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Archive for the ‘Illustration’ Category

Little Golden Books and other vintage illustrations

Alice in Wonderland Big Golden Book cover

If you’re a fan of Little Golden Books, or indeed the mid-century illustration by the likes of Mary Blair, Mel Crawford, Tom Oreb, Alice and Martin Provensen — to name a few — drag yourself over to the Golden Gems blog immediately.

Be sure to delve into the Walt Disney and Hanna Barbera stuff too.

I could honestly spend the rest of the afternoon pawing through the pages. (via John K)

Backgrounds: The art behind the animation

Lilo and Stich watercolour background

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of all aspects of animation, from concept artwork to storyboards to roughs to the finished scene. One often overlooked piece of the animation puzzle is the humble background. Whilst the eye is drawn to the life of the moving characters on screen little attention is often given to the illustrated scene behind.

The Animation Backgrounds blog digitally removes characters from scenes and stitches together panned shots to reveal the uncluttered artwork underneath. There’s a wealth of background artwork here from the watercolours of Lilo and Stitch (above) to the Mary Blair-inspired Alice in Wonderland. (via Aegir)

Vintage Disney newspaper comic strips

Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strip from 1930

D23, the new Disney fan community, are putting up classic newspaper comic strips every day. Right now they’re showing vintage Mickey Mouse strips from 1930, Donald Duck dailies from 1938 and Scamp (the son of Lady and the Tramp) from 1955.

There doesn’t seem to be any sort of archive, unfortunately, but hopefully they’ll add one in the future. And an RSS feed, please!

Little Big Planet’s “Sacktue of Liberty”

Little Big Planet's Statue of Liberty costume

To celebrate 4th July this year, Media Molecule are offering a free downloadable “Sacktue of Liberty” costume for your Sackboy or girl to wear. If the summer solstice is more your cup of tea then you’ll be after the druid costume from last week, also free to download.

If they’re not cool enough for you, then how about these lovely in-game stickers designed by illustrator Jon Burgerman? They’ll set you back a couple of Dollars/Pounds/currency of choice though.

You’ll need a copy of Little Big Planet on the Playstation 3 to grab any of these and the Liberty costume is available world-wide from July 2nd.

Brushes: The iPhone drawing app

Examples of art produced on the Canvas iPhone app

Here’s a fantastic must-have little app for any illustrator, artist or designer… providing they have an iPhone, of course!

Brushes allows you to use your iPhone handset as a virtual canvas, with your finger as the “brush”. When I was originally told about this I was pretty sceptical… how could you achieve any kind of detail with a big fat finger on a tiny screen? I was happily proved wrong. While it doesn’t have any kind of pressure sensitivity it does allow you select brush sizes, types and zoom in for those trickier parts.

If that’s not enough to get you to grab it already, what if I told you that artist Jorge Colombo has already had his Brushes art featured in (and of the cover of) the New Yorker Magazine? Thought so. Brushes is available for £2.99/$4.99 from the iTunes App store.

Images by Jorge Colombo on the iPhone Brushes app

Also check out these sketches produced by Disney Art Director, Stef Kardos. Anyone know of any other artists doing cool stuff with this thing? (thanks Steve)

Brushes £2.99/$4.99 (iTunes App Store link)

Lost Charley Harper paintings found

Lost Charley Harper paintings

The Charley Harper Museum have revealed on their blog that a number of lost paintings by Charley Harper produced for the Ford Times and Lincoln Mercury Times magazines in the 1960s have been discovered deep within their archives.

The discovery of these paintings came as a surprise even to Charley’s son Brett. “I felt like I was opening a buried treasure chest that had been locked up for more than 35 years.”

The Estate and Studio have already respectfully declined several immediate offers for portions of the priceless collection. Brett believes that as the market begins to understand what the collage originals of birds, fish, and travel series represent—the rarest of the rare—collectors will be stunned.

Some of the pieces will be exhibited at the Fabulous Frames & Art Gallery in Chicago from July 11th until August 8th 2009. I can only hope they make an appearance somewhere closer to me in the future! (via Grain Edit)

Update: You can see a whole load more of them here: Long Lost Charley Harper (thanks Ward!)

Otaku magazine issue 5: Play

Otaku magazine spread

Just a quickie! Otaku magazine’s “Play” issue is now out.

“Serious play represents a feature of any otaku’s activity. Basically you play, but you do it with the greatest dedication, seriousness and interest. We don’t want to be the prisoners of the industries that bet on our ability as playful mammals, but we desire to know them and explore their limits. Otaku PLAY explores the universe of players and play of all kinds. How and when you play. What you learn while playing and where do you risk arriving when you remain blocked within the same play.”

Otaku is an independent magazine from Romania which promotes Japanese-inspired visual arts. This issue comes with an interactive DVD and a superb 60cm x 40cm New York EbOY poster.

Also check out their blog for much much more of the same! (via Sam)

Martin and Alice Provensen: Creating Tony the Tiger

Tony the Tiger by the Provensens, with Groucho Marx

Leif Peng has a superb piece over at his blog, “Today’s Inspiration”, on Martin and Alice Provensen’s creation of Tony the Tiger, the long-standing spokes… uh, -tiger for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes (“Frosties” to us over this side of the pond). As it turns out, Tony wasn’t the only animal auditioning for the part…

Tony the Tiger’s birth was noteworthy enough to make it into the news briefs section of the September 1953 issue of Art Director and Studio News. The short piece mentions that Tony was not the only cartoon mascot intended for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. There was also Katy the Kangaroo and Zeke the Zebra, and from doing a little research I discovered that Elmo the Elephant and Newt the Gnu were also under consideration.

Busted Up Pokémon by Justin White

Justin White's Busted Up Pokémon

Californian illustrator and designer Justin White has been creating a series of Pokémon portrait illustrations.

The idea was to capture each character after a long battle
recuperating inside their pokeball. Or maybe I just wanted to imagine pokemon in a lot of pain. This was really just a fun way to keep active and creative.

You can find all of them on his Flickr stream or in his portfolio. While you’re there, also check out his other great projects including the Mario Brothers portraits and the Alphabet vector illustrations.

Wondering if I can fit the word “illustration” into this article one more time. Done. Enjoy!

Terrible Yellow Eyes, illustration inspired by Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are

Clay Sisk's Terrible Yellow Eyes submission

With the Spike Jonze-directed movie forthcoming, illustrator Cory Godbey has started an awesome project, Terrible Yellow Eyes, to celebrate Maurice Sendak’s illustrated children’s classic, Where the Wild Things Are. He’s invited numerous talented artists to contribute their own works, inspired by the book itself.

Over the coming weeks and months I’ll display a growing collection of works created by invited contributing artists and myself. We share a love and admiration for Sendak’s work and the pieces we present here are done as a tribute to his life and legacy.

Simply put, like a visual love letter to the book, with Terrible Yellow Eyes I am seeking to celebrate and promote the original masterwork by Maurice Sendak in the best way I know how — with pictures.

I was going to write a list of my personal favourites from the collection but there are simply too many to mention!

Maurice Sendak celebrated his 81st birthday on Wednesday. Happy birthday Maurice!

(discovered via Ward, who’s contributed this lovely illustration to the project)

Update: Lindsey just drew my attention to the We Love You So blog. It’s a diary of multitude of stuff that has inspired the making of the film adaptation by the film crew themselves.

Update Sept 3rd 2009: Terrible Yellow Eyes will now be running as an exhibition at the Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California between September 19th and October 6th, 2009.