LOL, I have so many visas, would you like to marry me? No kidding, Leonard Combier. He takes ordinary passports and transforms them into a magnificent compact world of intrinquite drawings, quotes, tiny details and intertwined stamps. Depths of ink cover these passports with Gotham Googly looking characters with large bubble eyes.
His carefully calculated doodles are constructed with hundreds of shapes, forcing you to take a closer look at the passport and dissect the different stories. Eyeballs are common throughout his drawings and staring back at you-makes sense on a passport. This circus spectacle must be a sight for customs officer!
Austrian artist Stefan Zsaitsits draws portraits in pencil that are simultaneously nostalgic and strange. The alluring images often feature surreal moments that are from a child’s point of view and a deranged mash-up of characters, places, and frantic mark-making.
There are small comforts in Zsaitsit’s work, like the warm-toned graphite coupled with moments that highlight the joys of growing up. Some characters play with toys and imagine pleasant, beautiful things. Other times, Zsaitsits depicts children and their nightmares. Dark combinations of desolate scenes are ravaged by scary animals and enemies.
Through visual layering of these characters, the artist indicates that many of these images are seen in the mind’s eye. In the drawings, they’re contained within the body or its direct gaze. Zsaitsits’ symbolic works are a darker, more modern-day version of a child’s Boogie Man, and ripe for interpretation by the viewer. (Via Faith is Torment)
Swiss artist and illustrator Christo Dagorov’s series Lips features surreal drawings of – you guessed it – human lips. Although they mimic the shape, Dagorov transforms them with textures that you wouldn’t see on someone’s face. The artist uses pencil to create a forest, prison, and even a group of naked bodies.
If the series wasn’t titled Lips, there’s a chance you might not realize that they are the subject of Dagorov’s drawings. He covers their supple surface with his own imagination and effectively turns them into tiny landscapes with short, narrative tales. But, because know they are intended as lips, it adds another layer of intrigue. These images represent a story that’s being told and a visual way to signify words coming off lips. (Via Colossal)
Davit Yukhanyan is an Armenian architect and illustrator whose incredible works have an stunning amount of detail. Each large and complex drawing contains hundreds of tiny drawings within its dimensions, and a central shaded figure occupies the center with outlined figures behind it. However, shading isn’t necessarily made using just your traditional pen techniques. Instead, animals, people, and objects fit together like pieces of a puzzle and change in scale. The smaller they are, the more dense the drawing which alters how dark it appears to the viewer.
Considering just how intricate Yukhanyan’s work is – with pieces measuring about 27 inches by 39 inches – it’s no surprise that he’s only produced two so far. Titled And When You Lose Control and Isolated Winner, the massive artworks are inspired by the world we live in. “Just as everything in our world consists of different pieces, my drawing also consists of different pieces in the form of small illustrations that come together into one overall creation,” he writes on Bored Panda. “I draw the artwork with this concept in mind.” (Via Demilked and Bored Panda)
Sit Haiiro is an artist from the Netherlands whose monochromatic illustrations are slightly askew. The portraits of young kids and animals have a serious tone to them, and they’re obscured by slight planal shifts, digital elements, and mysterious clouds. There’s little context to Haiiro’s works, with his subjects devoid of background or environment. This gives an eerie and off-putting feeling to the hand-crafted images, and it’s as if they are out of a dream.
Haiiro’s characters are very active and full of energy. Dogs are running at full speed, a crow is in the midst of flight, and a child jumps as high as he can. But, every action is punctuated and falls short. Pixelation and thin lines fracture faces, bodies, and enthusiasm. There’s an obvious visual sparring between the two, and Haiiro describes it as, “where the calm surroundings provide more opportunity for decision making, rather than being driven by the fast moving winds of change.” (Via Inspiration Feed)
The ink drawings of Anton Vill are exquisite and small – about the size of your average fork. Vill is highly skilled in wielding a pen, and he makes tiny marks so fine that they appear as a pencil drawing or even as an engraving from the 17th century. But, looking closely at the subject matter, you discover that they are wholly contemporary, like something out of a nightmare.
We see babies piled in a shopping cart, a grotesque separation of someone’s head, and countless people that are wrapped up in the long hair of a Cousin It-type character. Vill’s work is quietly visceral and bizarre, and it doesn’t immediately strike you as strange; this creates a greater impact when you study his drawings. The longer that you look, the more you’ll discover and get a glimpse into the artist’s imagination. (Via Faith is Torment)
Melbourne-based artist The Black Math (TBM) changes the meaning of portraits by adding simple line art to the subjects of the photographs. This fusion results in a unique style where parts of a model’s face is completely obscured by black or white shapes and different symbols and markings are drawn over top. It shifts the emphasis from fashion and lifestyle and to something that has an entirely new narrative. Now, there’s something mystical and mysterious as we try to make sense of what TBM has drawn.
All of the photos that the artist altered are of conventionally “beautiful” people, and he transforms them into something we don’t recognize. They’re made especially eerie when the pupils are removed from the eyes. At one point these people’s aesthetically-pleasing appearance probably sold some sort of product. Now, given an entirely new voice and meaning, they are saying something entirely different, which doesn’t necessarily pertain to consumerism.
It’s inarguable that making great art begins with a good foundation in the basics. And when access to studying foundations in art is free and available anywhere by simply signing up on Craftsy for one of their free online mini classes, studying drawing foundations becomes delightfully accessible to all.
Craftsy offers a wide array of online classes from drawing essentials to watercolor. Figure Drawing: An Essential Guide, taught by accomplished artist Patricia Watwood is one of the most popular classes. It’s the perfect way to try out Craftsy and experience the ease and convenience of taking a class from your home, at your desired pace. Watwood goes over the basics of rendering the figure with drawing materials in this free mini class. By guiding her students through stages, such as working with graphite pencils for sketching out simple angles, to moving into hatching for shading, drawing a figure becomes demystified. Watwood, whose gorgeous paintings are featured here, has exhibited her work worldwide at galleries and museums and has been featured on the cover of art magazines. Her understanding of drawing the figure is clear in her work and her ability to share it with her students is demonstrated in class drawings.
This online class is developed with live models, using classical techniques, making it a great fit for students at any level, from beginners to more advanced artists who simply want to brush up on basics. Convenient features such as being able to bookmark key moments, take video notes and re-watch concepts with the 30-second repeat feature make for a great student experience on Craftsy. Figure Drawing: An Essential Guide is free, so there’s no reason not to explore and give it a try!