Archive for the ‘Fantasy Art’ Category

Surrealist Fantasy Artist – Tomasz Setowski

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Have you ever seen the work of Tomasz Setowski? This artist specializes in fantasy art, but fantasy art as no other. Kasia Turajczyk suggests that his work is influenced by the polish illustrator Jan Marcin Szancer who died in 1973 and was a world renown childrens book illustrator, but I believe that the ethereal quality of the paintings by Tomasz Setowski are so much more. I believe Setowski must be influenced by many other artists as well to be able to attain the creativity and the imagery he is able to project in his paintings. These may come from his own inner being with little or no influence from any other painter, illustrator, or artist. Of course, I am sure much of his creativity stems from images, or stories he remembers from childhood, because all of his imagery is so childlike.

What I do know is that to fully appreciate the work of Tomasz Setowski , you need to stand  a few minutes and really observe all that goes on in his paintings, and once you do that you will believe in fairies, kings and queens, and enchanted forests. These paintings are full of optimism and happiness, this is the type of work we need more of in our lives.

Photo Via : Surrealist Fantasy Art


Anthropormorphic characters in Art / What are They?

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

William Blake, “Nebukadnezar” (1795)Anthropomorphic art is art where non human objects, deities or creatures are given human qualities. This type of art has been around for a long time. Even biblical scenes have taken on anthropormorphic characters, in paintings of scenes like Adam and Eve and the fall from grace. Greek mythology uses anthropormorphic characters when they portray the gods as humans with powers. Even the any hybrids like the sphinx, the centaurs and the mermaids have been around in the art world for thousands of years.

 

Why Anthropormorphic Creatures?

Man has always had a penchant for the unknown and drawing or creating non existent creatures allows our mind to fly with ideas. We enjoy telling tales of wild beasts, or super humans, or the greatest villains to roam the earth, and we use these created creatures to illustrate our stories.

Todays Digital Art

Because the new computer technology allows artists to manipulate images anyway they see fit, many digital artists use anthropormorphic figures in their digital art. There is some debate as to whether this type of art takes on other connotations and becomes more adult in nature, but no one can really answer that and say that all anthropormorphic art is adult in nature, in fact the only person that can answer that question is the artist himself.

 


Fantasy Artists

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

The silver warrior - Frank FrazettaJohn William Waterhouse used the classical style of painting, yet he used fantasy subject matter. His paintings were full of nymphs, mermaids, witches, gods and goddesses. Bosch still holds the informal title of Fantasy artist because of his fantastic landscapes. Waterhouse is thought of as a Fantasy artist even though his style is classical and represents the early 1900’s.

In the 50’s and 60’s when Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy novels were becoming popular. Publishers needed intriguing book covers to sell their novels. For this reason many budding Fantasy artists found work commercially. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote “The Hobbit” in the ‘30s and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy in the following years.

This series of books made a working living for various artists. For many years Tolkien’s books were illustrated exclusively by the Hildebrandt Brothers, and it was their art that graced the original covers of the Tolkien books. These brothers were twins and they painted more or less as a team until Tim passed away in 2006 leaving Greg to continue working alone.

Another artistic venture that they involved themselves in, which was commercially a huge success, was the card game “Magic, the Gathering”. This role playing game became popular and fueled the imagination of thousands of teen-agers. Although it was more of a Sci-Fi genre, the brothers also have the first Star Wars movie poster as a claim to fame.

Frank Frazetta is another artist in love with the fantastic. Born and raised in Brooklyn he was an up and coming artist that found work commercially with Ace, Lancer and Bantam Books where he painted book jackets. Frazetta painted for the Edgar Rice Burroughs “Tarzan” books and his fantastic “Conan the Barbarian” series. Frazetta was also a cartoonist and it is important to mention that many fantasy artists started out making a living drawing for comics.

Photo


Amy Brown – Fantasy Artist

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Amy Brown - MelancholyAmy Brown is an artist that became popular in the ‘90s and remains very popular today. Her work has been made into prints, greeting cards, T-shirts and figurines. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Amy Brown fell in love with the fey and used the forest and rivers of the Puget Sound as backgrounds for her characters.

Her website says that she took her inspiration from the “Dark Crystal and “Labyrinth”. While both of these films were not fine art per se, they were art unto themselves with the wild and fantastic fantasy creatures that were the Brian Children of Jim Hensen. These movies fired the imagination of many a Fantasy Artist and it is easy to see why Amy Brown found them to be so inspiring. If you are delving into creating your own Fantasy Art, it might be worth it to you to check out these two films.


Fantasy Art – Lord of the Rings

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Gollum - The Hildebrandt BrothersPeter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” movies gave a huge push to the popularity of Fantasy Art. Tolkien’s trilogy in any of its incarnations contributed heavily to the Genre of Fantasy Art.

The modern version of Fantasy Art comes from comics and in literature. Fantasy literature comes from authors such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien. Tolkien had written his book “The Hobbit” around 1930 and in the subsequent years he wrote the trilogy. This culminated in the 60’s when his work in its entirety was widely read. The artists that did the early book covers became the forerunners of what is known as Fantasy Art. Contrary to what they may say, you can tell a book by its cover, at least if it is a Fantasy novel.

The art that was generated by the Peter Jackson film trilogy took fantasy art to a whole different level. The sets and art direction for the films was unprecedented in its beauty and impact on audiences. It is very difficult to find specific information about the artists that contributed to the film’s production and much of the info available simply references Peter Jackson. It probably took teams of artists to develop the art that made the look of the Trilogy films.

Photo: Timefold


The First Fantasy Artist

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Garden of Earthly Delights - Right PanelIt is said that Hieronymous Bosch (1450 – 1516) was the first Fantasy Artist. While many artists dabbled in what we would term Fantasy Art whenever they created a work tied to myths (Greek or Roman), Bosch was the only artist prior to the 1900’s that produced truly Fantastic landscapes and creatures.

In his paintings, Bosch portrayed evil and evoked fear through the images of demons and strange human beings half animals. His paintings were extremely original and imaginative, especially when taking into account the time they were painted.

His paintings have had different interpretations through history. Some considered them amusing; others interpreted his paintings, full of monsters and fantasy, as a reflection of the artists’ dreams and nightmares. It is now commonly accepted that his paintings reflect specific moral and spiritual truths of its time.


Fantasy Art

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

He Man -vs- Skeletor by Boris VallejoFantasy art is an emerging art form that has its roots in art history. By definition it takes the magical and fantastic and creates an image that comes purely from the human imagination. Also fantasy can be attached to myth and arch type as in Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology. Surrealism contributed greatly to the development of popular Fantasy art.

Frequently this genre is lumped together with Science Fiction and Horror and in fact there might be elements of both in Fantasy, but Sci-Fi and Horror are related to themes that could actually happen, Fantasy is that which is impossible made visually possible. Fairies, Mermaids, Dragons, Wizards, and Witches are the stuff Fantasy is made of.

The name “Fantasy art” is to in no way imply that this style is primitive or crude in any way. This is the unbelievable brought to image in complete photo like clarity paying close attention to the last detail. Fantasy Artists are very skilled in their work and the images are so provocative that it has given recent rise to this style.

When discussing Fantasy art, it is important to mention that the growth of Paganism as well as the Gothic sub-culture has contributed to a surge of growth in this style of art in the last 10 years. Pagans are fans of the fey and they purchase this art in great numbers.


Mythology in Fantasy Art

Friday, February 8th, 2008

The FallenMythology has been used in all art forms since the beginning of mankind, and we continually see it throughout the art work of Ancient Greece and Rome. Even in the 18th century artists were fascinated with portraying the gods and their muses through the Neoclassical era. Today we are still fascinated with mythology and this is reflected through most fantasy art that we see today.

Fantasy art has taken the figures of our mythological past and evolved them one step further. This genre shows magical, mythical figures in fantasy worlds. They are settings of ancient myths or legends and put into modern day settings.

So whether you are a fan of the classics or prefer the more modern forms of fantasy art, you will find traces of mythology and mythological creatures throughout the different art genres in history.

Some are depicted as if they were real creatures and others take on a surreal feeling to them. But in all eras you will find paintings of muses, or goddesses, or of strange half man- half animal creatures that come from our most ancient beginnings.


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