Happy New Year to you all ...

As I've been a little lax in my maintentance of this blog in the last few months I thought I'd create a post with a few sites to provide you with some inspiration for the coming year.

Natalie Shau


One of my favourite Artists from DeviantArt She is originally from Lithiuania, but currently living and studying in London. You can find her dark, but often whimsical work at Natalie Shau and blueblack.

Robert Chang



Another awesome artist whose work has graced the pages of many Ballistic Publishing books and whose work sets a high standard for others to work towards. You can find his personal portal at Ethereality.

Ally Fell


Ally Fell is a 3D animator, modeller and concept artist who lives in Derbyshire in the UK. You can see his work at Darkrising.

Jaime Jones


Another excellent concept and fantasy artist whose images fuel the imagination. visit Artpad, his personal portal.

Henning Ludvigsen and Natascha Roeoesli


A talented norwegian artist who works with a games developer in Greece and a beautiful Swiss artist and photographer in her own right. A couple in real life but individually both very talented artists. Visit henningludvigsen.com and tascha.ch.

Rafi Adrian Zulkarnain


An indonesian based artist whose artwork reflects an interesting mix of cultural influences. Quite beautifully executed. Visit RAZ artWorks! for more examples.

The Fantastic Concepts of Thierry "BARONTiERi"Doizon



Anyone who is a fan of the work of contemporary concept artists are likely to have come across the cool work of an artist who calls himself "BARONTiERi" and whos real name is Thierry Doizon. If you head on over to his online portfolio barontieri.com you like myself will most likely spend a while perusing the 30 or so images in his gallery. You should also should take a good look at his process and goodies page, where there are some informative tutorials. His links page is also cool, with links to many artists whose works I enjoy. His work has appeared in a number of magazines, books and the Devil May Cry comic, it has also appeared in 3 of Ballistic Publishings, Expose books. If you want to read more also visit his Windows Live Spaces Blog.

Art, Design and Photography Emags

I've been finding a lot of free art, design and photography emags lately. Some of which you can download and some which are browser based. The beauty of these emagazines is that they use no paper and that they are really easy to use. I've been able to use mags in chinese without too much difficulty. Only frustration is that you need a computer to view them ... roll on umpc (Ultra Mobile PC).

Some of these mags, even emulate the whole page turning experience. I think however, that as cute as this is, it's only going to be a shortlived feature ... I soon grew tired of "turning" pages. I much prefer clicking in the corner or on a button. Check out 08SHOW, it's in chinese but should be fairly easy to follow.

Once I started exploring the site, I also came across a link to a photoshop weblog in German where there were some really cool articles. It's well worth exploring so here's the link.

Dave Stevens


For fans of Good Girl Art and nostalgic images Dave Stevens is undoubtedly one of the finest examples, and one of my favourite artists. His work has inspired a great many modern comic artists and illustrators. His work includes Rocketeer, Tarzan and Bettie Page. His images are evocative of the pulp comics of the 30's and 40's. His work speaks for itself, visit his website to see more of his work.

Exotique 2 Available for Preorder

Pages from EXOTIQUE 2
Ballistic Publishing have announced the release of EXOTIQUE 2. This annual publication of the world’s most beautiful digital characters features 269 artworks by 168 artists from 38 countries. If EXOTIQUE 2 is anything like its predecessors, then it is a must have for your digital art library. EXOTIQUE 2 is published in 2 editions; a soft cover edition retailing for US$39 and a leather-bound Special Edition retailing for US$99. The first purchasers of either edition will receive 4 posters of Art from this excellent publication. For more information visit Ballistic Publishing.

Character Designs - An Artists Resource

For the commercial artist, the search for resources and reference material is an unending process. Character Designs is a site I came across in one of my regular searches for resources. Hong Ly, who created the site, describes Character Designs as a "nexus for aspiring artists and professionals in the industry of design for movies, gaming, and animation." The site features interviews of professionals, galleries and plenty of reference material including; figures, textures for 3D models, and tutorials. I do like the fantasy and oriental focus of some of the character reference and photos. Drop by Character Designs today and take a look.

Barry Windsor Smith


Like Michael Kaluta and Jeffrey Jones, Barry Windsor Smith is an artist who I was introduced to through an artbook called "The Studio." His art is very distinctive and is heavily influenced by celtic and PreRaphaelite art. His treatments of wolverine as Weapon X and Conan have remained some of the most admired works in the field of comics. For examples of his work please visit barrywindsor-smith.com.

Braid Media Arts


Rick Berry and Darrel Anderson are digital artists whose work I have enjoyed for a long time. They both work in a style which features a strong technorganic quality. Rick Berry is an award winning artist whose illustrations have featured on the covers of many comics and fantasy and science fiction novels. His work can be found at his personal portal Rick Berry Studio and has been featured in books by Stephen King, William Gibson and Steve Perry.


Darrel Anderson is an artist whose digital work was introduced to me via the Atari where his digitally painted screen resolution images came to life. His work has always been innovative and pushed both artistic and technological boundaries. Both artists have contributed to many Movies, Role Playing Games and have even collaborated on some very interesting 3D Software called Groboto. Give yourself a treat and head on over to Braid Media Arts.

Intuos3 A5 Wide Reviewed


As an artist, working on the computer can be an especially frustrating and non-intuitive process. I know many of you have wished for a more natural interface and until you can afford to buy a Wacom Cintiq or they improve the responsiveness of Tablet PCs, I highly recommend looking at a graphics tablet like the Intuos3 A5 Wide from Wacom. I've just finished a review of this excellent unit and I found it quite impressive. If you wish to find out more, read my full review at Kickstartnews.

d'artiste : Digital Painting


If you've had an interest in learning the art of Digital Painting, then this volume in the excellent d'artiste series from ballistic publishing is the book for you. I received earlier volumes in the d'artiste series for review and thoroughly enjoyed the information they imparted.
Like all books in this series, Digital Painting follows a similar format and features some of the works and also tutorials from several talented artists in this field. It also features selected works at the end of each guest artists section in which the artist comments on the piece being shown. This volume features digital artists Linda Bergkvist, Phillip Straub, John Wallin and Robert Chang, all of whom are Masters of this medium. The tutorials are well worth the investment as are the guest galleries ... visit Ballistic Publishing for more information. d'artiste: Digital Painting is presented in Slipcased and Limited Edition versions.

Painter - The World's Finest Painter Art


I recently bought a copy of "Painter" a book from Ballistic Publishing, which collects some of the best examples of digitally painted art and all which has been created using Corel Painter. All I can say is Wow ... talk about impressive. Upon opening the book I spent hours looking at the work which was selected to appear in this collection.
With the book broken into sections like Character in Repose, Character in Action, Portrait and Concept Art amongst others, there is plenty to keep your interest. I was blown away by several pieces in this excellent book, one in particular by Bruce Hamilton Dorn called Dancers in Repose features Two dancers painted in a very expressive style, it is a piece I would very much enjoy owning a print of.
The book features work from many artists and almost as many countries ... with artists like Jason Chan, Aleksei Briclot, Todd Lockwood, Robert Corsetti and Wu-Huang Chin, the last two of which I hadn't heard of before this book, there is plenty to enjoy. PAINTER is presented in a high quality volume consisting of 192 pages and is available in a leather-bound Special Edition and Soft Cover. If you are a collector of digital art books or an artist looking for inspiration then pick up Painter you won't regret it.

Expose 4 Review

Expose 4, edited by Daniel Wade and Paul Hellard
ISBN: 1-921002-29-8
Reviewed by: Mario Georgiou, June 2006
Published by: Ballistic Publishing
Requires: An interest in computer graphics and digital art
MSRP: US$49.00 (softcover)

As an avid collector of art, design and photography books it has been my pleasure to own many excellent publications over the years. Every year I look forward to collections from several of the very best in fantasy and comic art but only recently has this included volumes which collect the very best of computer graphics (CG) and digital art. Ballistic Publishing is a company which has done a fantastic job of putting together collections of the state of the art in this field.

Exposé 4 is not about teaching you how to illustrate or render. It will not walk you through the step-by-step process of modeling, rendering and sketching or show you how to use the tools which facilitated all of the works featured in the book. It is however pure inspirational eye candy, food for the imagination and something which will hopefully inspire many of tomorrow's artists to create a body of work that is featured in future editions of this book and others like it.

What I particularly enjoyed was that the standard of work in Exposé 4 is high indeed. The grand master selected for Exposé 4 is Stephan Martiniere, who is one of my favorite CG illustrators. His work displays a luminous and techno-organic quality which is almost sketch-like.

I was really bowled over by the architectural exteriors and interiors sections. The quality and depth of detail in the renderings is such that I defy anyone to tell me that they don't find them convincing. I also found the standard of the painted portrait division was incredible. Many of the pieces featured here would compete with traditionally produced art in the same genre. Whilst the figures in the rendered portrait division still, by and large, have that artificial look to them, there were a few which you will swear are exceedingly good photo manipulations.

As I went through each section there were a great many surprises and best of all was the realization that the book contains a truly international sampling of talent. There were a great many artists whose work I was familiar with and there were equally as many whom I felt the urge to look up on the internet after I'd finished my first couple of passes through the book. This search was aided by the URL's posted next to the artists’ names in the index at the back of the book.

Cons: Price might scare off a few folks. I'm going to have to wait another year till the next title is out. In my opinion, one of the selections for an excellence award was a bit of a stretch as it looked like a poorly cropped and processed Photoshop image, but this was really the only exception in an otherwise amazing presentation.

Pros: Excellent production values. The artists represented in this book are all first class. Exposé 4 is a publication aimed squarely at collectors of CG, fantasy art and illustration. This book is a must-have as it sets the bar for what is currently accepted as the state of the art in the field of digitally created art and computer graphics. As I've stated in previous reviews, Ballistic Publishing has consistently produced publications which hit the mark. If you are an artist who wants to see the best examples of what is possible in your craft, a fan of digital illustration, or just want to look at some amazing art, this book should be on your short list. Highly recommended.

This review has been reproduced in its entirety from Kickstartnews.com
Expose 4 and other excellent books can be purchased at the Ballistic Publishing Website.

3DM3.COM


3DM3.COM - 3DM models creation is an online resource for information on Computer Graphics and Animation, and features the news, interviews and information on high-end 3D design. The Site was founded in March 20, 2001. I spent some time reading several features, which are linked to from the site, and particularly enjoyed one which covered the de-aging of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen for X-men 3. The site also hosts the excellent CGFolks forum and online galleries, which feature some excellent CG artists.

d'artiste: Concept Art is released

Ballistic Publishing have announced the release of another in their excellent d'artiste series. d'artiste: Concept Art, features the techniques of leading concept artists Viktor Antonov, George Hull, Andrew Jones and Nicolas "Sparth" Bouvier. In this masterclass tutorial book, these four artists showcase concept art techniques which are used to create environments, characters and machinery for film, television and video games.



From what I can see it looks like they've come up with another excellent educational resource for Production Designers, Concept Artists and Imageers. If the page gallery is anything to go by the book has a variety of styles presented in it and it looks like it would appeal to Illustrators, designers and artists alike. d'artiste: Concept Art is published in 2 editions; A Leather Bound Limited Edition, and a Slipcase edition. For more information about d'artiste: Concept Art visit Ballistic Publishing.

d'ART - FINE-ART.COM

FINE-ART.COM is an enormous art and resource site where you can find contributions from thousands of artists, collectors, and dealers. Fine art.com features a listing service, a web directory and even facilitates art research through its forums. you can use the listing service to list and find art. Search the directory to find specific types of artistic websites. Critiqueing or researching an artist is easy, simply visit the artist forums.

Character Modeling from Ballistic Publishing

d'artiste—Digital Artists Master Class: Character Modeling,
ISBN 1-921002-11-5
Reviewed Published May 2006
Published by: Ballistic Publishing
MSRP: US$55.00 (soft cover slipcase edition), US$145.00 (limited edition)$69.95

For many fans of computer graphics (CG), the most enjoyable part of any CG art is seeing just how realistic a character the artist can create. Part of the enjoyment is being able to turn to friends and share the thrill of being entertained by the artifical reality. Part of the enjoyment is the appreciation of the talent and experience needed to create great CG. For anyone working in the world of CG art, achieving this level of reality is one of the hardest things to do.

Movies such as Final Fantasy, The Lord of the Rings and the latest crop of Star Wars movies have displayed a level of hyper-realism which has left many of us truly gobsmacked. I remember sitting in a theatre in Toronto watching Final Fantasy in digital and smiling to myself with a real respect for what this movie represented. It was a whole new level of sophistication in the creation of artificial characters and imagery.

Character Modeling is an impressive book. Like others in Ballistic Publishing's d'artiste Series it features the work of three artists who work in the industry. The book features Francisco A. Cortina, Steven Stahlberg and Pascal Blanché. These artists have created some amazing work over their careers and some of the renderings in this volume make you just sit back in awe of their ability to create realistic characters.

Each artist showcases his work in a gallery featuring some of the best pieces. Like the other titles in the d'artiste series the artist then presents a tutorial in which he very effectively demonstrates some of his working methods along with some insights into how to make your work more believable. Another gallery follows, showcasing the works of invited artists.

Francisco A. Cortina who is the first artist featured and is famous for his work on the movies Aeon Flux, the landmark Final Fantasy—The Spirits Within, and on The Final Flight of the Osiris in the Animatrix Movie. His gallery and tutorials showcase some of the better images in this book. I also thoroughly enjoyed the work showcased in his guest artists gallery, in particular the Knight of the Temple (which had an amazingly gritty quality), and one of an Asian child eating a tomato.

Steven Stalhberg is the second featured artist and although his work is far better than what I can create with the tools he uses, I found his characters looked a little too similar. All his females have a sameness to them which to a certain extent takes away from my appreciation of what he does as an artist. However his tutorial, Telling a story: One Last Time, is excellent. As with the earlier guest gallery, his featured artists are incredibly talented. The digital model of Monica Bellucci and the girl in Track Day are excellent examples indeed.

The final featured artist is Pascal Blanche who specializes in creating quasi-human and non-human beings that have an almost cartoonish but uncanny realistic quality. All his pieces have a unique powdery/dusty feel which adds a feeling of authenticity to his renderings. I'm a fan of his work. Blanche's tutorials cover the creation of some of his more unusual looking creatures and his selections for his guest gallery also reflect his unusual world view.

Cons: As I stated in my earlier review of d'artiste: Matte Painting, I felt it would have been good to see a few hands-on tutorials with a CD containing the associated files.

Pros: Well presented with excellent production values. The artists presented in this book are all top notch. d'artiste: Character Modeling is aimed at the artist who is interested in the art of creating realistic and believable characters. The titles in the d'artiste series are examples of how to produce books for the professional artist and collector of digital art. Ballistic Publishing has consistently produced books which hit the mark and set the standard for showing the state of the art in digital craftsmanship. If you are an artist who wants to learn about your craft, a fan of digital character creation, or just want to look at some amazing renderings of people, scenes and characters, both human and not so human, then this book is a must-have.
Highly recommended.
This review has been reproduced in its entirety from Kickstartnews.com
Character Modelling and other excellent books can be purchased at the Ballistic Publishing Website.

Jason Chan - Digital Dreamer


Jason Chan is an artist whose work I came a cross a while back, but a recent feature [May 2006] in UK Magazine ImagineFX brought him back to my attention. His digital paintings of angels, gothic babes and fantasy characters are stunning to say the least. His work history is like a who's who of Fantasy Gaming, RPG and book publishing companies. Born in Stockton, California in 1983, he is a young artist but don't let that fool you. His work shows his talents are to be taken seriously. Visit his website Jason Chan Art for a look at his excellent work.

EXPOSÉ 4 Released


Ballistic Publishing have announced the release of EXPOSÉ 4, the latest annual publication of the world's best digital art. If EXPOSÉ 4 is anything like its predecessors, then it is a must have for your digital art library. EXPOSÉ 4 is published in 3 editions; A Limited Edition Version with 16 extra pages, 12 Art Prints and a deluxe leather and gold foil binding, and also in hardcover and softcover versions. For more information about EXPOSÉ 4 visit Ballistic Publishing.

The Art of Adi Granov


Adi Granov is a comic book artist and digital artist who grew up in bosnia duru=ing the war years spent a couple of years in croatia and now lives in the UK. His work adorns the covers of Marvels' Current Iron Man Series. Marvel comics named him as one of their "Young Guns" in August 2005. The Young Guns are a group of artists who Marvel believe have the qualities that make a leading light in the world of comic art. He worked with comic book writer Warren Ellis on the post-Avengers Disassembled relaunch of Iron Man. His work has a highly polished quality to it and reflects this young artists talent at illustrating. The Art of Adi Granov is well worth a visit.

Bud Plant - Books, Art and Comics

For a number of years now, I've been a collector of Comics, Art and Photography Books. One of my favorite sources for books has been Bud Plant, who are a specialist store based out of Grass Valley, CA. Bud Plant is also a collector who began in the early 1960's by collecting comic books. He set up the Bud Plant Store in 1970 and expanded the variety of products to include art books, graphic novels, comic strip collections, comics, books on illustrators from the past and present, popular culture, erotic art and photography, and countless other products. They specialize in rare and out of print books as well as limited and specialist items. If you are looking for something not generally found at amazon then give them a try. Visit Bud Plant here.