Category: News / Exhibitions
  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. 24

    Sep 2014

    Phantom Limb / LNWC

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    Phantom Limb is a short animation created by Australian animation director Alex Grigg, in association with Late Night Work Club. It has done the rounds this year at many prestigious film festivals, including Sundance Film Festival, and the Annecy International Animation Festival, picking up multiple awards along the way. The melancholy, yet enchanting animation is enhanced by its choppy pacing and notable eerie sound design. To find out more about the project, take a look at Mr Grigg’s write up.

    Slight tangent from illustration here, but if this animation has made you the slightest bit inquisitive of phantom limbs, and you would like to know more, you absolutely must read Phantoms in the Brain.

  4. 24

    Jul 2014

    Really Cheap and Really Useful Books for Illustrators

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    We are going to do something a little different for today’s post. I recently picked up a copy of The Anatomy of Costume from Amazon for the enthralling price of 1 pence. A perfectly good book, in a perfectly acceptable condition. This got me thinking, how great it would if there were a whole list of useful art books that were being sold for a penny? I did a little Google-fu to see what was out there already, after not finding anything I decided to make my own list and share it with you, my fellow Loungers.

    This list of 30 books breaks down into four main categories, Reference, Tutorial, Fine Art and Other. I specifically chose books from a broad range of creative fields and would have loved to throw in a couple books on design or architecture, but sadly could not find anything worthy for so cheep.

    Just in case some of you are thinking, what is the point of buying a book when you have a wealth of reference of the internet? Firstly, as shocking as it may seem, not everything is on the internet; sometimes that dissected image of that flower you need can only be found in a book. Personally, I prefer working with a book in front of me rather than a screen. Ultimately buying books will introduce you to things you weren’t looking for, which is the best way to expand your pool of inspiration. Not to mention, these books are a penny, you cheapskate!

    I should mention that I own a lot of the books in this list, most of which I spent a lot more than a penny to buy. Suffice to say their value is much higher than their price tag.

    Enough rambling, here is the list:

    Reference

    General

    Costume

    History

    Tutorial

    Fine Art

    General

    Artist

    Other

  5. 25

    Jun 2014

    Interview ~ John Harris

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    Last month saw Titan’s release of The Art of John Harris – Beyond the Horizon. A carefully curated collection of artist John Harris’ recent work and older pieces. It’s large format beautifully showcases a variety of Mr. Harris’ futuristic paintings, sketches, acrylics and watercolours.

    To celebrate, Titan Books very kindly gave us the opportunity to interview John Harris about the book and his carer.

    Q. You have dedicated over 30 years to Sci-Fi. What attracted you into the genre, and what is it about Sci-Fi that has sustained your interest?

    A. The sense of a larger perspective, wider horizons, the unknown, something about the evolutionary possibilities of Man. All of that.

    Q. You often seem to combine of the fantastical with the plausible, incorporating building and mechanical structures that are familiar. Is this a conscious effort to make your worlds more believable?

    A. Yes, this is a crucial point, mixing the possible with the apparently impossible. We may pretend to know the difference but actually, we just don’t know what is possible. Embedding fantasy within the known and credible, makes it easier to relate to, and also raises the question ‘how?’. There is excitement there, in that question.

    Q. Born in London, you now live and work in Devon. How much do you think your environment influences your work?

    A. Yes, living in a rural setting has definitely shaped a lot of the imagery. The weather and the light that springs from it makes its presence felt in much of the work. And the cycle of growth and decay which is always in your face here, is constantly finding its way in.

    Q. Do you stick to a routine when producing your artwork?

    A. No, I try to break routines when I become aware of them. When I get into habits of production, I start repeating myself in the work.

    Q. How important is it for you that the final image matches the vision you have in your head?

    A. This is a delicate point. I do usually have a clear image in my head to begin with, but inevitably accidents occur (and I encourage these), which may suggest alternative directions. I try to keep open to them. But some images are imperative and demand to be produce, willy nilly.

    Q. At the Lounge our primary goal is to widen artists’ pool of inspiration. So who are the artist/illustrators that inspire you?

    A. Just about every artist I have ever seen, has something I would like to have. I think all artists are basically magpies and too many to mention have contributed to what I am.

    That said, when I was a student, I identified very closely with the work of the English Romantics like Turner and John Martin. They influenced my direction, as did the Surrealists. From a technical point of view, Whistler was a great teacher for me and more recently Graham Sutherland. All very Old School, I know.

    Q. Reading about your career, you have achieved a great deal. So what’s on the horizon for you? Do you have any artistic goals that you are still chasing?

    A. I feel (like most artist, I suspect) that I’ve hardly started. And yet, looking at the collection in this book, I see that I’m travelling in a definite direction. But what the goal is, who knows? That’s beyond the horizon.

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