Friday, September 19, 2008

What about the theater?

I've been studying recently the works of William Adolphe Bouguereau. The way he painted the human form and skin is unbelievable. (Click here and here to see two of his works) I've had the idea to do a series of illustrations involving kids and a dragon and I thought it would be interesting if the pictures looked like a theater production. The lighting that Bouguereau chose for most of his work seems to add greatly to that effect, and it inspired me to create these two characters, slightly exaggerating the features for a cartoony look but keep the realism in the skin and clothes.

Don't be tricked by that pitiful look... she's pleading with an art buyer :)

I'm working on the dragon now, but he still hasn't passed the scrutiny of my younger brothers' critique.

One thing that has bothered me in my current job of design and illustration for local companies, is the lack of flexibility. I mean that the work I do now has to be specifically what the buyer wants and I'm not given much creative leverage. As I work on my Children's portfolio, I enjoy experimenting with different techniques, and I hope I can enjoy that freedom in the book industry.

10 comments:

c.g.young said...

awesome, just awesome.
fantastic as always.

Kelly Light said...

I can't think of anything funny this time... these look $%#&* amazing!I can not wait to see the dragon!

I think you will experience more creative freedom out of the private sector of individual illustration clients/vs/editors and publishers. I've been there and it can be frustrating.

Anthony VanArsdale said...

Thank you so much C.G.

Thanks Kelly! I figured it might be better in the publishing industry... and I just posted the dragon, if you get this note

Phyllis Harris said...

Really fantastic characters!

I think you'll enjoy more creative freedom in publishing but especially in the trade book industry. The edu. publishers can be pretty straightforward in their art direction but not all of them are the same.It seems different with every publisher and every art director.

Jess said...

I love the way you do eyes. So many illustrator's of children's book do just dots - nothing wrong with this!!!! It's just my own personal preference is for the eyes to look a bit more realistic.

Anthony VanArsdale said...

Thanks Phyllis! it can be so frustrating where I am right now. anxiety can set in real easy

Thank you so much Jess! I really try to put a lot in the eyes... I'm learning a lot from Bouguereau's work... I have a book on his paintings by Fronia E. Wissman, and it's priceless. His work is often heavily criticized for its sentimentality , but he is one of the finest draftsmen I've ever seen

Kristi Valiant said...

Oh, I love those large pleading eyes! And your dragon in your newer post, he's fabulous. Anthony, your work never ceases to amaze me. I can't wait until you have books out there. Are you working on your own manuscripts to go with your illustrations?

Anthony VanArsdale said...

Hi Kristi! Thank you so much! and I'm so glad you asked

I just finished a book dummy for this story and I'm really pleased with it... I'm finalizing the look of some of the characters now and making a few revisions to the text... it's a comedy, and I will be posting more character designs over the next few weeks

kathy hare said...

absolutely beautiful Anthony, they are full of emotion..

Anthony VanArsdale said...

Thank you so much Kathy!