Scott Godlewski is one of the artists on Kurt Busiek and Daryl Gregory's Dracula: The Company of Monsters, but he also has a flair for the pulp that goes beyond horror. After all, he's one of the creators behind Mysterious Adventure Magazine, an action comics anthology that pays tribute to the pulp comics of old. Even his fanart consists of action-packed portraits of his favorite battle-ready characters.
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Kerby Rosanes is a doodler in the best sense of the word. His notebooks and sketchbooks burst with swords, lizards, tendrils, clouds, squid, airships and homunculi—a bizarre mashup of the natural and the surreal, the adorable and the macabre. And while the pieces tend to be similar in style, each one comes with its own surprises.
One thing that I particularly enjoy about looking at art students' work is the sense that the student is playing with her myriad fascinations and joys as she gets to know herself as an artist. For Minneapolis College of Art and Design student Rosemary Valero-O'Connell, those fascinations include Hannibal, cicadas, a dash of Japanese cuteness and quotes that are inspirational without being sappy.
Let's just take a moment to glory in the perfection that is Nathan Fillion outfitted with a maple leaf shield riding atop his mighty, dam-building steed. It's just one of many illustrative brainchildren of Mingjue Helen Chen, a visual development artist Walt Disney Animation Studios whose creations range from Adventure Time with Scrubs' Turk and J.D. to some particularly painterly takes on Lara Croft and Sailor Moon.
I find video game fanart especially interesting because it's a chance to see primarily digital characters in an analog medium. And you can really see Rachel Elm's hand in her manga and video game-inspired artwork—as well as her original images. Her inking and colorwork offer an energy that lifts the characters off the screen.
A couple of weeks ago, we showed you Abigail L. Dela Cruz's fabulous retro Sailor Moon designs. But Dela Cruz also plays with her own original characters and those of her fellow artists working online. Among her most striking characters are a serene koi spirit and a fox spirit who loves to toy with the moon.
One of my favorite corners of the Internet is Project: Rooftop, where artists redesign their favorite superheroes and try their hand at caped costume design. Randy Bishop is a frequent participant in redesign and fanart challenges at P:R and other art sites, which is good practice for his own project, which involves reimagining gods and mythical creatures from all over the world.
It's easy to see that Cale Atkinson comes from the world of animation, a world of carefully selected colors and deceptively simple shapes, where dark shadows alternate with childlike joy. Whether he's trying to deliver the brief but immersive sensory experience of his Little Red Riding Hood animated short or just having fun with monster illustrations, Atkinson's work is marked by a strong sense of visual language and a striking lack of cynicism.
If you want to get better at something, you've got to practice, practice, practice. Adam Thompson wanted to improve his Adobe Illustrator chops, so he gave himself a fun task to do: illustrate one superhero a day in Illustrator for 50 days. He learned a few new tricks, and came out with a fun set of heroic illustrations.