Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Figure Stories

You are telling a simple story visually, using at least 2 human figures. You are the screenwriter, casting agent, director, costume and make-up person, prop wrangler, lighting tech, cinematographer and editor all at once. Even "key grip" and "best boy" if you want to be. Here are some good examples of nicely staged intimate pictorial scenes:

The Betrothal of Arnolfini by Jan van Eyck (1434)
The Fall of Man by Titian (1570)
Judith Beheading Holofernes
by Artemesia Genteleschi (1620)
The modern master of this sorta thing, Norman Rockwell:

Film still from Double Indemnity by Billy Wilder. More good film noir stuff here.
Stylish illustrations by Tomer Hanuka:

Quiet, smart scenes set up and delivered by Adrian Tomine:

Monday, September 8, 2008

Black 'n White and Read All Over

Rockwell Kent (especially his Moby Dick illustrations).
Frans Masereel
Michael Schwab.
Frank Miller (especially the early Sin City work).
Melinda Beck (especially her Silhouette style).
Shepherd Fairey.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Basic Pictorial Communication through the Ages

Some examples of Pictograms (or pictographs) through the ages:
Chinese bone-carvings. Read more about the evolution of Chinese writing.

African earth-carvings.

European cave-paintings.

Mayan astronomical charts (from the Dresden Codex).

Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Roman relief sculpture (from Trajan's Column).

European Embroidery (the Bayeux Tapestry).

Viking rune stones.

Medieval Illuminated Manuscript.

Modern icons. See the entire official Department of Transportation set of Pictograms.
Also: Dan Z's Mardi Gras Pictograms vs. Illustrations.

Japanese pharmaceutical pictograms.

We ain't afraid of no ghosts.

Modern example of material limitations influencing visual aesthetic.

The 2008 Beijing Olympic Pictograms. More on the history of the Olympic Pictograms here.