Arte de fantasia bruce robertson


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Arte de fantasia bruce robertson

  1. 1. OCR & scan by * rk *
  2. 2. ForewordThere is strength through mystery. A and, surprisingly, architecture. Thispicture produced from the images book excludes all the forms mentionedwithin the mind can be a more accurate above and concentrates instead onportrayal of human perceptions than one images, either painted or drawn, on two-based entirely on observations. When dimensional surfaces. It uses exampleswe look at the work of a fantasy artist we by commercial artists, those working oncan respond to the mystery on a number commissions, or artists exploring theirof levels: the source of the ideas, the own visual references and imagination.constituent parts, and the subject matter The vast resource of images made byof the picture. The construction of the people suffering from mental disorderscomposition, its use of the elements of who, as a result of illness or congenitallight and shade, and its depictions of deficiencies, create images directly fromimaginary forms are all crucial. Finally the disturbance of their minds is notcomes our response to the mysteries of included.the artists technique - his painting The greatest source of imaginaryskills. images is literature, both prose and The creation of fantasy art is achieved poetry. The flow of words creates worldsby the interplay of the conscious and the which we mentally visualize. Storiesunconscious mind. This process was from legends, mythology, gothic horrordescribed in 1540 by Leonardo da Vinci, stories, science fiction and fiction itselfthe Italian Renaissance master, as a create images of new worlds in ourchallenge to the artist who must resolve minds. The depiction of thesea conflict between the observed and the imaginings makes a direct appeal to usimaginary, the known and the unknown. through recognition of the element of Images of the imagination appear in common experience in life. Sinceall forms of art, for example: the fantasy art is not totally dependent upondecorative and applied arts, sculpture observable reality, we are likely to beA Macdonald Orbis BOOK The Diagram Group© Diagram Visual Information Ltd 1988 Editorial staff Ben Barkow, Guy Brain, Annabel Else, Moira Johnston,First published in Great Britain in 1988 Patricia Robertsonby Macdonald and Co (Publishers) Ltd IndexerLondon and Sydney David HardingA Pergamon Press plc company Art director Philip PatenallAll rights reserved. No part of this publication may be Artistsreproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, Joe Bonello, Alastair Burnside, Robert Chapman,in any form or by any means without the prior Richard Hummerstone, Mark Jamill, Lee Lawrence,permission in writing of the author, nor be otherwise Paul McCauley, Katherine Mothersdale, David OBrien,circulated in any form of binding or cover other than Guy Ryman, Jane Robertson, Michael Robertson,that in which it is published and without a similar Graham Rosewarnecondition including this condition being imposed on Picture researcherthe subsequent purchaser. Patricia RobertsonBritish Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Typeset by Dorchester Typesetting Group Ltd Robertson, Bruce Printed and bound by Purnell Book Production Ltd Techniques of fantasy art 1. Drawings Macdonald and Co (Publishers) Ltd I. Title Greater London House 741.2 NC730 Hampstead Road ISBN 0-356-15324-X London NWl 7QX
  3. 3. disturbed by our examination of the • Section One of the book looks at theworks of fantasy artists. They surprise us source of ideas. Where do artists getby their inventions which, once we have their inspiration for imaginary pictures?seen them, live in our minds as ghosts of • Section Two explains the backgroundthe unreal world. to eight famous fantasy paintings: the Today the work of a good fantasy artist artists motivation, the origin of theis in constant demand by the illustrated ideas, and the potentialcommercial world. Examples are audience. This section takes an exampleeverywhere: video cassette covers, from a selection of famous artists workrecord sleeves, science fiction novels, and, although depicting the examples inmovie posters, and advertisements. The full color, concentrates on the ideascommercial artist produces work which behind the pictures rather than theis often derived from the discoveries of techniques used to produce them.fine artists. Nowadays commercial art • Section Three explores methods ofcan become gallery art and is in turn developing ideas and shows how theyreinterpreted — the copier is copied. may be distorted or enlarged in scope byEven the most commonplace image torn the use of collage or changes infrom a magazine can be the source from composition.which unique pictures are created. • Section Four concentrates on theRemember when setting out on the path physical processes required to produce aof producing fantasy images that you fantasy image in a variety of media, andmay be more surprised with your contains interviews with eightdiscoveries than subsequent viewers of contemporary artists. The artists explainyour work. However, each new picture their techniques and discuss theis a new contribution to the vast world of development of an idea into a finishedthe imagination of mankind. product.Acknowledgements 46 Reproduced by courtesy of the Trustees, NationalA personal thank you to each of the eight artists whose Gallery, Londonwork appears between pages 96 and 126. Without their 50 Patriomoine des Musees Royaux des Beaux Arts dehelp in patiently explaining their techniques I could not Belgique, Brussels, Belgiumhave produced those pages. Thanks are also due to my 54 Photo: PH3 Fotografia e Audiovisuais Lda,old Professor of Art, Edward Wright, who kindly read collection of Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga,the book and offered very constructive advice about the Lisbon, Portugalideas contained in it, many of which I had remembered 62 Patrimoine des Musees Royaux des Beaux Arts defrom his lectures. Belgique, Brussels, Belgium 65 Copyright ACL, Patrimoine des Musees RoyauxPicture sources des Beaux Arts de Belgique, Brussels, BelgiumThe author has made all possible efforts to contact 68 From ALARMS AND DIVERSIONS in Vintagethe copyright owners of the illustrations reproduced, Thurber Vol II Copyright © 1963 James Thurber bybut apologises in advance for any errors or omissions that permission of Hamish Hamilton Ltd.may have occurred. Copyright © 1932, 1960 lames Thurber. From The Seal in the Bedroom, published by Harper & Row.Page 90 Kunsthistorisches Museum (Albertina), Vienna, 9 Photo: Geoffrey Clements, Collection of the Austria Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 103 Young Artists, London USA 115 Young Artists, London 26 Photo: Michael Robertson 117 Futura Publications, London 34 The Museum of Modern Art, Kay Sage Tanguy 127 Young Artists, London Fund 128 Gollancz Publications, London 38 Photo: Goellette, collection of Musee 129 Young Artists, London dUnterlinden, Colmar, France 42 Photo: Ursula Edelmann, Freies Deutsches Hochstift - Frankfurt am Main
  4. 4. ContentsSection One Section TwoGETTING IDEAS SOURCES OF FANTASY10 The subject of fantasy 34 Fantasy of the ordinary12 Picture sources 38 Fantasy of nature14 Studying nature 42 Fantasy of dreams16 Using reality 46 Fantasy of legends18 Using manufactured objects 50 Fantasy of superstitions20 The unseen world 54 Fantasy of faith22 Exploiting photographs 58 Fantasy of popular culture24 Using your own photographs 62 Fantasy of self-indulgence26 Using models28 Using other cultures30 Past masters
  5. 5. Section Three Section FourDEVELOPING IDEAS TECHNIQUES AND TIPS68 Elements of surprise 98 Pencils and chalks70 Creating incongruity 102 Pencils and watercolors72 Using the size 106 Inks and watercolors74 Combining images 110 Gouache colors76 Using change 114 Gouache colors and pencils78 Double deceptions 118 Acrylic colors80 Distorting your pictures 122 Acryclic and oil colors84 Superimposing pictures 126 Oil colors86 Human monsters 130 Mastering techniques88 Animals as people 132 Dry medium techniques90 Machines as people 134 Wet medium techniques92 Your point of view 136 Airbrush94 Deliberate accidents 138 Adding textures and tones 140 Combining media 142 Index
  6. 6. SectionOneGeneratingideasFantasy art comes from yourimagination, and has its origins in yourimmediate surroundings and the pastexperiences of your life. You shouldbegin with the familiar and develop yourideas to more imaginative levels. Eachnew discovery will increase yourabilities to explore further the sources ofyour imagination. The end result may befar in excess of what you first thoughtyou were capable. Section One begins by describingsome of the most conventient ways ofstirring your mind so that it yieldsimages for your paintings. Where doideas and images come from? Ourcultural origins greatly influence thesources of inspiration. Can reality beused to transform images into ourfantasy world? Perhaps examining apiece of old wood or cut-up cabbage, oran unfamiliar tool, can begin the chainreaction. Discovering unknown worldsin specialized books and magazines canopen the door to a new fantasy picture.Photographs, either your own, or thosetaken from a variety of other sources, canbe incorporated into your pictures. Finally the greatest source of ideasmay be the work of other fantasy artists.Never reject plagiarism — it is the soilfrom which flowers grow. The great 17thcentury scientist Isaac Newton, whenasked in his old age how he had made somany wonderful discoveries, replied:"Because I stood on the shoulders ofgiants." By using his enormous library asthe starting point for much research,Newton had benefited from the previouswork of other great scientists.Henry Koerners paintingMirror of Life portrays anumber of events in theartists life.
  7. 7. 9 ©DIAGRAM
  8. 8. The subject of fantasyEvery picture tells a story, and nonemore so than those made by fantasyartists. The origins of these visions maybe buried deep inside our memories buttheir ideas spring from folklore andmythology, dreams and the bizarreaspects of reality. Although almostalways painted with very close attentionto realism, they are unreal, the workingsof imagination overpowering theperceived world, creating a suspendedreality.Unseen worldsStory-telling by adults is auniversal and ageless way ofconveying ideas. The story-teller {right} uses his arms todescribe a monsters actions,invoking the childrensimaginations so they seethe demons threat. Fantasyimages begin in the mindand not in reality.Old worlds (right)European artists have alwaysbeen inspired by myths andsymbolism. The Greek mythof Hercules fightingAchelous (as a bull) is alsorecorded in Asian cultures,and in sculpture, on vasesand on walls. For a thousandyears animals symbolizedthe evangelists - St Markappeared as a winged lion.New worldsThe European discovery ofAmerica opened up newsources of myths and imagessuch as this Aztec god(right). Psychologists in the20th century think thatalthough the imagesproduced by differentcultures vary greatly inappearance, the subjectsthey portray are universal.10
  9. 9. Dream worldsThe picture (right) is of anightmare experience of theSpanish painter, Franciscode Goya. In 1810 he wasrecovering from an illnesswhich had left him deaf. Theinner silence heightened hisimagination and this newexperience helped him linkhis visions to his observationsof the human condition.Productive worldsThe English 19th centuryauthor Charles Dickens(right) created stories forweekly publications. Hisideas often arose fromobservation and the quietcontemplation of the fire orcarpet patterns. He workedwith his memories to forgenew worlds in which hiscreations took on real form. 11
  10. 10. Picture sourcesIdeas have legs; they creep up on you, orjump out of the most unexpected places.Do not sit waiting for inspiration. Collectimages all the time, store up discoveries,review other artists work. When notdirectly working on a finished drawing,experiment with unfamiliar techniques.The successful artist explores allpossible sources and turns them to hisadvantage.Artists sourcesA continuous stream ofinspiration is provided bythe work of other artists. Donot be embarrassed to copyideas, techniques, themes,details and mannerisms. Thedrawing (above right) is byIvan Bilibin, a Russianwhose illustration is derivedfrom 19th century popularRussian folk art.Technical sourcesThe most surprising andvaried sources of imagery aretechnical publications, onengineering or micro-biology, industrialcatalogues or academic textbooks. The unfamiliar can bea starting point for yourdrawing. Many fantasyartists have used bizarrediagrams from surgerymanuals as inspiration forhorrific visions. Thetransparent study of arailway engine (above right)can throw up ideas forfuturistic machines. Themicroscopic creature (right),enlarged a thousand times,could be the start of agalactic monster.12
  11. 11. Photographic sourcesPhotographs are an infinitestorehouse of images.Postcards, magazines, books,posters and movie stills canstir the imagination.Photography is particularlyhelpful in painting realisticdetail. A simple view of abuilding (right) can provideideas for a fantastic palace.ExplorationThere are two sources ofideas available while you areactually working on yourdrawing: discoveries madeeither while drawing orduring printing. Differenttools, surfaces, media andprocessors can all providemethods of exploringaccidental results. The wordDANZIG (right) was alteredby first drawing thecharacters in a slow-dryingink and, before it dried,blowing through a drinkingstraw at the wet ink strokeswhile moving the paperaround. Textures often havea graphic quality which isstimulating. The granularsurface (right) is producedby the break up of theprotective coating on metalbefore applying an etchingacid. The distortedmanuscript (right) is theresult of holding part of theoriginal image away from thesurface of the photocopyingmachine. These technicalmethods have producedresults which can inspireyour later designs.
  12. 12. Studying natureThe natural world is one of the most should look at the embers of fire, orcommonly-used inspirational sources clouds, or mud, or other similar objectsfor the fantasy artist. The great from which you will find ideas . . .Renaissance painter Leonardo da Vinci because from a confusion of shapes theinstructed pupils to observe: "You spirit is quickened to new inventions."should look at certain walls stained with Natural shapes are everywhere - plants,damp or at stones of an uneven color. If animals, rocks, water. To absorb ideasyou have to invent some setting you will from them you must pay close attentionbe able to see in these the likeness of to the surface detail and record what youdivine landscapes." He suggested "you see with great accuracy. Plant sources Surface sources (opposite) The plant kingdom produces By drawing carefully the thousands of wonderful details of the surface of a leaf shapes, textures and colors. and an old piece of wood The minute seed pods [left], (above and far right), Lee, the diseased acorn [below], aged 18, has produced a the roots of an orchid drawing which can later (bottom) or the spiky limbs become a landscape. Janes of a cactus (below right) are pencil study (below) of a cut exciting beginnings for a cabbage already looks like a fantasy image. magic tree.14
  13. 13. Using realityLeonardo da Vincis advice to students(page 14) was echoed 300 years later bythe English poet William Blake. To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.This poem is about the details of life, thetiny surface qualities of reality; whileexamining them consider the worldsbeyond reality, in our imaginations.Using everyday objects (right)The close inspection of threeobjects - a corkscrew, a fishhead and a loaf of bread —reveals that each hasdifferent qualities that canbe built up to create a newworld of fantasy (as you cansee on page 72).Your own inspiration bankBy collecting objects, youwill have a library of imageswhich can spark off ideas.When out walking, or whilecleaning out tool boxes -whenever your attention iscaught by the uniquequalities of small objects -try to collect them. Bydisplaying them in a wall-case (opposite), you willcreate your own personalbank of shapes and textureswhich it would be otherwisedifficult to imagine.16
  14. 14. Using manufactured objectsObjects made by machines, particularly laws of structure and growth. Materialswith 20th century materials, have an which are molded, extruded, printed,artificial, unnatural form and texture — cast, burnished, glazed, galvanized,plastics, rubbers, artificial fibers, metals polished, coated, fused together, all- all have a man-made quality. possess interesting shapes and surfacesAdvancing technology means that their which are easily available for study andforms need not comply with natural which can stimulate ideas for pictures.Materials (right)1 The rubber drive-belt froma vehicle is formed in onepiece. Its springy resiliencewhen put on a flat surfacecreates new shapes andideas for spatial patterns.2 The metal sugar bowl (thedrawing was copied from aphotograph in a mail ordercatalog) has a highlyreflective surface which canbe used in the creation ofspace stations.3 The commercial scrubbingbrush, from a trade catalog,offers ideas for unnaturalplant textures.4 The simple study of aspiral telephone cable willhelp in the drawing of morerealistic bodies of monstersor parts of futuristicmachines.18
  15. 15. FormsIndustrial tools makewonderful models forinventing space-ageweapons. The drawing(above) was made by Davidfrom a collection ofexamples of craftsmenstools (right), published in atrade catalog.ScaleThe minute scale of printedelectronic circuits (below)can be enlarged to stimulatevisions of city plans of thefuture, or the inner workingsof a new robotic creature. 19
  16. 16. The unseen worldThere are new frontiers in the productionof images that provide wonderfulopportunities and inspiration for fantasyworlds. Realms unseen by previousgenerations appear in specializedtextbooks. Microphotography enlarged,computer pictures, instructionaldiagrams, or images of long-lostexistence may all startle and surprisewith their freshness and revelations ofworlds previously hidden from us.1 Evolving worlds 2 Past worldsThis fluffy chick is seen A technical reconstructionthrough a hole in its egg. Its of a marine creaturebeak and claws arc large in from the Devonian period,comparison to the rest of its about 400 million years ago,body. With imagination, this could inspire the design of acould be turned into a futuristic fighter asleep in its lair.
  17. 17. 3 Microscopic worldsThe leg of a water beetle,enlarged byphotomicroscopy to a size 20times larger than reality,suggests the beginnings of anew monster.4 Mathematical worldsA series of plastic templateswhich hold a pen point canproduce an infinitelychanging pattern whichresembles a vortex of worldsbeyond our galaxy.5 Invisible worldsThe drawing of a new toywas taken from anapplication to the PatentOffice and could be used inan image of a bionic man.6 Abstract worldsA spinning neutron staremits irregular radio waveswhich can be plotted as asequence of overlappinggraphic lines, an imagewhich resembles a new formof landscape.
  18. 18. Exploiting photographsVisual ideas and details can often befound in photographs which, withoutclear visual references, might provedifficult to invent. Most artists haveextensive collections of photographedmaterial which they have built up of thesubjects that particularly appeal to them.Reality, too, can be used as a source, soalways try to photograph places andlighting effects you find interesting.Photographic sources (above)Newspapers, magazines, oldbooks, specializedpublications, postcards, allyield telling images. Arrangeyour collection in sectionsso that you can find aparticular subject later:landscapes, buildings,figures, objects, or generaltopics like compositions,lighting effects or thebizarre.22
  19. 19. The real into the unrealThe photograph (left) wastaken while I was on holidayin northern Greece; such astartling cliff needed to berecorded for later use. The19th century Scottish castle(above) is a fairytalebuilding come true. Thesepictures were combined inthe creation of an illustrationfor a comic book series(right). 23
  20. 20. Using your own photographsThe camera can be a tool, just like abrush or pen. You can use its ability torecord detail as a means of sorting outthe visual qualities of your ideas. Beginby first sketching your intentions, thenwhen you feel confident with an idea,use the camera on location or in fixedlighting to build up your knowledge ofthe subject. Creating effects comes from below. The total The picture (above right) effect is one of horror and looks ghoulish; it appears to mystery. In fact, the be of a childs frightened photograph was taken of the response to something child while he hung upside terrible. His hair is standing down on a park swing on end, his hands are {above left). grasping out and the light24
  21. 21. Building tensionsThe photograph [left] is of astationary car with a smallchild standing in front of it.It could be used for thecreation of two sequentialdrawings involving a caraccident (above).Sand writingMost artists would find itdifficult to record accuratelyletters written in sand. Away of providing yourselfwith a visual reference is towrite the letters in a tray ofsand, then photograph itwith a strong side light (left). 25
  22. 22. Using modelsArtists have often built models of parts views of it explored either with a cameraof objects they want to draw in their or with sketches. This technique is oftensearch for interesting views. Present-day used for studies of figure drawings. Inconstruction kits provide replicas of strip cartoons, constructing modelsdetails which would be time-consuming helps you to memorize special build. A model can be modified and26
  23. 23. Comic artworkThe action-packed smalldrawings (right) are theresult of building on thephotographic impressions ofthe models and fantasizingon the static compositions ofthe objects.World War II battlesThe model of the tankPzkpfw II from a purchasedconstruction kit was madeby Michael, aged 15. Fromthis and other models he wasable to take photographs(opposite) from differentviewpoints, and also toarrange the objects in avariety of ways so as toarrive at interestingcompositions (below).
  24. 24. Using other culturesThe art of cultures we rudely considerinferior to our own, so-called primitiveart, is a wonderful source of ideas. Theenergy and invention of the forms farexceed the sterile realism of Westernportrayals of fantasy. The 19th centuryexplosion of discoveries of the art ofother cultures, as displayed in galleriesor published as illustrations, had aprofound effect on the imaginations ofWestern fantasy artists.The human headThe face has a strongemotional appeal. It hascharacter, and it expressesits nature through its shapes.Every culture has used thisaspect to depict spirits andabstractions; the unseeableportrayed as a distortion ofthe knowable.1 African tribal dance mask2 Northern AustralianAborigine face painting3 Ancient Greek theatermask4 Medieval mystery playdevil mask5 Central American IndianmonsterThe human formEither as costumes orstatues, ancient andprimitive societies used thehuman form as a startingpoint for the depiction of theunimaginable. Their Godsare transformed intovariations of the humanfigure.6 African initiation costume7 Chinese carving of afemale deity8 Classical Greek fertilitygoddess9 Ancient Egyptian statue10 African fetish sculpture28
  25. 25. Past mastersIn the mind of a master artist images The spread of imagesfloat to the surface of his consciousness Artists have been creatingand are captured for eternity in his art. fantasy images for thousandsYou should never be embarrassed about of years. However, it is onlycopying their discoveries for your own during the last five hundreduse. They, too, have used previous years (with the advent ofcreative artists as inspiration. But when printing) that the imagescopying the work of others, you should have been spread among adevelop your own ideas beyond the wider audience.original source, using it as a startingpoint.
  26. 26. Graphic Art William Blakes drawing of a artist Katsushika Hokusai.Five examples of the work of vision he had while His hundreds of drawings ofgreat graphic artists in the considering quotations from everyday life in Japan greatlyworld of fantasy: the bible. helped his drawing of1 The 16th century artist 3 A detail from the work of imaginary subjects.Peter Brueghel the Elder. A the 19th century artist 5 Unidentified artists coversdetail from an engraving Gustave Dore, whose for popular magazines,entitled The temptation of imagination was stretched showing a variety of 20thSt Anthony. Compare this by illustrating works of century illustrations ofwith examples on pages 38- literary fantasy. popular comics and39, 40, 54-55 and 62-63. 4 A detail from a drawing by magazines.2 The 18th century artist the 19th century Japanese 31
  27. 27. SectionTwoSources offantasyI once overheard a beautifulconversation between two children, oneaged six and the other ten years old. Theeldest was explaining that comics havewords in them for people who cannotread the pictures! Fantasy pictures have a meaning.Understanding the pictures is a majorpart of enjoying such works ofimagination. Very often when wediscover new forms of fantasy art wehave difficulty in reading the picture.The roots of the ideas and forms digdeep into many levels of humanexperience, and this section of the bookexamines a selection of these sources.They may come from events in our dailylives, the forms of nature, or from thesubconscious world of our dreams. Theymay have their origins in the collective,subconscious, world of mythology,superstition, folklore and religioussymbolism. Or they may simply be theplayful self-indulgence of the artistexploring his own imagination.The picture (opposite) by the The figure [above) revealsBelgian painter James Ensor our ignorance of the imageuses our knowledge of languages of other cultures.medieval and 19th century Is it a man or a woman? Is it acomic pictures to portray threat or a comfort? To theevil. We know that the Malayan audience, whofigures surrounding his self- understand the shadowportrait are threats to his puppet figure, it is simply asanity, and that somehow matter of their collective(we dont fully understand understanding ofhis private code) the central representations of good andcockerel is an inspiration evil, heroes and villains andand guiding light. servants and kings. This figure is Hanuman, a hero.32
  28. 28. Fantasy of the ordinaryNormality is an excellent source of you to make up your own story of thefantasy art because it is everywhere, preceding events. This form of art canalways available, and because of its have a very successful impact, as thoughfamiliarity. The effects are usually casting a spell over the observer. Weachieved by juxtapositions of know reality is around us, and we areincongruous objects and ideas of always disturbed by abnormalityinverted normality. The elements in a because it forces us to re-adjust ourpicture are often arranged as if asking accepted impressions.Preceding pages: engineered by Horror sourcesThe menaced assassin cinematographic techniques. A great source of fantasy artMagritte, 1926 Episodes were invented by is the depiction of horrific two authors, taking it in events. This 19th centuryThis picture draws its ideas turns to write alternate illustration (below) is of afrom the silent movies and chapters. During the particularly gruesome childpopular detective fiction of 1920s Magritte explored murder. The retreating backthe 1920s. One series of many ideas of reality and of the man, the childsfilms, Lepoque de illusion, producing smiling head on the table,Fantomas, was a particular paintings at the rate of one a the trail of blood from thefavourite of Magritte. The day. Every one was like a body under the bed, all set infilms portray the exploits of new hallucinatory vision, a normal interior, producea master criminal who irrational and absurd, a an impression of involuntaryappeared and disappeared purveyor of the paradoxical. and perverse action, thewith unreal ability, an effect work of a madman. (Preceding page) Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Kay Sage Tanguy Fund.
  29. 29. JuxtapositionsIn the 19th century, popularpostcards used arrangementsof figures and objects tosuggest unusual meanings, akind of sexual hint byassociation. The drawing(right) by the 19th centuryBelgian artist Felicien Ropssuggests a sexualrelationship between thefiremans hosepipe and thenude figure.Heightened normalityThe drawing (right), entitledThe death chamber, by theNorwegian artist EdvardMunch, shows the interior ofa bedroom in 1892.Although we cannot see theperson in the bed, weassume from the positionsand expressions of the otherpeople in the room that theyare considering the finalityof death. 37
  30. 30. Fantasy of nature"Such tricks hath strong imagination Zoomorphic monstersThat if it would but apprehend some joy. The wood-engraving (below)Or in the night, imagining some fear, is by a contemporary ofHow easy is a bush supposed a bear?" Grunewald, Albrecht Durer,from Shakespeares great fantasy play on and shows anothernature, Midsummer Nights Dream. Temptation of St Anthony. The tangled web of livingNature has always been a source of forms is culled fromfantasy for artists. The complex forms of observations of insects,plants and animals can be used to crustaceans, birds, reptilesdescribe imaginary worlds. Trees can be and mammals.spirits, animals can behave like humans,heaven or hell can be landscapesderived from earthly places.Preceding pages:The temptation of StAnthonyMatthias Grunewald, 1510The painting and details(over) are on an altar panel.The trees, plants andcreatures are from the darkforests of Germany, thehome of wolves, demons andevil spirits. The monsters area strange mixture of animals,some slimy, some feathery,some scaly and some withhuman flesh. They behavelike freaks; they hiss, fight,bellow at St Anthony and ateach other; they torment andare tormented; they aredisfigured and diseased. Themonster (lower left) hasleprous or syphilitic skinblisters. Grunewaldspainting, like the BoschTemptation on pages 54-55,was directed at sufferers. Butits message is that self-inflicted suffering, broughton by evil acts, especiallythose directed at StAnthonys religious order,cannot expect intercessionfrom a patron saint.40
  31. 31. Plant spiritsBook illustrators have oftenused fairy tales, with theirsense of magic, to createfantasy from small details innature. A tangled bramblebush can be transformed tocontain hidden forest spirits(right). Cabbage-like leaves(below right) can grow fromthe limbs of a recliningnude.Animal spiritsThe North American WestCoast Indians attribute toanimals a spirit form whichis then painted on theirhouses, objects and garmentsto create an imaginary worldof spirit animals. The two(below) show a killer whaleand a beaver. 41
  32. 32. Fantasy of dreamsDreams can be the gateway to dreams. In the 20th century manyimagination. Their inner world can be a psychologists have interpreted ourwell of ideas for fantasy artists. The dreams and fantasies as unfulfilledcreation in literature of the monster secret ambitions and fears. For whateverFrankenstein was the result of a dream reason we dream, the images areby its author, Mary Shelley. Many artists dazzling in their nonconformity toand authors have kept a pencil and reality. Space, form and time are allpaper by their beds so that, on waking, suspended in the mirror of our sleepingthey could write down the new ideas minds.and images which appeared in theirPreceding pages:The nightmareHenry Fuseli, 1781Shortly after completing thispicture, Fuseli wrote to afriend that he had dreamedof how he had made love tohis unrequited sweetheart,the lady believed to be thesubject of this picture. Hepainted a series of thesesubjects, each illustrating ayoung girls dream, but mostlikely depicting his ownfears and anxieties. The girlin Fuselis painting isbelieved to be experiencingan imaginary sexual assault.Fuselis other versions ofthis subject were thought tobe commissions for private Dream landsbedrooms. Copies of this Childrens fiction aboundssubject were sold as popular with dream worlds. Peterengravings, and its sense of Pan, Little Nemo and Alice intimate privacy was turned were all set in the dreams ofinto a jesting, joking, crude children. The illustrationridicule of a young girls (above) is from the 19thfantasies. century story At the Back of the North Wind, in which a boys harsh life is made bearable by his adventures travelling with the fictitious north wind lady. The series (left) is from the American newspaper cartoon, Little Nemo in Slumberland, by the great fantasy artist Winsor McCay.44
  33. 33. Tempting devices The source of dreamsEach of the two 19th century This 16th century diagramillustrations (above) portrays (right) illustrateda girl being visited by an contemporary ideas on theincubus. This creature was a root origins and causes ofdemon who visited sleeping dreams. These quasi-females with offerings of medical plans confusedseductive thoughts and physical features with theemotions. spiritual and ethereal. Medieval thinkers oftenInterpreting dreams maintained that dreamThe dreamers companion images were a dialogue with[above right) was a popular supernatural forces or the1840s interpretation of voice of God.dreams, and was consultedby girls as a guide to theirfuture.
  34. 34. Fantasy of legendsCentaurs, harpies, satyrs, Cyclops, Egyptian deities, legendary Romangriffins, unicorns and dragons are all heroes and Nordic spirits have been re-conjured out of mythology. The born in later Christian belief to representcharacters and exploits of these early similar or parallel attributes. It is only infantastic creatures have been used over the late 19th and 20th centuries that weand over again by later artists. Legends have become aware of the mythologiesare re-interpreted by each age and a of Asia, Africa and the Americas, thebenign being, which was once a symbol imagery of which has not yet beenof goodness, can become a focus of evil, incorporated into our visual language.a vision of wickedness. Greek gods,Preceding pages:Saint George and the dragonPaolo Uccello, 1456The legend in which StGeorge rescues a maiden byslaying a dragon was apopular subject for bothpaintings and sculptures. Toboth artist and audiencealike it symbolized thestruggle between good (thehero) and evil (the monster),and asserted that virtue andinnocence (the maiden)cannot be harmed by evil.Uccello worked in aChristian environment,decorating churches and thehomes of devout princes.The use of classical andmythological subjects assymbols to express Christianbeliefs was very commonduring the Renaissance.Re-inventing mythologyThe 19th century Englishauthor Lewis Carrollintroduced a new audienceto past legends. In theillustration (right) the artistJohn Tenniel depicts ayouthful hero battling with areptilian dragon. Tennielsvisual inventions were idealfor the world of Carroll, andtheir collaboration makesthe stories about Aliceeverlasting classics offantasy.48
  35. 35. Dragon depictionsThe Latin word dracomeans both dragon andserpent, but to artistsworldwide a dragon has legs,often wings and sometimesbreathes fire. Themythological beast appearsin all cultures and is bothfeared and revered.1 The dragon of the Nordicwarriors represented death,destruction and the guardianof hell, so it was a fittingdecoration for a Vikingbattle-axe of the 10thcentury.2 The dragon of medievalheraldry representedprowess and power. A markof authority, the deviceembellished the shield of aknight and was oftenincluded in his heraldicmotif.3 The serpent of CentralAmerican Azteccivilizations represented thepower of darkness and was aguardian of sacred secrets.4 The dragon of China is thebringer of good fortune, andwas the Emperors emblem.As such, it was used as adecorative device onthousands of differentoriental objects andgarments.
  36. 36. Fantasy of superstitionsNaive belief in supernatural forces has transformed by folk culture into thebeen a common inspiration for fantastic machinations of extraordinary forcesimagery. Superstitions often mix crude, which are then portrayed as devils,inaccurate tales about demons and witches, demons, ghosts, vampires anddevils with the spice of sex and other imaginary beings. The intention ofpornography. The stirrings of the lower all such inventions is to frighten and tobelly rise to stimulate the imaginings of obtain power over the innocent, tothe mind to create popular fantasy art. capture and fire their imaginations.Any unexplained event is quicklyPreceding pages:The young sorceressAntoine Wiertz, 1850The detail (overleaf) and thefull painting (right) reveal theopportunities for eroticismin paintings of thesupernatural. The artistachieves his effects byskilfully depicting detailsand by adding disturbingqualities which make uspause and ask questions.What is the old womanteaching the young nude girlto do? Are the other headsthose of real observers,voyeurs of pornography, orspirits to help in theceremony?Voluptuous flesh caught inan erotic pose combineswith the black, cloaked,ancient crone to suggest eviland secret rituals. HISTORIC TRAIL52
  37. 37. Demonic creaturesPopular tales of devils thattempt young girls or old hagswho have power over liveswere used by artists to stirup secret fears.1 The discovery of witches, a17th century book ondetecting witches.2 The devil and thedisobedient child, an 18thcentury American storybookillustration on morals.3 A bewitched groom, a 16thcentury German illustrationon the source of illness.4 Witches trail sign(opposite). The touristhighway sign in Salem,USA, commemorates thetime when its bigotedcitizens allowed superstitionto overcome reason andcondemned many innocentpeople to death as witches. 53
  38. 38. Fantasy of faithReligious beliefs have provided the and hell have reality. With faith,means for artists to portray worlds other emotions can be personalized, shown asthan the real, physical, observable individuals, creatures and monsters. Toparts of the Earth. Hindu, Buddhist, all believers, regardless of education orChristian, Jewish religious buildings and intelligence, symbolism and pictorialbooks abound with fantasy art. The representation are commonlytemples of ancient Egypt, Greece, understood. But deeply-held beliefsCentral America and Asia all contain must continue within any communitydepictions of fantastic worlds for pictorial language to convey theenvisioned and drawn by the faithful. artists ideas; otherwise his visionsWith faith, everything is real. Heaven become obscure and unintelligible.Preceding pages: and daily churchThe temptation of St procedures. The message ofAnthony the painting is theHieronymus Bosch, circa renunciation of physical1500 delights. Bosch uses symbolic images and puns The paintingThis painting was requested on common words to convey The altar panels (below),by the religious order of St his warning. Without a when closed, have paintingsAnthony. Attached to its profound knowledge of of Christs betrayal andchurch was a hospital which Christian beliefs and crucifixion on the outside.specialized in treating practices, the images appear The silhouette of a mansvenereal disease. A sufferer wild and irreverent. head is shown at the side towho sought a miraculous give an impression of size.cure was asked tocontemplate the horrors ofevil in front of this paintingbefore being given treatment.The painting is no larger thana dressing-table mirror andonly close examination willreveal its details. The manygroups, costumes, objectsand buildings were intendedto convey ideas now lost.Each image is a cartoon ofhuman folly and frailty,many are parodies ofChristian beliefs, well-known bible stories, rituals56
  39. 39. SymbolismBecause so many of thefaithful were illiterate,Church leaders usedsymbols for people in itshistory. Christ and the fourevangelists were oftenshown as animals or otherbeings:1 Christ as a haloed lamb2 Mark as a winged lion3 John as an eagle4 Luke as a winged bull5 Matthew as an angelPersonificationThe seven deadly sins, viceschosen by Christians as themost repellent, were givenphysical forms: monsters, asin the 16th century Germanwoodcut [right], or realanimals who were thought topossess an excess of one ofthe vices.Other worldsWith faith, there is life afterdeath in an existence as realas the earthly one. The earlymedieval wall painting(right) shows the ladder ofsalvation, a path eachChristian must follow toavoid eternal damnation andachieve salvation. Faithmakes heaven and hell real;and the emotions, such ashate, love, lust and sloth,have personalities whichcome alive in the bodies ofmen, women and creatures. ©DIAGRAM 57
  40. 40. Fantasy of popular cultureWherever there is an audience artists Comic sourcesperform their skills at weaving magic Pictures are the best way toand fantasy. Comics, childrens classics, capture childrens attentionadult fiction, theatre, movies, videos and so, before television, artistsrecord sleeves are all media which developed the comic strip toprovide space for creating images from a high art. Today adults often find fantasy comicsthe imagination. The great fictional more attractive than children.writers, past and present, have invented From the creators of Batman,special worlds to which artists have Superman, Rupert Bear,responded by developing their own Barbar the Elephant andvisual forms. Tintin came new worlds. Here are three examples ofPreceding pages: great comic artists at work:Weird Tales 1924-40 1 Frank Bellamy, an EnglishUS popular magazine covers illustrator of the 1960s,Pulp magazines are an outlet created space pilot Dan Dare.for fantasy artists. The prose 2 Winsor McCay, illustratoronly hints at acts of violence, of the New York Herald,sexuality, submission and created Little Nemo.torture, performed at night, 3 Wilhelm Busch, late 19thin jungle and dungeon. And century German illustrator,the covers of Weird Tales created Max and Moritz.and others reflect thecontent.60
  41. 41. Childrens fictionCarroll, Anderson, Kiplingand Potter and the lesser-known authors of Pinocchio,Goldilocks, Red Ridinghoodand Mother Goose havecreated magic worlds.1 Gullivers Travels, offersgiants, dwarfs and horsesthat talk.Adult literatureThe horror stories of Poe,Shelley, Lovecraft andStoker or the fantasy ofBurroughs, Conan Doyle,Wells, Verne and Tolkien allprovide strange and bizarreimages.2 Mary Shelleys novelFrankenstein has spawnedhundreds of pictures andportrayals on TV and film.The theatrePuppet shows, pantomimes,ballets, operas, plays and thecircus all contain an elementof fantasy.3 The English pantomime,Puss in Boots, is a surrealtale of a cat that talks andwalks on two legs.MoviesFantasy has become moresophisticated, from the 1902films of George Melies toStar Wars, Aliens and Planetof the Apes. Tricks andanimation have enabledartists to forget the laws ofspace, time, matter andlogic.4 King Kong is a classicexample of make-believe. Agiant gorilla is tamed by thebeauty of a young girl.Videos and record sleevesNew media provide freshopportunities for the artist toexercise his imagination.5 Evil Dead, the video,used new techniques toproduce scenes of horror and ©DIAGRAMnightmare reality. 61
  42. 42. Fantasy of self-indulgenceEvery individual has a fantasy world of Because this art-form can emerge onlyhis own, but only a very few ever depict from sources already digested in theit in pictures; that this kingdom be subconscious, it invariably containsimagined or dreamed about and then references to the artists ownforgotten seems to be sufficient. But 19th experiences and observations. For it toand 20th century artists have very succeed, it relies very much on sharedfrequently exploited this private realm private knowledge or jokes. Theas a storehouse of ideas which they have observer knows that the artist knowsrecorded, usually in great pictorial that he knows the references in thedetail, and put on public display. painting.Preceding pages: Private fantasiesThe temptation of St The painting (below), TheAnthony caress by the Belgian artistSalvador Dali, 1946 Fernand Khnopff, was painted when he was 38 inA major advantage of all 1896. Understanding of the20th century artists is their picture is greatly enhancedability to gain access to by knowing that the femalevisual sources from different portrait is that of his sister,times, cultures and whom he lovedmaterials. Photographic passionately, but could notreproductions, television possess. This painting is anand movies have provided elaborate private joke.modern artists withresources beyond thewildest dreams of theirforebears. This painting ofThe temptation of StAnthony is an example of anartist being clever.Producing a picture which isintended for public orprivate galleries, a picture todisplay his skills andknowledge, he includes areference to BerninisColumn in Rome and theEscorial Palace in Spain. Themain purpose of suchpaintings is to startle anddraw attention to the artist.Like naughty children suchan artist must bemischievous to succeed.64
  43. 43. Frivolous fantasy Many newspapers and magazines offer a ready supply of objects for private fantasy, either social or sexual. This is a means of achieving in imagination new levels of life not at present available by normal means; elevated shoes to increase your height, or plastic aprons (right) to change your sex. Almost all are unbelievable and none fulfill their promises.Folk art fantasyAn illustration of aninvitation to the privateshowing of the Russian artistIvan Bilibin (above). Theexhibition was held inAlexandria (Egypt) and theartist used the traditionaltechniques of Russian folkart to depict a sphinx-likefigure. 65
  44. 44. SectionThreeDevelopingideasOnce you have an idea, how do yourealize its potential? This section explores some of thetechniques for developing the imagebeyond its original form. Your picturemay look normal, but you can insert anelement of surprise - for example, byshowing normal objects in an abnormalway - to create a fantasy image. Theelements within your composition maybe changing their appearance. Yourpicture may contain two imagescombined to make one, eithersuperimposed or buried within eachother, to create a double deception. Thecreatures you create can be the result ofthe combination of different animals, egthe griffin; anthropomorphic forms(animals with human attributes), egMickey Mouse; or creatures made upfrom inanimate materials, eg robots. Compositional features or surfacequalities may be altered, thus changing apicture quite radically. A distortion inthe perspective, or turning the viewupside down creates spatial tension andis another way of heightening the dream-like effect. The use of surface qualityadaptation can open many new doors,leading to new ideas for subjects, andturn you back to look at previousexamples of your work for thepossibilities which may lie in them.The 19th century Indianpopular print (right) depictsgods in sculptures and reliefcarvings from Hindutemples. The artist hasmixed these images with thetheme of the life of thesacred River Ganges.66
  45. 45. Elements of surpriseThe simple and effective way to achievefantasy in an image is by the subtlepresence of an unusual element. A wayto do this is to add features that fitcompletely into the general appearance,but on examination prove unlikely orimpossible. These intrusive parts createa disturbing feature which can unnerveour first responses to the image.Irrationalities Improbabilities ImpossibilitiesEither the figure (below) is a "Alright, have it your way - The tower (right) is drawnman dressed in womens you heard a seal bark!" The using the normal laws ofclothing or a woman who cartoon (above right) by the illustration. It appears at firsthas grown a beard. The American humorist James glance to be a staircase oninconceivable is invariably Thurber, beautifully the top of a terrace, but upondisturbing. To contemplate a describes the unlikely being examination its constructionbearded woman could be taken as the inevitable. would be impossible.more disturbing than a man Surrealist painters oftenin womans clothes. used this technique to build an image which looks normal but which in reality could not exist. Incongruities Showing normality with abnormal elements can produce simple images which cause a slight surprise. The reader does a double take. The three illustrations (right) show how easily we first think the image is normal, only to discover upon examination that each one has something unusual about it.
  46. 46. Creating incongruityWhen combining images, their jointeffect is best described as the sum isgreater than the parts. The property ofsubjects when combined creates a mixwhich exceeds the effect of the basicingredients. Scale, textures, substance,events, space, when mixed irrationallycan create disturbing combinations. Substance Shoes are made to protect our feet so a shoe with toes {left) is a contradiction. Pencils are hard, inflexible objects so a pencil tied in a knot seems impossible. Our prior knowledge of the character of an object means we find it difficult to accept objects having properties different from those we have experienced.ScaleThree monkeys (right)examining a kissing couple.Are they giants? Is thecentral image a T.V. screen, awindow, or a painting?Without additionalinformation the image is anenigma. The viewer isseeking a plausibleexplanation for theincongruous.70
  47. 47. Pre-knowledge (above)The painting by PeterBrueghel the Elder ofhunters setting out on a walkappears in many books onthe history of art. This copyby a modern artist omits thefigures. The picture isdisturbing only to those whoremember the huntersoriginal positions (opposite).IrrationalityThe 17th centuryillustration (left) of a kissingcouple is, in its original form(far left), already an imagewhich provokes the questionof who and why? By addingthe cubicled heads watchingthe couple a modern artisthas highlighted this feelingof enigma. 71
  48. 48. Using the sizeOur experience of life leads us to assumethe size of objects or creatures. A bear ora bee have a generally imagined size.Fantasy artists use this feature to disturbour views of the normal, placing objectsalongside one another with disregard fortheir actual, related sizes. Ourimaginations are stretched by beingconfronted with the visually impossible.Comparative sizesHuman beings are often usedas an indicator of scale. Thegroups of figures [below]through their contexts are, inone case, made to appear asgiants and in the other asnormal figures dwarfed byan enormous idol.
  49. 49. Perceived sizesThe composition (left) wasproduced from studies ofobjects found in a normalkitchen. The drawings(reproduced on page 16)were then re-arranged tocreate a towering idol. Theloaf of bread became a cliff,the bottle-opener amechanical device forworking the idols arms, andthe fish head as the coldunsympathetic totem.ContextThe illustrations by theFrench artist Gustave Dore tothe fantastic stories ofadventures of the Baron VonMunchhausen, achieve theireffect by the use of normalfigures or locations inabnormal situations. Thehorseman (right) ridingalong the sea bed and beingconfronted by gigantic fishesis an example of theimprobable set in theimpossible.MontageFantasy artists havedelighted in using thetechnique of montage, thesticking together of twoimages cut from differentcontexts. This giant insect(below) is from a 17thcentury entomological bookand the struggling hero froma 19th century source.
  50. 50. Combining imagesVery often the artist can use normalobjects and, by their strangearrangement and relationship with otherobjects, create new worlds of fantasy. Toachieve the best results you mustconstantly collect images which sparkoff a tiny idea and store them for lateruse.WarriorThe illustration (right) wasmade from three sources. Adetailed drawing of a 5thcentury Greek helmet, aphotograph of a face in awomens magazine, and acut out photo from a 1940scar magazine of a radiatorwere combined.Combat (right)The struggling girl is copiedfrom a ladies keep-fit book,and her contestant is the larvaof a grasshopper, greatlyenlarged, stood on spiderslegs and given wire tendrils.74
  51. 51. VictimsThe purpose of this picture(right) was to describe thenightmare idea that we areall victims needing helpfrom a source we cannot seeor understand. The wall wasdrawn from a photograph,turned upside down, of thefloor of an iron foundry. Thehands were created from thestudy [above) of the artistsown hands. The attentivejailer was created froma study of museumillustrations of Pacificcrustaceans. Images of thisnature stir our imaginationbecause they provoke thequestions "Who is behindthe screen? What are theydoing? How do they existtogether and what is thestrange shell creature doing?" ©DIAGRAM
  52. 52. Using changeThe great exponent of changing formswas the 19th century scientist CharlesDarwin. The idea that we could begin asone species and develop into anotherwas a startling proposal to people whobelieved in eternal forms. Nevertheless,metamorphosis (the changing form), hasalways existed. Caterpillars change tobutterflies, eggs to birds, seeds to trees.Nothing is constant.Man to birdA contemporary cartoon Man to monster (opposite)(right) ridiculing Darwins Readers in the 19th centuryideas on evolution. were particularly fond of stories involving human changes of form. This is an illustration to the Gothic novel by Stevenson of the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The effectiveness of these stories depends on the assumption that goodness has one face and evil another.Teapot to scorpion (below) Seeing possibilitiesHallucinogenic drugs, The seven objects [right]fatigue and mental were collected frominstabilities can produce illustrations in populareffects where the normal magazines. Try to imagineappears abnormal. Reality other forms which could bechanges with our developed from these.perceptions of it. Successfulmetamorphosis dependsupon the unlikelytransformation of one objectinto another.76
  53. 53. Double deceptionsFantasy artists often play with thereaders perceptions of the image. Avisual game of look for the picturewithin the picture is being played.Discovering whether we all draw thesame conclusions about a picture canlead to interesting enquiries as to thevery nature of perception. In childrenscomics and popular newspapers thistheme has developed into a variety ofpuzzle games.
  54. 54. Exploring possibilitiesThe pencil drawing {above)of discarded take-away foodwas the first study which ledto the idea of a strangemonster peering from a box(right).Double-take picturesSometimes we are caughtunawares by visual tricks.1 This could be a giant heador a rocky landscape.2 The top illustration couldbe a young girl or an oldlady. The subsequent twoillustrations have addeddetail to clarify eachinterpretation.3 This can be a black-faceddoll, or by turning the pageupside down, an old smilinggranny.4 Is this two confrontingfaces, or a vase containing aleafy plant?
  55. 55. Distorting your picturesThe next four pages have examples ofmethods of distorting an original imageto explore the effects the newly-createdimage has on the value of the picture.The only really satisfactory way toachieve new results is byexperimentation and by trying to thinkof unique ways the images you have canbe developed.Graphic techniquesThe tools and techniques ofthe fantasy artist can beexplored to create morepowerful images.1 An original image with afull range of tones.2 The image described aslines traced along the edgesof the dark and light areas.3 The image drawn as onlypure blacks or whites withno intermediate tonalvalues.4 A negative version wherethe dark areas are white andthe light areas dark.5 This is illustration no. 3distorted by photocopying itwithout placing it directlyonto the photocopiers glassplate.Double visual (right)By carefully disguising thejoints in the assembly of thisimage the hand appears tohave seven fingers.80
  56. 56. distorting your picturesTwo further methods of Matrix distortions Montage distortionchanging your images The illustration is covered 5 Sliced and re-arranged.A By the distortion of a by a grid. You distort the 6 Cut into circular strips andsuperimposed grid. image by re-plotting re-arranged.B By mutilating and re- according to a grid whore the 7 Duplicated at a variety ofassembling the image or axes move in one or more sizes and super-imposed.multiples of it. directions. 8 Montaged with negative 1 Extending the vertical. elements. 2 and 3 Retaining the 9 Cut into strips and edited. horizontal but distorting the 10 Super-imposed vertical. enlargements. 4 Extending the horizontal.82
  57. 57. Superimposing picturesOne successful way to achieve fantasypictures is by superimposing images.This is frequently done with thephotographic technique of doubleexposure. Alternatively, two matchingimages can be successfully combinedwithout a high degree of sophisticationby the use of tracing paper overlays.Exploring the head1 Michaels pencil studyself-portrait is mademenacing by the addition ofa snarling lion copied from anature magazine and thesurprised creaturesprotruding from his ears.2 The ghoulish faceproduced by Mark wasachieved by a self-portraitstudy superimposed over atracing study of a skull.3 In this 17th centuryportrait of a nobleman theartist wished to make astatement about the subjectscharacter via thesuperimposition of theupside down portrait. Turnthe book upside down to seethe second face.4 A very popular 19thcentury motif was to haveimages which appear to beone subject, but containanother. In this postcard wecan find death.84
  58. 58. Human monstersMythology has been the breeding-ground for many half-human monsters.The synthesis of creatures and humanforms has been used to imply that thehybrid contains some of thecharacteristics of the combinedcreatures appearance. By adding partsof creatures thought to be repellent, egclaws and scales, the frequentlyunpleasant nature of the mythologicalcreature could be more easily described.Classical and ancienthybrids1 A Harpy, with eagles 4 An Egyptian god, with atalons. rams head on a lions body.2 Medusa, with her head of 5 A Satyr, with goat-like legssnakes. and horns.3 The Sphinx, with cat-like 6 A Centaur, combining thebody and contemplative bodies of a man and a
  59. 59. Exploratory groups Folklore sources (below) Personality portrayalsThe five drawings (above) Strange stories of unlikely The 19th century postcardare a students studies for creatures flooded the (below) grafts a female facedeveloping an image of a literature of early explorers onto a cats body to hint athalf-naked female figure on and navigators. feline characteristics.the bodies of a variety of 1 A 19th century skeleton ofcreatures. a human fish, the work of a skillful taxidermist. 2 Mermaids and mermen decorated many early maps.
  60. 60. Animals as peopleAttributing human characteristics toanimals has been a long tradition amongfantasy artists. The fictional animalworld of popular childrens literatureabounds with human-style walking andtalking animals. Bears blow their noseson spotted handkerchiefs, dogs quoteSocrates, elephants go to the barbersshop and foxes eat their supper usingknives and forks. Representational worlds Dream worlds (above) This device {left) represents The 19th century author a mythological demon dog. It Lewis Carroll created a was used to decorate a dream world for his heroine doorknob in Renaissance Alice. Here, among rabbits, Italy. walruses and frogs, human properties were attributed to animals so that they could converse with Alice.
  61. 61. Allegorical worlds (above) Childrens worlds Satirical worlds (above)The shadow puppets of Movies, TV, comics and The 19th century illustratorMalaya include animals who popular stories abound with Granville depicted animalstalk and walk as humans. animal creatures. How many performing humanThese fantasy figures are can you name in this activities. He used thisinterchangeable with gods, collection (below)? Do you technique primarily so thatspirits, servants, animals, know where they appear in he could expose the follies ofwarriors and villains. Each childrens entertainments contemporary society.figure represents ideas and and what other famous onesmorals. have been omitted? 89
  62. 62. Machines as peopleThe inanimate object can be made Substituted fleshanimate by the imagination of the The painting (below left) isfantasy artist. Fruit becomes a face, by an 18th century artist.metal a limb, furniture a body and, in the Fish, fruit and plants were incorporated in suchsolid world of sculpture, iron or marble compositions more as abecome human flesh. In the imagination display of the skills of theof fantasy artists all materials can be artist than as a serious piecegiven life. The artists play God of fantasy art.persuading us to believe in theircreations.90
  63. 63. Manufactured flesh Collected flesh Constructed fleshThe depiction of robots, The assembled parts of The drawing (below) is notusually machines in human manmade objects have been of an imaginary giant,form, have been the strong grouped in this drawing covered in ant-like humans.interest of 20th century (below left] to represent a It is a picture representingfantasy artists. Advances in goldsmith. These 18th the construction of thetechnology have had a century illustrations were Statue of Liberty in Newconsiderable influence upon mocking the craftsman. York. Sculptors useartists visions of the perfect inanimate substances torobotic figure (below left). describe animate forms.
  64. 64. Your point of viewTo achieve drama in a fantasy artcomposition the artist can use visualdistortions of the elements, extremes oflighting, dramatic scale variations, andunusual or disturbing positioning of thefocus of attention. These tricks areparticularly exploited in the productionof comic book art, where the repeateduse of the comic strip as a vehicle forimages and text can be monotonous.92
  65. 65. Viewpoint CompositionArtists often select a Note the use of dark andviewpoint from which the light areas (4) to direct theelements draw us into the readers attention. Thepicture (1 and 2). Drawings cutting away of the edges ofneed not conform to the subjects (5) or selectingactual laws of optical dramatic positions (6) addsperspective (3). Some emphasis.elements can be enlargeddramatically. 93
  66. 66. Deliberate accidentsAn accidental occurrence in the you are not working directly on aproduction of a drawing may not always finished drawing practise experimentingbe detrimental. Accidental marks on a with new media, unfamiliar tools anddrawings surface may enhance it and surfaces so as to master the effects andinspire new ideas. Many artists use them confidently. Remember to beexperiment with textures and keep open to the unexpected.examples of random discoveries. WhenUnexpected sources Surface accidentsA popular 19th century The watercolour paintinghobby was autograph (right) is by Victor Hugo, thecollecting, and this led to the French 19th centurypublication of a book novelist. While outentitled Ghosts of my sketching he often rubbedfriends. The book contained substances such as cofffeeblank pages on which grounds and cigar ash intofriends of the owner wrote the surface. He also used atheir names in ink along a type of pencil whichvertical crease. The page was produced soluble marks tofolded over so that the ink deepen and dramatize thesmudged, producing a tonal effect. However thesedouble blot or ghost. The techniques should be usedghost (right) is of the with caution as they cansignature of Florence M. destroy the surface of yourWoon, a dry version of work.which is printed [left). Shape accidents The 18th century artist Alexander Cozens developed an idea based on making landscapes from inkblots. He thought that natural accidents resembled nature and inspired visions of imaginary places. The picture (right) was producedThe kaleidoscope effect by dabbing a clothMultiple versions of an dampened with ink onto aimage can be made striking flat piece of paper. This wasby producing them from a then placed, inked sidecut-out of a folded sheet. The down, onto another piece ofpattern {right) began as a paper which had previouslysingle figure and emerged as been crumpled up. He gavea dancing circle of figures. the resulting pattern ofThis method generates inkblots to his students tomultiple images which it use under a piece ofwould otherwise be hard to translucent paper to produceinvent. fantasy landscapes.94
  67. 67. SectionFourTechniquesand tipsThis section begins with a selection ofeight pictures, each created by acontemporary fantasy artist, and eachpicture is an example of the way inwhich the artist has mastered his chosenmedium. You too must constantlypractice with the medium you find mostconvenient, and from which you obtainthe best results. However, do continue toexplore new media when not workingon your finished paintings. Always try to keep your work surfacesclean and your tools in good workingorder. Never buy cheap brushes, pens orpaper. An initially high expense canprove a worthwhile investment and helpyou to avoid frustrations incurred whenusing cheaper, less reliable, tools. Always resolve as much as possibleeither on independent sketches orstudies, or by obtaining detailedreferences. Consequently, you shouldnever have to arrive at a point during thepainting when major elements are stillunresolved and which could develop ina form you find unacceptable. Study closely the surfaces of otherartists works to discover their method ofworking. Be careful when examiningreproductions as these are often greatlyreduced versions of the original and, assuch, can imply working methods otherthan those used by the original artist.Try to see the work of fantasy artists inexhibitions or art galleries and, ifpossible, visit the studios of artistswhose works you admire.Three studies, in pencil (A),crayon (B), and brush (C), fora science fiction illustration.The top three are slightlyreduced from the original,whereas the bottom three aregreatly reduced.
  68. 68. Pencils and chalks Nick Cudworth 50" x 30" (127cm x 76cm)Nick Cudworth works entirely withcolored pencils, crayons and chalks. Heachieves the clean effects by masking-offareas with paper cut-outs, while heworks on exposed areas. His workingmethod means that when all the areasare completed he must review theoverall effects and carefully adjust thoseparts which did not merge with theadjacent areas.Elements used The idea• A full size human Unlike most of the otherskeleton. examples reproduced in this• An example of the work of section of the book, this oneGauthier DAgoty (an 18th is not intended forcentury French illustrator). reproduction. It is one in a• A black and white series of studies of theillustration by Jan Van Eyck skeleton which were frameddepicting Adam and Eve. and sold in an art gallery in• Parquet flooring. the same way as a painting. Research The skeleton appears to be viewed from above, sitting on a carpet and holding an object. This view is achieved by fixing a full sized skeleton to the wall of the artists studio. The pelvis is attached to the vertical surface so that the legs hang downwards, and the upper torso is suspended forwards on strings hung from the ceiling. (If you turn the previous pages sideways so the feet point downwards you will see this effect). A detailed study was then made of the subject on tracing paper to the final size of the drawing.100
  69. 69. Planning Applying colorsNick traced the main details Nick used finely groundof the DAgoty illustration. powders of chalk, pastel-Using the technique of sticks and colored pencils.proportional squares he He built up his designs withtransferred the design onto soft, carefully fused values.the background of this He applied these on themaster drawing of the design of the backgroundskeleton. Around the central carpet and constantlycarpet theme he plotted a referred back to his originalpattern of parquet floor tiles, source references (f). Whenusing those in his home for this was complete hereference. He then prepared replaced the mask, removeda careful separate tracing of the mask of the skeleton, andthe Adam and Eve unit. then worked the details ofThese studies provided him the bones into the silhouettewith his master tracing (a). (g). Eventually, Nick removed the mask for the Progressing the drawing parquet floor tiles and Nick used a technique of colored them (h). masking. Only selected areas were revealed. The others Shadow effect were protected from Nick cut separate masks to smudging by a protective reveal the shadow areas and cut-out of paper. He then reworked the shadows overapplied a soft B pencil the initial drawing (i). Whento the reverse side of his the design was complete hetracing (b) to enable him to began to rework all the areas,transfer all the key lines onto and particularly the edges ofa sheet of paper which he the masked surfaces usingused as a mask (c). When wax crayons, pastels andthis was complete he colored pencils to fuse thegummed the back surface of elements into one cohesivethe masking sheet and, using design. Finally he removeda scalpel, he carefully cut the central area of the smallout the skeleton from the object held by the skeletondesign, and stored this shape and completed the copy offor later use (d). To position the Van Eyck figures (j).the design on his intendedsurface he held down hismaster mask with paperweights then replaced theskeleton, pressing it onto thesurface securely. Thesurrounding mask was thenremoved (with the exceptionof the central Van Eyckelement). He replaced hismaster tracing and carefullyrecorded onto the drawingsurface the details of thedesign (e). 101
  70. 70. Maurice Wilson Illustration for a fairy tale, unpublishedPencils and 17 3/4" x 11 3/4" (45cm x 30cm)watercolorsMaurice Wilson worked for over fiftyyears producing delicate studies of realand imaginary creatures and plants. Hewas renowned for his ability to portraycreatures using very little referencematerial to aid the task, sometimesreconstructing long-dead creatures withonly a few surviving bones as a guide.He worked mainly with water solventinks, adding highlights in acrylic paints.After planning his pictures he usuallybegan painting the dark areas, buildingup the main elements in watercolor andadding lighter areas with opaquepigments. The study on the previous twopages of fairies in a magic wood is in theearly stages of painting. Unfortunatelywhile producing this picture Mauricesadly died, aged seventy three years.This is his last, and as it is incomplete,his most revealing work. His hugeknowledge of geological, geographical,botanical and anatomical detail made itpossible for him to get a high degree ofrealism working from memory.Nevertheless he would frequently returnto nature studies for some new aspect ofreality and to maintain a freshness ofvision. He believed that great care mustbe taken over truth to nature to endowthe fantasy image with a high degree ofrealism. Nature study The pencil study [left] is a reduction of a sketch, by Maurice, produced from a study of a tree in a wood. These observations reinforce knowledge and aid the development of accurate detail.104
  71. 71. Preliminary sketches Adding detailThe composition is worked Once the composition isout several times in resolved Maurice developsgeneralized sketches the tiniest details simply by(above). This is how the imagining the surfaces he islandscape evolved. painting. The mischievousConsequently, the final fox-like creature (right) is thepicture is an amalgamation result of thousands ofof many of the ideas that studies made of mammalshave become fused in from nature andMaurices memory. photographs. 105
  72. 72. Ian Miller One of four paintings forInks and watercolors a calendar, unpublished 15"xl2"(38cm x30cm)Ian Miller trained as a fine artist and references as he believes these canslowly developed from an oil painter to inhibit his exploration of the shapes andone who uses inks and watercolors surfaces of the drawing. Having workedextensively. Although his ideas have in Hollywood on film animation, he hasgreat freedom of expression, the detail developed some of the habits ofwithin each picture is carefully animation artists who work onresolved. His images come almost nonabsorbent surfaces. His work oftenentirely from memory - they are stored has an element of the grotesque and thedetails of the observed world which he Gothic, which creates a sense of uneasecan recall and build on. He seldom uses in the viewer.photographic or technical source1 Ian dampened a sheet ofhot press paper which has avery hard smooth surface.He then stuck it to a boardusing tape. It contracted as itdried, giving a firm, tightworking surface.2 Using a brush Ian applied acoat of masking fluid to thelower section of thecomposition. This allowedfiner edge work than cut-outfilm or paper masks wouldhave.3 Airbrush backgroundswere produced with Iansmix of watercolor and watersolvent dyes. Their delicacyheld the stronger elements ofthe drawing.108
  73. 73. 4 Ian applied a techniqueused in animation artworkand carefully dried thepicture at each stage. Heused an ordinary hairdryerto blow cold air onto thework.5 Ian used a movable sheetwith a cut-out hole (rather asa surgeon uses sheets) forworking on each section. Hewore fingerless gloves whichavoid static and dustproblems as well as keepinggrease off the surface. Healso used the gloved handnot holding the brush as awiping surface for his brush.6 When the individualsections were finished Ianremoved the masks and tiedtogether any discordantareas. Detail wasstrengthened with technicalink pens.7 If you look closely at theleft hand tree you will seethat a fine mist has blownacross it. This final breath ofmystery was added when thedrawing was complete. Thefinal touches show the skillof a master craftsman. ©DIAGRAM 109
  74. 74. Giovanni Caselli Illustration for The evolution of Early Man,Gouache colors published by Eurobook Ltd, UK 15 3/4 x 25 1/2" (40cm x 65cm)Giovanni Caselli is an acclaimed master Present-day sourcesof the creation of images of earlier Hills, birds, faces and figurecivilisations. He produces pictures of shapes are all derived fromworlds for which we do not have photographic sources incontemporary visual record in a form magazines such as the National Geographic. Fromwhich meets present-day needs. His his collection of over apictures are based upon an imaginative thousand color magazinesand sensitive understanding of the Giovanni can find referencesdiscoveries of archeologists and which act as a visual archivehistorians. He brings the past alive for of the smallest details in histhe present-day reader of history. His landscapes.imaginary pictures are the result of The spear (right) is an objectextensive research and constant found in a grave of huntersupdating of his archives of the smallest of this period. There are nodetails of those past worlds. He visual records of how thesuccessfully incorporates this reasearch weapons really looked.into pictorial situations based upon Giovanni began hismodern landscapes which stand as a reconstructions of the hunters by studyingconvincing framework for his archeological finds of thereconstructions. period. The skull (below) has a projecting but swept-back face. Giovanni incorporatedThe painting (previous page) Contemporary sources of this information into anThis illustration of information illustration of the head of aNeanderthal hunters is a Early man used art to depict present-day eskimo.reconstruction of the life of creatures and events centralhomo sapiens 80,000 years to his existence. Theago. It shows how they may illustration (below left) is ahave looked returning from a Neanderthal manssuccessful killing during the representation of woollytime when Europe was mammoths. It was paintedextensively covered with a on the wall of a cave, and issemi-permanent layer of ice. one of the few surviving records of life at that time