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June 15, 2015

A Monochrome Moleskine

I am captivated by Vahid’s marvelous monochrome moleskine. It was no surprise for me to read that his illustration experience includes some projects in animation and cartooning, because the artist’s passion for it bleeds through into his sketchbook. My first impression of several drawings was that they seemed like paused frames in the middle of a movement. The boldness and simplicity of his illustrations, along with a story they seem to be suggesting, evoke ancient black-figure paintings with a modern spin. It’s a cool combination of sharp angles and soft curves creating fascinating figures that prove you don’t need color to breathe life into a sketch.

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May 22, 2015

Elena Chetverik: Hide and Seek

I have to let my emotions get the better of me on this post: I LOVE this series. I don’t understand everything that is going on in this game of hide and seek, I don’t know what happens when each character is found. Why are they wearing animal masks? In what kind of world does this take place? The viewer is left to either answer these questions, or leave them unanswered.

There’s a balance between beautifully illustrating a scene and telling a story. This series by Elena Chetverik allows the two to meet in the middle. The story exists but is not defined. The people are over-large, awkwardly positioned, the setting rough and unfinished and yet both have more character than had they been drawn down to the last detail. Elena’s style is so much her own: her shading haphazard, her lines imperfect. I love it all.

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May 21, 2015

Sketchcraft

Crystal balls, ouija, magic circles… Is this a sketchbook or a spellbook? Emma Black pulls art and occult together in a hypnotic style. There’s something in the cryptic imagery that makes it come off more spiritual than spooky. Again and again I find myself mesmerized by her ritualistic repetition of geometric patterns and shading in thin, straight lines. Her series of animal sketches has the same magical undertones, where in pencil she draws the natural, then adds an element of the unnatural in red. It’s a compelling sketch style that’s simplistic and mystic. 

You can follow Emma Black on instagram to keep up with her witchy business.

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May 18, 2015

Barcelona, 365

I'm in the mood for some sight-seeing today. I took a quick tour around Barcelona through the sketchbook of Òscar Julve. He is an illustrator from Spain who challenged himself to draw his city for an entire year. Barcelona, 365 is the well-chosen titled for his blog. I really enjoy seeing artists set specific motivational challenges for themselves to get sketching, even if it's an idea as simple as doodling your way through your hometown. It's easy to get caught in the details when sketching something right in front of you, but Julve's talented hands stick to creating rough sketches out of thin lines that evocatively capture the ambiance of Barcelona's corners.

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May 11, 2015

Soft Shading, Bold Contrast

Elfandiary’s sketchbook is magic. I’ve been bewitched by the soft shading + sharp geometric cut-outs coming together to make something that is delicate and bold at the same time. Page after page of glamorous people are drawn in a style that is realistic in some parts and sketchy in others. It’s both exciting and elegant! The artist has also posted a few mesmerizing time lapse videos of their drawing process that you can see right here.

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May 4, 2015

Serial Doodling

I began following Eric von Boxtel on Instagram a few months ago, when his layered and full-colored doodles popped up on my feed. They instantly caught my attention because there's probably nothing I like more than thick black doodled lines over a backdrop of color. It looks easy, it looks like a mish mash of a mess, like a kid who might have gotten away with a box of markers, but it's not at all the case.

These scribbles and shapes of color are intentional and come together so perfectly. I love looking at each spread, trying to find something new or to figure what he's drawn first on the page. If you want to be mesmerized for a full minute and forty-five seconds, watch this time-lapse video.

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April 8, 2015

April Spooks

I never wait until October to enjoy a good dose of spooky. This Italian artist's sketchbook is a small town of goofy monsters, all drawn in sepia pen. The bizarre creatures Paride Bertolin dreams up are scary in design, but the darkness became lighthearted after I noticed their awkward and playful expressions. I find it so endearing to see them looking gawky and stiff, like nervous new acquaintances or someone who hates having their picture taken. If the quirky and the macabre are right up your alley, go look at Bertolinís sketchbook right now!



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