I like to draw and look at rather complex works of illustration. Perpectiveful pinnacles of technical achievement, etc. However, I watch a good number of artists who use simplicity to great effect. Whether it be representing more complex objects and figures as simpler forms, or just a philosophy of "less is more," I can easily be just as impressed (if not more so) with the understanding and implementation of simplicity as I get with more complex works.
Here's a short feature of some examples of works I've seen recently that got me good. Enjoy!
This work by ~radsechrist
looks complex (such as the third image which I'll be talking about a bit here,) and to an extent it is -- however upon closer inspection, the actual details and construction is quite simplified, even crude. And it's fantastic. The artist shows such a vast understanding of how and where to place detail that matters, (not to mention that mind-bending fisheye perspective,) that we have an image that maintains fluidity and is very easy to imagine being in motion. Going more complex than this would have stiffened this up, and honestly be detrimental to its success. Check out more of his work for fantastic simplified and exaggerated style. Make no mistake about it, simplifying a style like this takes immense skill and understanding to do successfully. Anatomical mistakes will still look wrong even if they're exaggerated for style, and can't be excused just by saying "well it's my style. so I'm right." Rad here is an example of doing it right.
Some of the many sketchdumps by *nargyle
. She draws. A lot. She's one of the strongest examples of "style comes from drawing non-stop and the resulting muscle memory" -- not sitting down and actively trying to "come up with a style." She's learned to simplify her forms and anatomy to astonishingly expressive levels. And not just her characters -- her backgrounds too. You'd be hard-pressed to find an artist so hell-bent on character design to also be skillful at backgrounds and color theory. She posts more to her tumblr
than to her DeviantART, so go have a look.
Some extremely simple and very attractive speed paints by the otherwise complicatedly skilled ~paooo
. The feeling of this scene is so well captured through mastery of color and VERY specifically well-placed brush strokes -- you can't help but be impressed. Look at just how dead simple those shapes are making this scene. Yet it rings through crystal clear in your mind. This is the true essence of a sketch. Check out the rest of his gallery for mindblows.
One of several of *GorosArt's incredibly simple but intriguing scenes. Showing what's possible with just a couple shapes, the well planned colors, and some lines. Check out his gallery for digital paintings that range from simple to complex, humorous, and oozing of style.
I've featured this character by ~Zouap
before -- but I have to again. I can't get enough of this character's design. It's simple, maybe not in style per se, but in just... as a person. It's wonderful. One of my favorite OC's and I have no idea if she's even used for anything. The rest of Zouap's work is also playfully simplified with great understanding of design and graphic appeal.