1. 13

    Jan 2015

    Nicholas Kole

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    Rhode Island resident, Nicholas Kole, is an illustrator and character designer. He studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. Kole graduated in 2009, and since has gone on to work with games companies, animation studios and comic publishers. Some of his clients include Riot Games, Electronic Arts, Disney Publishing, Hasbro, Puma and Dark Horse Comics.

    In 2013 Kole worked with Disney Publishing to produce ridiculously beautiful illustrations for the children’s book The Curse of Maleficent: The Tale of a Sleeping Beauty. Much of 2014 he spent as the lead artist for an interactive webcomic called The Dawngate Chronicles, for Waystone Games.

    Nicholas Kole has spread his art across the net and can be found on Tumblr, DeviantArt, Blogger, Behance and twitter.

  2. 9

    Jan 2015

    Paul César Helleu (1859 – 1927)

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    Amid much of Paul César Helleu’s lifetime he was famous on both sides of the Atlantic. His artistry was praised by fellow impressionist painters Manet, Monet and Renoir. Yet, his name seems is less widely known to the public today.

    Helleu was an exceptional oil painter, a skilled draftsman adept in pastel and maestro of drypoint. He was an influential part of the Impressionist movement, who created many still lifes, landscapes and portraits, most famously of beautiful society women of the Belle Époque.

    Born 1859 in Vannes, Brittany, France. Helleu went to Paris to begin his academic training in art. At age 16, he was admitted to the École des Beaux-Arts where he studied with Jean-Léon Gérôme. Attending an Impressionist exhibition he met artist John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, and Claude Monet for the first time. The showcased works were modern, employing the bold alla prima technique. All of which made a lasting impact on Helleu.

    After graduating, in order to make some money, Helleu started working for Théodore Deck hand-painting fine decorative plates. All the while Helleu was becoming more and more discourage. He had not sold a single painting and was on the verge of abandoning his studies. Upon hearing this, his now close friend, John Singer Sargent went to Helleu, priased his techniques and bought a one of his pieces for a thousand-franc note.

    In typical artist fashion, after being commissioned to paint a young socialite named Alice Guèrin, Helleu feel in love with her and two years later they were married. They became part of French social elites, and Guèrin would introduce Helleu to many aristocratic circles of Paris.

    In 1885, on a trip to London, Helleu was introduction to James Jacques Tissot. This meeting opened up Helleu’s eyes to the possibilities of drypoint etching with a diamond point stylus directly on a copper plate. Embracing this technique wholly, Helleu would apply his same dynamic pastel style to his etching. His prints were very popular, with the advantage to create several proofs, people would often give them to friends and relatives as gifts. Over the course of his career, Helleu produced more than 2,000 drypoint prints.

    Reaching a celebrated status internationally, in 1904 he was awarded France’s highest decoration, the Légion d’honneur. On top of this recognition he was also made an honorary member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.

    In 1920 Helleu exhibited his work in New York City, but the experience brought a sudden realization for him that the Belle Époque was over. Helleu felt that his had lost touch and after his return to France he destroyed nearly all of his copper plates. However, a few years later he started planning a new exhibition with Jean-Louis Forain. Sadly the exhibition never came to fruition when in 1927 Helleu died.

    There is a few places you can find out more about Paul César Helleu, a nice collection of his work and more information can be found here and here. There is also a beautiful book of his work by Frederique de Watrigant both in English and French.

  3. 7

    Jan 2015

    Ewa Ludwiczak

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    We have a real mixed bag of styles and media from today’s feature, Ewa Ludwiczak. Born in Poland and currently living in Berlin, Ms Ludwiczak is a freelance illustrator specialising in tradition materials, in particular watercolours.

    Ms Ludwiczak has illustrated various children’s books but has an obvious keenness towards fairy tales. Recently she has been showcasing a lot of portraiture and figures drawing on her Facebook page. The figures themselves sit still as a mouse, as she using watercolours to create loose and expressive imagery with splashes, drips, and small dabs of bold colours. They are beautiful and a delightful progression of her work.

    You can find more of Ewa Ludwiczak’s illustrations on her website, and Behance page.

  4. 5

    Jan 2015

    Glen Keane’s Duet

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    Happy New Year Loungers! This is our first post of 2015, and I wanted to share with you something undeniably beautiful.

    In December 2013 legendary animator Glen Keane partnered with Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects Group (now Google ATAP) for a project called Spotlight Stories. In June 2014, at the Google I/O Conference in San Francisco, Mr Keane screened Duet for the first time. Duet marks Glen Keane’s directorial debut and is the first hand-drawn cartoon made with only 60 fps. It is, unsurprisingly, in the running for both an Academy Award and an Annie Award.

    The concept of Spotlight Stories is bringing stories and technology together, however the full enjoyment is only available on a select few devices, Moto X, Moto X (1st Gen.), Moto G (2nd Gen.), and Moto G 4G LTE. If you have one of these device head over to Google Play and download the app to watch the interactive version of Duet as well as animations by Jan Pinkava and Jon Klassen.

    You can also see nice, albeit a little short, making of Duet here.

  5. 29

    Dec 2014

    Elsa Chang

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    Born in Taipei, Taiwan Elsa Chang moved to the United States when she was just a year old. She studied and graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. Ms Chang is primarily a concept artist and character designer, and has shared her talents with Dreamworks Animation, Paramount Animation, Sony Pictures Animation and Disney. She is currently working as a character designer at Nickelodeon Animation.

    Elsa Chang has worked on both TV and feature animations as well as in 2012 she illustrated the Pixar Brave book for Disney Publishing. You can read an excellent interview with Ms Chang on the Character Design blog, where she discusses her process and inspirations. You can also find more of Elsa Chang’s illustrations on her website, blog, and tumblr.

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