Studying The idealism of Byzantine art

  • I was inspired by the Secret of Kells, as well as seeing how illustrators of late have found inspiration in the idealism of Celtic Art, as well as teams such as Gibli doing the same with traditional Japanese art and lore. One of my favorite forms of idealism is Byzantine art, so I did a cross hatch ink drawing of a Byzantine icon, and am currently trying to borrow from the semi perfect forms being put fowards to create characters and hopefully interesting environments.

    Here is the piece I did

    Here is the brainstorming I am currently messing with (very early stages, don't judge ๐Ÿ˜‰

    The goal of idealism was to portray the divine realm as orderly, and is why Egyptians did the same thing. They saw the world as inperfect in a different way than we do, in that perfect forms (circles, numbers) were never perfectly seen in the created order. So a tree is never perfectly straight, or a perfect circle is ever seen in the clouds, but in their art, a perfect circle can portray a better world, or depict the divine. I think this hits at the heart of illustrating for children. I think this why Secret of Kells and Gibli has such success.

    Any thoughts on looking at traditional forms of art as inpiration for illustrating?

  • Pro SVS OG

    @Eric-Castleman My thesis project was a visdev package for a story set in a liberty-style hotel. So I studied Art Nouveau and Liberty until it grew out of my ears (Mucha is the most well known artist, but by far not the only one). What I grasped in the end, but it still eludes me somehow, is the way Art Nouveau handled curves. I cannot explain, but the sinuous liberty curves have a very special flow to them that makes them unique and distinctive for that art form and incredibly elegant design-wise. They have a unique asymmetry to them, that I vainly try to capture in my work, but my gut tells me is at the core of good design in many different forms of art, up to and including 3D animation. I think it is because they were inspired by the natural forms, which are intrinsically non-symmetric. I cannot explain, but this study was very enlightening for me well beyond the project for which I needed it.
    I even went on a trip to Bruxelles to study Horta architecture live and see Hortaยดs house - which is the most amazing private dwelling you can imagine.

  • @smceccarelli oh wow! His art is incredible!!! Now I have another thing to obsese over.

    This is right up my alley. Do you have any art online that you did like Mucha's?

  • Pro SVS OG

    @Eric-Castleman Not so much of that stuff left in my portfolio ๐Ÿ™‚
    This was the cover of my thesis book:

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    And one of the most art-nouveau inspired pieces that is still in my portfolio:

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  • @smceccarelli so good!

  • @smceccarelli Simona! This is so beautiful! The lighting really makes the image pop. I love Mucha as well and see the influence in some of your work.

    @Eric-Castleman That's a great start on your interpretation of the style. I've watched countless videos on icon painting; fascinating. I think it is important to study different movements and do master studies of the artists you like. I believe it's customary in traditional classes to do master studies and I've heard the SVS instructors suggest the same. Go for it!

  • @Eric-Castleman Wow, this is really interesting & I haven't heard anyone doing it before. There are people who do a woodcut type style, but I haven't seen this. And your rendering is awesome. I'm looking forward to seeing more of these!

  • @smceccarelli Holy crow your work is gorgeous. Do you have a Facebook page for your art? I'd love to follow it!

  • @amberwingart she is awesome!

  • Pro SVS OG

    Well, thank you for the nice words! I am on a journey like all wonderful people here at SVS...and since we are all on different paths, there is no way to say who gets to his or her goal first ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I am also addicted to philosophical rambling, quotes and art books, so I will continue to bore everyone with those things!
    @amberwingart I use my private FB page only for illustration (very rarely post something about my life) so it is public. It is also duplicated on Instagram (simona.ceccarelli) and twitter (@smceccarelli).
    I think I am going to split the channels during Inktober though...

  • I absolutely love studying ancient art and architecture. I find it fascinating that almost the entire collective knowledge, beliefs and social conditions can be understood and interpreted by art and architecture alone. The classical and ancient styles of architecture are my favourites (aside from Art Deco), and I'm constantly building a library of stuff from these times.

    I find studying traditional and vernacular design not only helps develop your potential to create but also to interpret the environment and contextual conditions differently. Where I live (South Africa) there is so much traditional art and influence on contemporary design in the creative disciplines, (architecture, fashion, interior design, industrial design), which it is quite exciting.

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