Linocut Christmas

I had such good intentions to post more this holiday… ah well. I was busy making more art!

Last year I made everyone’s Christmas cards by hand and decided to do the same this year. While I chose to do them in water colors last year, which was a blast, this year I wanted to use some skills that I’d learned at NSCAD. When we did our linocut prints in printmaking a few months ago, I knew immediately that that was how I wanted to do Christmas cards this year.

I bought some 4″ x 5″ linoblocks (linoleum with wood-backing to make them easier to carve), two large sheets of Stonehenge paper, a couple tubes of water-soluable print-making ink and was on my way!

Linocut Xmas Cards by Jess Lingley

Linocut Xmas Cards by Jess Lingley

I think they turned out decently, though I’m still not sold on the owl. I wanted to keep the designs minimal so I wouldn’t break my back on them. Carving is hard work, and even these had my elbows and back aching the next day… but enough whining! These were fun to do and not that difficult, either! If you want to do your own linocut cards there are plenty of great resources to help you online, like this Instructables tutorial.

(via Instructables)

(via Instructables)

They suggest printing on papers that have patterns on them which can yield some interesting results. Overall, I found print-making at school to be a very finicky business. If you don’t ink the plates enough, or don’t put enough pressure down, you won’t get a clear image for a result. This can be desirable at times, however. It can be very unpredictable which some people like in art. I tend to like things to be a bit more controlled, but it was interesting to push my boundaries in print-making class. Linocut prints and dry point printing were my favorite techniques by far, but dry point isn’t really possible unless you have a proper printing press to get the right amount of pressure down.

If you don’t feel like making your own linocut prints, but would still love to have one or gift them, Etsy carries a ton of beautiful linocut prints from hundreds of different artists.

(via redcatpress on Etsy)

(via redcatpress on Etsy)

(via AtlantisPrints on Etsy)

(via AtlantisPrints on Etsy)

Finally, though technically these next prints are wood cuts and not linocuts (the technique used to make them is identical as far as I know), they’re absolutely stunning. I was introduced to Tugboat Printshop through BOOOOOOOM’s website. A two-person operation, they do large-scale woodblock prints.

"The Moon" 35.5" x 30.5" Woodcut Print on White BFK Paper Paul Roden + Valerie Lueth, 2012.

“THE MOON” 35.5″ x 30.5″ Woodcut Print on White BFK Paper Paul Roden + Valerie Lueth, 2012.

"THE FOUR ELEMENTS SET" Four 12" x 10.25 " Color Woodcut Prints on Ivory Somerset Paper Paul Roden + Valerie Lueth, 2012.

“THE FOUR ELEMENTS SET”
Four 12″ x 10.25 ” Color Woodcut Prints on Ivory Somerset Paper
Paul Roden + Valerie Lueth, 2012.

The amount of tiny detail in these equates to hours upon hours of careful carving, but even if you ignore that, observe the multiple colors. In order to do multiple colors in a linocut or woodblock print, you need to have different blocks for each color. You basically need to carve the same thing for as many colors as you wish to include in your final print. There is so much room for margin of error in these kinds of works. I can’t imagine how long it would take to go from start to finish. Paul and Valerie talk about their process a bit here.

People wonder why prints like these are so expensive; beyond the insane amount of work that goes into them, there are a limited amount of prints that can be done before the wood wears down and becomes unusable. These beautiful prints are worth every penny in my books!

This may be my last post before going back to school, so everyone: have a great holiday and a happy new year! I have so many things to look forward to in the new year and I’m totally ready to get started! Let’s go, 2013!

Finished My First Semester!

Last Wednesday was my official last day of classes! I’m so relieved that I have some time off to recuperate and enjoy the holidays, but I enjoyed myself immensely and can’t wait to see what semester #2 has in store for me!

These last few months have gone by fairly quickly, but I had a lot of work to push through in that time. I’ve got almost more material from my first semester than I had putting my art school portfolio together. Drawings, paintings, prints, writing papers… I’ve been very busy! The great thing about the subject matter at school is that it all ties together. I used an idea from a computer project in my final drawing project, and used illustration skills in a computer project, for example.

It would take forever to describe each and every piece I did, so I’ll post a few of my favorites over the next few weeks. I recently updated my deviantart page with some new art while applying for a scholarship, so here are a few from there:


Self-Portrait 2012
by ~soulexposed on deviantART


Gouache Color Study by ~soulexposed on deviantART


Linocut Sugar Skull by ~soulexposed on deviantART

I haven’t had a lot of time to collect outside material for this blog, and I’m just now catching up on my Google Reader, tumblr and pinterest. Between that and some upcoming personal projects, I’ll have plenty to do over the break! Anyway, I wanted to share this Jen Mann painting video I came across on tumblr yesterday.

Jen Mann- Speed Painting from Wolf & Sparrow on Vimeo.

She’s using my favorite colors, pink & blue, so naturally I’m in love with this piece! She paints with her work flat on the wall, using a photo reference, with oils. It’s very interesting to see how small she works right off the bat, rather than putting down blocks of colors and working over top of them. She blends each section of the face beautifully. Also worth noting is that she paints in a very planned-out way, from the top left corner to the bottom right. It was very educational and inspiring watching this painting come together.

I think that’s enough for now. Stay tuned, as I hope to update several times a week while I’m on break, and maybe even stockpile some posts for when I’m back in school in January.

Cheers! ūüėÄ

Hiatus Until Classes Are Out

The workload at art school has been insane! Fun, but insane.

Chairs Hanging from a Drape by Jess Lingley

My drawing skills have definitely been improving; with every new drawing I do, it builds upon the last. The techniques that I’m learning in class float around the back of my mind as I create. Our subject matter is getting more challenging, with nude models coming in every other week. I love it and look forward to part 2 in the winter!

Day of the Dead Skull by Jess Lingley - Linocut Print

I finished the first half of my intro to studio course, which was very much¬†conceptually¬†based. The final project for that course took me roughly 5 days to complete, 3 of them in a row I worked through. I wasn’t happy with the outcome, but I plan on dedicating a blog post to why that is, later on. The second half of my studio course is split into two parts: print making and painting. Printing making’s end is around the corner. It’s been very touch and go for me; basic stamping and simple print making hasn’t been that much fun, but I really loved linocuts and have so far enjoyed drypoint. I’m¬†really¬†excited about the painting portion, though!

Visual Culture has been educational and has really focused me to question where my inspiration comes from. Everything around me is inspiring, from culture, to literature, to music, to other artists… but I’ve learned that whatever I chose to paint or depict in my work, I need to be 100% aware of where it comes from and what I’m taking from. There is a line between painting for simple¬†aesthetic¬†reasons or for deeper meaning, and I’m not sure which side I’m on just yet, if I’m on a side at all…

Deconstructed Self Portrait by Jess Lingley

Deconstructed Self Portrait by Jess Lingley

Intro to computers has been a lot more fun than I anticipated. Learning to use the Adobe Suite has been great. Whether or not I choose to go a strictly design route, having this skill set will be extremely useful. The only downside to this course is that it’s made me want my own 27″ iMac, and with Apple just having¬†updated the iMac line, I’m dying here. D:

I haven’t had time for any meaningful blog posts, but I do update my¬†Twitter¬†as well as¬†Instagram¬†with photos of what I’m working on, or random tidbits about my life. I should be done with classes around the second week of December. By then I should have tons of material to post about! Writing this post has made me realize how much I miss sharing my art and opinions with the world… fear not, loyal readers, I shall return!

The Charming & Exotic Oils of Tatiana Suarez (nsfw)

Tatiana Suarez‘s exotic paintings are filled with elements of nature and beautiful dreamlike creatures, all blended with rich oil paint.

Leopard - Oil on wood 2011 by Tatiana Suarez

Leopard – Oil on wood 2011 by Tatiana Suarez

The eyes of the girl above are hard to ignore. While they’re large and pretty, the bags underneath them give her a jaded and cynical expression. The creature around her neck, a combination of lizard and snake, is drawn to her floral tattoo. Despite this she seems comfortable, almost starting to smile.

Kooka Burra, Oil on Wood 2012 by Tatiana Suarez

Kooka Burra – Oil on Wood 2012 by Tatiana Suarez

I really like the composition of this painting, with flowers growing up from the bottom and a bird’s feather framing the girl’s head. All the different elements of this work flow seamlessly together. Tatiana mixes a more tattoo-style art, with thick outlines and flat shading, with a more realistic method of painting best shown in this girl’s lush pink lips. The light source in this work is particularly interesting with the backdrop being a glowing pink, and the light against her face being warm yellow.

Suki - Oil on wood 2008 by Tatiana Suarez

Suki – Oil on wood 2008 by Tatiana Suarez

Tatiana’s paintings are a strange cross between pinup-style models and cartoon characters. The exaggerated facial features and her rich palette of nature-esc colors give her subjects a twisted fairytale vibe. As I mentioned earlier, there looks to be a lot of tattoo inspiration in her paintings but she’s pushed it a step further, giving her subjects far more depth. Again, the background in this piece is luminious and beautiful, almost like a landscape that’s out of focus.

Miami 2011 Tati x 131 (by Tatiana Suarez)

Miami 2011 Tati x 131 (by Tatiana Suarez)

She doesn’t limit her work to canvases; she does murals as well! Her work seems suited to larger surfaces where she’s free to add as much detail as she wants whether it’s flowers, creatures from the forest or elements of the sea. She’s also able to¬†push the painting further out than a normal tattoo-sized piece would allow. The blue details in the back really make her pink and orange tail stand out on the wall. I like that, rather than ignore the pipe on the wall, she’s painted right over top of it. The art takes over this space.

Boyr√° - Oil on Machete 2012 by Tatiana Suarez

Boyr√° – Oil on Machete 2012 by Tatiana Suarez

This is the first time I’ve seen a machete used as a painting surface; what a unique idea! I really like the¬†psychedelic¬†color palette used¬†here. Complimentary colors of pink and green are balanced by her flowing neutral hair. Working on a surface like this really forces you to be aware of your space, and to be careful of your composition.

Tatiana Suarez has a definite style that she’s able to use to explore a lot of different themes, and¬†her website has tons more to look at. Her style is a kind of jumble of illustration, tattoo and cartoon which makes for very interesting pieces to look at and admire.

Janice Wright Cheney

Last week in my Visual Culture class, I was asked to do a formal analysis of a work (from a select few exhibitions) at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia¬†(AGNS). Any excuse to visit the gallery is a good one! Plus, since I’m a student now I get free access which is aaaaawesome! Anyway, a friend and I spent an hour and a half going through the entire gallery and taking everything in, but I knew which piece I wanted to write about as soon as I walked in the door.

Janice Wright Cheney had two pieces at the SKIN exhibition at the AGNS, which is sadly not there anymore (closed October 1st). One of her works was a life-sized taxidermy-form of a bear, covered in roses, entitled The Widow.

The Widow by Janice Wright Cheney

The Widow by Janice Wright Cheney

It was hard to miss, posed at the entrance to the exhibition. For my formal analysis I was only allowed to talk about the physical aspects of the piece, which left much to be desired. Normally taxidermy has a cold and morbid vibe for me, but with this piece it felt completely opposite. It’s warm and doesn’t threaten me at all. I was fortunate to talk to a nearby docent about the piece and got some interesting insight to its history: Cheney saw the bear on the side of the road and was moved to create this piece, based upon her recent loss. She had wanted to do some kind of art piece to deal with it, but loss is such a personal and¬†vulnerable¬†thing to describe, so the bear allowed her to project without exposing her own very personal wounds. It’s important to note that this piece isn’t simply about loss; the roses are there to represent love & survival.

The Widow (detail) by Janice Wright Cheney

The Widow (detail) by Janice Wright Cheney

The roses are all painstakingly hand-dyed and individually attached to the form with pins. It creates an absolutely breath-taking form and I found it easy to study, hard to pry my eyes away from. The bear looks very naturally posed, almost docile. Could this be a commentary on how death is just another aspect of life, beautiful in its own way? The bear above isn’t angry or threatened, but relaxed. It’s rare for a work based on death to not bother me; normally I have a kind of¬†visceral¬†reaction to paintings or sculptures that incorporate the death theme. This work is beautiful and moving; to turn energy from such a terrible event in her life to something so gorgeous is a hugely successful thing to me.

The Widow is no longer showing at AGNS, but there is a sister bear to the one above that might be accessible somewhere in Fredericton, NB. I would start looking at NBCCD, since she currently teaches there and resides in Fredericton (which was a pleasant surprise since that’s where I’m from!).

Coy Wolves by Janice Wright Cheney

Coy Wolves by Janice Wright Cheney

At the other end of the exhibition I was drawn in by another one of her works, Coy Wolves. They are a commentary on the recent development regarding wolves mating with coyotes. I like these pieces because of the reaction I get from them. I’m drawn to their beauty even though there’s a sort of¬†cannibalistic-type effect with them wearing wolf pelts. Something tells me that they’re not as pretty or glamorous as they look.

Coy Wolves by Janice Wright Cheney

Coy Wolves by Janice Wright Cheney

Again, these are taxidermy forms covered in lace and textiles. The forms are thin and graceful, taking on the¬†stylings¬†of fashion models. Is it wrong that I would love one of these in my living room? This work walks the line between art and deco. The docent I was talking to mentioned that the gallery had actually received death threats about these pieces from animal rights activists! This is a bit ironic, since (as far as I understand) Janice only uses taxidermy forms based on animals, and fur from animals that have died naturally or were found on the side of the road. She does her work as¬†humanely¬†as possible and doesn’t go out hunting for sport. I really wish these activist groups would do their research before bashing work like hers.

Coy Wolves by Janice Wright Cheney

Coy Wolves by Janice Wright Cheney

From the interview I found at Archive 7:

At center of these concerns is the idea of vermin ‚ÄĒ creatures that are not wanted. Bear, coyote, rat, insects, they are all intruders on human territory, and Cheney is fascinated by the casual violence we condone in the name of wildlife encroaching on human-claim ed territory.

These pieces are dogs masquerading as something they’re not. They’re very eye-catching but a more sinister idea is hidden beneath the lace and fur.

I couldn’t take any photos inside the gallery, but fortunately you can find photos of these pieces and others at the AGNS website¬†(NSFW, some nudity in the exhibit). Furthermore, you can find a nice big photo of Coy Wolves right here on the AGNS flickr page!

Still Lifes & Perspective Drawing

That one busy week quickly turned into two! Most of my nights have been occupied with homework until quite recently. I’ve got a bit of a break for the Thanksgiving weekend, and by that I mean I have less homework than normal. It’s worth pointing out that this is not a complaint! If I’m going to put my energy into something, art is better than almost anything else I can think of. It’s been exhausting trying to complete all my work on time and to a level I feel good about, but so so rewarding.

So far my drawing class has been the most challenging because it’s so technical, but I think I’m getting a lot out of it because I have to work harder at it. On Thursday I got some of the work back that I’ve done over the past few weeks, so I’m going to share my “greatest hits” since there is a pile of work to go through (at least 15 drawings in all).

2 1/2 Hour Still Life by Jess Lingley

2 1/2 Hour Still Life by Jess Lingley

This is one of the pieces from my first homework assignment. I was given roughly 2 and a half hours to do it, and was very¬†careful¬†about shading and blending the graphite to look smooth. The point of the assignment was for us to pay attention to how we use our time, which would set the tone for the rest of the semester. I’m still very bad at judging how long something will take, which has led to most of my late nights. I’m just now starting to get wise and start things really early. If this drawing looks a little warped, it’s because I used fixative (ie hair spray lol) on the paper to set the graphite so it wouldn’t smudge as much. After using nicer Mayfair paper, the drawbacks of sketchbook paper are becoming more clear to me.

Contour Drawing of Toys by Jess Lingley

Contour Drawing of Toys by Jess Lingley

We weren’t allowed to use any shading in this assignment and had to fill the frame (19″ x 19″ in this case) the best we could. I’ve started becoming more aware of planes and space in my drawings, using dark lines to bring objects forward and lighter lines to push them back. I find myself using a lot more of the pencils in my case (6F-6B range) than I’ve used before. It gives the drawings dimension and depth. I knew as soon as I saw the description that I wanted to use toys from my studio in the drawing, which ended up being a lot of fun.

Charcoal Still Life by Jess Lingley

Charcoal Still Life by Jess Lingley

I just completed this one last Thursday in class. We started by filling the sheet with charcoal and using erasers to sculpt out the shapes, darkening with charcoal and lightening with chalk as needed. I really like this method of working and will go back to it again. I did chalk/charcoal exercises in middle school as well, and really liked that you were able to shade as well as lighten, instead of just simply shading on white paper. My prof said that as soon as he set up the skull, he knew I’d be drawing it. Not sure what to make of that… ūüôā

sneak peak at perspective assignment

sneak peak at perspective assignment

Here’s a sneak peak at what I’ll be working on over the rest of this weekend: the dreaded perspective assignment! My heart sank a bit when we got the original assignment last week, as I have little experience with perspective and was never very good at making the rules work for me. I could get the lines down and draw the shapes okay, but once I tried making them into believable structures they looked like rectangles with doors and windows in strange places, hardly believable.

I started the assignment 6 different times in my sketchbook before settling on a nice one-point-perspective backdrop. There was a lot of frustration in getting things going, but I was able to realize something very important about why perspective is so difficult for me. It’s not the rules; I’m familiar with them and I’m able to get my horizon line and vanishing points in, no problem. It’s not difficult to add shapes as placeholders for buildings, either. It’s when I go to put detail in them that things get all screwy. My sense of scale isn’t great and for all the houses I’ve seen, when trying to draw one, my brain simply empties.

The solution to that is to study and draw as many houses/offices as I can until I get more comfortable with them. After I got the building blocks completed for the above drawing I started researching what kind of buildings I wanted to populate my town with and carefully began adding windows, doors and details. I can honestly say that as of now, I’m having fun with it! I’ve got this whole town at my disposal and can add as many people, cats and signs as I want. Having gotten over the fear of not being able to draw a city, I’m ready to put some imagination and life into it.

I’m not sure how my post schedule is going to hold up over the next few weeks, as I’ve got more projects looming on the horizon. I’m also thinking that my content may become more art-related (as opposed to design) since that’s where I’m more immersed right now, but nothing is for sure. I do want to keep this blog up, because it’s important for me to have a voice outside of studies.

In the mean time, have a happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone! This year I’m thankful for the chance to finally realize my passions and pursue art school (on top of being thankful for the wonderful friends and family I have of course). It’s been amazing so far and every week brings new challenges. It’s been a long while since I’ve felt this good about where I am in my life. Cheers!

Busy week ahead!

Lots of things going on! (photo by Tim Lingley)

Lots of things going on! (photo by Tim Lingley)

It’s a good thing I had most of last week’s posts done ahead of time, because I was sick and wouldn’t have gotten them out otherwise. Because of my feeling ill, a little bit of homework has piled up and I’m working diligently to catch up. You may not hear from me on Wednesday or Friday, but I’m hoping to have things back on track next week. The above photo by the awesome Tim Lingley (care of his brand new 5D Mark II!) gives a bit of a glimpse of the several things I have on the go. Teaser: beads, feathers and color wheels oh my!

While I’m frantically arting away, here are some snaps from Instagram (technically Statigram because they make it easier to share) of my new art life!

Wooden Shelving with Copper Circles and Buckets

Wooden Shelving with Copper Circles and Buckets

Drawing has been the most challenging class for me so far. It’s very technical and forces me to slow down and really draw accurately. Both classes and homework assignments are time-consuming, but extremely rewarding. I feel like I’ll see the most improvement over the year through this class .

Origami Greyscale

Origami Greyscale

Art isn’t just the subject of choice at this school; it’s a way of life. It’s celebrated both inside class and out, even in the lunch area. Every once in awhile I’ll see a sculpture hiding above a door, or creatively drawn notes on the bulletin board, and it makes me smile. I’m so happy to be in such a wonderful inspiring environment. So much love!

Beautiful building on Barrington

Beautiful building on Barrington

I’ve been down Barrington street many¬†times, even before moving to Halifax, and this remains my favorite building on that street. Even the broken down abandoned buildings are turned into pieces of art. There is so much art within Halifax and so many galleries that no matter what your taste, whether low-brow or high, fine art or¬†commercial, there’s bound to be something for you.

Hope everyone has a great week! The autumn colors are starting to peak through the leaves and the air is crisp; enjoy it while it lasts!

Funky Items for Your Office Space

Whether you work in a cubicle, have your own office or even work at home, there are tons of ways you can spruce up your boring work space! Since there are so many options out there, both permanent and easily reversible, I may revisit this topic again or even make it a regular post topic. For now, let’s start with some small ways of bringing color into your space that aren’t permanent¬†and can change with your mood.

Vintage Rainbow Mug (via Etsy)

Vintage Rainbow Mug (via Etsy)

A rainbow coffee mug is a great way to start your morning, or kick-start your afternoon. Having a personal coffee mug at the office always made me feel more comfortable, like I was bringing a little piece of home with me.

Metallic Gold Zebra Business Card Holder (via Etsy)

Metallic Gold Zebra Business Card Holder (via Etsy)

I saw this and had to post it just because of how ridiculous and hilarious it is! Why keep business cards in a boring old wallet or flip book when you could stack them in this fabulous gold zebra holder?! It may catch some eyes in your cube, or even become a conversation starter. If your client takes a card from this and laughs, perhaps that’s a little something to help remember you by. Or maybe it just makes you smile, and that’s great too. A smile or laugh is a great way to perk up on a¬†dreary¬†day.

Kantha Quilts (via Decor8)

Kantha Quilts (via Decor8)

If your building is drafty or you’re like me and always get chilly when sitting down for long periods of time, bring in a nice¬†afghan¬†or quilt to wrap up in. The patterns, colors and price ranges of quilts vary wildly so there’s something out there for just about everyone’s tastes. I like the mix of the floral and textile patterns on the above Kantha quilts. These are a great way to brighten up a boring chair, as well. If you have more space or an office of your own, you could even hang them on the wall to really brighten up the space.

DIY Color Block Cabinet (via Say Yes to Hoboken)

DIY Color Block Cabinet (via Say Yes to Hoboken)

These next two items are ways to change your furniture to give them more color, but they’re at least semi-permanent, so make sure to get permission from your boss first. Or go crazy if you work from home! The above image links to a tutorial on how to color-block wall storage. Without the paint I would’ve thought that shelf a bit old and dingy, but giving it bright stripes of color really helps to modernize it.

The Latest DIY: Faux Snakeskin Table

The Latest DIY: Faux Snakeskin Table

This is one of my favorite finds over the past few weeks: a tutorial on how to re-do a table without painting it, but instead by laying fabric over it! You could use this tutorial on just about any piece of furniture, but simple is probably better and easier. With a bit of glue and a lot of your favorite fabric, the possibilities are endless. Why have a solid block of color on a table when you could have snakeskin?

If you’re going to be spending long periods of time working, I feel that it’s important to make your work space as comfortable and inviting as possible. Even if you don’t have a lot of choice on where you work, there are both small and large ways to make the space more enjoyable.

Female Heads & Portraits in Tattoo Designs

The seemingly-recent trend of female heads in tattoo designs, whether in a stand-alone tattoo or a sleeve, continues! Having a character in a tattoo design allows for the inclusion of elements (cultural, political, religious, etc) that may be difficult to tie together otherwise. Fashion and accessories allow for customization and endless combinations, helping to keep the tattoo design unique.

INKED AT VINTAGE TATTOO - Buenos Aires, Argentina. (via fyeahtattoos)

INKED AT VINTAGE TATTOO – Buenos Aires, Argentina. (via fyeahtattoos)

The rosary draped over this girl’s hands helps give depth to this tattoo. The colors are subdued and dark, echoing the blankness in her eyes, framed by her simple brown hair and red makeup. I find her wolf-headdress¬†interesting because it doesn’t¬†necessarily¬†look dead, the eyes still have life in them.

Tattoo by Kurt Fagerland at Memorial Tattoo in Atlanta, GA

Tattoo by Kurt Fagerland at Memorial Tattoo in Atlanta, GA

This tattoo and the one above it feature characters that also have tattoos; I don’t know why this fascinates me, but it does! This old-school/sailor jerry style has really attracted me lately, with simplistic bright colors,¬†exaggerated¬†eyes and thick line work. The stormy seas behind her and orange in the sky lead me to believe that she’s part of a bigger piece, and that perhaps the piece isn’t done yet. You could easily continue on below the flower at her bust.

Amie Lee Sanders from Sacred Rose Tattoo in Mango Hill, Qld (via fyeahtattoos)

Amie Lee Sanders from Sacred Rose Tattoo in Mango Hill, Qld (via fyeahtattoos)

Purple is another one of my favorite colors, and the orange in the tiger’s head along with the gold earrings and eyes really makes it pop here. The combination of jewelry and fur make this gypsy really eye-catching.

valerie vargas (via decoratedskin.tumblr.com)

valerie vargas (via decoratedskin.tumblr.com)

I like how soft this girl’s lips are; rather than outline them in black, they’re softly shaded with pink giving a more realistic style to them. The shading here is very well done too, giving a lot of depth to her frame. Her wispy hair tangled in roses provides a beautiful crown and draws attention to her sultry eyes. The birds are a nice way to frame the bottom of this tattoo and again suggest that there’s more to it than what’s in this photo.

SARAH SCHOR (via ticopolotatuado.tumblr.com)

SARAH SCHOR (via ticopolotatuado.tumblr.com)

Her necklace is a snake! She looks unconcerned though in her stark makeup and beautifully constructed headdress. I really like the styling of the feathers, more geometric than conventional. One could easily add more nature to frame this girl, whether a simple rolling field of grass or a collection of brightly-colored flowers.

A word of caution on symbolism in tattoos: do your research! For the longest time I wanted a heart with barbed wire and flames for a tattoo, but upon further investigation learned that there were some strong christian meanings behind that symbol, and I didn’t want those displayed¬†permanently¬†on my body. If in doubt, talk to your tattoo artist about it.

On Nudity & Sexuality in my Blog & the Art of Daniela Uhlig (nsfw nudity)

First of all, I want to say thanks to my readers, because I was recently told by WordPress that I officially have 100 followers! I hope that everyone is still enjoying the blog! I’ll do my best to keep it up during school, because it’s important to me to keep inspired and to keep writing. This blog has been largely about narrowing down what things in particular inspire me and what things I want to focus on as an artist. Over the past year I really feel I’ve made progress on this.

I’d like to follow up by quickly¬†discussing¬†nudity and sexuality in regards to my posts. To¬†dismiss¬†a piece of art because the subject matter is sexual or relates to fetish is a huge mistake and something I refuse to do. I’ve been a bit hesitant on posting nudity or sexual content in this blog because I don’t want to offend readers, but at the same time I need to be true to myself and to what inspires me.

Sometimes inspiration comes from landscape, sometimes from kittens, and sometimes from leather or fur or skimpy clothes or nakedness. I’m not ashamed to be inspired by any of those things and so I’ll be honest on this blog and feature them. The skill required to properly render a fairly-realistic nude body is impressive, and there’s nothing more beautiful than the human form. That being said, I realize some of you are reading my posts at work so I’ll tag & title any nudity or sexual content NSFW – Not Safe For Work, so that you can bookmark and read later. ūüėČ Now, onto your regularly scheduled blog post!

Daniela Uhlig’s¬†art is a fun digital mixing of caricature and sexuality. Each of her subjects are carefully styled, from hair to eye shape to accessories, to create images that draw the viewer in with characters that seem to tell stories through the paintings.¬†Daniela does a lot of pin-up & sexual work, ¬†showcasing the female body and playing on sexual imagery without being overly vulgar.

by Daniela Uhlig

by Daniela Uhlig

The juxtaposition of angels wings against her punk-inspired shaved head drew my attention and makes me want to learn more about this girl. The simplicity of her styling (minimal makeup or accessories) and painting’s soft color¬†palette¬†create a relaxing atmosphere.

by Daniela Uhlig

by Daniela Uhlig

The triptych framing is an interesting choice for this image. The colors and patterns in the background help draw attention to the girl and tentacles. It’s definitely a pin-up inspired piece and the tentacles are a little worrying (trust me when I say not to google image search them…) but it’s a fun and colorful image, and I like it anyway.

by Daniela Uhlig

by Daniela Uhlig

There’s more of a graphic design feeling to this work. The style is more flat and cell-shaded while the background is full of patterns. Artists that have a style that’s recognizable across mediums seem very successful to me and are people I want to emulate. Working with a limited color palette is important in screen-printing and other print matter, and she these few colors very well. Also I absolutely love her haircut and I’m a sucker for pink!

by Daniela Uhlig

by Daniela Uhlig

Two of my favorite colors, pink & blue, are a winning combination in any painting I see. The duality here between these two girls is intriguing. Evil versus good, hot versus cold? Despite the two very different colors, Daniela’s achieved a comfortable balance in this image.

by Daniela Uhlig

by Daniela Uhlig

This image is one of the most beautifully rendered I’ve seen from Daniela so far. I especially like the detailing on this girl’s dread locks. Everything from the freckles on her face to her jeweled necklace are stunningly¬†realistic. She looks like she’s about to say something, but what?

Make sure to check out her website (obviously NSFW) for more of her work. I had a hard time choosing just five images to post here since all of her paintings are striking. Daniela paints not only beautiful women, but women that are more than simply bodies. Everything from their facial expressions to their backdrops contribute to a new world in each painting, somewhere beautiful and mysterious that begs a closer look.