Featured Artists

Artist Tommy Castillo

   

Tommy Castillo

Tommy Castillo art
art by Tommy Castillo
400 Series Recycled Sketch

About Tommy Castillo

photo of Tommy Castillo


Tommy Castillo is a modern day renaissance man. Whether creating a slimy corpse reaching for you on film or the gentle glance of a mighty dragon, Tommy will capture you with the dynamics of his creations and the intensity of his palette. With a career spanning twenty three years, Tommy is famed and sought after for his dark humor, brilliant attention to detail, and his love for the pure creation of art, whether it be the written word or painting. Tommy has put paint and pencil to such titles as Batman Detective, Legends of the Dark Knight, Toetags, with Horror legend George Romero; Tales From the Crypt, Alice in Wonderland, King Kong, Coloring Book of the Dead, The Darkside of OZ, various storyboards and designs for films, and many more of the beloved classics in literature.

Tommy has had the honor of working with many of the fields largest companies: Strathmore Artist Papers, DC Comics, Paramount Pictures, Warhammer, Wizards of the Coast, Fangoria and publications as offbeat as Rolling Stone magazine. His diverse styling and insane line work have defined him as one of today's greatest in the field of Illustration, Comics and Fine Art... And y'know, he renders some of the scariest books of today, and the guy will get as giddy as a schoolboy on Sunday at the sight of a muppet. You gotta love that.

Artist Anna Fox Ryan

   
Anna Fox Ryan art
art by Anna Fox Ryan

400 Series Sketch

About Anna Fox Ryan

photo of Anna Fox Ryan


Anna Fox Ryan is an oil painter with a passion for drawing. Based in Philadelphia, PA, she is a lecturer on drawing for Strathmore and on oil painting for Gamblin Artist Colors. She has been a guest speaker at academies including the Grand Central Academy in New York, School of Visual Arts in New York and the University of Pennsylvania among others. Fox Ryan's work has been featured in numerous publications including American Artist Drawing Magazine, Art Calendar Magazine and The South Magazine. Fox Ryan exhibits in both the U.S. and in Portugal. She is originally from Charlottesville, Virginia and holds a degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design. www.FoxRyan.com

Interview with the Artist

How did you interpret using the Strathmore Thistle for the pad cover artwork?  Anything else you'd like to share about your piece?
For this project I chose to adapt my Power Series (drawing section of www.foxryan.com) and base the composition around Strathmore's thistle logo. 

How did the Strathmore paper you used for the project affect your drawing (or painting) techniques?
With the original Power Series I'd become accustomed to working on a rough, heavy weight surface in charcoal. Because Strathmore's Sketch paper is a light weight paper with a semi-tooth I had to change my medium from charcoal to graphite. On the Sketch paper I was able to control subtle value shifts and contrast them with crisp line work. It was different from the aggression that I usually attack my drawings with, however the result was equally as successful.

Which artists inspire you?
Scheile, Muncha, Sophie Jodoin, Degas, Antonio Lopez Garcia, Alex Kanevsky, Jim Dine

What advice would you give to beginning artists?
Understand your materials so you can better understand how to manipulate them. Drawing and painting are difficult enough without having to battle your tools. By fully understanding the capabilities and limitations of your materials you can make them work for you, not against you.

Ask for critiques from other artists every chance you can. Never turn down an opportunity to learn or gain deeper insight into your work and that of others.

 

Artist Xavier Robles de Medina

   
Xavier Robles de Medina art
art by Xavier Robles de Medina

300 Series Canvas

About Xavier Robles de Medina

photo of Xavier Robles de Medina


Xavier Robles de Medina is a representational artist from Suriname, South-America. The grandson of a painter and sculptor, he was introduced to art at a very early age. He spent most of his free time watching Disney animated classics, as well as admiring the Impressionists and the Post-Impressionists from his grandfather's books. Xavier would draw from them, trace them, and imitate them. He got to know Degas and Van Gogh, and became intimate with Cassatt. He would study and draw from his father's medical books, in an attempt to reach a higher level of understanding of the human form.

At sixteen he moved to Oxford, England to attend St.Clare's, Oxford, a prestigious boarding school. It was there that art completely took over his life and stands as an absolute turning point in his perception of life and his place in the world. He realized that nothing compares to the experience of making art. At graduation Xavier was awarded for his efforts in the arts, by the head of the art department at St.Clare's, Oxford. After graduating and receiving his bi-lingual International Baccalaureate Diploma, Xavier was accepted at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) with an Honors Scholarship for his portfolio and has won several awards for his drawings. He is currently a senior at SCAD, where he has won several awards for his drawings and an honors scholarship for his portfolio. Xavier is pursuing his BFA in both animation and painting.

Interview with the Artist

How does sketching/drawing/painting still life imagery in class affect your own personal imagery?
When one sits down to draw, one must enjoy it and think about what it communicates. To me the purpose of the drawing exceeds the class assignment and becomes something a lot more personal and spiritual. Thus all my drawings affect my personal imagery, as everything I draw is inherently personal.

How did the Strathmore paper you used for the project affect your drawing (or painting) techniques?
The Strathmore Canvas Paper allowed me to go straight into the painting without having to prepare the paper. It saved me a lot of time and allowed me to use it in a sketchy manner, which is nice as it is oil paint and not as readily used for sketching.

Which artist(s) inspire you? 
My absolute favorite artists tend to be either Baroque or Neo-Classicists. Caravaggio is my absolute favorite and I am tempted to call him the most inspiring painter. I love Jacques-Louis David for his heroism and power. Kathe Kollwitz inspires me because she evokes such sorrow, and Mary Cassatt and Degas both inspire me because of their elegance.

In terms of contemporary painters, I think James Valerio, Steven Assael, and Claudio Bravo are extremely inspiring for their color. I am truly grateful that I am able to work with and learn from some exceptional contemporary painters at SCAD, notably Mark Roger Walton and John Rise.

What advice would you give to beginning artists?
Do what you're good at doing and enjoy it. I have found that challenging myself and focusing on my weaknesses is less productive than working on something in my comfort zone. You will want to work more when you're enjoying it, which will make you better, and make you want to work even more.

Artist Bridgette Blanton

   
Bridgette Blanton art
art by Bridgette Blanton

300 Series Watercolor

art by Bridgette Blanton
art by Bridgette Blanton
300 Series Colored Art

About Bridgette Blanton

photo of Bridgette Blanton


Bridgette D. Blanton is currently attending the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in pursuit of a BFA in Illustration with a minor in Fashion. Her journey to illustration began with the desire to draw ladies in fancy dresses. That passion led her to attend college to study fashion design. Discovering that her love of fashion was best expressed on paper, she decided to study illustration instead. Nearing graduation and working under the pseudonym of Lady Grey, Bridgette's work materializes in the form of watercolors, line drawings, and cut paper collage. Her work is inspired by fashion, music, elegance, and the intricate details of the everyday.

When not working on art, you can find her shopping for vintage clothes, perusing fashion magazines, or watching comedy tv.

Interview with the Artist


How does sketching/drawing/painting still life imagery in class affect your own personal imagery?
A good artist studies the world around him/her and translates that into their artistic style. Still life imagery is the purest form of this. Studying the intricate still lifes in class allows me time to examine the details. I can use my own mark making to illustrate them. These marks inevitably end up in my subsequent artwork.

How did the Strathmore paper you used for the project affect your drawing (or painting) techniques?
With the Strathmore 300 Series Art Paper, I was allowed a range of colors and textures to work with. This is a primary concern when doing collage work. The various textures also worked well when applying dry mediums to them (they're very versatile). With the Strathmore 300 Series Watercolor paper, it really allowed me ample time to apply wet on wet techniques, and the paper also dried quickly enough to work in layers.

Which artist(s) inspire you?
I consider Edgar Degas, Aubrey Beardsley, and Alphonse Mucha great inspirations. I'm also really inspired by the works of many fashion illustrators like Bill Donovan, Stina Persson and Kat Macleod (among many more!).

What advice would you give to beginning artists?
Be curious and creative! Draw in your sketch book like no one will ever see it. It takes many bad drawings to make a good one.

Artist Caitlin Geels

   
Caitlin Geels art
art by Caitlin Geels

300 Series Bristol Smooth

Caitlin Geels art
art by Caitlin Geels

300 Series Charcoal

Caitlin Geels art
art by Caitlin Geels

300 Series Tracing

About Caitlin Geels

photo of Caitlin Geels

Caitlin was born in California and started drawing when she was 5 years old. Her Christian parents were always patient and supportive of what she did (except for the time that she scrawled in permanent marker over a family friend's painting, which ironically was a gift to Caitlin) and her grandmother was thrilled that she had inherited her artistic genes. From 5 to about 10 years old, she read every fantasy book she could find, which cultivated an imagination and love to create things that didn't exist. In 6th grade her mom enrolled her in private art lessons where she learned about the fundamentals of composition and fell in love with oil painting.

Her senior year in high school she enrolled in AP Art where her teacher encouraged her to use her love of cartooning in her pieces. By the end of the class, she found herself with plenty of great pieces for a portfolio and the knowledge that thumbnails are amazingly helpful to figure out everything and anything in a composition. After high school she went to the Savannah College of Art and Design in order to learn the craft of animation and will graduate in 2013 ready to take on the world!

Interview with the Artist

How does sketching/drawing/painting still life imagery in class affect your own personal imagery?
I had never been much for still lifes (because I would have to make them myself and I had no idea how to create an interesting one) but once I got into Foundations courses at college I found that I liked the detail one could achieve with such small, plain items. Because of those still lifes, I began to add more detail into drawings that I did outside of class and took more notice of everyday items that, when assembled, could be used to make something beautiful.

How did the Strathmore paper you used for the project affect your drawing (or painting) techniques?
My drawing style by nature is very precise and neat and I noticed that the Bristol Smooth surface was perfect for how I use graphite. The surface allowed me to get smooth blending with light layers and even took watercolor rather well. The Charcoal paper responded gamely to my abuse of it (I press quite hard with charcoal) and I was pleased to find that it didn't disintegrate under the frequent scratching, erasing, and smearing.

Which artist(s) inspire you?
My influences and inspirations are really spread all over the board, drawing from books and movies more than artists these days. Informally I'm a fan of the work of Bruce Timm, the animator who created designs for and helmed all of the DC Animated TV shows (like Batman and Justice League). As far as traditional work I would have to say that the 16th century Dutch vanitas still lifes have always awed me. They were truly masters of their craft!

What advice would you give to beginning artists?
Use plenty of reference, don't be afraid to draw badly in your sketchbook (we all have those days) because it's YOUR sketchbook and it's there for practice.