Archives for posts with tag: pencil

In honor of National Coffee Day, we thought it fitting to showcase an artist who (subtly) uses the magical brown elixir to make art. Maui-based mixed-media artist Alessandra Maria creates beautifully detailed, dark and delicate portraits using little more than a pencil, black ink and gold leaf on coffee-stained paper. Inspired by Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt, Maria’s haunting life-like portraits evoke fantasy and mystery with intricate details set on an eerily enigmatic surface achieved through the coffee’s dark brown grounds. There are even religious overtones in these thought-provoking masterpieces. Maria’s work is simply beautiful and poignant.

Via alessandramaria.com

In an effort to come full circle in recognizing the very polarizing Common Core testing in New York over the past two weeks, we bring you another “math meets art” post. This time it’s the work of Venezuelan architect and illustrator Rafael Araujo, and his very technical approach to capturing the mathematical brilliance of nature. With simple drafting tools (pencil, ruler, compass, protractor), Araujo takes much pleasure and pride being unplugged from technology while exploring three dimensionality (yes, without the aid of a computer), which can take up to 100 hours to create a single complex composition. We cannot wrap our brains around how one would even begin to approach this, so needless to say, we are in complete awe of Araujo. As are the thousands of backers who contributed to his Kickstarter campaign to publish a book of his work, which began several months ago with a goal just over $20,000. Araujo has since raised over a quarter of a million dollars to date, with the help of Sydney, Australia-based husband and wife team Melinda and Andres Restrepo. The Restrepos were so taken with Araujo’s work online, they approached him about creating a book. Capitalizing on the growing popularity of “adult coloring books” (c’mon, not X-rated, but those touting supposed “stress relieving” patterns), the project to publish the Golden Ratio Coloring Book is forging ahead. When you look at the sampling of Araujo’s work below, just keep in mind that they are all done by hand. Simply breathtaking.

Via rafael-araujo.com

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Most 20-somethings use social media to simply keep up with friends and publicize their weekend exploits. But young Italian artist Atena Neezy takes to Facebook and Instagram to showcase her stellar pencil portraiture. Neezy also posts time-lapse process videos on YouTube that are simply amazing. What a terrific use of social media to disseminate one’s art. The social media-minded Neezy even manages to get some of her work into the hands of her famous subjects, and posts photos. What’s notable about Neezy is not only her incredible artistic talent — achieving photo-realistic likenesses with little more than some pencil lead and her keen eye — but also her savvy approach to promoting her work. We’re actually surprised that she doesn’t have a larger following. In time, we’re sure.

Via Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

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People show appreciation for their friends in many different ways. Milan-based illustrator/artist Thomas Cian reserves pages of a Moleskine journal for emotive pencil drawings of those closest to him. And given his supreme illustration skills, we’d say each mini-masterpiece is quite a tribute. His sense of composition and use of the spreads is terrific. The details and nuances of shading he achieves with a simple piece of graphite is really impressive. Cian is a very gifted artist, and we should consider ourselves lucky to be exposed to such raw and personal work.

Via Behance

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Cape Town artist, and self-described miniaturist, Lorraine Loots is big on talent. Back in January 2013 Loots began painting a miniature piece each day, aptly naming the project 365 Paintings for Ants. And when we say miniature, we mean minuscule… some are barely as large as one’s thumbnail. Her love for detail, however, is not at all diminutive and does not suffer in the least by the very small scale of her works. With little more than pencils, extremely fine paint brushes and a magnifying glass, Loots creates a unique work of art each day. For the first iteration of the project in 2013 her subjects were decidedly random. From something that pertained to her day, to a special event for a particular date, to even suggestions by others. Loots explains: “I see it as a kind of an interactive project. I’m definitely not the tortured artist sitting in a corner expressing my emotions. I’m influenced by everything around me.” For 2014, Loots decided to focus on Cape Town, in honor of its distinction of being named World Design Capital by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) for its dedication to using design for social, cultural and economic development. Loots sells each original framed painting, as well as a very limited run of archival prints. Not only are her artistic skills prodigious, her entrepreneurial spirit is also impressive. Be sure to also check out the beautifully produced video below. We look forward to the project’s evolution for the coming year!

Via lorraineloots.com

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In this age of computer-aided design and art, we have a certain appreciation for good old pencil to paper. And if some of our past posts are any indication (here and here and here), we are really taken with what is often referred to as “hyperrealism”. So when we stumbled across the work of self-taught Ukrainian artist Kseniia Rustamova, we just had to share. Though she’s not being commissioned for big budget ad campaigns or high-profile gallery shows (that we know of), Rustamova’s talents in this field seem limitless. The details in her highlights and shadows really define her work… her subjects really pop off the page, and almost appear photographic. Really impressive.

Via rustamova.daportfolio.com

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French illustrator/designer Florian Nicolle employs mixed media to create wonderfully complex portraits that are so bold, yet nuanced, that they almost seem to move. With newsprint, watercolor, pencil, ink and Photoshop in his arsenal, Nicolle’s meticulously crafted chaos has been sought after by some pretty high profile clients, including Nike, Puma, Los Angeles Times and ESPN, among others. We love his style, and look forward to keeping an eye on his growing portfolio.

Via Behance

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What often sets an illustrator apart is style. And skill varies, of course. London-based illustrator/designer Alexis Marcou has the total package, so to speak. The level of detail and realism he achieves is quite remarkable, but his style is also extraordinary. In this self-initiated series spanning more than two years, Marcou captures something really special in four (very different) iconic musical artists. In his own words, “The biggest challenge in technical terms was to preserve the same style throughout even though the four main artists presented here are very different to one another. The whole idea behind this project was to create a style bold enough to fit any music artist without distorting his/her identity.” Seriously enviable work here, folks.

Via alexismarcou.com

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French illustrator Pez has a passion for pencil drawing, and it shows. Using different grades of pencils, Pez achieves stunning three-dimensionality. His attention to detail is truly awe-inspiring. And the composition of these sketchbook shots is impressive too.

Via Behance

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New Jersey-based multidisciplinary designer and illustrator Michael Molloy has an incredible archive of illustrations that showcase not only his freehand skills, but also his Photoshop proficiency. What could easily turn into a gratuitous marriage of pencil and Photoshop, is actually really well balanced in Molloy’s care. His excellent drawing skills are only punctuated by the touch of digital flavor. In Malloy’s own words, “[my illustration work] speaks to the type of work I love the best. I enjoy working analog as much as possible, and then experiment with mixing in digital medium.” Well done.

Via madebymolloy.com and Facebook

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