One of four paintings for a calendar, unpublished 15"xl2"(38cm x30cm)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 of hot press paper which has a very hard smooth surface. He then stuck it to a board using tape. It contracted as it dried, giving a firm, tight working surface.
references as he believes these can inhibit his exploration of the shapes and surfaces of the drawing. Having worked in Hollywood on film animation, he has developed some of the habits of animation artists who work on nonabsorbent surfaces. His work often has an element of the grotesque and the Gothic, which creates a sense of unease in the viewer.
2 Using a brush Ian applied a coat of masking fluid to the lower section of the composition. This allowed finer edge work than cut-out film or paper masks would have.
3 Airbrush backgrounds were produced with Ian's mix of watercolor and water solvent dyes. Their delicacy held the stronger elements of the drawing.
4 Ian applied a technique used in animation artwork and carefully dried the picture at each stage. He used an ordinary hairdryer to blow cold air onto the work.
5 Ian used a movable sheet with a cut-out hole (rather as a surgeon uses sheets) for working on each section. He wore fingerless gloves which avoid static and dust problems as well as keeping grease off the surface. He also used the gloved hand not holding the brush as a wiping surface for his brush.
6 When the individual sections were finished Ian removed the masks and tied together any discordant areas. Detail was strengthened with technical ink pens.
7 If you look closely at the left hand tree you will see that a fine mist has blown across it. This final breath of mystery was added when the drawing was complete. The final touches show the skill of a master craftsman.
Illustration for The evolution of Early Man, published by Eurobook Ltd, UK 15 3/4 x 25 1/2" (40cm x 65cm)
Giovanni Caselli is an acclaimed master of the creation of images of earlier civilisations. He produces pictures of worlds for which we do not have contemporary visual record in a form which meets present-day needs. His pictures are based upon an imaginative and sensitive understanding of the discoveries of archeologists and historians. He brings the past alive for the present-day reader of history. His imaginary pictures are the result of extensive research and constant updating of his archives of the smallest details of those past worlds. He successfully incorporates this reasearch into pictorial situations based upon modern landscapes which stand as a convincing framework for his reconstructions.
The painting (previous page) This illustration of Neanderthal hunters is a reconstruction of the life of homo sapiens 80,000 years ago. It shows how they may have looked returning from a successful killing during the time when Europe was extensively covered with a semi-permanent layer of ice.
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