Accommodating for Distance

When trying to depict a character as being far away, we tend to draw that character smaller. Consider also accommodating for that distance by dropping details and creating a simpler version of your character. Observe the varied levels of details depicted in the main character in Jake Wyatt’s Necropolis in the image at the head of this post (and below the fold). For that matter, consider how Wyatt does the same thing for the background elements: note the detail in the windmill in panel one and compare it with the same structure as drawn in panel seven. Also in that last panel, notice how the paved road and countryside is depicted in the foreground (the space in front of the character, in this case) and in the distant background. Continue Reading ›

Drawing Hands

Hands often pose an especially scary challenge to many students; there’s something about them that will cause even the most confident artist to feel like they’re a beginner again. This post features handy hand reference to supplement the hand handouts I hand out in class.

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Main Street USA Project

The next phase in our architecture project will introduce the elevation drawing.

An elevation is a view of a building seen from one side, a flat representation of one façade. This is the most common view used to describe the external appearance of a building. Each elevation is labelled in relation to the compass direction it faces, e.g. the north elevation of a building is the side that most closely faces north. Buildings are rarely a simple rectangular shape in plan, so a typical elevation may show all the parts of the building that are seen from a particular direction. *

More below the fold:

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Los Angeles by Ian Wood

Los Angeles from Ian Wood on Vimeo:

This is the city-wide follow up to my aerial exploration of downtown Los Angeles from last year ( And much like with downtown, I continue to be awe struck by how much of this vast city I have partially or completely overlooked before undertaking this video. And like most voyages of discovery, I’ve realize there’s so much more to find.

Packing it all into one short-form video has been nigh impossible and much didn’t make it for safety, privacy or simply because I couldn’t make it 30 minutes long! Notably missing are: LAX Theme Building, both Gettys, some Lautner homes, numerous beautiful buildings, the Gabba gallery, many murals that vanished before I got to them, and much of downtown featured in last year’s video. A map of the locations is here:

This is a great piece to look at as we begin our Architecture Unit in General Art.

Cynthia Rose on Belgian Comics

Their tale is as unlikely as it is significant. Few of these artists had dreamed of working in anything like cartooning. Whether it was a life at sea, fine art or detective fiction, their first ambitions were a reaction to the Belgium where they grew up. Society there was mostly sober, parochial and largely Catholic. But then came the World War II, Occupation and Liberation – the first utterly traumatizing, the latter establishing a Euro-dependence on its “liberator.” 

From films to comics, cars to clothes, all of Europe felt the pull of post-War US style. But, within a decade, these artists managed to fuse it with a European and Francophone experience. Certainly the best of them – Hergé, Franquin, Morris, and Macherot – drew like geniuses. But it was really thanks to insight, intuition and sheer insouciance that they transformed modest genre stories into something all their own. They gave the European comic an architecture much of which remains with it today.

The Belgians Who Changed Comics by Cynthia Rose (The Comics Journal)


Alexi Worth on Jack Kirby

Born Jacob Kurtzberg on the (then) squalid streets of New York’s Lower East Side, Kirby was a James Cagney-ish figure—a short, tough, talented kid who never finished high school. In his early 20s, Kirby turned bitter memories of ethnic street fights into the idealistic anti-Nazi pugilism of Captain America, his first comic book success.4 Only a few years later, he was drafted and sent to battle actual Nazis in France. After the war, Kirby weathered the ups and downs of the comics industry, finally triumphing in the glory years of the early 1960s, when he and writer/editor Stan Lee created a string of wildly imaginative characters and plots—the Marvel superhero universe.

Genius in a Box by Alexi Worth (Art in America, January 2016)

Check out examples of Kirby artwork below the fold:

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