I have been a Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember, the OT was finished up almost a decade before I was born and I was born into a Star Wars household.
My favourite creatures from the Star Wars universe are without a doubt, Jawas. Ironically, I didn’t realise this until the release of the Mandalorian and seeing the Jawas again but in a different context, the nostalgia value hit high.
This in turn inspired me to want to turn out some Jawa themed artworks, this post here shows the first which is a bit of a character study style piece; made with the intention to inform a small series of future Jawa paintings that will have a different look to them to this one.
As I write this post, it’s now quite late into Star Wars day for me here in the UK, however, it’s been a great one, probably my best yet and it will continue much into the weekend for me; lockdown is a great excuse for binging!
Let’s begin this post with a new artwork I’ve completed –
I recently undertook and completed this charcoal drawing to serve as a preliminary for a new oil painting, a May the Fourth special which also served as the subject for a live stream (more on that in a bit).
I’ve always had an odd obsession with Jawas and I’ll be doing some more Jawa based artworks in the future so this is just the beginning. In later piece I intend to put more emphasis on the landscape narrative whereas this piece is more of a character portrait.
“In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.”
That quote is incredibly apt when it comes to the journey that I have just taken to a galaxy far far way in order to create my latest artwork ‘Jedi Master Yoda on Dagobah’.
I took a very different approach to this piece than I usually do with my paintings; this time I wanted not to work from a single reference image and fall into the usual trap of becoming a slave to the reference and instead worked from a variety of different ones.
This week has been slightly slower on the art creating front for me so I decided to do something a little different in order to ensure getting a worthwhile post published and sticking to my new posting schedule of every Sunday.
For this post, we’ll be taking a brief look at an incredible piece of work from the amazing artist Jerry Vanderstelt!
Here we are at last with the third preliminary drawing; the one that was left as a bit of a surprise, unless of course you follow me on Instagram in which case you would have seen the work in progress.
I don’t know what the appeal is for me that draws me to the wizened old sage-like characters in literature and film but nonetheless, both Yoda and Gandalf seem to fit into a category that captivates my imagination.
If you missed the first two preliminary drawings you can find them by clicking the links –
Now that I have the three preliminary drawings I can begin the oil paintings, I have transferred each drawing to its canvas and they are ready to go, all I need to do is snatch moments here and there to get started.
The next post for this project will show the start of the painting process so don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to stay updated, the subscribe/follow button is further down this page!
In a previous post I wrote briefly about some artworks created for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the books and the movies; created by the artists Alan Lee & John Howe and I have decided to take a more in depth look at John Howe for this post.
John Howe is quite possibly my favourite Contemporary artist and illustrator, I find his work extremely inspirational and inventive, his imagination is magically unlimited and his ability to transcribe his vision onto the page is awe-inspiring.
This week I’ll be looking at the work of a newly discovered Tolkien artist; Jerry Vanderstelt. I came across Vanderstelt whilst looking at art prints for sale on the Weta Workshop website earlier today and instantly found it appealing. As expected with being on the Weta website, Vanderstelt has used the actors from the movies to portray the characters from the Lord of the Rings.
I recently wrote a Featured Artistpost that was a review of an artist named Matthew Stewart who uses a lot of Tolkien’s literature as inspiration to create artworks from, an amazing artist and it was writing that post that inspired me to carry out my own project based on The Lord of the Rings. However from this point on I’m going to look at the works of some artists/illustrators who are recognised by the Tolkien estate (a rare instance as they seem to hate and sue anybody doing anything with their predecessor’s literary masterpieces) artists who have created artworks for board games, calendars, illustrated books, and other Tolkien Estate approved merchandise.
The two artists that I’m focusing on for this particular post are Alan Lee and John Howe, two men who were already well recognised for portraying Middle Earth and Scenes from Tolkien’s books for all of the above mentioned merchandise; they were also hired by Peter Jackson as the concept artists for the films; the Lord of the Rings Trilogy as well as the Hobbit trilogy. Amazing artists with incredible passion, insight and a magical ability to be able to turn words on a page into some of the most stunning visuals created for this literary legacy.
We’ll start with some of Alan Lee’s artwork:
Now Gandalf too said farewell. Bilbo sat on the ground feeling very unhappy and wishing he was beside the wizard on his tall horse. He had gone just inside the forest after breakfast (a very poor one), and it had seemed as dark in there in the morning as at night, and very secret: “a sort of watching and waiting feeling,” he said to himself.
This beautiful painting by Alan Lee shows his incredibly skillful imagination in bringing written word to life in a visual form, the trees form a stunning composition, capturing and framing the narrative scene.
This is the sort of artwork that drives my own mind and imagination.
For all of us who have wondered and tried to envision, Alan Lee has again used his imaginative technique to show the world what a female Dwarf looks like, very interesting concept and a totally unattractive female as a result.
Now I’ll just add more artworks with their caption or otherwise this post will end up becoming a book, it’s extremely hard to choose certain artworks from these artists as I can’t say there’s a single piece from either artist that I don’t like.
As for Alan Lee, I’m going to leave that there, the above artworks are just a minute handful of a lifetime’s work inspired by Tolkien’s narrative, there are several books and collections of both Alan Lee and John Howe’s works available to buy and easy enough to find by searching on Amazon.
For the next stage now, I’m going to share some of John Howe’s work:
The pictures of the artworks that I have shared in this post were sourced from a Tumblr account that I found whilst looking for concept art for the movies a while back, it is full of Alan and John’s artworks and is definitely worth a look at if you’re interested in either artist. Click Hereto be directed to the site containing all the works, there are several categories as well so it makes it easier to find artworks for specific books, or artist.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed the content of this post and feel free to re-blog or comment if you want to discuss any of the above artworks or any others.
I hope you found your way here without too much trouble and that you have a fresh cup of coffee at hand to enjoy throughout this week’s Morning Coffee.
The subject of this post is Assassin’s Creed but not the game, the movie which has been promised for some time now and is finally well under way; due to be released December 21st we have after a long and anxious wait been rewarded with a trailer.
So many people in this world are scared of change, whether big or little; I see it as an opportunity to adapt, start anew and build up an empire, alas, don’t ever fear change but on the contrary, embrace it. – J Glover
I recently made a decision that was found to be shocking by the people around me, my friends and even my wife, who knows me better than anyone. That decision was that after 2 years of working hard in education in order to go to uni, I will no longer be going. This decision wasn’t an off the cuff spur of the moment change of heart about my future caused by being unsure of what I want from life; my end game is the same, my objective clear and concise, a set destination of immovable strength; it’s just the road that I’m taking to get there that is different.
This was incited by troubles in getting the funding that I needed, a lot of hassle and stress that isn’t needed at the best of times, but this minor tribulation set off a whirlwind of thoughts and deep contemplation, tropical brainstorms and meditating until my pulse stopped, weighing up and reasoning on every aspect of my decision to go to university and the course that was available to me.
I had chosen to take a Fine Art BA (Hons) Degree; now when I initially pictured Fine Art, I had a beautifully romanticized vision of a modern Verrocchio’s workshop. Tutors that would teach me to draw and paint like the masters of the Renaissance, Sculpt like Michelangelo and provide plenty of hours worth of figure studies each and every week. Research on different narratives, mythologies and a study of philosophy. Obviously my definition of Fine Art is very outdated and too far gone to even be sniffed at in a modern Fine Art degree. A Fine Art Atelier would probably be better suited to my needs, but due to lack of funding available for such a course and locality this isn’t an option either.
Instead of what I envisioned, the course has dropped figure studies from its curriculum and the rest is more Contemporary than I would like to be involved in, Conceptual art, challenging conventions and Installation work; whilst I have seen artworks from each category that I have liked, it’s not what I personally want to create or be a part of. From unmade beds to condensation cubes and glittered excrement I found myself questioning if it really was for me. The end result of my contemplation was that I don’t want to invest 3 years and so much debt into something that I’m not 100% dedicated to. I’m not suggesting that the course is worthless or that I wouldn’t have learned anything because that would be a ridiculous idea, it’s just not going to teach me what I want to learn and will involve me spending too much time away from what I do want to do and my personal studies.
My next step now is to self educate, with the power of books and the internet on top of spending every day in practical work I will learn to draw and paint in the way I want to, whether frowned upon or not to prefer the traditional methods, that is what I’m going to do, staying true to myself rather than going to university on a whim for the experience or conforming to the Contemporary art industry. It’s funny really that they spend so much time trying to find new ways to “challenge convention” that they’ve lost their way, it’s turned now to the point that I’m challenging convention more by wanting to draw and paint in the traditional manners and techniques.
Also underlying all of this is the fact that I would love to work as a concept artist, for film,TV or computer games and although a lot of this work would be done digitally through software such as Photoshop, it still offers opportunity to be traditional in the sense of creating a narrative using paint, drawing and sketching, research and practice; these are the things that appeal to me more than anything. The thing that would get me a job in the field of Conceptual Design will be my portfolio based around that area, not a degree and a portfolio full of glittered turds and “this is art because I say it is” pieces.
Time is a very important factor as well, by not attending university five days a week, I have the time to go to London regularly to visit galleries, places of interest, museums and draw inspiration from them; I’ll also be able to make more trips to my home away from home that is Italy. Trips to other places of interest and long walks through natural landscapes, sketching and painting as I go will also now be a part of my itinerary. In addition to these things, I’ll have more time to build up my blog and remain consistent with posts, not having to neglect neither this or my artwork due to having to write essays or dissertations and not running on fumes every day. My creativity will be nurtured and in full bloom due to my decision and inspiration comes from within as much as from without, if not more so.
I may have rambled a fair amount through this post but the point of me posting it is to show that change is not something to avoid, change of mind is not a sign of failure or fear to commit, it is something to embrace and use to your advantage wherever possible. We are human, adapting to new situations is part of our being and a skill that comes naturally, never having to be learned as long as you don’t fear to utilize it.