Category: Art


The Arcimboldo Effect

I spend stupid amounts of time manipulating photographs / teaching others how to do the same, and it’s good to know my history.

I got it in my head that I’d do a series reworking some of the classics out of tree branches, and it sent me on a bender of who’s done this in the past.

Arcimboldo (1527-1593) is considered the original Hidden Face Artist, and everything he did, and many things he inspired are fascinating.

People forgot about the guy for centuries until Salvador Dali dug him out of the archives and started referencing him.

It’s remarkable how Arcimboldo is one of the few early Renaissance artists that would still fit right in to a magazine like Juxtapoz.

Above is the same piece, both upside down and forward up. If you turn most of his ‘still lives’ upside down, you’d have no idea they were representational of something.

Beyond how great his own work is, the various copy cat artists that he inspired both directly and indirectly take it to the next level.

This piece is a fantastic sculpture by  Philip Haas of the painting above, ‘Winter.’

Gives a sense of scale for the size of the sculpture.

It becomes a completely different piece of art with new framing.

‘Spring’ also inspired others.

Klaus Enrique Gerdes took a literal approach.

While Bernard Pras mostly rearranges garbage.

Some more pieces by Barnard Pras.

Joel Peter Witkin sticks to the theme of vegetable heads, but makes it his own.

Istvan Orosz is great above, while people like Octavio Ocampo are far less subtle. Attempting to make a head out of nature can look truly awful if not handled with care.

This is a lot of fun, but misses the subtlety – It doesn’t work as two separate images, and isn’t hidden if spun upside down. More than that, it feels like a copy. The question for artists post Arcimboldo is how to add to the conversation, and one up what’s come before.

Arcimboldo set the standards high with images like these three:

Here’s a few more directly inspired by Arcimboldo, but taking it in a modern direction.

Here’s a pdf on the making of Salad by Till Nowak - remarkable work.

What I love about this style is that there’s no limit to what can be done with it. It’s basically anything combining to form something it’s not meant for. When done right, it’s breathtaking.

Colossal frequently posts on artists working in this style, and it’s well worth checking out.


Farm Animals

I’ve been doing a lot of writing, improv, and compositing related work recently, so it was good to do get back into drawings. I was attempting to challenge myself with each of these- seeing how far I could push the feathering on the bird, the volume on the cow, and the linework on the horse. They were a good stepping stone to put me back into a drawing mindset, as there’s a lot of drawing to do if I’m to finish a big project coming up.


And the rest

I was planning on doing one comic per post for five or so posts. I scanned them in in one swoop, so figured why delay? Here’s three more comics to round out the set. If you haven’t read these, you don’t know comics.

Maus, Art Speigelman telling his father’s tale in the Holocaust.

Sandman, in which Neil Gaiman rewrote the comic genre

Sin City, Frank Miller being Frank Miller

PS. I’m starting to feel like my blog is lacking direction. I’m all right with that. Perhaps when I start wanting readers, that will change. For now, I’m happy.


Congratulation to all the New Rabbis out of AJU. Here’s my sketch from the ceremony last night.



The plan was to watch Kick Ass. I had talked about going with a friend and when I called her she said, “Oh, I’m heading to WorldFest.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“It’s this food loving festival thing. You want to come?”

I looked over their website. There were live bands, speakers, booths, and all sorts of vegetarian food.
I went.

When we got there it turned out to be a Vegan Mecca. Being a meat eater, it was all about the people watching. There was a hula hoop park, a horse the size of a large dog, a dog the size of a small horse, a cow, and hundreds of normal sized dogs. Walking around was a girl wearing a giant fish head, body paint, some very strategically placed electrical tape, and not much else. A lady with a leash attached to her neck walked around in an attempt to get people to adopt animals. PeTa tshirts were everywhere alongside shirts that just said VEGAN or Animal Holocaust. Booths ranged from fortune tellers to compost heap strategists to raw food diet nutritionists. There was a booth that taught you how to be more like a plant. The trick, by the way, is to hold your hands up to the sky soaking in good energy for seven minutes. I was asked if I wanted to do this, for free, and I said no.

That is to say, I switched between grabbing free samples, talking on my cell phone, and watching all of the fantastic people as they strolled by. My friends and I spent the last hour listening to this woman, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. She was a great speaker, but I got the impression I was not the target audience. I spent the whole time resisting laughing as I sketched.

One of my favorite quotes:
“I don’t like the term vegan,” she said, “It has too many bad connotations. I’d like it if we were just referred to as ‘compassionate.’”

Here’s the sketch from that lecture.

Afterwards I was talking with one of the people in line waiting for her to sign the cookbook.

“So, how long have you been following her blog?” I asked.

“Oh, I actually haven’t read it,” she said.

“What? What are you doing in this line then?”

“Well, my friend likes the blog. That counts, right?” She indicated the girl next to her.

“Yeah, it does. To be fair, I have even less right to be here. Don’t tell anyone, but I eat meat.”

She gave me a look. Her voice turned dry, “Why would you come here?”

I didn’t have a good answer. I shrugged. “Seemed like fun.”

She turned back to her friend. I headed back to mine, and soon afterwards we all took off. Point is, I still need to see Kick Ass.


Arkham’s Asylum

If this makes me a jerk, at least it’s in the nicest of ways possible. I was talking with Ben, a friend and the writer of

He told me, “There’s a legitimate NY comic shop across the street from my legitimate NY agency. I’ll be broke in a week”

“But so, so happy,” I said, “Let me suggest the comic Invincible to start your wallet emptying.”

“I started it with Planet Hulk,” he said, “which I only read half of in Barnes and Noble and never found again. So that will hold me for now. I basically wanted to just knock everything off the shelves into a shopping cart starting with the Alan Moore graphic novel shelf.”

I said, “Nice. Ooh! and Fables. and Preacher. And…Kabuki. Actually, push Kabuki up to the top of the list.”

“I hadn’t heard of kabuki,” he said, and then paused and looked at me (this was gchat, but I assume he would have looked at me). “Also, stop that. I just spent 40 bucks. Enough that when the woman said ‘do you want to open a rebate account- credit for every 100 bucks you spend’ it actually sounded like a good idea, and I did so.”

“You’re not going to like what I do next, then,” I said, “It’ll take a couple minutes.”

So here’s part 2 of comics that anyone who claims to like comics must read and should own.

Illustrated by Dave McKean and written by Grant Morrison, if not the very best Batman story ever told, it’s certainly in the top 10. Many say it was a large inspiration for the movie Dark Knight.

From Gurney Journey

RIP Frank



The world lost a legend this week with the passing of Frank Frazetta. Rather than trying to eulogize him myself, here’s a few artists saying it far better than I ever could.





Frank Frazetta 1928-2010 from Peter Deseve

from Jerry at Cartoon Brew

From Gurney Journey

From Cake Mix


Sidebar talks about him in their podcast

From William Wray


An in depth post from Charley Parker at Lines and Color


From Sketch Theater


From Matt Forsythe over at Drawn!



Last year I went to Comic Con in San Diego, and based on my roommate’s advice, I bought Kabuki from David Mack. He couldn’t of been nicer. He threw in some reprints of sketchbooks of his for free, spent time to draw me a picture, and gave his advice on which of his books he liked best. I bought it for the art alone, fully aware of the quality of writing in most comics written and drawn by the same person. I leafed through the art, loved every page, and let it sit on my shelf until a week ago when I finally read through it.

It blew me away. It was unlike any comic I’ve ever read, setting my mind free and inspiring with each turn of the page. If you haven’t read it, go check it out. Below is three pages from Kabuki: The Alchemy (Volume 7)

Past sketches

A gallery of some older sketches, ones I’d uploaded to photobucket and later posted on, a site I should really head back to. There’s so many inspiring artists there. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the center of the most interesting and influential artistic movement currently around.

Face Morphs

Doing what I do best, I’m currently in the thralls of delaying getting any real work done. Apparently there was an internet meme for a while that completely passed me by: face morphs. In no other form have a seen a better example showcasing the difference between facial structures. As someone frequently sketching faces of all sorts, it’s fascinating to watch the changes in the cheekbones, the space between the eyebrows, the slant of the eyes, the size relation between skull and face, the five places on a nose that are different from person to person and a slew of a dozen or so other features juxtaposed. While I was aware the differences existed and have studied them a lot, seeing them like this really puts the differences in a new and fascinating light.

I ended up watching a bunch of these. Time well spent. Face structure are so cool.

And now to spend the next 12 hours rotoscoping.

← Older posts Newer posts →