheeks, other times with mysterious shadows. Not to mention the expressions! Pam nails it when it comes to drawing nuanced looks that are disarmingly sensitive. I only wish I knew the story behind these effortlessly stylish cool kids. It’s likely that the enigma is part of the aesthetic appeal! Don’t forget to check out Pam’s tumblr for more doodles of dashing strangers. 

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November 29, 2015

The Element of Chaos in Watercolor

painting gif

I first found Agnes Cecile when I came across a sped up video of her creating a painting from start to finish. The first two minutes show her crafting a detailed, realistic portrait of a lady, but my interest wasn’t piqued until she brought her perfected woman down to the floor and started to splash a halo of watercolors over her. There’s a disorder to Agnes Cecile’s works that makes them exciting. Her portraits have a tendency to look half finished, elaborately detailed in some spots and a drippy mess in others. Her process videos show how much of her art is left up to chance. She paints her vision with absolute confidence, but the element of chaos is always there.

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October 26, 2015

Intense Faces from Passports of Animals

animal passport doodle

I hate the way I look in all my identifications. The flat lighting and angle do nothing to flatter me, plus the awkwardness of staring straight into the camera. I wish Ola Liola had done my passport photo! In her delightful set of Passport Faces, she uses the same elements that I hate from my own ID photos to draw animals. The dead-on expressions from these critters put a wild twist on the clinical nature of ID photos—a passport between urban and natural life. There’s also an interesting balance within her style between the realistic intensity with which her lifelike stares are drawn, and the fantastical designs and colors she fills them in with. Liola uses watercolors and ink to adorn animals with elaborate tattoo-like patterns, continuing her art’s dialogue between the wilderness and cosmopolitan.

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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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September 24, 2015

Drawing On Location

Amara Strand is an interior designer and 3D artist who is determined not to lose touch with the non-digital side of her creativity. She carries her small sketchbook around Toronto, and brings a little piece of the local architecture and scenery home with her at the end of the day. Her almost pocket-sized urban sketches are made truly special by Strand’s warm watercolors. Strand said, “I love to see colourful watercolour running, seeing the lines go on my sketchbook and never knowing exactly how the sketch will turn out when it is done. This excites me.” 

I adore the spontaneity of an artist being surprised by her own finished product. The drawings have a rough sketch quality without meticulous detailing, but it’s a good thing to have when you are drawing places and things right in front of you—you won’t get so lost in perfecting the page that you forget to enjoy your cup of coffee.

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July 10, 2015

Art: In Construction

I’m looking at my dream home! Noel Badges Pugh’s pen and watercolor houses become more breathtaking with every passing moment that your eyes linger on the page. Unsurprisingly, I enjoy the process photos more than the finished products. The artist pays meticulously close attention to drawing the finest architectural details, which are given captivating depth by rich color shading. It’s particularly interesting for me to see this juxtaposed with the “bare bones” version of the house in the same drawing. A nice visual reminder that amazing illustrations have simple beginnings.

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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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