1. 20

    Oct 2014

    Book Review ~ Ed Sheeran “a visual journey”

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    Before I get into this book review, I just want to make it clear that I have a personal interest in this book and the artist behind it, Mr Phillip Butah.

    I have known Phillip for some time now in a professional and personal capacity. His work has always inspired me and I was all too happy and humbled to provide him with my opinions when he first opened the conversation about putting this book together. Also for our Blog readers, it’s worth noting that this book is not an out and out art book, it’s more of an illustrated book of autobiographical memoirs. I would therefore recommend it to both fans of Ed Sheeran’s music and fans of illustration and portraiture alike. Although much of the accompanying visuals are the work of artist Phillip Butah, there is also some varied and complimentary photography.

    The Book Review:
    The UK version of the book (to which I have kindly been gifted a first edition of by Phillip himself) is published by Cassell Illustrated a division of Octopus Publishing Group Ltd.

    The hardback cover is a bright and striking luminous green wrapped in luxurious soft touch lamination. The cover contains a simple line illustration of Ed looking rather humble. This I felt was an excellent precursor to the overall flavour of the book which takes us on a journey through Ed’s more humble beginnings up until his latest’s album release. In fact humility is often an underlining feature within both Phillip Butah’s artistic portraits and Ed Sheeran’s music.

    Phillip’s forward highlights this fact quite clearly when he talks about the need to put in at least 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become really good at any discipline. He also explains how even though both himself and Ed have made the necessary sacrifices to get to the level they are at, they both instinctively know and feel they can always do more and always do better. He also talks about this at the end of the book (which is dedicated to Phillip and the way in which he works) where he states that he is his “own worst critic”, with an eye for seeing his own work’s imperfections.

    The book contains a variety of artistic styles and approaches however I find that its Phillip’s signature realism style that shines through. His images often look like he has deliberately peeled back some of the layers to reveal the inner workings and techniques used to create them. Leaving areas of the portraits only subtly rendered to create depth and interest. I personally like this idea as it creates a sense of imbalance or drama and can help draw your eye to what the artist finds interesting and what he wants to reveal about the person he is drawing.

    Some of the styles in the book include inspiration from Czech artist Alphonse Mucha and even Soviet propaganda art. He treats us to a variety of mediums including, pencils, watercolour & pen, biro sketches, full blown pastel renders and graphite on paper chiaroscuro illustrations.

    Ed Sheeran “a visual journey” is available to buy now. I think we will be seeing a lot more of Phillip Butah and his collaborations with Ed Sheeran.

    Ed Sheeran “a visual journey”
    Hardcover
    208 pages
    24.8 x 19.6 x 2.2 cm
  2. 17

    Oct 2014

    I’d Love To Draw by Andrew Loomis

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    I’d Love To Draw is out today in the UK! To celebrate Titan books have kindly sent over some rare photographs of the original book Andrew Loomis created.

    I’d Love To Draw was started by the Andrew Loomis, but he unfortunately died in 1959 before its completion. Held in the Loomis family archives for decades, the book’s existence was entirely unknown outside of the Loomis family – until now. Lovingly restored by a team of experts, including the globally-renowned and respected artist Alex Ross, Titan Books are finally publishing Loomis’ lost legacy. This facsimile edition finally completes the Loomis legacy at long last.

    We will have a full review of the book soon.

  3. 16

    Oct 2014

    Mike Yamada

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    Mike Yamada is a visual development artist for animation, and concept artist for video games. Some of his feature animation work includes Big Hero 6 (2014), How to Train your Dragon (2010), Monsters vs. Aliens (2009), and Kung Fu Panda (2008).

    Alongside his wife, Victoria Ying, he started a design studio called Extracurricular Activities. It houses their beautiful products, such as prints and apparel. They also take their knowledge on the road, holding lectures and workshops. Talking about knowledge, this excellent interview of the couple has back-back great advice any aspiring artist.

    A couple years ago, the pair took to Kickstarter to fund their ambitious children’s book Curiosities: An Illustrated History of Ancestral Oddity. As you can imagine it absolute bulldozed its original goal of $4,000 and went on to receive just under $50,000!

    Mike Yamada’s blog is filled with his concept art and sketches and well worth a gander.

  4. 15

    Oct 2014

    Scott Wills

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    I have recently taken a strong interest in colour theory, and colourist. Trying to understand why certain pallets work and how to come up them. There is a lot to learn from today’s feature. Presenting the work of Scott Wills, who is among other things, a master of colour.

    You may already be familiar with his work, especially if you are a fan of Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars, as Mr Wills worked on many of the backgrounds of those productions. His distinct style really helped set apart Samurai Jack from other animations of the time, something which I remember thinking when I first watched the show.

    Scott Wills has also provided background art for The Road to El Dorado (2000), Quest for Camelot (1998), as well as art directing Flushed Away (2006), and Monsters vs. Aliens (2009).

    Fascinatingly many of Mr Wills’ pieces are painted small in scale. With acrylic being his predominately medium of choice, he uses a range of techniques to get the look he wants. There are an excellent group of videos over on YouTube, of Mr Wills working on various Samurai Jack paintings. They are short, averaging around 6 minutes each, but long enough to give you some invaluable insight on how he goes about creating such beautiful backgrounds.

    You can find more of Scott Wills’ work on his blog, CandyCaneLane.

  5. 13

    Oct 2014

    Jens Claessens

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    Presenting the very lush work of Jens Claessens. Based in Antwerp, Belgium, Mr Claessens is a freelance visual development artist. As a freelancer and alongside visual development studio Votla he has worked with companies including Microsoft, Ubisoft, Sony, THQ, Mattel, and Warner Brother Games.

    One of Mr Claessens’ few comic was published in the very nifty mini Comicanthologie, DOLOR, amongst some very good company including Francis Vallejo and Michael Meier. Mr Claessens’ work has also been featured on the packaging for a Belgium bakery, Generous. Which in turn earned them two CCB Awards.

    To find more of Jens Claessens, head over to his website and blog.

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