Featured Artist Friday: Ark Revner

I first saw Ark Revner’s art in passing at Interventioncon in 2014. I wasn’t able to get a super long look at their art at the time, but I grabbed a business card to check them out later.

I’m so glad I did, because it turns out their art is spectacular.

ark revner digital art

Digital painting is not easy (I have tried, and failed, many times at it). But Ark’s paintings don’t just make it look easy. They are wonderful to look at. There’s almost a delicate touch to their textures, and with one stroke, their lines can look either airy and light, or heavy and bold.

ark revner pulla magi madoka magica digital art

ark revner steven universe digital art

Ark doesn’t just work digitally, though – they also work with Copic markers. I’m jealous of their skills, but in a way that inspires me to try new things with the tools.

Just look at these sketches they do with Copics!

ark revner copic marker sketch art

ark revner copic marker sketch art

ark revner copic marker sketch art

They have also made one of the most inspiring short comics I have read in a long time. It got over 1000 notes on Tumblr, and I feel like it was deserved.

If you don’t follow Ark on Tumblr, you should. They’re also on Instagram if that’s more your speed. Either way, they’re worth following, and I hope to see more art and stories from them soon.

Know any cool artist I should feature next week? Drop a comment!

Thank you for reading, and I will see you on Monday.

Featured Artist Friday: Rosa Bonheur

rosa bonheur portrait painting
A portrait of Rosa Bonheur.

I did not find out about this badass until earlier this week. I should have known better than to stay ignorant for so long, because Rosa Bonheur is her own special kind of awesome.

She was raised in a socialist family that sought equality for the sexes, and she smoked cigars, cut her hair short, wore mens clothing (even gaining a permit from the police to do so), and it was rumored that she had lady lovers (why else would Art History Archive call Anna Klumpke her “special companion until her death”?). Most importantly, she was a world-renowned painter at a time when women were not regarded as artistic.

She was born in 1822 into a family of artists – her father was a trained artist and each of her four siblings had a vocation. Because training women in the arts was rare and unheard of in the 1800s, Rosa’s training was under her father as an apprentice in his shop. She copied engravings, drew still lifes, and copied paintings by masters in the Loeuvre. She also frequented “masculine” areas like horse fairs and slaughterhouses to study the anatomy of animals.

rosa bonheur lion painting

As a matter of fact, her subject of choice in her paintings were almost always animals, and she became famous for her animal paintings. She showed at the Paris Salon so many times the judges eventually gave her permission to just send her work in rather than go through the jury process.

Her most famous painting is Le Marché aux Chevaux, or “The Horse Fair,” show below:

the horse fair painting by rosa bonheur

When it was shown she was 31 years old.

She won quite a few gold medals for painting in the Salon, and also got the following honors over the course of her life:

  • Honorary member of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Société des Artistes Belges,
  • Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (she was the first woman to get this award)
  • The Cross of San Carlos of Mexico
  • member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Commander’s Cross of the Royal Order of Isabella
  • Catholic Cross
  • The Leopold Cross
  • honorary member of the Royal Academy of Watercolorists of London
  • Mérite des Beaux-Arts de Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
  • Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (the first woman honored with this position)

While her badassery was well-recognized, she eventually decided she didn’t like the spotlight and so she retired to the country side, drawing and painting until her death in 1899 at the age of 78. Many of her sketches and paintings were found posthumously by her aforementioned “special partner” Anna Klumpke.

If you want to find out more about this awesome painter, check out the Art History Archive, and books like Rosa Bonheur by Rosalia Shriver.

Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you on Monday.

plowing in the nivernais painting by rosa bonheur
“Plowing in the Nivernais”

Featured Artist Friday: Jeff Laclede

This is the revival of a segment that used to be called “Favorite Artist Friday,” but it’s now called Featured Artist Friday.

Once a week, on a (surprise!) Friday, I’ll be writing about another artist. It doesn’t matter what medium or subject matter they choose. Any artist may be featured.

This week, I would like to talk about one of the coolest artists I know, Jeff Laclede.

Jeff is a digital painter, comic artist, and character designer. He is also, I dare say, masterful with his use of colors.

Every time I see one of his pieces, I am impressed with how well he lights his work, and how that light affects his subjects. Lighting is NOT easy, but Jeff makes it look easy, which is the mark of an excellent artist.

Not only does he illustrate very well, he is also an excellent writer.

His current comics project is a webcomic called El-Indon. And it grabs you by the first page.

el indon webcomic page 1 by jeff laclede
El Indon, page 1.

And it gets better from there! His characters, aside from being well-designed and memorable, are hilarious.

el indon webcomic page 9 by jeff laclede
More El-Indon

He also a great world-builder. As you read his comics you can get sucked into the world he’s creating and the intrigue within it. And a lot of that is thanks to his attention to character, great page layout design, and thematic lighting and tones.

He even succeeds in all of this in his illustrative work!

jeff laclede digital art

jeff laclede digital art

If you haven’t read El-Indon yet, you should. While you’re at, go follow Jeff on Tumblr and Twitter. He’s loads of fun to follow.

Thank you for reading, and I will see you on Monday.