Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Interesting idea

Andy Haigh on Facebook drew my attention to this the other day, I thought it was worth sharing.

Have you ever been to a thrift store (think Goodwill or Salvation Army) and noticed that they usually carry a small selection of landscape paintings? Artists Chris McMahon and Thryza Segal decided to inject a little fun into these discarded works and give them a second life by adding monsters to the scenic landscapes.
The trick is to match the paint originally used (e.g., acrylic or oil) and try to blend the monsters into the original scene as if they were always there. It can be a challenge if the original is too textured or old but the results (below) speak for themselves. It’s a fun exploration and one the Sifter enjoyed. Hope you do as well!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Richard W. "Dick" Sprang (July 28, 1915 - May 10, 2000)

Dick Sprang is another  name on the list of artists that inspired me to draw as a kid. I love Sprang's art, I can't get enough of it. I  have considered  that maybe it's because it has childhood memories attached to it , which may be true, but in fact, for the most part, it is  that his art work is simply beautiful to look at. The Batman fans, at the time,  didn't tag him, "the good Batman artist", for nothing. 
What I love about Sprang's work is his strong line work  and use of shadows making  those early Batman stories seem less super hero and more crime noir (for a younger audience). His depiction of Batman as a big, solid,  barrel chested, square jawed heck of a guy will always stay with me. It would not surprise me to find that the aesthetic of Bruce Timm's Animated Batman tv series of the 90's  was based on Sprang's designs. May be it was? 
I don't know a great deal about Dick Sprang apart the scant information I have read on blogs (see list of links  below) and on wikipedia, and there are far too few collections of his work in print (unless of course you are prepared to shell out a king's ransom for the original Batman  and Detective Comics issues that contain his work.)  I wish DC would print an omnibus collection of his work  (with high quality reproductions) as , in my opinion, his work is not celebrated enough.  I believe that the style of the  60's Batman tv show, starring Adam West, owed a lot to Sprang's art work.

Yes, there are many contemporary artists (Jim Lee, David Finch, Tim Sale, Alex Ross, etc) producing uber awesome  Batman art, but for me , Dick Sprang , will always be "the good Batman artist".

Blogs of interest

Sunday, 1 April 2012


Ok, as you will remember , the last class of term crammed a lot in as usual which that I left out the class review. Unforgivable! So, here is this terms class review.
First off, I'm very pleased with the results of this term. I think there were some good developments.
 In Alphabetical order:


Andy, to say this was your first return to drawing in quite some time I think you produced some very promising work. Your style is similar to Orazio's, in that you use strong, bold  line work and darks and solids  to define your work.  I  was also impressed with your figure work, keep  developing this and your art will develop in leaps and bounds. Good work.

 Gavin, some good developments this term although not many finished pieces. I like the blending technique in the recent exercise (see above) I think your understanding and use of light and shade is definitely improving. I would like to see your ink work develop further, especially with regard to the hatching style. I know you will have little time for drawing soon as you will be full on focused with your new arrival (I am sure you'll be a great dad) but I hope you will be able to return to drawing some time in the future, even if it is not in my class.
If you manage to finish any of the class pieces, please post them on facebook.

Orazio, every term  shows steady improvement in your work and this term was no exception.
Three completed works this term. A good turnover of work!
 I was most impressed with  winged female (above top left ), the shading and figure work is probably your best  so far. The only negative comment is regarding the heavy line work around the face  due to numerous reworkings. Try to nail your drawing, ruling out any imperfections during the development stage of your drawing. remember to use lighter  pencil pressure  when mapping out your drawing. Once you are happy that you have nailed you can then apply your heavy tones and line work.


Richard, some great developments in your work this term. Considering that each term is only 20 hours (plus some extra time you put in at home) you have made some really big improvements in a  short  space time. Your ink work  is coming along fine. I hope you develop your confidence in applying  the use of solid blacks to your work as it really does make your art so much stronger.

Tamsin, good work this term. Your stand out pieces  were definitely the dragon and the faun in how you approached use light and shading. If you manage to finish any other pieces over the break, please post them on face book.

 I was looking forward to more completed pieces from you this term, but what you did produce was really good. Nice textures and lines on the gunslinger. You have a book full of unfinished sketches and great ideas, I hope you feel encouraged to revisit some of those  and bring them to life. If you find time to complete any of those, please post them on facebook or your blog.

Ok, that wraps up this term but I will be posting more things of interest on this blog over the coming weeks so remember to check back to see what's new.