Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Holy Cow, You Guys, You Gotta See This Art

So I held off on posting this, because I wanted to right by the artist I'm about to spotlight.  My normal means of sharing artwork I really like (with one or two slight exceptions) is to share the work and then link the living daylights out of the person who created the art in the hopes that people will go and view the rest of his art themselves and perhaps share it with even more people.

I've been told by various online sources that this doesn't technically make me a jerk on the Internet, since I am being sure to share where it's from and not claiming any of it as my own.

But I could do better.

In this instance, it didn't really feel right to just grab a few images and say "hey, guys, go look here and see more!"  I wanted to do right by this artist, so I sent him an email and asked him if he minded my sharing his artwork and encouraging people to visit his site.

Normally, when I try things like this, I get no response.  Which is fair enough, we've established before that I tend to be late to the party for many things, but in this case I got lucky.  Within a few hours I got a response where the artist gave me his blessing with the following two caveats:

"Use the images unedited."  Not a problem, anything I could possibly do to them would diminish the entire reason I'm sharing these to begin with.

"Only use my earlier series."  More than fair.

So with this entire sentence acting as the first (but not the last) link to his site, I hereby encourage all of you to go visit the site of Jirka Vinse, aka Jirka Väätäinen aka (?) Jonatan Väätäinen.

Oh, and prepare to have your mind blown.

There isn't much information about Jirka on his website.  I have no idea when he was born, but he does state he's a "Native Finn" currently based in Melbourne, Australia.   He's gained a lot of Internet fame as of late thanks to some photo-realistic images he did of famous Disney princesses and heroes.
Enough fame, actually, that he was recently contracted by Oh My Disney to do more artwork of Disney villains.  Seriously, if you would just go to this link already you can see a lot more of it.

Still here?  Fine.

Now, I'm not a famous artist (or even a skilled artist by any means), but considering that the description of this art is "digital compositing, photomanipulation, and digital painting" (the Oxford comma there is my own contribution), I can see (read: guess) that there's a photographic base for many of these images.   There's a strong Taylor Swift vibe from Cinderella,  Tarzan reminds me a lot of Ryan Gosling, and Rapunzel looks uncannily like this girl I knew in high school, but I somehow doubt she was the photographic basis of that image.

Clearly, that's not just a photograph.  I've seen some people do some pretty amazing things in Photoshop and used to follow Bert Monroy, but from other artists I've talked to through the years I know that one of the hardest things to create from scratch is hair and fabric.  Trying to make it look realistic without being too detailed is an extremely thin line, especially when the hair or fabric isn't just a solid dark color.  The picture above of Aurora is mind-blowing in how seamlessly the face blends to the rest of the shape of the head, the hair doesn't look like a poorly constructed wig glued to the top of the head, and the fabric actually looks like something someone would want to wear.  It fits over the body extremely well, not defying gravity in places many artists fail to pay attention to (think "lower half of the chest" and tell me how fabric in a shirt curves back up under the breast without the help of tape or the clothes being manufactured to do that).

It's a great piece of artwork and gives me a new appreciation to, admittedly, my least favorite Disney Princess...I mean, if I had favorite ones...which, y'know, I'm a guy, so why would I- let's move on.

I was twelve when Aladdin came out and I was able to recognize that Jasmine was gorgeous.  I have no idea who any photographic basis for this drawing might be, but again, the clothes and hair work so well with the figure that I can envision this being a classical painting hanging up in a gallery somewhere, a delicate oil painting done by one of the grand masters.

Also of note, I was nine when The Little Mermaid came out, and for years I hated it.  I enjoyed the songs and the animation was crisp and the action was great and watching Ursula get impaled on a ship was mind-blowing, but they had to go and name the prince "Eric."  I spent months paranoid people were going to tease me for having the same (phonetically speaking) name and accuse me of kissing fish.

One more, just because we all know that I gushed about the movie when it came out.

Two things of note.  First, the hair.  That braid is brilliant.  Second, those sleeves.  Yes, I know I'm a grown man focused on the sleeves of a dress of an imaginary character, but I don't think I could even describe the sleeves in as much detail without using- well, if a picture is worth a thousand words, describing those sleeves alone would probably be about two to three hundred of them.

"The sleeves aren't completely transparent, providing just enough blue tint to alter the coloration of the arm within, but not to make you think they're any more or less dark than they should be.  Around the edges, where the sleeves fold in on themselves, you see the brilliant blue that shows the natural color of the fabric and-" yeah, I'd be here for a while.

Hey, have I shared the artist's link yet?

Seriously, everyone, go there.

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