If you love to look at fantasy and sci-fi art, if you love to know what artists are thinking while they work, if you want to know what informs and inspires them, what work excites them, what challenges them, then have I got a few sites for you.
Here they are, prepare to lose an afternoon, or a day, and never miss it.
Muddy Colors is a blog that is home to some of my favorite artists. Oh, to just look at the contributors' process and galleries would be great, but these folks go beyond to show and tell about good works, not just among themselves, but from all realms of art. You will fins posts about technique, and articles about influences and inspiration. It's a feast for the eyes, and food for thought.
Now here's what I'm talking about. This site is a workshop, a studio, a group critique all in one. It's a site of user content, as well as being the hub for a couple other great forums. Bring your art here to get comments and notes full of honesty and experience. And bring your voice too, because one good turn deserves another, and when you give a good crit, other artists on the site take notice of your own work and help you out when you need it. Everyone there has the chance to make stronger work, and to help out their fellow artist. One of the most fantastic tools on the site is the redline tool. when giving a crit, you can use this online tool to draw on the other's work to show, rather than just write, what you think needs tweaking on the piece. It's a great asset, and what make the site unique among artist communities online.
I mentioned the other forums connected to WiPnation. Here they are.
Changed my life. Jon Schindehette the senior creative director at Wizards of the Coast created this blog years ago and it has long been a place to challenge, inspire, and network talent in fantasy illustration. Art Order's posts about the methods of art directors, the job of creating work on commission, how to thrive in your genre, and how to attract the attention of clients is invaluable to any artist working today. It's a tremendous blog, and a rewarding read.
I had the pleasure to meet the Awesome Horse artists, Marc Scheff, Cynthia Sheppard, Noah Bradley, and Aaron Miller as well as hear the WiPnation creators, Timothy Nelson and (unless I got his handle/name mixed up) Peter Mohrbacher speak, at Illuxcon last year. So, let me tell you about Awesome Horse. Four super talented illustrators post live art demos and critiques. And they archive them, so if you're new to the site, you can catch up on some of what these artists are all about. I summed that up without a lot of fanfare. So let me reassure you, that there is a wealth of insight and commentary in each of their live demos and critiques.
There you go. That'll take you all afternoon to browse through. And if you're part of the legion of facebook users, many of these honchos and artists that created these sites and contribute to them are on fb, and seeing works in progress, and getting their updates is always a treat. Thanks for reading!