Using your own photographs

The camera can be a tool, just like a brush or pen. You can use its ability to record detail as a means of sorting out the visual qualities of your ideas. Begin by first sketching your intentions, then when you feel confident with an idea, use the camera on location or in fixed lighting to build up your knowledge of the subject. The picture (above right) looks ghoulish it appears to be of a child's frightened response to something terrible. His hair is standing on end, his hands are grasping...

Acrylic and oil colors

Flash Gordon Hentai

Book jacket design for Planet of the Damned, published by Futura, UK 211 2 x271 2 (55cmx70cm) Alan Craddock is one of a new generation of artists who have developed their skills to suit the needs of publishers of science fiction and the rising popularity of a 'comic culture.' From childhood he collected small-format comics and advertisements for bodybuilding aids. He is a self-trained artist, but was inspired and given confidence by his high school art teacher. All his technical skills have...

Inks and watercolors

One of four paintings for a calendar, unpublished 15xl2(38cm x30cm) Ian Miller trained as a fine artist and slowly developed from an oil painter to one who uses inks and watercolors extensively. Although his ideas have great freedom of expression, the detail within each picture is carefully resolved. His images come almost entirely from memory - they are stored details of the observed world which he can recall and build on. He seldom uses photographic or technical source 1 Ian dampened a sheet...

Building tensions

The photograph left is of a stationary car with a small child standing in front of it. It could be used for the creation of two sequential drawings involving a car accident (above). Sand writing Most artists would find it difficult to record accurately letters written in sand. A way of providing yourself with a visual reference is to write the letters in a tray of sand, then photograph it with a strong side light (left). Artists have often built models of parts of objects they want to draw in...

Applying selfadhesive film

Using this method you will have strong, black containing lines with a variety of textures. Avoid using tones of either type over large areas. 2 Lay part of the texture sheet (with the backing sheet still attached) over your work. Using a scalpel, cut out roughly, but not wastefully, the area required. Remove the backing sheet and the unused pieces of tone with care. Put the shaped area of tone over your work and rub down in the centre only to keep the piece in place. 3 Carefully cut around the...

Progressing a painting

Robert Chapman began the painting far right) by producing a careful pencil sketch of the idea. He worked with a hard pencil on tracing paper using templates to construct accurately the ovals of the major parts of the design. 1 He then transferred-down onto finely-grained cartridge board the major elements of the design, subsequently covering the board with a film of clear masking material. 2 He then removed the outer areas having first cut a very careful line around the central object using an...

Technical sources

The most surprising and varied sources of imagery are technical publications, on engineering or microbiology, industrial catalogues or academic text books. The unfamiliar can be a starting point for your drawing. Many fantasy artists have used bizarre diagrams from surgery manuals as inspiration for horrific visions. The transparent study of a railway engine (above right) can throw up ideas for futuristic machines. The microscopic creature (right), enlarged a thousand times, could be the start...

Frivolous fantasy

Frivolous Fantasies

Many newspapers and magazines offer a ready supply of objects for private fantasy, either social or sexual. This is a means of achieving in imagination new levels of life not at present available by normal means elevated shoes to increase your height, or plastic aprons (right) to change your sex. Almost all are unbelievable and none fulfill their promises. An illustration of an invitation to the private showing of the Russian artist Ivan Bilibin (above). The exhibition was held in Alexandria...

Sources of fantasy

I once overheard a beautiful conversation between two children, one aged six and the other ten years old. The eldest was explaining that comics have words in them for people who cannot read the pictures Fantasy pictures have a meaning. Understanding the pictures is a major part of enjoying such works of imagination. Very often when we discover new forms of fantasy art we have difficulty in 'reading the picture.' The roots of the ideas and forms dig deep into many levels of human experience, and...

Shadow effect

Nick cut separate masks to reveal the shadow areas and reworked the shadows over the initial drawing (i). When the design was complete he began to rework all the areas, and particularly the edges of the masked surfaces using wax crayons, pastels and colored pencils to fuse the elements into one cohesive design. Finally he removed the central area of the small object held by the skeleton and completed the copy of the Van Eyck figures (j).

Surface accidents

The watercolour painting (right) is by Victor Hugo, the French 19th century novelist. While out sketching he often rubbed substances such as cofffee grounds and cigar ash into the surface. He also used a type of pencil which produced soluble marks to deepen and dramatize the tonal effect. However these techniques should be used with caution as they can destroy the surface of your work. Shape accidents The 18th century artist Alexander Cozens developed an idea based on making landscapes from...

Pencils and watercolors

Maurice Wilson worked for over fifty years producing delicate studies of real and imaginary creatures and plants. He was renowned for his ability to portray creatures using very little reference material to aid the task, sometimes reconstructing long-dead creatures with only a few surviving bones as a guide. He worked mainly with water solvent inks, adding highlights in acrylic paints. After planning his pictures he usually began painting the dark areas, building up the main elements in...

The human form

Chinese Goddess Costume

Either as costumes or statues, ancient and primitive societies used the human form as a starting point for the depiction of the unimaginable. Their Gods are transformed into variations of the human figure. 7 Chinese carving of a female deity 8 Classical Greek fertility goddess In the mind of a master artist images float to the surface of his consciousness and are captured for eternity in his art. You should never be embarrassed about copying their discoveries for your own use. They, too, have...

Superimposing pictures

Fantasy Art

One successful way to achieve fantasy pictures is by superimposing images. This is frequently done with the photographic technique of double exposure. Alternatively, two matching images can be successfully combined without a high degree of sophistication by the use of tracing paper overlays. 1 Michael's pencil study self-portrait is made menacing by the addition of a snarling lion copied from a nature magazine and the surprised creatures protruding from his ears. 2 The ghoulish face produced by...

Planning

Giovanni produced a pencil sketch of the composition so that he could build up all the elements required within one grouping. He used a soft lead pencil on tracing paper, and worked to the size of the final painting. Tracing down After working out all the major details, and possibly reserving particular areas independently on separate sheets, he transferred the composition to the board using a hard pencil. This left a fine groove in the surface which does not appear in reproductions, but which...

Joshua Nava Artist

A picture produced from the images within the mind can be a more accurate portrayal of human perceptions than one based entirely on observations. When we look at the work of a fantasy artist we can respond to the mystery on a number of levels the source of the ideas, the constituent parts, and the subject matter of the picture. The construction of the composition, its use of the elements of light and shade, and its depictions of imaginary forms are all...