1. 11

    Nov 2015

    Howard Pyle (1853 – 1911)

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    Howard Pyle was born on March 5, 1853 in Wilmington, Delaware. He showed a keen interest in art and literature from a very young age. At school Pyle showed indifference to his studies. His mother, who was a painter, encouraged him to pursue art.

    Rather than going to college, Pyle moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and spent three years studying under Francis Van der Wielen at the Art Students’ League. After a visit to the island of Chincoteague off Virginia he submitted an illustrated article to Scribner’s Monthly. Roswell Smith, one of the owners of the magazine, suggested Pyle move to New York to pursue a career in illustration.

    In 1876, Pyle heeding Smith’s advice, moved to New York. However, he struggled to get work at first due to his lack of professional experience. He also struggled to suitably translate his ideas for publication. His luck changed when he sold a double-page illustrated article to Harper’s Weekly. It appeared in the issue of March 9, 1878. He was paid the tidy sum of $75, which was five times what he had expected. From there he began illustrating and writing for many popular periodicals including Collier’s, Harper’s Monthly, Cosmopolitan, Scribner’s, and St. Nicholas magazines. He soon became widely known for his editorial illustrations.

    By the time Pyle returned home to Wilmington in 1880, he was an established artist. A year later he married a singer, Anne Poole, on April 12, 1881. Around that time he began to work on a book, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood. It was published in 1883. Pyle careful crafted almost every aspect of the book, from the writing, illustration, and design, down to the type of lettering used. This book, rightfully so, garnered international attention and praise from critics such as William Morris. Pyle put that same level of commitment and care into many more books, notably, Otto of the Silver Hand (1888), Men of Iron (1891), The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903), Howard Pyle’s Book Of Pirates (Compiled in 1921).

    Between 1894 to 1900 Pyle joined the faculty of Drexel Institute of Art (now called Drexel University) to teach illustration. A natural tutor, Pyle discovered a drive to better teach students about illustration outside of the confines of formal art education. In 1900, Pyle left Drexel to established his own art school. It was attached to his personal art studio and became known as the Brandywine School. Having made a good living through his professional illustration Pyle never accepted money for his teaching. Many of his students were female, making up to fifty percent of his classes. Which was very uncommon in those days. Pyle excelled in many mediums, pen and ink, watercolors, oils, pencil and charcoal. He taught his students technique as well as encouraging them train both spiritually and artistically. To experience many environments so that they could authentically represent them in their work.

    In 1910 Pyle along with his family went to Italy, with an intention to study the old masters. However, after just one year, he suffered a kidney infection and died in Florence at the age of 58. The Delaware Museum of Art was founded two years later in his honor. It houses over 100 paintings, drawings, and prints purchased from Pyle’s widow, Anne.

    In a career lasting a little over thirty years, Pyle produced nearly 3,500 illustrations across 200 magazine articles and 19 books. His legacy is felt today with many contemporary illustrators still citing Pyle’s work as an important influence. His contribution in illustration, literature and education is still studied and praised today, truly earning Howard Pyle the title of the “Father of American Illustration.”

  2. 10

    Nov 2015

    Andrey Osadchikh

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    Andrey Osadchikh is a freelance Animator, Illustrator and Graphic Designer from Moscow, Russia. He studied Animation & Multimedia at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography (VGIK).

    His portfolio is made up of curious characters, breathtaking backgrounds and detailed pencil illustrations. In his older work, he explored various style, but his more recent illustrations are displaying a strong anime influence. Amidst the client work, you will find Tekkon Kinkreet and Akira fan art.

    Osadchikh has a great sense of colour, whether using a muted or saturated palette, a textured or flat brush, his colours always strengthen the illustration.

    You can see more of Andrey Osadchikh’s work on Behance and follow him on Instagram.

  3. 9

    Nov 2015

    Manga Mondays ~ Toshinho

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    Toshinho is a freelance artist from Japan. He majored in fine art and began his creative career in video game development, working on titles including Metal Gear Solid 5, Final Fantasy Tactics and The Eye of Judgment. For the most part now he is trying to establish a genre called “Virtual Concept.”

    Virtual Concept works much like video game and animation concept design but without a video game nor animation to speak of. He creates characters, develops worlds, and then repeats, slowly developing an entire universe. It is a process that is enhanced by viewers interaction and has led Toshinho to spend much of his time researching design and historical clothing. He has called the project “BOSS CONCEPT.”

    I actually stumbled on Toshinho’s artwork when his Red Sonja pin-up stopped me in my tracks. Toshinho’s supplied the linework and Pedro Figue added a background and really brought it to life with colour. A collaboration that, I am sure, many would love to see more of.

    Toshinho is both a traditional and digital artist. When working digitally, he seems to favour PaintTool SAI over the more popular Photoshop. Though, he does use Photoshop, as well as Clip Studio Paint. You can watch him work in real-time on Twitch. Those who become a Toshinho patreon are privy to all of his BOSS CONCEPT development, art tips, process videos and hi-res artwork. The BOSS CONCEPT project is a very interesting approach and I am very curious to see how it develops.

    You can keep up with Toshinho via his Tumblr and Twitter.

  4. 8

    Nov 2015

    Neill Cameron

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    Neill Cameron is a freelance illustrator, writer, and teacher based in Oxford, England. Much of his focus and effort goes into making awesome comics for young readers. His work regularly appears in the weekly children’s comic The Phoenix. Currently, he is writing and drawing Mega Robo Bros for The Phoenix, as well as writing Tamsin and the Deep, illustrated by Kate Brown.

    This year Cameron released the pirate and dinosaur extravaganza, The Pirates of Pangaea, which he co-write with Daniel Hartwell. Previously he had published Mo-Bot High. A comic that was originally serialised in The Phoenix’s predecessor, The DFC and later, in 2013, compiled into a graphic novel. Cameron accumulated his knowledge of the comic-making process into the children-friendly guidebook, How To Make Awesome Comics.

    Cameron’s passion and ambition to inspire children through comics and illustration is displayed in his various workshops. He travels the UK giving talks in schools and libraries, demonstrating the role comics can play in children’s literacy and creativity. He is also currently the artist in residence at The Story Museum in Oxford, where he has contributed several large-scale comic strip installations and is involved in comics-based education and activities. I have a sneaky suspicion that if Neill Cameron ever met Jerzy Drozd they would get on like a house on fire.

    Be sure to check out more of Neill Cameron work on his website and blog, as well as his A to Z of Awesomeness.

  5. 7

    Nov 2015

    David Creighton-Pester

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    David Creighton-Pester, aka Wandering Bert is an Illustrator and Graphic Design based in Hamilton, New Zealand. Last month we featured Storytime Magazine. Whilst I was looking into some of the talented contributors, I discovered the wonders of Wandering Bert.

    You may have already come across his work. Starting in 2008 and concluding in 2013 he embarked on The Batman Villain Project, where he drew an impressive 224 antagonists. Everything from Batman’s most formidable and well known enemies to his most obscure, including Glass Man, The Grasshopper and K-9 among others.

    If you didn’t catch that project when it was going around, maybe you have seen one of 336 designs submitted to threadless. Solidifying that Wandering Bert does not do things by halves. In addition to illustrating for t-shitrs, children books, posters, and magazines, Wandering Bert also runs a graphic design company, Scorch Design.

    Much of his illustration work falls into two distinct styles. His vector work consists of bold lines and flat colour and his hand-drawn illustrations are filled with colour and textures. You can see a step-by-step of his process on his blog.

    Befitting to his all or nothing personality David Creighton-Pester can be found on every digital platform available. The aforementioned Threadless, Society6, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, oh, and he has website.

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