Saturday, September 29, 2007

La Ligne Claire

My friend Stefan in France alerted me to the concept of the "La ligne claire" (The clear line) style, something I was not familiar with at all - but now makes a lot of sense to me.

The main focus of this style is to achieve clean, neat line drawings, with few or no shadows and images are distilled to include only the essential elements needed to communicate the idea efficiently. Hergé, Tintin's father, is considered the master and somehow the creator of the ligne claire style. His work inspired many illustrators, designers and comics book artists. This style is also considered uniquely North-European only - France, Belgium (the mother nation of comics) and the Netherlands.

Sometimes the search for clarity and precision in my work urges me to redraw each piece 5 or more times before the image becomes acceptable. Individual lines are also changed several times before I am happy with the line quality.

I am sure this urge is not unique to my work. It is a time consuming and often paralyzing way of drawing for me, but now I understand the frustration that often happens more clearly. In fact, many drawings are abandoned and very few make it to the final stage.

Read more:
La ligne claire on Wikipedia

Thursday, September 27, 2007

New original art by David Crumpler

David is auctioning this original work of art from his continuing series of bodybuilders on his eBay store (ending Sunday the 30th September). If you're a fan of bodybuilders, this drawing of contestant number 14, Kevin K. is for you!

This exquisite drawing is rendered entirely in graphite (pencil) on sturdy, 100 lb, warm-white bristol. It measures 11" x 14". The artwork is sold unmatted and unframed and ships securely in a poly-bag with a Certificate of Authenticity and Artist Bio.

David is also offering a new affordable format for commission drawings. you can see an example on his website (see the portraits link - Matthew A.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

DrawFellas on Boytoons

Check out Boytoons! My drawing of my favorite Class Comics Hero has been published on Patrick Fillion's awesome blog. Thanks Patrick... what an absolute honour! And thank you for being a truly great inspiration for so many years!

Not sure why DEIMOS is my favorite... could be the bad boy attitude, the demon horns or the impossibly high cheekbones. Maybe it has something to do with converting the proportions from the Imperial to the Metric system while drawing. Anyway... why does 13 inches of uncut demon just sound a lot better than 32.5 centimeters?

Pencil drawing on A4 (297x210mm) paper.

Friday, September 21, 2007

New work by Stefan

It has been a while but the wait has been worth it! Here are some beautifully crafted images by my friend Stefan. The man is truly talented. Check back soon for more...

Related Posts:
Interview with Stefan
More from Stefan

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tulip Art Projects

Dutch artists in Berlin, Hans Booy & Paulus Fugers at Tulip Enterprises is on a mission:

To develop an antidote to disfunctional artistry, mostly generated by an art-school education and subsequent delusions of avant-gardeness, often developing into extreme audience-phobia and a lifelong dependency on government funds.

Two of their faux Delfts Blauw "Ceramixed Plates", hand-painted and inscribed with "Include Me Out", thematize social (self)exclusion, sexuality and multiculturalism, is part of the New Museum Store and available at Bloomingdale's Pop-up Shops Benefitting the New Museum, September 6 - November 6.

Hans Booy & Paulus Fugers collaborate on art production, murals, self-organized art shows and art presentations in public and in galleries, clubs and deserted GDR buildings. They work in a wide range of techniques, from Kinetic Art and projections to Folk Art, installation, painting and collage.

See more of these talented artist's unique work at Tulip Enterprises.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pecs and Tattoo

Reworked the original "Pecs" pencil drawing.

Also tried a new way to get cleaner, smoother lines which basically involves inking the drawing, scanning it, tracing it as vectors in Illustrator and coloring it in Photoshop.

Tedious process but the result is pleasing.

It would be suitable for some applications but I find it a little little "soul-less". Hope you like...

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Art of Eric Rhein

Eric Rhein constructs delicate images from wire, paper and other objects. Like powerful poems they are compositions from his universe each with a story to tell about the human experience of sexuality, beauty and mortality.

"I think art is the experience of making art. The object that results is a manifestation or trapping of that experience. One doesn't necessarily have to make something to have the experience of art. It can be in one's interactions with life." - Eric Rhein

Explore the seductive realm of Eric Rhein.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

New Drawings by Felix d’Eon

Felix has been very busy in his studio lately. Jesse (Felix’s new assistant) informed me that the newest model A.J. is charming and very sexy.

Here is a great drawing inspired by him and you can see some photos of the model from Felix d'Eon's diary here.

Don’t miss this chance to get an original Felix d’Eon drawing of A.J. or limited edition prints of his other work on his eBay gallery.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Wrestling Dreams

Just a little painting made back in 2003. The theme was based on a drawing I found on the web - later found out that the original was by Gengoroh Tagame. Hope he doesn't mind too much...

Oil on board, 40x40 cm.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Male Physique Photography


Tell us a bit about yourself...

Although photography is one of my passions, it's not how I earn my living. I started out wanting a career in the arts but got sidetracked in college because I was more worried with supporting myself. Photography is also not my only creative outlet. I write fiction as well and someday I will find a way to put my words and my images together into something greater than the sum of the parts.

How did you get your start in photography?

I've been fascinated by picture taking since I first picked up the family Brownie as a kid. I did my first work with a 35mm camera and darkroom work in college. For years most of my work was casual scenic vacation photography. I didn't start to get serious with photography until I started to shoot men about ten years ago. I started at a nude photography workshop. I've always been into working out at the gym, but I have never been as successful at it as the guys I shoot. I guess those who can't turn themselves into gods, photograph them.

What steps did you take to learn photography?

After I got excited about shooting men I began taking evening courses at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Seeing the work of my instructors (many of whom were accomplished artists) and my fellow students opened my eyes and set me on fire creatively. I got to spend a lot of time in the darkroom working with both black and white and color and slowly developed an individual style for my work. Almost all my training is film based. I have worked with 35mm, medium format and large format cameras and have spent a lot of time working on special darkroom techniques like toning, bleaching, etc.

Tell us more about your favourite equipment and software?

My favorite camera is still my Minolta Maxxum 9. It operates flawlessly and even sounds beautiful when you press the shutter. I use strobe lights in all of my studio shoots and usually arrange the lights to create high contrast shadows on the models' bodies because it really makes muscle definition pop.

Which do you prefer? Film or digital camera?

My shoots are evenly split between the two right now. I have been working a lot with infrared film in the studio because I like the way it creates a soft glow. Since I work with strobe lights I also use very slow films like ASA 50, because they create images with broad tonal ranges. I like digital because of the immediacy of the results. After I drop off the film and the lab, I can start manipulating the raw images from the memory card and have something to see right away. I also like the low investment cost per image that you have with digital. Lately I have found that it motivates me to shoot more freely, to try things I wouldn't necessarily have tried with film because it costs so little per frame. I suppose when I upgrade my current digital camera to something that will create really large images, I will probably shoot less and less film, and then that big investment in darkroom equipment I made a few years ago will all be for nothing...

What inspires you?

The work of other artists, not just photographers, but painters, writers, dancers and musicians.

Do you find it easy to approach strangers for a photograph?

No. I rarely do. And when I do it rarely results in a shoot. I think most guys expect the men who approach them about pictures to have ulterior motives, especially when they want them to do nudes. Mainly I find my models through an agency that specializes in fitness guys.

What do you like or dislike most about being a photographer?

In the weeks leading up a shoot, I am really jazzed about the work, but the night before and the hours just before the shoot I get ambivalent about it, because the pressure to create something new and unique starts to bear down on me. If the shoot gets cancelled, I am almost relieved. Still when you load up the digital images on the computer or get back the proofs from the film shots it's always thrilling to see how the work has turned out.

Are you going to consider a career in photography?

I gave up hoping to make a living in photography pretty quickly. The only significant money is in commercial work, and I don't have the temperament for it. Also I enjoy shooting what I want and pleasing myself first.

Any advice you would give to other aspiring enthusiast photographers out there?

Ground yourself in the work of other photographers. Learn the tools of your trade (camera, lens, film, Photoshop) and take lots of pictures. It doesn't hurt to try to mimic the work of people whose images you admire at first. All great artists start out imitating other artists. Most of us do it badly though, and in the end we find our own style.

See more work by Thomas Mitchell on his blog and on his website.