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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Imagine FX issue 94 review

Being a fan and subscriber of Imagine FX, and being as the non subscribers issue 94 will be out very soon, I figured I would do a review for all those of you contemplating picking up a copy.

First off lets start with the cover for this issue. David Gaillet has done a stunning job on this months cover. Colours are eye catching and the smooth skin is a fantastic contrast with the textures on the pillar and jewelry. The futuristic pyramids in the background look amazing.

What's in this issue? 

Along with the usual stuffs such as Artist Q&A and featured artists you get quite a few tutorials unique to this issue.

The major tutorial, and arguably this issues selling point, is the anatomy master class. This is a fantastic resource for all artists no matter what your medium or skill level. That said I do think novices or those just starting out will find this a bit intimidating. I would recommend anyone new to art to take some time to study Loomis before checking this tutorial out but those who want to take their figure drawing to the next level this is a must.

Also in this issue you have several image walk throughs. All of the pictures look great but again these tutorials seem more geared toward the intermediate level artist. Still, these are great reference images for future projects.

Artist Q&A

Some people may be interested in what the Q&A section has in. Bellow is a list of all the problems solved.
  • How can I draw the viewer's eye around an image to focus on a final point? Answered by Nick Harris
  • How can I paint a close-up of a creature's face but keep it intense and lively? Answered by Sam Carr
  • How do I make a boring subject interesting? Answered by Paco Rico Torres
  • How can I tell a story with my concept character's costume design? Answered by Mark Molnar
  • How can I generate three different people from one piece of reference? Answered by McLean Kendree
  • I want to paint a seedy, smoky bar, but how can I create that distinctive atmosphere without obscuring the scene? Answered by Bill Corbett
  • How can I make my front view action scene look more dynamic? Answered by McLean Kendree
  • What do people mean by 'values' and why are they so important? Answered by Kinman Chan. Essential for beginners!
  •  How many textures should you include in a digital image? Answered by Sam Carr
  •  I always have trouble drawing necks. Do you have any tips? Answered by Bill Corbett
  • Can you tell me how to paint an object that's bursting with bright light? Answered by Kinman Chan
  • How do I paint someone half-submerged in water? Answered by Nick Harris
  • How should I draw an animal wearing futuristic-looking armour? Answered by Paco Rico Torres

Overall impressions

Imagine FX has a great reputation in the digital and fantasy art community with good reason. It is consistent with great articles and tons of images to inspire you. I feel that this issue will be more of use to those who are fairly adept at figurative art but that should not put off new people.

IFX is also great for those who want to build a fantasy art library so it comes highly recommended.

Remember if you like IFX why not buy some of their tutorial books. Each one of them is full of inspiration and advice for artists of all levels.

The IFX books can be found in our online shop which is powered by amazon. Not only that but by buying from our online store you will help me produce more articles and feature more artists.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Hysterical Minds 12.0 Substantia - Review

Hysterical Minds is back again with their latest online exhibition titled Substantia. In my eyes when ever a new Hysterical Minds event is announced I always find myself losing sleep with excitement till they finally show off all their hard work to the public.

So how did Substantia stack up to my expectations? Very well indeed, in fact as per usual all of my expectations were exceeded. Truth be told Hysterical Minds is the only site that makes me feel like I am walking in an art gallery.

I highly encourage you to visit the site yourself as there are some exquisite images, videos, and movies. To get through the whole thing and really appreciate it you will probably need around about one to two hours but it is time well spent. Here is the link


The show boasts 74 pieces of work including music, video, mixed media, vector, digital art, and traditional art. Non of the work feels like it is filling space and everything deserves your attention. There are some delightfully dark and disturbing images in this show like that of ArtFreck favourite Liransz. She does have competition for most disturbing image as Abraham Balcazar produced the disgustingly warped Tengo Sed. If you never want to sleep again check out Both Tengo Sed and The Face Of All Your Fears back to back.

Show stealer in my opinion goes to the short video The White Cat Watches by Dumaker & Iorch. The video is of a point and click game but the atmosphere it generates is very well executed. Creepy and tense this is a must watch.

They only had one vector image this time around but Gauso's work looks fantastic regardless. Fantasy Hunter is a colourful imaginative piece that deserves attention.

Final Impression:
Again this is one of the best online exhibitions around so it is a must see. Make time out in your day to view this. I cannot wait till the next show.

Once again here is the link to Hysterical Minds 12.0 Substantia

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Deviant Art Feature: HowlSeage

Let me start off by saying I have not seen a portfolio that is anything like HowlSeage's. The thing that makes this portfolio so special is the use of colour. Most of Seage's work has an ethereal painterly feel to it.

Artist: HowlSeage
DA Link:

Seage has a distinctive style recognisable from a mile off. The wispy, watery nature of his work combine with a mastery of colour theory produces images that demand attention. Special attention should be given to each characters outfits. Each of figure is dressed distinctively giving them all personality.

The detail in Seage's images inspires alot of awe. Colours are expertly handled making the subject matter leap off the screen. It is hard not to be captivated by this portfolio.

My personal favourite piece is Rogue. This piece won the Daily Deviation award on the 27th of April 2012 and for good reason. Everything about this image controls the way your eye moves around the piece. Dark purples and blues are broken up by light flesh tones. Nothing in this image out stays it's welcome producing a piece that is a beauty to behold.

Another thing I love about HowlSeage is his youtube channel. Primarily focusing on speed paintings mixed with advice to artists this is one of those channels that should really have more views and subscribers.

If you enjoyed like HowlSeage's work why not check out our range of art books. From tutorial books to video game art books you are sure to find an inspiring art book that you will love.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Featured youtube video

I was on youtube this morning and I got a lovely surprise in my subscription box. Sycra had uploaded a new video on a topic many artists struggle with, colour and value. This video is explained extremely well and I had to share it with all of you.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Artist Inspiration: Up And Coming Artists

Today we look at several artists who have great potential. It is no secret that I love studies and these artists have either most of their sketchbook dedicated to studies or have unique studies. These artists show alot of promise and it willbe great to see them grow.


Artist: FE-W

It is not often I include a DA account in the sketchbook section but with FE-W I am willing to make an exception. The thing I like about FE-W is the volume of studies. In his gallery you will prodominantly see figure studies along with the source material. It will be great to see more environment studies and I would love the design lab to become a regular feature.

Artist: PhilipO
Sketchbook Name: Philip's Sketches

There are a lot of very nice images here. From studies and concepts to finished pieces this sketchbook shows alot of potential. The main area that I would like to see improved upon would be the values. At times some of the characters seem abit flat so just spending a few days studying values will give the figures more of a presence. I cannot wait to see this sketchbook grow into something special.

Artist: Xanath
Sketchbook Name: Xanath's Sketchbook

The pencil work in this sketchbook is truely impressive. Values are subtle yet distinct and handled with a level of professionalism. I would like to see some value studies done digitally if this is the area Xanath wishes to pursue just so he can build confidence with transfering his skills with the pencil to his chosen software. Over all I can see big things for this sketchbook in the near future especailly if focus is placed on pencil work.

Featured Book Color and Light by James Gurney

This is a book that deserves to be in any artists libarary. Even if you have extensive knowlage in colour and light this book may still teach you a thing or two.

"James Gurney's new book, Colour and Light, cleverly bridges the gap between artistic observation and scientific explanation. Not only does he eloquently describe all the effects of colour and light an artist might encounter, but he thrills us with his striking paintings in the process." --Armand Cabrera, Artist

UK ShopUS Shop

Featured Video 

 This is one of my favourite speed paining videos. I found it a few years ago and it was one of the first speed paintings I watched.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Deviant Art Feature: jonesmac2006 caricature artist

Bruce Lee Caricature

Artist: Scott Jones-McMahon
Deviant Art Account:

I don't get the chance to see much caricature art and Scott's work is by far the best I have seen by a long mile. His work is delightfully distorted but not so much that it is unrecognisable from the source. Skin tones are masterfully executed anchoring each image with a sense of reality. Bellow are a few of my favourite images in his gallery. Be sure to check out the full gallery yourself as there are so many fantastic pieces.

Green Mile Michael Clarke Duncan (John Coffey)

The expression on the face of John Coffey is a perfect balance of damage and aggression. In the film John was like a gentle giant who found himself on death row. The man looked intimidating but we found out he was as much a victim as the people he supposedly murdered. This piece captures the film perfectly.

Ripley Caricature

I love the rough feel to this image. Ripley looks tough in this. Replacing her feminine facial features with more masculine ones has really worked. The image is eye catching yet still recognisable. Extremely imaginative work on the subject matter.

A caricature of Milla Jovovich
I have never really seen a nude caricature and this one is awesome. The emphasis on curves combine with an almost rubber like quality makes this image really stunning. Great imagination and execution.

Clint Eastwood caricature

I absolutely love this image. Expression is perfect and the emphasis on the forehead is well captured. The lighting is done so well that you could almost mistake this caricature for the real Clint Eastwood. Hell I think I would rather see the caricature version in Dirty Harry.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Artist's Inspiration

Greetings all. We have a new series for you. Artist's Inspiration is written to highlight several art based articles at once. Each article we feature at least 3 sketchbooks from different sites that are in some way note worthy. We also search out interesting articles from news sites to help inspire you. There is even a section highlighting interesting art books.

Without further delay here is your first dose of Artist's Inspiration.


Sketchbook: If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my axe
Artist:  Spudonkey
Site: Imagine FX

Spudonkey has a really quirky style which looks fantastic. Line art is crisp and clean. The sketchbook has a great combination of studies and imaginative pieces.

Sketchbook: Vices Sketchbook
Artist: Vice

Worth a visit just for the shear amount of studies. You can tell Vice is a hard worker. It would be nice to see more of an emphasis on shading studies as I feel he is pretty confident with anatomy. Also brush confidence could use some work in places but these are little things. Cannot wait to visit this sketchbook again in a few weeks time.

Star Sketchbook.

Sketchbook: Garret AJ's Sketchbook nonsense
Artist: Garret AJ
Site: CGHub

Fantastic colours, great variety of works, and amazingly realised finished pieces. Really impressive works from start to finish. Garret is extremely talented, especially when it comes to colour, producing to very eye catching pieces.

Featured Book

Art of Pixar: 25th Anniv hc: The Complete Color Scripts and Select Art from 25 Years of Animation

If you have even just a passing interest in Pixar this book will be of interest to you. Georgous illustrations from the masters of animation.

Pick yours up today from Buy The Art Of Pixar (UK Shop)

Or  Buy The Art Of Pixar (US Shop)

Youtube Video

Our featured article comes from The Guardian

For those of you wanting to paint a scifi scene you may want to check out Shine on: Light Show at the Hayward Gallery. The concepts are extremely inspiring and can easily be translated into futuristic scenes.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Deviant Art Feature: SourAcid

I discovered SourAcid through a live chat that I join  every Wednesday. After a quick look at his gallery I felt I should feature his work on this blog. Here is the link to the full profile

Mainly focusing on portraits SourAcid has a very professional style. Rendering is handled with real care and attention. The lighting looks fantastic in every one of his pieces.

SourAcid's personality comes out in each of his pieces. One piece can have a serious tone but he is never afraid to try something a bit more fun. Octopolis (shown above) has a great over the top feel to it. Part of a colab this bizzar image is both eye catching and well executed. The pink hair really draws your eye to the subject and the tentacles ensure your eye won't be leaving in a hurry.

The thing that I really love about SourAcid's gallery is the bright vibrant colours, well that and the ladies XD. The images are strong enough to stand on their own but when you look at the whole gallery you get a real sense of SourAcid's skill. There is not a single bad image to bring the gallery down.

There are a few pieces of fan art. Normally I would not knowingly feature fan art images but in this case I will make an exception. L from death note looks recognisable yet SourAcid has left his own mark on this subject capturing his odd personality perfectly.

For some critique I would like to see more characters in environments. Taka (shown above) is a wonderfully realised piece and I would love to see more like it.

My personal favourite piece is the mummy (shown above). This unique take on  a classic monster is wonderfully depicted. The texture on the bandages is a great contrast to the leather coat and the background makes this image pop out.

Keep an eye out for more works from SourAcid.

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