Monday, September 18, 2017

New expanded edition of Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara



Dover Publications has just released a new expanded edition of Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara in their premier Calla line of illustrated books. (Link to book trailer video on YouTube)



This beautiful hardcover, slipcased edition includes an exclusive peek behind the scenes, with 30 pages of sketches, storyboards, maquettes, photos of models, character designs, and models posing.

If you live in the USA (or can provide a domestic US shipping address), you can order a signed copy from my website store and it's also available from Amazon

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Readings from Ruskin



(Link to YouTube) Here is a vintage recording of readings that I did from the Victorian art critic John Ruskin, excerpted from his famous works "Modern Painters" and "The Elements of Drawing."

The recording is from a cassette tape which circulated by mail in 1985 among a group of art friends called "The Golden Palm Tape Network."

Topics include:
1. Greetings to Ron Harris and James Warhola.
2. Discussion about audio line mixers
3. Readings from Ruskin:
• painting open water
• advice to students
• gradation
• atmospheric perspective.

Note his point at around 20 minutes in that cool colors don't necessarily recede, and warm colors don't necessarily advance.

You can still get copies of Modern Painters in print at Amazon. The other book I quoted from is The Elements of Drawing

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Where are the most photos taken?




A while ago, Google released this heat map image showing the places in the world that are photographed the most, based on the geotagging metadata.


Tourist places in Europe get the most traffic, especially art capitals like Paris and Barcelona, coastal regions of Spain, and picturesque regions in the Alps.

Google's artificial intelligence systems no longer need geotagging to know where a photo was taken. After analyzing huge databases of more than 93 million images, they can now recognize where any photo was taken.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Is Mount Rushmore Unfinished?

The original design for Mount Rushmore showed far more of the figures, as suggested by this preliminary maquette. 



I have digitally superimposed the actual carvings of the faces over the maquette. Susan B. Anthony was supposed to be included, too.


But by 1941, federal funding was cut back, and the sculptor, Danish-American Gutzon Borglum, died of a heart attack while the work was still being carved.

This video has aerial shots that show more of the setting.

(Link to video) Video by Smithsonian.

Read more about the design history of the monument at Time.com.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Conversation with Mel Birnkrant

Timothy J. Fitzmaurice created this video portrait of Mel Birnkrant and his unrivaled collection of vintage Mickey Mouse and other comic character toys. (Link to YouTube)

In the interview by Timothy's wife, Kelly McMullen, Mel talks about how he got started toy collecting, how the toys "speak" to him, and how his own toy-inventing career fueled his life as a collector and connoisseur.


Although Mel's private collection is not open for visitors, his extensive website offers anybody a grand tour of his infinite universe of comic characters.
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Mel Birnkrant website
View a playlist of my YouTube videos shot at Mel's "Mouse Heaven"

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Feature in Illustrators Magazine (UK)


I'm very excited to receive advance copies of the next Illustrators Magazine, issue #19, where my work is the cover feature. This quarterly magazine, based in the UK, covers illustrators around the world, past and present. 


The article includes 35 images, many of which are reproduced in a double page spread, plus a newly written bio by Thomas Kintner.


The new issue also includes an article on Jacques Onfroy de Bréville (1858-1931), known as Job. His well-researched historical illustrations made their way into European children's books and comics.


There's also an article on the quirky horror comics by Dutch artist Erik Kriek.
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You can pick up a copy of Illustrators #19 at the publisher's website and it will soon be available at Stuart Ng books. (pub: The Book Palace, 2017. 98 page illustrated squarebound magazine. Price: £18.00 (UK), $21.99 (US). ISBN: 978-1-907081-41-5. ISSN: 2052-6520)
Book Palace also published the excellent book Drawing from History: The Forgotten Art of Fortunino Matania