Monday, June 6, 2016

2 Amazing Books and One Kickass Blog

This is a book I just learned about called The Art of the Sketch by Thomas Fluharty, who does caricatures that quite possibly rival those of the legendary Mort Drucker (of Mad Magazine fame). Hmm - that's a powerful statement - not sure I can justify it really, but if anybody can hold a candle to Drucker then Fluharty is the guy!! The book is available through his own website -

The link will take you to the sketchbook in his store, but by all means look around the site a bit - he has most of the sketches posted for free online viewing in his portfolio.

This kind of caricature work is what I consider absolutely pure drawing - free from all convention and formula - exploring and bringing out the shapes and features that are most characteristic of the subject in a totally intuitive way. The energy in those lines!! Like thought transferred directly to paper.

The 2nd book I want to highlight was just recently released as well - it's Figure Drawing for Artists by Steve Huston. I'm very excited to see a book detailing Huston's approach - I've seen tantalizing glimpses of it here and there,  most notably in the series of his lectures I posted about some time ago on this blog, which were recorded and posted by one of his students. The book seems to cover the same material and to go into a good deal more depth (I'm only partway into it so far).

He uses a really fascinating method of interspersing gesture and structure as he draws so that each line is one or the other and they're laid out in sequence - gesture line then structure line - gesture line then structure line. He has some vitally important lessons for me to absorb. A few of his images:

And finally - the kickass blog I want to mention is called Illustration Art, and is the creation of David Apatoff, who seems to have an encyclopedic knowledge of art and illustration. I posted the link in my sidebar a few days ago and have been reading the old archived pages, soaking up all the excellence and inspiration. I find the most informative and exciting stuff often takes place in the comment section - especially when Kev Ferrara pops in. It often gets pretty intellectual, way over my head in many regards, but there's almost always gems of intense wit and wisdom scattered among the verbiage. It's through David's blog that I discovered Thomas Fluharty, and when I checked Amazon for his book (they don't have it - apparently it can only be ordered through his site) that's when I ran across the Steve Huston book. A truly momentous day it was!!