Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mark Fredrickson and Maria Kalman.

Two artists I decided to compare and contrast in “Illustration Now” are Mark Fredrickson and Maria Kalman.  Both of the artists have distinct styles that caught my attention.

Mark Fredrickson’s works are very realistic but figures in his works are mostly caricaturized. He illustrates figures with big heads, narrow shoulders, small hands and tiny body. Upon first looking at Fredrickson’s work, I thought he used acrylic due to the richness of colors and heavy texture. However, soon I realized that he works in digital because of the range of values and the natural color blends. Maria Kalman’s works are also realistic but in different way. Although all the figures in her works are realistic in proportion unlike the figures in Fredrickson’s works, they are stylized. When I first looked at Kalman’s illustration, I figured she also uses acrylic as well but she uses gouache. Both of artists show their profound understanding about colors and their engaging illustrators definitely show it off.

The way Fredrickson characterizes what he draws is unique and from his style, I can tell how much efforts he put into his work because every artwork of his in the “Illustration Now” is unbelievably detailed. In contrast, Kalman simplifies everything by depicting highlights of the objects or including texts in her illustration. Also from Kalman’s style, I could immediately tell the illustrator is a woman. Bright colors, gentle line works and subject she deals within her works reveal that Kalman is a woman illustrator. Her works are feminine. She also states that her paintings are narrative, absurd, humorous and rely on her personal storytelling. On the other hand, Mark Fredrickson seems to satirize what he draws.  Overall, works of Maria Kalman’s are stylized and vivid yet pleasing and Mark Fredrickson’s illustrations are often dark undertone and extremely detailed yet entertaining. 

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