Category: News / Exhibitions
  1. 25

    Mar 2015

    15 Webcomics You Really Should Read

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    15-webcomics

    There is no shortage of “must read webcomics” lists, both The Mary Sue and io9 have excellent lists. However, sometimes too much of a good thing is…actually a good thing!

    This list is based on webcomics that I have enjoyed or am currently enjoying. Undoubtedly there is always going to be some crossover with the many other lists out there, which is usually a good indication that you should read it already. With that said, I have also included some webcomics that don’t often make these types of lists. Seasoned Loungers may recognise quite a few of the names, as many illustrators on the list have been featured previously.

    In no particular order, here is the Illustrator’s Lounge’s list of 15 Webcomics You Really Should Read:

    1. His Face All Red
    Emily Carroll regularly puts out short webcomics, with her most recent being the creepy horror, All Along the Wall. One of my favourites, however, still has to be His Face All Red, which was released in 2010. Last year Emily Carroll published a collection of five of her most chilling tales in a the book, Through the Woods.

    2. Sarah and the Seed
    Ryan Andrews is another illustrator who has released multiple short webcomics. It is very hard to choose a favourite, I settled on Sarah and the Seed, but Our Bloodstained Roof is definitely a close second.

    3. Spera Comic
    The fantasy world of Spera, created and written by Josh Tierney invites artists from around the world to collaborate to each tell a small part of a greater story. The story so far has featured over 40 artist including Afu Chan and Timothy Weaver. The ongoing main Spera story has been collected into hardcover books, with three volumes currently released.

    4. Tiny Kitten Teeth
    The Tiny Kitten Teeth is a beautiful hand painted comic by Becky Dreistadt & Frank Gibson. It features a charismatic cat named Mewsli, which we follow in a world of vibrant and surreal adventures.

    5. Nimona
    Nimona is the fantastic medieval tale of the villainous Lord Ballister Blackheart and his spunky sidekick, Nimona. Created by Noelle Stevenson, who is currently writing for the Lumberjanes comic and Wander Over Yonder animation. You can read the first three chapters online, and read the story in its entirety in the HarperTeen collected verion.

    6. Delilah Dirk
    The stunning artwork of Tony Cliff really brings the characters of Delilah Dirk and her sidekick, Selim, to life as they travel around early 19th century Constantinople. You can read the first two volumes online now, which concludes in the First Second published book, Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant. Tony Cliff is currently working on the follow-up wich is set to be an even bigger visual feast.

    7. Skull Chaser
    Jake Parker is no stranger to delightful children-friendly comics, as proven with his contributions to the Flight Anthologies and his character, Missile Mouse. Skull Chaser marks Jake Parker’s first webcomic, and with issue one already under his belt, it is shaping up to be an action-packed sci-fi tale.

    8. As the Crow Flies
    As the Crow Flies is the touching tale by Melanie Gillman. Illustrated entirely with colour pencils, it began life in 2012 and is still ongoing, with updates usually falling on Mondays and Fridays.

    9. Sin Titulo
    Cameron Stewart is the current co-writer of Batgirl and artist of Fight Club 2 comics, but way back in 2007 he started a compelling mystery webcomic called Sin Titulo. It was completed in 2012, and compiled into a book and published by Dark Horse in 2013.

    10. Battlepug
    Winner of the Eisner, Harvey and Shel Dorf Award for best webcomic, Battlepug is Mike Norton’s Conan-inspired oddball action-adventure. Originally created to back up the creation of Norton’s t-shirt design, the webcomic spawned a life of it’s own, and has recently concluded volume 4. Our hero, The Warrior, fueled by revenge rides around on a gigantic talking pug battling monsters and mages. Exactly, what’s not to love.

    11. Axe Cop
    I do believe that most people have heard of the incredibly popular Axe cop webcomic. Its success has birthed toys, t-shirts, card games and even a TV Show on Fox. Created and drawn by Ethan Nicolle, it is based on the musings of his 5-year-old brother, Malachai.

    12. Table Titans
    Updated every Thursdays, Kurtz started Table Titans in 2014 as a spinoff of PvP. The creative team consists of Scott Kurtz writing and illustrating, the incredible Steve Hamaker (of Bone fame) as colourist, and Brian Hurtt doing the breakdowns.

    13. The Abominable Charles Christopher
    Starting way back in 2007, The Abominable Charles Christopher is sensitively illustrated by Karl Kerschl. It follows our protagonist, a sasquatch called Charles Christopher, and the lives of his forest friends. The story so far has also been collected in two volume, both in soft cover and strokable faux suede hardcover, which you can find in Karl Kerschl’s store.

    14. Twilight Monk
    I have been a fan of Trent Kaniuga ever since his Creed days, so it is no surprise that I am loving his current series Twilight Monk. It started in 2010, with the intentions of being a video game, it has so far concluded two books. Kaniuga is constantly expanding the Twilight Monk universe and is now working on an illustrated novel called The Man and The Moonkin.

    15. Green Monk
    From one monk to another, Green Monk concludes our lists. Starting late last year, the bi-weekly webcomic follows the adventures of the lone monk Alexey armed with a magical grass-blade. It is the continuation of Brandon Dayton graphic novel, of the same name. The webcomic artwork and storytelling is a big step up from the original graphic novel, which makes for some stunning illustration.

  2. 19

    Feb 2015

    Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends

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    Last week saw the launch of the National Portrait Gallery’s new major exhibition, Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends. This exhibition focuses on John Singer Sargent’s more personal and experimental paintings. Portraits of prominent actors, writers and musicians of the day. Many of whom were his close friends, including sculptor Auguste Rodin, artists Claude Monet and writer Robert Louis Stevenson.

    This major exhibition of over seventy portraits spans Sargent’s time in London, Paris, Boston and New York as well as his travels in the Italian and English countryside. Important loans from galleries and private collections in Europe and America make this an unmissable opportunity to discover the artist’s most daring, personal and distinctive portraits.

    As an extra treat, throughout the exhibition’s run, it will be accompanied by a range of events including lectures and life drawing.

    Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends is on now and will be concluding on the 25th of May. This is without doubt a must-see exhibition. I highly recommend, if you can, that you make time to go see it.

    Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends
    National Portrait Gallery
    12 February – 25 May 2015
    Tickets
    Full price £16 (with donation)
    Full price £14.50 (without donation)
    Student offer
    Every Tuesday during the exhibition Students can see the exhibition for £13.50 (£12 without donation).
  3. 9

    Dec 2014

    Book Review ~ 3DTotal’s Sketch Workshop

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    When 3DTotal offered the Illustrator’s Lounge an opportunity to review their Sketch Workshop series I jumped at the chance. I first heard about it through their exceedingly successful Kickstarter campaign. My intrigued was peaked, how would they tackle explaining some rather complex and layered subject matters to a novice?

    Expecting to receive one or two of the workbooks, when I opened the parcel to find the entire Sketch Workshop bundle, there was a genuine gasp of joy. It included the leather-style folder, all five workbooks, and a set of drawl-inducing drawing tools, including five Koh-I-Noor graphite pencils. It is a very attractive set, which I sat staring at for a while, before it suddenly dawned on me that I may need some help if I planned on doing a review of this set any justice.

    I decided to recruit the help of my 8-year-old cousin, (appropriately named) Arty. Definitely younger than the demographic that these workbooks are aimed for, but I was interested to see how accessible the tutorials are. I know that Arty already has an interest in illustration and has an attention span that could rival mine. So I knew it would not be too laborious to ask him to sit down for an hour or so and work through some of the pages with me.

    I thought that Robot & Spaceships and Creatures workbooks would be best, as I know that Arty has a love of cars, and as you can’t really draw “creatures” wrong, can you? When I arrived workbooks in hand and told Arty that today we will be drawing together, he got really excited. When I pulled out the stationary he got even more excited, which is an indication of a future artist if there ever was one.

    Given the choice of the two workbooks, Arty decided to go for Creatures. So I opened it up to a tutorial which looked the simplest. I showed him the page and explained what we would be drawing, then I read all the instructions to him, to which he responded “Wow, that’s hard”. I laughed and then tried to simplify the instructions a bit for him. He chose his pencils and got started.

    Interestingly I had already given the Anatomy workbook a go a few days earlier, and my initial reaction was very similar to Arty’s. I am a competent illustrator and there was not anything in the Anatomy workbook that I would particularly struggle drawing, but yet I found some of the tutorials intimidating. A combination of a beautifully rendered sketch accompanied with instructions that neglected to explain the basics just threw me off. All workbooks have multiple tutors, so this scenario is not case for all tasks, but it is a common theme across the workbooks.

    An example that came up when drawing with Arty was that he did not understanding the 3D aspect of the jaw and stuck to drawing the front row of teeth. I sketched a cylinder to help explain how he should think of a jaw and he quickly understood adapted his drawing to show back teeth. After an hour of drawing, Arty had filled a couple pages of A4 paper with a few pretty impressive creature teeth and dinosaur eyes. That was sadly as far as his attention span went. He then proceeded to shape the putty rubber into a rocket and throw it around the room. However, working alongside Arty’s helped me better gauge whom these workbooks are best suited to.

    It is sadly a tad advanced for an 8-year-old (specifically Arty). I felt the tutorials were a bit too specific for my own needs, but I will probably give Robots & Spaceships and Cityscapes another go, as I have always found this area of technical drawing difficult. So ruling out the novice and the seasoned illustrator (ahem) I would say that these books best suit intermediate artist, those who have a good grasps of the basics, understand construction well, and have just starting to push their art into a direction.

    Which brings me to the strength of the Sketch Workshop. It does a great job of encouraging the artist to really think. If you are drawing a creature, is it dangerous? If so where will their jaw hinge? If it is a robot, what fuel does it use? After you have really thought about the physicality of the drawing you are asked to consider lighting, so that you can render your drawing as realistic as possible too. These are definitely areas which can get left behind when learning to draw, so there is obvious merit in their approach.

    All in all, if I had the Sketch Workshop when I was in Secondary School it would likely be one of my most prized possessions. It is beautifully presented and impossible not to get excited about. I will surely be wrapping the bundle up and gifting it to Arty for Christmas, and just like a Christmas jumper, hope he grows into it.

    Try Sketch Workshops for FREE!

    3DTotal is currently giving away a free sample chapter of the Robots & Spaceships Sketch Workshop on their site. Check it out here.

    Sketch Workshop Bundle
    3DTotal Publishing
    Includes:
    The Sketch Workshop leather-style folder
    5 Workbooks (Anatomy, Characters, Creatures, Robots & Spaceships, Cityscapes)
    A set of drawing tools (graphite pencils, sketching pens, a putty rubber and dual pencil sharpener)
  4. 28

    Nov 2014

    Book Review ~ Sketching from the Imagination: Fantasy

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    Editors Note:

    In Sketching from the Imagination: Fantasy, 50 talented traditional and digital artists have been chosen to share their sketchbook works. Ranging from Hollywood film concept designers to talented students, each artist is handpicked from a vibrant international online art community. From doodles and sketches of creative creatures to fully rendered drawings of invented worlds, this book explores how 50 artists develop their ideas to create incredible images.

    The Book Review:

    A follow up to Sketching from the Imagination, Sketching from the Imagination: Fantasy is a chunky square size paperback that showcases a plethora of illustrators. Many of whom I was being introduced to for the first time. Like many artist, I love flicking through other people’s sketchbooks. There is an element of freedom and expression in an artist sketchbook that rarely translate into their commercial work which make them so captivating.

    Sketching from the Imagination: Fantasy has around 6 pages per illustrator and cherry picks drawings from each of their sketchbooks. In this regard it does not quite feel like thumbing through their personal sketchbook pages, warts and all. It is more flaunting how beautiful and creative a sketch can be. Each illustrator has a short description about themselves and their work. They also talk about their inspirations, techniques and materials. I particularly enjoyed reading the variety of materials the illustrators use, which it should satisfy any of us with a stationery fetish. Interestingly, and perhaps slightly fruitless, a large amount of the features claim to use only a HB pencil.

    As mentioned in the editor’s note, there are 50 feature illustrators, all unique in style. There were a few illustrators whom I feel are of particular note, such as Wylie Beckert, George Guo, Paul Sullivan, and Sean Andrew Murray.As well as Adonna Khare and Jim Pavelec who show off some marvellous fully rendered work that can quite easily be the finished article.

    Overall Sketching from the Imagination: Fantasy is enjoyable to flick through introducing a host of artist whose styles should satisfies all tastes. I found it especially useful reading the insight from the individual illustrators. The vital upshot that comes from reading the book is it raising the bar of your own sketchbook, with many of the illustrators setting a rather high benchmark to follow.

    Sketching from the Imagination: Fantasy
    3DTotal Publishing
    Paperback
    320 pages
    25 x 216 x 235mm
  5. 6

    Nov 2014

    1000th post ~ Kyri Kyprianou

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    With this post The Lounge has reached a rather large milestone, 1000 posts. Thinking about that got me a little nervous. I started to question what illustrator would best mark this milestone. One of my favourite illustrators? One of the greats of yesteryear? One of the ground-breaking new talent? Since this blog is all about inspiration, I asked myself, “who has inspired me most?” Well, that was an easy question to answer. Without a doubt that would be my cousin, and fellow Lounge author, Mr Kyri Kyprianou.

    I wont be able to get around the fact that this will be a slightly personal post, but I will try to keep it on track. Kyri is roughly two years older than me, and being older has two years more experience and drawing time than I. Two years that as a child I tried, in vain, to catch up on. We would often draw together, spending whole weekends doing nothing but that, only taking a break to go buy some penny sweets. Kyri always seemed to figure out things way quicker than I could. Whilst I jumped styles with each drawing, Kyri nailed a pretty unique style early on. His work, without a doubt was my yard stick.

    Kyri studied animation at the Kent Institute of Art & Design. After three years of disciplined working habits his pencils tightened up considerably. He was using shapes more and his illustrations demonstrated an economy of style. At this point I knew there was no chance of me catching up to his level. But of course that didn’t deter me, it only made me aim higher.

    After university Kyri went on to intern at a small London animation studio, called C.H.A.S.E., where he learnt the art of pitching. Not long after we both joined forces, along with Mr Tarkan Paphiti, to create the Illustrator’s Lounge. Effectively a group of illustrators united under one banner. In that time Kyri produced character designs for online video games, web animations, and spear-headed the Paper Project. Kyri has always comfortably jumped between mediums, and though he was a bit of a technophobe at first, rapidly mastered the tools of photoshop and illustrator.

    Currently Kyri works as a graphic designer and illustrator for a web development company, where he has picked up new disciplines, such as branding and typography. In his spare time he is also working on a children’s animation pitch along with comic book writer David Berner.

    Having an artist to work with, bounce ideas off, and critique your drawings is invaluable. It can often be difficult working and developing your skills in solitude, so I knew how lucky I was to have access to such a great talent. His work has been, and remains, my greatest inspiration.

    Thanks Kyri!

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