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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 17:29   #1
JWSIII
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John Strawbridge's Illustrations

Hello,

I've admired the artwork of bird forum members for quite some time and finally have the nerve to post some of my own. I've been involved with exhibition design for many years and see what I do more as illustration than art. I don't claim to be a bird specialist... it seems that my drawing technique works better with fur, but I keep trying. A few examples are below.
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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 17:40   #2
Corvus cornix
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Fantastic stuff! I'm particularly taken with the Crane, but all three are superb.

Many thanks for sharing them.

Cheers
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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 19:31   #3
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I second that!

Whether it's art or illustration, your pictures are a pleasure to look at and I hope you're very proud of them. I hope we get to see more of them!

Cheers!
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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 20:53   #4
Trevor Hawkins
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Nice work John. What medium are you using, is it pencil? Keep the pictures coming and thanks for posting.
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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 23:15   #5
JWSIII
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor Hawkins View Post
Nice work John. What medium are you using, is it pencil? Keep the pictures coming and thanks for posting.
Trevor, Most of what I use is Nero pencil on Strathmore 500 Bristol. Nero pencil is an oil-based charcoal or carbon black medium which makes a nice velvety black. Its main drawback is that it stains the paper and can't be completely erased. Thanks to you and others for the kind words!

John

Last edited by JWSIII : Tuesday 1st March 2016 at 00:24.
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Old Tuesday 1st March 2016, 16:51   #6
Laura G. Young
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Lovely work, JWS.

I would submit that many illustrations can be considered fine art; what makes them an illustration is that they were done to meet a client's specifications. That being said, that's just my definition. I'd be curious as to what your definition of "art" and "illustration" are. :-)


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Old Tuesday 1st March 2016, 18:09   #7
JWSIII
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Lovely work, JWS.

I would submit that many illustrations can be considered fine art; what makes them an illustration is that they were done to meet a client's specifications. That being said, that's just my definition. I'd be curious as to what your definition of "art" and "illustration" are. :-)


Best,

Laura
Laura,

The definitions of those two words seem to me to be pretty subjective. I think illustration tends to focus more on the subject than on the work’s author; whereas art has more to do with the imagination and skill of its creator. Almost everything on this forum reveals some of both. It’s just a matter of which way the balance shifts. My opinion is probably influenced by a history of trying to interest people in nature. When somebody sees what I do, I hope they will think, “How beautiful, (diverse, complex, fascinating...) life is;” not, “How clever that Strawbridge character is.” But that’s up to the viewer, regardless of my intention.(How’s that for a non-answer?)

Warm regards,
John
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Old Wednesday 2nd March 2016, 02:45   #8
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These are wonderful pieces, whatever term is applied. Norman Rockwell is often called an illustrator, but my wife and I attended an exhibit of his a couple years ago and in my mind (and the many other attendees) saw art. Interestingly, his original paintings used for the covers were actually fairly impressionistic at their actual size. They were substantially larger than the magazine covers, so shrinking the images down made them look tighter. Regardless of the label, it was a wonderful and striking exhibit and in my book it was art - as are your pieces.
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Old Thursday 3rd March 2016, 13:45   #9
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Fierce Creatures

Here are two more examples - wild and domestic - of drawings done with the Nero pencil. It's probably not wise to bring cats to the forum, so you may want to put away your birds while viewing this posting. Thanks!
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Old Thursday 3rd March 2016, 14:07   #10
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Originally Posted by JTMB View Post
These are wonderful pieces, whatever term is applied. Norman Rockwell is often called an illustrator, but my wife and I attended an exhibit of his a couple years ago and in my mind (and the many other attendees) saw art. Interestingly, his original paintings used for the covers were actually fairly impressionistic at their actual size. They were substantially larger than the magazine covers, so shrinking the images down made them look tighter. Regardless of the label, it was a wonderful and striking exhibit and in my book it was art - as are your pieces.
John,

Anybody who did a painting that sold for $46 million dollars deserves to be called an artist. By the way, I looked at your website and love your work. I wish I could work more loosely as you do.
Regards,

John
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Old Thursday 3rd March 2016, 15:02   #11
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these are brilliant pieces thanks for posting and sharing your works martin
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Old Thursday 3rd March 2016, 23:42   #12
Laura G. Young
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Ah, I got ya. I think of those that make art, "artists" (in the broadest original term, those who possess creative skill as a result of learning or practice) and those who bundle in a larger-than-life personality as part of their overall artistic presentation, "artistes". i.e., Picasso, Dali, and the like.

But yes, do please post some more! Your work is quite inspiring. I especially like the dark background tones in the last two pieces. I'd not heard of Nero pencils. How do they differ from, say, oil-based colored pencils?

Best,

Laura
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Old Friday 4th March 2016, 08:23   #13
JWSIII
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Originally Posted by Laura G. Young View Post
Ah, I got ya. I think of those that make art, "artists" (in the broadest original term, those who possess creative skill as a result of learning or practice) and those who bundle in a larger-than-life personality as part of their overall artistic presentation, "artistes". i.e., Picasso, Dali, and the like.

But yes, do please post some more! Your work is quite inspiring. I especially like the dark background tones in the last two pieces. I'd not heard of Nero pencils. How do they differ from, say, oil-based colored pencils?

Best,

Laura
Laura,

I haven't tried oil-based colored pencils, so I don't know how they compare. The Nero pencils I use are distributed by Cretacolor and are available through the big online art supply retailers. They come in a couple of different hardnesses and in both wood-encased and monolithic.

Hope that helps,
John
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Old Saturday 5th March 2016, 16:53   #14
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I was reading about Nero pencils online, and they said they were oil-based, so I was just wondering what the differences were, if any. Thanks for sharing! I'll have to check them out sometime. :)

Best,

Laura
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Old Sunday 6th March 2016, 23:36   #15
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Body Parts

And here are two spot illustrations, typical of the kind of drawings I use in interpretive graphic materials in exhibits or publications. Sometimes these are colorized on the computer as in the third sample. Thanks for your interest.
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Old Sunday 27th March 2016, 06:46   #16
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More great work! The talons are really well done.
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Old Monday 18th April 2016, 17:42   #17
compasiune11
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Superb work. It has so much detail and 3D like perspective. Great work!
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