After an exceptionally long gap between posts Sci-Fi-O-Rama finally returns with new material. Apologies for the extended state of dormancy, life gets in the way sometimes.
Let’s then not dwell on the forlorn and instead nuke 2015 with another flyby of master craftsman and styrene alchemist Grant Louden AKA Betelgeuse.
A quick recap then on what the Betelgeuse workshop is all about. Well in a nutshell Grant takes the finest Two Dimensional 70’s Sci-Fi cover art and literally breathes 3-Dimensional life over them.
We featured Grant’s first mind-blowing evolution of Colin Hay’s this time last year. This time it’s science fiction artisan illustrator Chris Foss is in the crosshairs.
Grant kindly took some time out to tell us more about his latest creation, here’s the feature:
A return to rip-roaring, full on Sci-Fi Illustration here with 3 samples from the vast portfolio of Welsh Artist Jim Burns (born in Cardiff, April 1948). Jim’s enjoyed a long highly successful career since graduating from London’s St Martins School of Art in 1972, and has an instantly recognisable style, he was also one of the major contributors – along with other British artists such as Angus Mckie, Chris Moore and Peter Elson – to the highly popular Terran Trade Authority series of books, published back in the late 70’s. Other career high points include working with Ridley Scott (also a St Martins Graduate) on his 1982 Sci-Fi Film Noir BladeRunner, and winning the Hugo award for best professional artist three times, most recently in 2005.
Some notes then on the featured images:
Top: “Scoutship Pilot” – This Illustration comes from the book “Planet Story” written by Harry Harrison in 1979, it’s available on Amazon here: http://is.gd/eY5M3. This image (which I’ve cropped) was originally scanned and posted by occasional Sci-Fi-O-Rama collaborator Jeff Love over at the excellent http://ski-ffy.blogspot.com, Jeff’s been very busy posting new content to Ski-ffy recently, so if you’ve not checked it out for a while I highly recommend a visit! With regards to the piece itself, this is an excellent example of what defines much Jim’s work, a beautiful girl in a figure hugging outfit posed at the helm of advanced craft, obviously that’s typical subject matter for much Sci-Fi Art, but Jim handles it with real verve – love her hair!
Middle: “Exordium 4 – The Rifters Covenant” (thanks Ed!) Image is sourced via the Hungarian Fantasy/Erotic art horde http://www.net-cafe.hu/fantasy.php. I picked this sample to really highlight Jims strength when working with colour, a great mix of super saturated orange, vivid ultra-marine really make the girls drab olive uniform leap out, there’s also a nice military feel to the general styling, Jim’s work definitely has a slightly darker edge than most of his peers – oh yeah, love the furry gremlin things!
Bottom: This piece is a great demonstration of lighting, rendering and texture and again, slightly embarrassingly I don’t know the title or source!
For more info and Artwork check Jim’s official website with a chance to buy prints, books, and originals. His Wikipedia profile: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Burns
Ok something of a bit of an exclusive here, from a contemporary Artist & Illustrator I’ve long admired – Brighton based Jasper Goodall (UK).
I first came across Jasper’s work as a design student around the turn of the century, his work prominently featured in Angus Hyland’s seminal “Pen and Mouse: Commercial Art and Digital Illustration” the book that triumphed traditional Illustrations transition into digital and thus the 21st century. It may seem strange now but once upon a time traditional illustration was in it’s death throws, out in the cold, superseded by saccharine layers of cheap and nasty Photoshop/Stock imagery that thanks to lazy graphic design had (horrifically) risen too prominence in the late 90’s. Something needed to give, and did, a new wave of Illustrators adapted, opting to use the Mac as a primary tool rather than just a finishing repro one, the computer became an integral part of the image making process, giving rise to a new fresh approach that continues to evolve – Jasper Goodall remains at the vanguard of this creative zeitgeist…
As something of a fan I decided to approach Jasper directly to ask him to supply Sci-Fi-O-Rama with a selection of recent work which he’s kindly done. Before I add the notes I’d like to point out that prints of all of the above images are available at http://www.jaspergoodall.com/shop.php
Top: This wonderfully lit latex beauty is entitled “Eye of Horus”, part of Jasper’s brand new “Sunrise Series”.
2nd Top: “Perpetual Dawn” – another superb rendering, with a slight echo of Hajime Sorayama to whom Jasper admits to being a fan…
3rd Top “Into the Void” – a flawless example of a superior digital airbrush technique.
4th Top & Bottom: “Dione’s Rapture” and “The Birth of Erebus”, these two final pieces came out of Jasper’s work for British Alternative Rock Band Muse, though they were not used as covers they were inspired by the project – see the full selection of Muse A/W here: http://www.jaspergoodall.com/projects.php?show=4#1
** Further Reading:
I hope to feature more on Jasper at some point in the not too distant future, in the meantime however do check his portfolio website for projects past and present: www.jaspergoodall.com
Ok Before I start must confess to a bit of stage fright as It’s so long since I’ve actually posted anything!
First off many apologies for the long pause and the lack of response to comments and emails (I will work my way back through them shortly) my reason for extended pause and dropping out of the blogosphere has been purely work related, I will now try and resume a normal level of posting – thanks for bearing with me! – So then, onto the first post…
This superbly executed airbrushing is a follow up to Adrian Chesterman -Tiger! Tiger! another gorgeous (if warped) Penguin SF Book cover that dates from 1979. What I really love the sinister styling and precision Adrian’s deployed in nailing this twisted composition, a fitting feature to kick off the Sci-Fi-O-Rama reboot…
Too see more of british artist Adrian Chesterman’s versatile and extensive portfolio check his new website http://adrianchesterman.com and in addition his older site: http://www.chestermanart.com
These powerful, minimal designs with a fauvist-esque palette are a small selection of the art of Eyke Volkmer a German Graphic Artist/Illustrator. During the 60’s & 70’s Eyke worked closely with publishing House Wilhelm Goldmann, and during this period produced a total of 162 airbrushed covers for the SF series “Goldmanns Weltraum Taschenbücher” and another 70 covers for the series “Goldmanns Zukunftsromane”, his publisher once remarked to Vokmer: “It doesn’t look like that in outer space.” but encouraged him to follow and develop his unique and prolific style.
You can see the full set of “Weltraum Taschenbücher” covers at covers http://www.weltraumtaschenbuch.de and there’s a full bio on Eyke here: http://www.weltraumtaschenbuch.de/pages/eyke_volkmer.html
Many thanks to Tommi Bren for getting in touch with the link, Tommi set up the aforementioned tribute site and also runs the excellent Sci-Fi book archive http://www.houdinination.com/ great stuff! check the Book cover Gallery here: http://www.houdinination.de/covers.html
Two samples from Japanese Airbrush Illustrator Shusei Nagaoka, these gorgeous Tron-Esque hand rendering’s dating from 1984, kinda reminds me of the Cray Super Computer work used in The Last Starfighter. Shusei Nagaoka was most prolific during the 70’s and 80’s producing a variety of work but he’s is probably best known for LP cover’s which included: ELO “Out of the Blue” & Earth, Wind & Fire: “I Am”
Art is taken from a large Hires selection of Shusei’s work over at the always excellent pinktentacle.com see the full article here: http://ow.ly/CSEE
Official Site: http://www.shusei-nagaoka.com/
Cheers for the lead on this Dan!
First of all apologies if you’ve noticed some blog/site weirdness here recently, disappearing post’s, redirected pages, missing CSS – basically I’ve had a few WordPress security/hacking issues, hopefully it’s all sorted now…
Ok so I’m proud to present another sample of the work of the legendary Peter Elson. It’s been a fair while since I last featured his work so a quick refresh, Peter was one of the UK’s premier Sci-Fi Illustrators during the 70’s and 80’s and is also synonymous (as with other artists here) with the Terran Trade Authority Books. His work really is stunning beautiful hi-tech designs mixed with gorgeous technicolor backdrops as is demonstrated here in this tracking shot high above Jupiter…
This image comes from the brand new official http://www.peterelson.co.uk/ that’s been put together by Designer Martin Lucas and Peter’s sister, a superb site with over 300+ large images and the chance to buy exclusive prints. A truly great resource of inspiration & a fitting tribute to IMO one of the greatest Sci-Fi Illustrators/Designers ever…
Here’s a quick feature on someone I’ve come across via the twitterverse, Taiwanese Concept Artist Yu Cheng Hong, this exquisitely finished Fashion Illustration is titled Bliss.
See more of Yu Cheng Hong’s work at his portfolio site: http://www.yuchenghong.com/ or follow him on Twitter http://twitter.com/YuChengHong
A selection of vintage Space Art by John Polgreen an American artist most prolific in the 50’s – a style akin to the work of Chesley Bonestell – difficult to believe these beautifully rendered forward thinking scenes are 50 or more years old. Perhaps then a shame that these depicted visions (simultaneous moon landings) haven’t quite come true yet.
Alas there’s not a raft of information on John Polgreen, best place to start is with Flickr User’s Curly-Wurly and Nick Derington who have both posted galleries set’s featuring more of his work.
Top: Astronauts surveying a Lunar Landscape via Nick Derington
2nd Top: Blast off from the Lunar Surface via Nick Derington
Bottom: A slightly different style (more painterly) via The Weird World of Winchell Chung / http://www.projectrho.com/ << now that’s a proper Sci-fi Blog to behold! some fantastially in depth stuff there – excellent resource.
Anyone with any more detailed info on John Polgreen, please post a comment.
A further selection from British Artist Chris Foss one of the true masters of Sci-Fi Art.
I’ve collected these sample’s together as they best serve to highlight the elements I find most interesting in Chris’s work. IMO these are: the ship designs themselves (naturally) the striped and checkered lexicon he adorns these craft with, the simply stunning cloudfields, aurora and rock formations, but of course most importantly of all – it’s all about the lighting.
A little more about the samples:
Top: This design typifies all of Chris’s aforementioned traits, a bulbous, large vented craft wrapped with industrial zig-zagging descending through a heavenly cloudscape…
Second: A breathtaking alien vista, incredible lighting tricks here, love all the soft glows.
Third: Something of a Gerry Anderson “Thunderbirds” feel here, again it’s all about the markings.
Fourth & Fifth: two different craft designs, one cylindrical the other very geometric, posed at a very similar angles – great atmospheric effects (corona / dustcloud).
Artwork collected and featured via: Net-Cafe http://www.net-cafe.hu/fantasy.php?ct=174 Astrona: http://astrona.blogspot.com/search/label/Chris%20Foss – do check Astrona for a much larger gallery and more artist info….
Probably the best way to get a true feel for Chris’s Style is to track down one of his books, try ebay of course for a bargain, or amazon.com has a wide selection here: http://is.gd/117Cb or better yet try Chris’s Home site: http://www.chrisfossart.com where for a there’s the chance to buy signed prints!
Cover Art for a later edition of Alfred Bester’s Classic Sci-Fi Novel “Tiger! Tiger!” originally published in 1956.
Artist is Adrian Chesterman – http://www.chestermanart.com/
Scan via Flickr User Seriykotik1970 originally spotted via the SciFi Books Pool, a great source of inspiration I’ve featured from many times http://www.flickr.com/groups/22742217@N00/pool/