January 31, 2013

A Scandal in Belgravia - Ashqtara

A Scandal in Belgravia
Day 5 of posters! It's also the last day of January, a day I always found more interesting than the last day of December. I think it's either because sometimes it's the same day as Chinese New Year, or because it is so close to my best friend's (who is Chinese) birthday. However China has nothing to do with today's post (although it did with yesterday's) which is instead about Belgravia, in London. In particular the Belgravia that has Sherlock Holmes in it, at least the one from the BBC's TV show. I haven't watched it yet but it is on my list after the disappointingly long and dull movies of late. This tribute poster to the TV show is by Jule B. (DA's Ashqtara).

January 30, 2013

Soul Plant - SeanSoong

Soul Plant
I had to take a few minutes to decide how to handle this piece. I do all my research before writing, and I found out that Sean Soong (DA: SeanSoong) will be my first artist from China. I am admittedly quite poorly-informed about social relations with China, I think North Korea is supposed to be the real bad guy but I just about failed Socials in school and I didn't get any better once it stopped being forced on me. However, one thing I do know about China is that their internet privacy is insane, and they have a love-hate relationship with Google (which hosts/runs Blogger, the platform I use for this site). I found a website that tells you if your site is accessible or not, and as you can see, mine isn't. I don't think China would have anything about a beginning art review website so it must be my affiliation with Google. What this all means is that, while most readers can view this piece, I don't think Sean Soong will be able to without going around the firewall which could mean major problems. While I wouldn't encourage him to do that and it makes me sad that he may never read all this, I think his work is worth sharing with all of you and hopefully you can give him extra love on DA to make up for it!

January 29, 2013

O - Oinario


Just to spite myself from yesterday, when I said it shouldn't be a matter of form over substance but rather form=substance, I chose an artist (Jan Michael E Jaynario, DA:Oinario) today who says that form should come first then detail. He was speaking about Feng Zhu, a master of huge landscapes and objects, who pieces almost feel like sketches in their roughness but are most certainly complete and beautiful works of art. Feng Zhu has worked on just about every video game and movie you can think of which may explain the roughness as his works are usually reproduced by other companies in their medium of choice.

January 28, 2013

Art Is... - Techs181

Art Is...
Art is simple. Art is Geometric. Art is Smooth, Subtle, Dramatic. These are just some of the words used to describe art in this typographic poster by Morgan (DA's Techs181). A picture is worth a thousand words, but what if that picture has words of its own, is it worth more? And what if that picture is a summation, a collection of all that is Art in both its visual and linguistic forms? Personally I really like the irony of "having a piece of art on your walls" that is clearly labelled what it is, in case your less astute guests didn't notice!

January 27, 2013

Tron: Legacy Poster - Josh-Jackson

Tron: Legacy Poster
The other day I mentioned Tron and I haven't been able to keep it off my mind. This poster by Josh Jackson (DA: Josh-Jackson) is a fake movie poster for the sequel movie, Legacy, starring the gorgeous and talented @OliviaWilde. She plays Quorra, the last remaining ISO (a race of programs that evolved rather than be created). Josh does a great job here of portraying her isolation at being the last of her kind. I think the minimalism plays to that idea very well, though Josh states the style is more attributed to Olly Moss who does great re-imaginings of posters.

January 26, 2013

Steampunk Spliced Owl Mask - EpicLeather

Steampunk Spliced Owl Mask
I tried to find a piece of non-fan-art from Nathan Rodriguez (DA's Epic-Leather) to feature but ultimately it was this mask that I found most intriguing, a Splicer from BioShock. I have to admit that, like a lot of games, I bought BioShock on steam while it was cheap and haven't actually played it yet. I think for this game in particular I watched it at a friend's house for a while and was too overwhelmed by the late game that he was in, and subsequently underwhelmed by the early game when I went to play it myself. But with the beautiful new BioShock Infinite (link is NSFW and loud!) coming out I may have to catch up on the series, especially to see something as beautiful as this mask, in game!

January 25, 2013

Music - Kara-a

This is one of the most smartly composed photos I've seen in a while. Conceptual Depletion was another one, where I discussed staged and non-staged photography. This is definitely staged and it's done so with a working knowledge of science (notice the background is flipped). I love when the sciences and arts work together; there is so much math in beauty, and beauty in math. Here is a good explanation of the Golden Ratio, but if you really want your mind blown watch Vihart's videos starting with this one.

January 24, 2013

Tears of the Doctor - OKaShira2

Tears of the Doctor
Matt Smith will never be as great as David Tennant. Now that we've got that unpleasantry out of the way, I want to introduce you to the first piece of fan art I've ever featured, Tears of the Doctor by Jennifer (DA's OKaShira2). I had planned never to do fan art because it's usually of quite low quality and only of interest to the people who care about that show or series. I am an admitted Doctor Who fan but I think this piece is artistic enough to warrant being here. I love the emotional choices here. Doctor Who is one of the only shows - that wasn't a tear-jerking series finale - that has made me cry: The Doctor always loses everyone he loves, it's an immutable fact of who he is and it goes a long way to explaining him as one of the great anti-heroes.

January 23, 2013

Strawberries - HostileCobalt

Want to play a little game? Try to find the strawberries in this picture drawn by Guky (DA's HostileCobalt) with Copic markers - giving it that watercolor feel. I see flowers, I see a chocolate-syrup-covered apple, I definitely see a cute girl... oh, there they are, up at the top: hanging from a tree (although strawberries come on bushes at ground level). Despite the factual inaccuracy of this piece, it is dazzlingly cute and I just had to show it off.

January 22, 2013

Omega Suit - Benedickbana

Omega Suit
Omega Suit is a digital painting by Benedick Bana (DA: Benedickbana). He says it's in Dead Space style and I certainly see the resemblance, but it reminds me more of Tron: probably because of the disc-like shape of the gun and the way he is being "deleted". I also wanted to mention another of Benedick's pictures, Gravity Core; though they're not explicitly stated as such, they remind me of brothers (think the black and white ninjas from the G.I. Joe movie) who are possibly enemies too - they're good companion pieces.

January 21, 2013

Deserts - ClareManson

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Today's Menu:
All prepared by our critically acclaimed baker Clare Manson (DA: Clare Manson) who is vastly under-appreciated. The art of food has been called the ultimate art; it takes as much thought and talent and composition as any other art,  but it also has to taste good (unlike most art... I think.) The fact that it is often consumed so quickly after being made speaks to the fleeting quality of art, in that it is beautiful because it will not last.

January 20, 2013

Dream Yourself Away - LuizaLazar

Dream Yourself Away
This is a photograph. No digital illustration or drawing whatsoever, only editing. It's called Dream Yourself Away and it was taken and edited by Luiza Lazar (DA: LuizaLazar). It has a very ethereal, dream-like quality in the softness of the light and mist, which is just one of many good tweaks Luiza has performed here. To find out what the others are, read on...

January 19, 2013

Monochrome Life - Coferosa

Monochrome Life
Monochrome life is a painting (and poem) by Coro Gilang (DA's Coferosa). The interesting word in the title is of course Monochrome which in art is often referred to as gray-scale (although it can be the scale of any singular color, gray is just most common). The scale, or variety of shades in the one color, are what differentiate it from traditional black and white.

January 18, 2013

PSD 24 American Flag - Mannequinfactory

PSD 24 Amercian Flag
Today's piece is a little something different; it's not exactly art in its own right but it's a facilitator to making good art and there are a lot of things like that on DA, from tutorials to stock photos to files like this. It's a PSD file (for use in Photoshop, link down below) that contains a set of adjustments, including brightness, contrast, and obviously color, for each of the 3 preview images - the bottom left one is the original. For those unfamiliar with Photoshop or PSDs, essentially you drop your unedited picture into the file and just choose one of the batch adjustments and pow, your photo is professionally edited. This one here, American Flag, is courtesy of Ana (DA's Mannequinfactory).

January 17, 2013

Goddess of Elegance, The Treasure Hunter - GlaciesClover

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The above pictures are the Goddess of Elegance and The Treasure Hunter, both by Glacies (DA's GlaciesClover). She has a few other pieces in her gallery that are in this same style - a style I don't know the name of but certainly appreciate. It looks to me like pencil crayon but if you view it close (or very close on The Treasure Hunter) it's hard to say it's just a regular pencil crayon, but I'll get to that...

January 16, 2013

The Shop - Pino44io

The Shop
The post-apocalypse have never been so bright! There is something alluring (not just in this representation's vibrancy) in the idea of stores in the post-apocalypse; from Mad Max to Borderlands or S.T.A.L.K.E.R., the question that has always popped up in my mind is: where do they get all this stuff? Old cars and machines and signs, not to mention how do they move it all to one place! I think it boils down to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of mankind. In this case, the particular ingenuity of Viktor Koroedov (DA's Pino44io).

January 15, 2013

42176 and Baby - Russian-KAT-da

42176 and Baby
This isn't a piece I would normally pick but I included it for two reasons. The first is that I just finished a section in the last book of The Dark Tower series (Stephen King's Magnum Opus). In this section, the characters are running through the darkness while being chased by a "worm". This worm is later revealed as a beast with giant eyes and teeth, and human-centipede arms along its body, like our friend Baby here. The other reason is that this is a request to be featured from the artist, the first I've recieved! And there's no way I could say no to Kat Miller (DA's Russian-Kat-da); only partly because she is Russian, da.

January 14, 2013

Conceptual Depletion - Amruth-Pillai

Conceptual Depletion
Just about everything can be split into "There are two kinds of...". In this case, there are two kinds of photography, staged and not. I don't count people randomly posing as 'staged', however a special piece like this certainly fits into that category. The main difference is that there is often as much time spent in creating the setup for the picture as there is in taking the picture and processing it. Amruth Pillai (DA's Amruth-pillai) is the stage manager and photographer for this amazing shot (which is not a composite but rather many different matches)!

January 13, 2013

Revelation - Ariochdm

Woah. This is a digital painting by David Mulnix (DA's Ariochdm). A digital painting done "one brush stroke at a time." This one is worth a full view on page's DA, so go take a minute and do that. Seriously. Did you notice the wolves in the background? It's alright, go look again. How about the little butterflies on the flowers? Okay, you can look one last time, but pay attention! As David certainly did when he drew this piece. The pose, the hands and feet, and really every thing here is very well put together.

January 12, 2013

Portrait of B.V. - VirginieCarquin

Portrait of B.V.
The above is one of a series of portraits by Virginie Carquin (DA: Virginie Carquin). This one in particular, of the mysterious B.V., caught my eye because of the character; the unwritten back-story. In the description of the piece it is mentioned that B.V. is a character in a Science Fiction story. I couldn't find it but I'd like to read it if the detail in that story is half as good as what's shown here. From the scar on his forehead to the rigid facial structure, this character just screams interesting. It's even in his clothes...

January 11, 2013

One Winter Day - Justiv

One Winter Day
By mid-December, a lot of people are wishing for awesome Christmas presents, but I just want snow. That brilliant white stuff that feels fresh and new, and signals the start of wearing beautiful winter clothes. I have an art folder on my computer and one of those folders is dedicated entirely to girls in winter clothing. But by the time mid-January comes around and that snow is still coming down, my feelings have changed. It might be SAD (I have a lightbox but I can't say if it's helping or not) or it might be something else, but I wish that snow would just go away and stop causing power outages and blocked roads. I think the subject of Iva I's (DA's Justiv) picture feels the same way.

January 10, 2013

Sci-fi Syringe Concept - Project-Eagleye

Sci-fi Syringe Concept
It's still CES week! Or at least it should be. Either way, today I bring you a related topic. You see, the Consumer Electronic Show presents all the new technology; usually TVs, computers, phones, and other entertainment sort of devices. Very rarely (or rarely reported) something from the H+ community sneaks its way in. H+ as a general idea is the improvement of the human species, either by direct or indirect methods, and it's something I'm really interested in. Today's piece by R.J.Gützkow (DA's Project-Eagleeye) is a futuristic syringe: something that may be useful to future humans in injecting their daily supplements?

January 09, 2013

Reader Help!

The hardest part of this blog isn't figuring out what I'm going to say. It's not how to properly phrase critique or even finding good links to keep the review fresh and interesting. The hardest part is finding a good piece to review.

I chose my limitations (<100k pageviews and no Daily Deviation) because I figured it gave me a good set of people to choose from. If they had more pageviews they were probably already well known; if they had no DD then they haven't been given recognition yet; it was those two things I wanted to solve.

Without realizing it, however, I made myself a somewhat narrow group to choose from. People without more than around 10,000 pageviews are still learning the basics and what I have to say won't be of much use to them without more practice. And there are a lot of people in the range inbetween who have received DD's. There are also people who have gotten a lot of peer critiques on a lot of their work and so that's sort of an unwritten qualification: that I should help people who haven't already been helped.

I usually narrow my search by pageviews first since it is easiest. Then I look through for a piece I like and can comment on, which reduces the number of people further. Then I look through their stats or most-commented in their gallery, to see if they have a DD hidden away somewhere, which reduces even more people. It's heartbreaking to see good art, that I could help on, but pass over it to find other artists.

I'm asking you, dear readers, how you would feel if I opened up my limitations a bit? Maybe commenting on people who have DD's as long as it's not the DD piece, is alright? Perhaps you'd want to see more 1 and 2 rated pieces? I personally don't like that idea, it's also why I try to steer away from fanart, it doesn't quite qualify as art. Maybe I could just choose anyone, damn the limitations, and just give out a lot more 5 ratings?

I hope you comment below and give me some insight on what you'd like to see :)

Cellphone Nokia Morph - DaoyiLiu

Cellphone - Nokia Morph
Update: View this piece in fluid motion here. Those arms and hands are really cool, and that phone from different angles (and shapes!) is great too!

It's CES week! I can't tell what day it started. Their website says Tuesday, but I started getting news feeds about new products on Monday morning (which is when I'm writing this) and there's no difference in time zone between where I am and where it's being held. That doesn't matter though! What does matter is the new products that are being shown off: Project Shield (a mix between a console controller and a flip-phone and a gameboy) and the PaperTab Tablet (it has the annoying screen flash from a Kindle, but it's super bendy and cool). All that's missing is a device that's actually a phone and is bendy. For that we have the Nokia Morph from Daoyi Liu (DA: DaoyiLiu).

January 08, 2013

The Spirit of the Forest - SusanaVivar

The Spirit of the Forest
The Spirit of the Forest is a drawing by Susana Vivar (DA's SusanaVivar). It's a playful illustration, with glowing butterflies and big anime eyes. The artist manages to keep it from being too cutesy with the spirit's expression and of course the fact that she is completely nude. The nudity fits the natural theme of this picture and Susana has walked the fine line of nudity without sexualization, which most DeviantArtists fall well off of.

January 07, 2013

The Lost Golden Temple - Deathdy666

The Lost Golden Temple
This piece is a digital painting, one of many background-style paintings lately by an artist who prefers to be known as Death (DA's Deathdy666). Why he wants to be known by such a dark name I don't know; this background especially is quite bright and intriguing. All of his backgrounds are very interesting, in fact. It's especially impressive when you find out that his major focus is a manga character artist and the backgrounds are a kind of side deal; a backdrop to support the characters.

January 06, 2013

Careful, We will meet the special names that you consume. - UnikProdukt

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UnikProdukts are, believe it or not, ink, paint, and collage on vinyl records. They are the creations of Timothy Stones (DA's UnikProdukt). Featured here are: You do not know the special names, We will meet again, in strange forms, Be careful about what you consume, and Care. I think Timothy has chosen the perfect name for these as every one has a very unique message to go along with the design and background. Some of those characters and backgrounds repeat in his gallery but it's worth a look because even with repetition I couldn't feature them all here!

January 05, 2013

Freedom - Adrumo

Freedom is a minimalist piece by Adrián Rubio (DA's Adrumo). It's minimalist in both its visual representation and in the tools used to create it. I'm still very much an amateur at Photoshop, but I can see the basic brushes, and the bloat and swirl tools. In the work I do, at least, those tools are mostly used in picture retouching so it's very interesting to see them used in a graffiti design. Adrián doesn't explicitly call it graffiti but the simplistic design and theme of freedom from capitalism are so common in graffiti that it's hard to imagine it as anything else.

January 04, 2013

Hero - Lucity

I know I know, more cats. There's something inherent about the internet and cats, I'm not sure if it's indirect correlation where humans love cats and humans love the internet, or direct correlation in that cats just look good on the internet. Whatever the reasoning, this cat drawn by Luci (DA's Lucity) looks great. This might just be that correlation thing again but it even looks like it's smiling.

January 03, 2013

House 323 Full Plan - Built4ever

House 323 Full Plan
I was having a discussion with a friend about the Assassin's Creed games. We'd both only just played (and finished, and loved) the 2nd game and we were talking about the 3rd one which was just released. I mentioned that I loved the architecture in AC2 over other open-world games like Grand Theft Auto or Prototype because they were so beautiful to look at. AC3 in comparison has very few buildings and the ones that do exist are plain log cabins. The game could definitely do with some real architecture like this piece by Francois Beauregard (DA's Built4ever). He even wrote a journal post about the idea of virtual architects to really make video games worlds great.

January 02, 2013

Renior - Mohd90

Renior is a piece named after Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir. While I wouldn't usually know something like that, I had to do some extra research after I read the artist's, David Lemon (DA's Mohd90)'s, journal entry about reviewing. What I do here in reviewing is mostly rooted in personal and popular opinion, but since the artist has asked for expert opinion I had to go and become a quasi-expert first. I found it especially interesting that, though the piece is named after Renoir, it bares striking resemblance to the painting Impressionism was named after, Impression, soleil levant.

January 01, 2013

Happy New Years - Ensombrecer

Happy New Years
Happy New Year from both myself and Tom (DA's Ensombrecer)! With the way I schedule my posts, and if you're really eager, this could be the first thing you see in the inauspicious 2013. Though I hope you, like me, see the lips of a beautiful person pressing against yours, as the first image of the new year. I was looking some cheesy romantic kissing for this special post but nothing really appealed to me on DA; this picture caught my attention because of how opposite it was to what I was looking for.