23 August 2016

Mort Drucker

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The National Cartoonists Society has released a 40-minute video profiling legendary cartoonist and illustrator Mort Drucker.


Mars Huang (B6 Drawing Man)

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Mars Huang (B6 Drawing Man), watercolor and ink sketches
Mars Huang is an artist based in Japan (I think — most of the pieces are labeled as scenes from Japan and Taiwan). Though he signs his work “Mars”, his Tumblr blog credits him only as “B6 Drawing man”; it wasn’t until I followed a link to one of his process videos on Vimeo, that I came across his actual name.

His blog is filled with delightfully loose and gestural ink and watercolor sketches of architecture, interior spaces, and, in particular, quirky vehicles like scooters and small cars — often loaded down with luggage.

He excels at reducing complex subjects down to their linear essentials, highlighting them with just enough touches of color to give you a sense of texture and presence.

Be sure to follow the link trough to the larger images on his blog, the small example images I’m posting here don’t give an adequate feeling for the work.



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MikePloog: MissingPiece

Jean-Baptiste Monge

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Jean-Baptiste Monge


Albert Dorne

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Famous Artists Course, 1954 edition 

Preston Blair

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 Preston Blair’s Animation (Book 1) is the best “how to” book on cartoon animation ever published. When Blair put the book together in 1947, he used the characters he had animated at Disney and MGM to illustrate the various basic principles of animation. Apparently, the rights to use some of the characters were revoked after the book was already in the stores. Publication was halted for a time, and he was forced to redraw most of the MGM characters, replacing them with generic characters of his own design. The revised edition went on to become a classic, and the first edition was forgotten.

21 August 2016

Cartoon Tips from the 1930s

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Cartoonist Bill Nolan (1896-1954) helped to create the classic rubber hose style of animation when he worked along with Otto Messmer on the Felix the Cat cartoons. 

In 1936, he wrote a little book called Cartooning Self-Taught, which presents the 1930s style.  The heads, hands, and body shapes are based on circles—or really spheres. The pupils are tall pie-cut ovals.

Men's feet are big and clown-like, with a low instep and a balloon toe. Each type of character should have a distinctive shoe: "A tramp needs tattered footwear; a dude requires shoes with spats; a farmer, boots."

Arms and legs get thicker as they go away from the body. Darks are shaded with parallel curving strokes. Poses are extreme and dynamic. Nolan says, "Comics are much more interesting if they seem to be doing something rather than remaining stationary." 

Characters can be created by using circles of different sizes. I like the angry cook with the elbows forward, the fat tycoon, and the cop swinging his billy club.

The dog, bear, and cat are doing a gait called a rack or pace, where both right legs move in tandem and both left legs move in tandem.

An assortment of animals "are all made from combinations of circles," he says. "There is no end to what you can do if you get firmly fixed in your mind the idea of building comics from the basic circles."

You can see the influence not only on the early Disney animators, but also on illustrators like R. Crumb and Dr. Seuss.

04 August 2016

Moran's Yellowstone Watercolors

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Capturing Nature

Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, watercolor on paper, 1895, Amon Carter Museum of the American Art, Fort Worth, TX

It is interesting to think about ways that art has changed the world. Thomas Moran, along with William Henry Jackson, is an artist who brought attention to the Yellowstone region.  His art ultimately led to the conservation of the land and its dedication as a national park.  For many years tales had been told of the unusual region, but it was the art that convinced congress to act. Yellowstone was set aside as the world's first national park in 1872. It took a few years to establish an organization to oversee the parks (others were created in the following years- Yosemite, Crater Lake, Mount Rainier among others.) This year marks the 100th year anniversary of the national park service. Please enjoy some of Thomas Moran's watercolor sketches of Yellowstone.

Cinnabar Mountain, Yellowstone River (watercolour) - Moran Thomas
Thomas Moran, Cinnabar Mountain, Yellowstone River, watercolor on paper, 1871, Yellowstone National Park

The Great Blue Spring of the Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone, by Thomas Moran/Library of Congress.
Thomas Moran, The Great Blue Spring of the Lower Geyser Basin, Library of Congress Washington, DC

Moran watercolor of Castle Geyser
Thomas Moran, The Castle Geyser in the Upper Geyser Basin, watercolor on paper, 1871, Yellowstone National Park

File:Thomas Moran - Above Tower Falls, Yellowstone.jpg
Thomas Moran, Above Tower Falls, watercolor and gouache on paper, 1871, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

Thomas Moran, The Yellowstone Range from near Fort Ellis, watercolor on paper, 1871, Yellowstone National Park

Thomas Moran, In the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, watercolor on paper, July 1871, National Park Service

Thomas Moran, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, watercolor on paper, 1872, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK

I'll end with a few pictures of mine from a recent Yellowstone visit.  I am looking forward to creating some watercolors inspired by my time at Yellowstone and these photos.
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Hayden Valley

Grand Prismatic Spring

Cistern Spring

Old Faithful

Old Faithful

Castle Geyser

Find more of Moran's work here.
Read part of Moran's journal from his time at Yellowstone.

Do you have a favorite park?

more t.s.sullivant

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sullivant 19992

another rare SULLIVANT masterpiece in color

© sullivant


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A preview of the process video that will be available for download on Monday, Aug. 1st. You can pay what you want per download with a minimum of $1 USD ($2 for international/outside of United States).

Soon to be available at http://ift.tt/2aoopcW.

Nicole Gustafsson

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Nicole Gustafsson, illustration
Nicole Gustafsson is an illustrator based in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. whose richly colored images of enchanted forests lit by glowing prisms are painted in traditional media — often Acryla Gouache and ink on wood panels.

Gustafsson utilizes a light touch with her linework, allowing her colors to carry the primary definition of her forms, and inviting the viewer into her compositions with contrasts of hue and value.

The gallery on her website is divided into subject matter, and her blog offers additional pieces, works in progress, announcements of shows and images of her work in situ, in which it is easier to see the realationship of the painted image to the base. Often areas of the wood are left open around the outside of the image.

[Via The Verge]