Inspirational Artist Feature – Megan Lara

Leah by MeganLara

Leah by MeganLara

Megan has a lovely “stained glass” quality to the coloring of her artwork. These illustrations are part of her personal “Art Nouveau” series.

She has an absolute love for all things pop culture. From Doctor Who to Dexter, Megan loves it all. Her beautiful fan inspired artwork can be found in all the far corners of geek-dom: ThinkGeek, Threadless, J!nx, Fangamer, Mighty Fine, and Teefury just to name a few. So its extremely fitting that she’s currently working on creating covers for Dark Horse/Joss Whedon’s new “Willow” comic series from the Buffyverse. Megan, if you are reading this, I can honestly say I’m jealous. I’d love to be creating illustrations for Joss Whedon.
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CONTEST + New Shirts & Totes in my Shop

To thank you all for your support, I’ve decided to run a contest for all my fans. The winner will receive a t-shirt, hoody, or tote bag of their choice from my society6 art shop. To enter, simply comment on this post before 11:59pm November 9, 2012. The winner will be selected randomly. Good luck everyone!

New Shirts And Totes by Nicole Cleary

To see a compilation of my work visit my gallery page.


Halloween Mask – Painting

I started this painting a few days ago with the thought that I wanted to create something a bit different form my normal artwork. To be suitably Halloween themed, I gave the subject matter a more dark and creepy feel. While working on it, I developed a rather detailed back-story for the character, but I’d love to hear your feelings of the piece and what you think it is about.

Halloween Mask Painting by Nicole Cleary

Halloween Mask Painting by Nicole Cleary


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Dynamic Illustrations by Ture Ekroos

Beyond his amazing technical painting ability, Ture Ekroos has a knack for creating well composed illustrations which establish a large scene. As a freelance illustrator living in Finland who commonly works on book covers, I can definitely see how that medium has influenced his work. Every piece is perfect for setting a story, involving dynamically positioned characters, and placing them in an interesting background with a clear climax coming to a head in the visual. Each work immediately draws the viewer in to the situation the characters are facing and are wonderful examples of great book cover design. Which I expect jump right off the shelf and into the hands of potential readers.

Check them out for yourself and let me know what you think…

Depths by Ture Ekroos

Depths by Ture Ekroos


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Inspirational Artist Feature – Andy Goldsworthy

leaves - sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy

leaves – sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy creates sculptural artwork from the surrounding area’s environmental elements, commonly using rocks, sticks, and leaves, with the soul purpose of dissipating within a few weeks, days, or even just a few hours. Applying such a light touch to nature really leaves a lasting effect with the viewer. Even if the artwork has already worn away naturally. The way the natural light and shadow plays off his artwork in the course of a day is very thoughtful. Each piece is beautifully executed, but my favorite is the “Leaves” artwork above. Even though it seems very simple, it is actually very complex and time consuming. This specific piece was not edited with paint or anything of the sort. Instead, he sought out every leaf with a specific color tone and pattern. Then placed them artistically to create a natural gradient of color. After finishing every piece, the artist takes a photo to preserve the moment then moves on. The video at the bottom of this post shows some of his works in progress and also shows how his finished pieces degrade over time. Which is, quite simply, beautiful to watch.
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Living On Antaries – cityscape photoshop painting of an alien world

"Living On Antaries" Photoshop Painting by Nicole Barker

“Living On Antaries” Photoshop Painting by Nicole Barker

“Living On Antaries” is a massive panoramic view sitting on the top of the tallest tower of an alien world I conceptualized and named Antaries. The digital painting mixes a gritty over-populated city feel with organic sculptural elements and light patterns which add movement to the piece. This is one of my older Photoshop paintings which I completed years ago, but then brought back to alter it considerably after receiving some constructive feedback. Mainly, I took out a human character in the foreground which felt out of place, and really filled out the background substantially to show complexity throughout and add depth.
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Back To The Roots – Colored Pencil Drawings From My Past

Pulling You In - Colored Pencil Drawing by Nicole Cleary

Pulling You In – Colored Pencil Drawing by Nicole Cleary

Coming back to the roots of where I started in my art career, I decided to show some older pieces I created with traditional media. My professors described my art style in college as “painting with colored pencils”. I’d pull out my 250+ PrismaColor pencils set and disappear for hours, coming back with hand-cramps, the stubs of what used to be colored pencils, and a smile on my face. I would use extremely thin solid lines and a plethora of bright, saturated colors to create each artwork. Towards the end of each piece, I would go over the sketchy colored pencil with a white (or neutral colored pencil for the background) coloring over every line to blend the colors together. Each PrismaColor set came with a smudge stick for this very intention, but I hated the effect the smudge stick created. It was too wide and blurred all the lines instead of mixing the colors on the paper in specific areas. Using a thin tipped colored pencil allowed me to keep the crisp edges I wanted in some sections while blurring the colors in other sections. I found that when I moved to digital art with my Intous 4 Wacom tablet, the essence of my style remained.
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