1000 Heads: the book

1000 heads, my illustration book

Inspiring books for the creative type


2010 almanac

This is a preview of a small 2010 almanac we are giving to a group of work colleagues at the Xmas holiday lunch. It gather contributions by several friends, both visual artists and writers. It is printed in zig-zag, two-sided (20 x 12 cm, 10 pages (5 on each side).


Coming soon!

(Click the image to see a bigger version.)


Agent Laia with Nintendo DS

Colors! is a fun little painting app for Nintendo DS and iPhone / iPod Touch (with some extra features in the Apple gadgets). Taking advantage of the tactile screen you can draw and paint very intuitively with your finger, the stylus, or any not-too-sharp objet that doesn’t scratch the surface (a plastic pen with its cap on is ok.)

Here, as a first trial, I’ve used it to draw from memory our bitch, agent Laia (according to my son, Laia is the star of a spy movie.) You can download Colors! and see many examples of users-submitted artwork in the Gallery.

Colors! saves your drawings as a .drw file, and it also generates a bitmap .png file. What is even better is the storage of the whole drawing process in the .drw file, so you can reply the sequence anytime. This is great to study what other people do with Colors! and the Nintendo or the iPod / iPhone.

All the examples in the Colors! gallery are available in the reproducible format to download. You can even reproduce them on your own computer using a nifty Java utility called ColorsDraw. You can get it here.


Freistil Online, Portal für Illustration

I have just received a news release from a new website called Freistil Online, which aims to be the first web source for illustration in German-speaking countries.

This newly launched portal covers drawing and illustrators, as well as the contemporary influences and developments among the field. The themes are Editorial-, Advertising, Fashion Illustration, graphic novels, art and motion. Most significantly, it is being used to introduce books, magazines and websites and review exhibitions, fairs and events.

The term ‘illustration’ is being used to include street art, graphic design and online solutions. The scope of the site also includes thesis projects from schools and other institutions. Reports from Germany, Austria and Switzerland are accompanied by insights of the illustration markets in New York, London and Madrid.

Even if you don’t read or speak german the website is worth checking out for the visual content.

Workspaces, studios and inspiration

If you wish to peep a little in the workspaces of illustrators such as Kyle T Webster, don’t miss this selection in Drawger called Studio Tours. I like these photo collections, for the sake of decoration and interiorism, with a dash of voyeurism, and a good dose of visual inspiration.kylet
Another good way to visit (virtually) an artist’s studio is with the special panoramic views presented at the Bohonus VR website (click the artist pic rather than the link below) Mouse around and you’ll watch different corners of the studio.

More studio inspiration: the Flickr sets called Professional creatives at home, Art studios y Annotated workspaces y The workpaces.

Project s2dio, in guillotine, is another excellent collection:
For the comic enthusiats, there is a whole section / category in Comic Book Resources devoted to studio tours.
And for even more inspiration, a Google Image search will provide very interesting results.

Any more suggestions?


Children's books by Paul Rand

Paul Rand illustrated several children's books written by his wife, Ann Rand, in the fifties and early sixties. As it happens with true classics, the illustration and layout in Rand’s books looks just as fresh today as when they were first published.

His style of illustration, consistent with his design work, is based in a witty use of simple shapes, flat colours and a well-thought composition and layout.

Now these charming editions have been reprinted by Chronicle Books in San Francisco for your delight.

Sparkle and Spin is a playful children's classic (now happily available again through Chronicle Books) that reveals to young readers the power and music in the words they use every day.

This reissue of the childhood classic I Know a Lot of Things is a celebration of all the new and intriguing knowledge children delight in possessing. Written from the simplicity of a child's perspective, with all the teeny nuggets of wisdom contained therein, and illustrated with Rand's colorful and witty style.

Little 1,originally published in 1961, is an exuberant picture book filled with clever wordplay, and not only tells the engaging story of Little 1 and his quest for a friend, but makes learning numbers and simple addition positively fun.



This is a detail of a very psychedelic letterhead I still have to finish and use, and here is the whole thing:

I wonder if bills and invoices printed in this colourful stationery would be more appealing for clients :-)



I'm not very keen on Halloween stuff, but I couldn't resist to post these two cute drawings made by my son (11), as they fit the bill perfectly. He did the sketches in my pocket sketchbook. He’s learning english quite fast and he takes every ocassion to write some of the words he learns.


Misc. short notes

icon01 is a video series of one on one conversations with industry icons. Produced for Flashforward08 San Francisco. This page features interviews with Stefan Sagmeister, Milton Glaser, Joshua Davis, Scott McCloud and more. Also available at http://www.icon01.com/.

Still with basic functionality compared to Brushes, Colors! or Layers, the application list for the Android mobile OS is growing. This search on Cyrklet will keep you up to date.
See also androidfreeware.net/.

I've enjoyed every post by Véronique Joffre in her blog since I discovered it. Her collages, illustrations and paintings are wonderful and poetic. She uses a variety of subdued and subtle colours to great effect.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


Alberto Mielgo

An extraordinarily gifted painter / illustrator / concept art artist. He has a loose style and wonderful sense of colour that really pulls up every image he attemps to paint, both in digital or traditional media.

Visit his blog or his personal website to enjoy more of his work. As a bonus, there you’ll find a very good selection of links to other illustration and painting-related blogs and sites.


A fresh take on travel journals

This is something I definitely have to do instead of the usual travel sketchbooks.

Matt Sundstrom shares his journey from the East Coast to the West: 8 days and 3,700 miles from New Hampshire to Oregon. I like both the ink drawings collected in this website and the nice layout of the whole webpage, somewhere betweeen comic, cartography, slideshow and sketchbook.

(Seen on Drawn!.)


Farewell to summer days

This year the summer has lasted more than usual but definitely it’s over.
These are some sketches from a recent sketchbook with some (digital) colour touches, a good souvenir of these marvelous sunny weeks for the cold and dark months to come.
(Click the image to see a bigger version.)


I like dreaming this

This doodle (pencil sketch plus some digital colour touches) has been encouraged by this week’s Illustration Friday theme, Flying. (Click the image to see a bigger version.)


Music sketches

These are a few sketches I have collected. They share a musical theme because I draw these doodles on a music folder (lyrics, printouts of discographies, lists of record database and so on...) And yes, I still love those ancient vinyl LP’s and the bygone era of albums, shiny cardboard picture sleeves...

(Click the image to see a bigger version of each illustration.)


From sketch to final digital illustration

with the argentinian illustrator Delius. Her blog shows quite a bit of her sketchbooks and a comparison of the pencil drawings and the final digital artwork, like this example:

Visit her site to see high resolution examples of these charming illustrations and other works.

Poly Bernatene is argentinian, as well, and here is an inspiring video: 8 hours of digital work that mimics traditional techniques such as acrylic or gouache, compressed in a few minutes:


Janusz Grabianski

Janusz Grabianski (1929-1976) was a polish illustrator specialised in children's books. He used a bold and expressive watercolour and/or gouache technique in his artwork.

He illustrated the 1001 nights, the Holy Bible, the Andersen and Grimm tales, quite a few other children stories, and many more books.

If you have the opportunity to find a reissue or an used copy, don't doubt it: it's very enjoyable.

These are some articles about Grabianski on the net:
Related: a czech artist with a similar technique, Mirko Hanak (also commented by Gene Deitch):


Milton Glaser: new retrospectives and documentaries

Milton Glaser’s Seeing Things is an exhibition of his drawings, watercolors, prints, giclées, and sketchbooks, and a collection of arts-related posters, all created over a span of 50 years. From May 2 through Sept. 12, 2009 in the Avram Gallery (Stony Brook University.)

Meanwhile, The Drawing is Thinking exhibition presenting 180 selected drawings compiled from Milton’s most recent book of the same title has just closed in Gelerija Vzigalica (The Gallery of the City Museum of Ljubljana, Slovenia). It was open from May 26 through June 19, 2009. The drawings span over fifty years of work, and are varied in subject matter as well as style. The show is meant to be experienced sequentially, like a melodic line – with each drawing reflecting on what has passed in anticipation of what is to come.

And, even better, there is an upcoming documentary calle To Inform & Delight which will be screened this summer in different venues:

  • June 27: Albuquerque / Guild Cinema
  • July 2: Boston / Mfa Boston
  • July 7: Westhampton / Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
  • Aug 12: Austin / Alamo Drafthouse, Aiga Austin
  • Aug 27: Orange County / Orange County Museum Of Art
  • Aug 27: Atlanta / Aiga Atlanta
The film closed in NYC on June 11, after a three week extension at Cinema Village.

Directed and produced by Wendy Keys; released by Art House Films. Running time: 1 hour 13 minutes. Here is a review in the Tiny mix tape blog.

While you wait your opportunity to watch the documentary, here is a short Youtube video with Glaser and some of his work, called Window inspiration, in which some of the world's leading designers, architects and fine artists are asked for an interpretation of their dream window.

And here is an older lecture on TED (from 1998), called Using design to make ideas new, in which Glaser dives deep into a new painting inspired by Piero della Francesca. From here, he muses on what makes a convincing poster, by breaking down an idea and making it new. You can watch a higher resolution video on the linked page.


Online gallery with my paintings

This is a correction of a previous post—the link was no longer correct.

You can visit an online gallery with my paintings and works on paper from the nineties.

Most of the works displayed are acrylics on canvas or paper. The paintings are partly abstract, partly depictions of places and interiors.


Matisse in Madrid

Again in Madrid, another art highlight for the summer season. The Thyssen-Bornemisza collection presents an anthology of Matisse after his first fauvist period, encompassing his move to Nice in 1917 until the outbreak of WWII.

“a beautiful and intense journey through paintings and sculptures, halfway between the introspection and experimentalism, contemplating with lucid serenity the convulse Europe of the first half of the 20th century.”
Matisse created very appealing art with his personal combination of classicism and a modern approach to colour and composition.

More information here and at the Thyssen museum website and El País special coverage. The exhibition will be open from june 9 until september 20.


La cuarta página de Enrique Flores

Compiles his witty and nice illustrations for El País newspaper, on the Libros de Blur website, which was commented here before.


David Hockney and his iPhone

English painter David Hockney has always been an enthusiast of new media and using imaging technologies. He never hesitates to experiment and introduce new ways of picturing and showing his work.

He already did it in the eighties with his peculiar copy-art and fax works, and now he's doing it again with his most recent exhibition in London (until July 11), called Drawing In a Printing Machine (Annely Juda Fine Art Gallery).

What strikes more of this new one-man show is the introduction not just of digital work —created with different tools such as tablets and stylus— but a series of portrait, still life and landscapes drawn and painted with his iPhone, using Brushes.

Brushes, helped by the shoutout of a New Yorker cover illustrated by Jorge Colombo with his iPhone, has sold online more than 40.000 licences, so far! At 5$, it's a very affordable program.

Hockney admits that he's hooked on the iPhone. He bought his gadget just a few months ago, but since then he's been drawing and painting with it all the time. Very often, he sends pictures like flowers, freshly drawn, to his friends and family. He also uses the iPhone to send via email his peculiar theories on art history, and his discoveries of painting (in the style of his book Secret Knowledge, I suppose.)

Another use Hockney makes of his iPhone is to send his illustrated art lectures, while he comfortably rests in bed. His main tip to draw with the iPhone: “touch the screen very gently.”

If you already are an iPhone (or iPod touch) user, you can download Brushes for under 5$. if you want to read the product guide before, here it is in PDF format. good luck!!


Kevin Dart: interview and process

Kevin Dart retro-inspired illustration is irresistible. I have just devoured a long interview and process discussion in the very recommended Grain edit blog.


Joaquín Sorolla

If you have to visit Madrid between this June and September 6th, you shouldn't miss the big retrospective of Joaquín Sorolla, the great master of the mediterranean light in painting.

The exhibition in the Museo del Prado opens from 9:00 to 20:00h, tuesday to sunday (including holidays). Closed on monday. The entry fee is 10€, or 9€ if you book it online.


Sketchbook, Spring 2009

Mhm. I haven’t posted anything for a while! This is a sketchbook that I wanted to use very regularly. However, there are quite a few gaps.

Some of the drawings have made their way to my Flickr page or to this blog.
The missing days produced other artwork in different pads, notebooks, calendar and sheets.
It has many ink drawings, most of them are imaginary rather than sketches from actual people or objects.


Rockin’ doodles

This is a bunch of imaginary sketches that has been lying around for a while. I usually doodle this stuff when I’m listening music, sometimes when I’m organizing my music collection, or related activities.

The poses are very typical and some even a caricature of some musician. The last one is a bit unrelated because it was made for a web design project (a jazz-blues café).

Click to see a bigger version of each picture!

I scanned them because I planned to do a more polished version (inked, vectorized...?) like those in the Feedback dingbat from the Typephases Project.

Anyway. Even if they keep on gathering dust in the studio, I like this kind of very rough and spontaneous sketch.

If I finally do something with this gang or weirdos I’ll let you know here.


The simplest puppets

This is part of a design for a theatre event. One of the challenges I enjoy in graphic design is taking a minimal element and trying out different variations. In this case I took a very simple figure from a set of cardboard puppets shown elsewhere. Those puppets were, in turn, made with very simple rules: using a cardboard tissue roll and cutting out the eyes, mouth, nose... then gluing the removed parts as ears, noses...

So all variants start from the same model. And if I had also rotated the nose the number of permutations would be much bigger:

In this same publication we also find some photos of the cylinderfigurines:

A funny project, and yet another way of doing different things.

Art, not ad

Add-Art is a free FireFox add-on which replaces advertising on websites with curated art images, something like the simulation shown here. Of course, it’s a bunch of art pictures what you get, not those red rectangles!

The art shows are updated every two weeks and feature contemporary artists and curators. The project website provides detailed instructions and a screencast.

The logo is a homage to the old Sherwin-Williams brand paint.


Libros de Blur

Blur is a spanish publisher specialised in illustrated books. A related blog, called Libros de Blur showcases some of their editions, with the permission of the authors.

The handsome books are shown in detail through an online Issuu version. It’s full of delicious illustration and design gems. An especially recommended link!

“The books released in this blog are displayed by agreement with the authors. Whenever possible, we offer an online version of the whole edition, trying to make the business viability and the right of accessing culture compatible.
You can link to the ebooks from your blog or website, as long as no fee is charged, and you can also print a personal copy, for example in countries where these editions are hard to get. But you are not allowed to duplicate or resell any digital or printed copy. The texts and images remain copyrighted by the respective authors.”



One of my illustrations in Flickr, click to visit my account and see all sizes.

A micro-tale: She turned back all the pictures and put them facing the wall. She opened the window and the fresh breeze entered the rooms. Looking through the window, very soon the only picture she'd see was the future ahead.

This comes from my current sketchbook. It’s ideal for ink drawings, I’m doing full-page drawings in most pages. Later on I’ll probably show the whole thing in a short movie here.


Browsing 1000 Heads

Here’s how the real thing looks:

Find out more about the book here!


Pirates on my fingers

One of my illustrations in Flickr, click to visit my account and see all sizes.

Living legendary adventures with finger puppets is great fun.


The legendary Miles

One of my illustrations in Flickr, click to visit my account and see all sizes.

I like drawing musicians.
Especially in the same improvisational style as jazz players perform.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Quotes on design

... loading ...