Art: Chris Bennett paintings/illustrations UPDATED January 12, 2009

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  1. #1
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    Chris Bennett paintings/illustrations UPDATED January 12, 2009

    Name:  Blue Beads detail.jpg
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    Here are five completed paintings made specifically for the illustration portfolio which is now 'ready to go' and to help me in search for work in this field. Being trained and working the last 20 years as a fine artist I've tried to bring some of that sensibility to my illustration work, yet try and keep the 'sense' rather than a too literal interpretation of a story to the forefront.
    I wonder what you guys think...

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    Name:  Invisible Kisses.jpg
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    Name:  Twilight.jpg
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    Name:  Orbit.jpg
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    Name:  The Ascension of Venus.jpg
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    Last edited by Chris Bennett; January 12th, 2009 at 08:23 PM.
    From Gegarin's point of view
    http://www.chrisbennettartist.co.uk/
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  4. #2
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    I remember frog saying something about naming all the works in your portfolio not necessarily being sucha good idea; artist often get jobs in concept art or storyboarding that require a lot of quick sketches and aren't expected to invest enough energy to name every single piece.

    But hey, I'm not deadfrog and therefore do not necessarily know what I'm talking about.

    Goodluck!

    Do you Mentler?

    Booting up a new sketchbook.
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  5. #3
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    Go get 'em, Chris!


    Tristan Elwell
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    Technically very well done! The only crit that I could give to you(and I feel bad because I know these must have taken you a long time!) is that there is very little range of expression in these paintings. Do you have other pieces that you will be using in your portfolio?

    Still very good! and good luck.

    [][][][] DRAW EVERYDAY [][][][]>
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  7. #5
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    Beautiful work! I cant tell what the white mass is on the kiss one, since its a different color than what he is wrapped in. Not sure that they need those large borders either IMHO.

    Jose Pardo

    Portfolio: http://www.moonvisionstudio.com

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    mmmh, I think you should check the legs position of the woman, last frame.
    the thighs are too thin and I guess there is some anatomy prob...

    I think that's the only problem, maybe it's the perspective
    I just know that it looks quite weird to me..

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  9. #7
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    Lovely work Chris, the second and last are very poetic, very nice.

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    Very nice work! I especially like Twilight and Venus. The modeling of the face in Orbit is very nice to look at, it's like a composition within the face, very harmonic. The eye is a perfect focal point there. Good luck!

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    chris. I envy the uniqueness of your style. ITs all great and beautiful but what makes it so extraordinary is that I feel I could spot your work among 1000 other painters on an art fair. Ride on!!

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    I'm seconding Lewiston here. I love the work. My crit is this. Every illustration has a stillness to it. It's like you've taken a moment in the story and given it a pause, for emphasis. It's great, but what about the drama of motion? When something's hurtling toward you, or people are yelling, or there's blood spraying, etc. If I were viewing your work as that of a fine artist, I wouldn't say this, because it would be your voice/your choice. But when viewed as an illustration portfolio, I'm curious about how you could widen your range of subjects - maybe throw composition out the window for a second and make something look disorderly and wild?

    Any real artists correct me if what I'm saying is nonsense.

    Just another thought, when I think of great illustration, besides all the classics, I like to think of the Akira comics. If you haven't thumbed through one of those books, get to your nearest comic shop. No one I've ever seen expresses motion so believably or with so much excitement. Each page is like a slap in the face. The same approach taken to a movie poster or book cover, etc would be pure gold.

    EDIT: just to reiterate. What you do, you do exquisitely. If you like it and you get jobs for it, then feel free to disregard. I'd only take this crit seriously if the idea of trying something new intrigues you.

    Last edited by TASmith; September 19th, 2008 at 04:50 AM.
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    Great stuff Chris, I love the Twilight peice.

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    I adore this http://www.conceptart.org/forums/att...8&d=1221810499

    what a great great great painting.

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    Hi Chris! here's your quote: "Here are five completed paintings made specifically for the illustration portfolio which is now 'ready to go' and to help me in search for work in this field. Being trained and working the last 20 years as a fine artist I've tried to bring some of that sensibility to my illustration work, yet try and keep the 'sense' rather than a too literal interpretation of a story to the forefront.
    I wonder what you guys think... "

    I think you did a great job and it is refreshing to see the gap really bridged between fine art training and illustration! This is a very important thing you are doing and these could be sold in either a gallery or for commercial work!! Way to get the message and story across without being blatant! Love your style and some of your light and mood reminds me of Edward Hopper (my favorite artist)

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    Beautiful work. I love "invisible kisses".

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    Zaxser: Thanks for the input but I'm mainly looking for work involving high finish and playing to my particular 'bag' as it were.
    Elwell: Thanks Tristan! Always good to get a thumbs up from you!
    Ian Mack: Thanks Ian - if you look at my website you will see a greater range of expression, however, I have taken note of what you have said.
    MoonVisionStudio: Thank you! The white shape you are referring to is a sort of abstracted waterfall - I think the weakness in this painting is that it should have gone for a greater rendering concept in the environment rather than the stylised one I opted for. I only realised this when things were finished and by then the DNA of the painting had been cast.
    Chris B: I can't see this myself, but you observation is of much interest because someone else felt there was something not quite right with the length of the legs rather than the hips. I'll probably realise what it is when I see the thing again in ten years or so!
    poise; Thanks Tiffany, allways good to hear from you!
    Serpian: Thanks Serpian! - interesting thoughts on 'Orbit' too.
    lewiston: Wow, you have just paid me the highest complement that any of us could ever hope for. It is extremely kind of you and....well...I'm......well....jeez....that's really kind of you and a million thanks!
    TASmith: Thanks for the lengthy response good sir. As I said to Zaxser, I'm going for work that plays to my strengths and not trying to muscle in on people who do the kind of stuff you are talking about more naturally than I do. However, I think the spirit of what you are saying is right in that I should include some more energetic subjects. I will say however that wether one is painting 'stillness' or crazy foot-to-the-floor energy in movement, the role of composition is the fundamental arbiter of whether it succeeds or not. I mean, what else can convey movement in pictures other than the way you compose it?
    Mr. Scribbles: Thank you very much! - you are obviously a romantic at heart!
    archipelago: That's extremely kind of you! It's always interesting to know what particular painting is really firing someone up. Thanks for the feedback.
    Kelly x: Hi Kelly, you seem to have understood very well what I'm after here. As I've said to some of the others who have been kind enough to post their feedback, I'm trying to bring my particular 'take' on things to the table. On a larger issue I also think there should be no percieved 'quality difference' between so-called fine art and commercial work. Quality is quality, no matter where you find it. In fact, the gallery world is generally extremely limiting since much of what one has to do is really interior decoration. Oh, and Edward Hopper; I guess it's that slight tinge of melancholy that seems to sit at the centre of much of what I do. Which is strange, because I'm generally upbeat and grinning my head off most of the time!
    Mikael Leger: Thank you very much - it does seem that 'Invisible Kisses' is a bit of a favourite with people!

    From Gegarin's point of view
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  18. #16
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    Chris, your work would be perfect for literary fiction (the genre that encompasses "serious," non-genre fiction). Unfortunately, in the last fifteen years or so illustrated literary fiction covers have almost entirely disappeared, but hopefully you can find an art director with some vision.


    Tristan Elwell
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  19. #17
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    I really like Invisible kisses. It's very good work, and I wish you luck in your job hunts.

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    Chris, It is a mission to bridge the gap - here are some words of inspiration for all who wish this: We are all fine artists in my opinion by the way:
    "'s by Micheal Whelan...
    Art collectors and critics often wonder if it is difficult for a former successful illustrator to make the transition to success in fine art and the international gallery marketplace? in Michael's own words, "Often it is. There has been a deep-seated bias against illustration in the fine art world for a long time, but there are signs that it is easing somewhat. It probably had more to do with the fact that most illustrators worked realistically than for any other reason. Now that Realism seems to be on the rebound, the barriers against illustrators seem to be rising above the stigma once again…

    It seems odd that it would ever be so, considering the historical record. Just think of all the famous American artists who began as illustrators: Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Remington, Parrish, Andy Warhol, to name a few".
    "'s Michael Whelan...

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  21. #19
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    Yeah, that's the thing about composition, you can never get away from it, but maybe go for something that doesn't feel quite so balanced and orderly. Having read back, though I'd rather you keep doing what you're doing.

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    Elwell: Thanks for that, I've got an interview with an artists agent next week and they seem to be wanting me for the very reason you said...!

    corspufo: Thank you for having a look and lending your support.

    Kelly x: I guess there is no such thing as 'artists', just those who do work and mean it and those who are bluffing. That can happen in any field.

    TASmith: Thanks for dropping by - I think I am happiest when I'm making a controlled, still image. I guess I'm interested in trapping movement rather than painting swirls.

    OK, here are another four completed paintings. 'The Spirit of the Elm' really needs redoing I think - basically because I have not really seen it as a complete image, a oneness between tree and girl. It has something to do with what I replied to TASmith.
    Anyways, here they are:

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    Name:  Woman with a Lily.jpg
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    Name:  Susan Steps Out.jpg
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    Name:  Spirit of the Elm.jpg
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    From Gegarin's point of view
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  24. #21
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    It's different from what I usually see, and I like it. Is that pastel or coloured pencils you're working with?

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    Quote Originally Posted by juczpen View Post
    It's different from what I usually see, and I like it. Is that pastel or coloured pencils you're working with?
    Thanks juczpen. They are acrylic paintings!

    By-the-way, can anybody tell me how to change the thumbnail that appears next to the thread on the main Finally Finished page? I've tried popping a new big image at the top but it does not seem to work.....

    From Gegarin's point of view
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  26. #23
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    Your art gives me shivers of contemplation almost every time

    I'm sure you could illustrate any genre while keeping your vision.

    About the thumbnail problem, see: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=139649

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  27. #24
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    I'm loving it all Chris! Great job!

    At least Icarus tried!


    My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
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  28. #25
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    Love it.

    To change the thumbnail, you'll have to edit the first post, and unattach everything. Before you re-upload all the images, make sure that the first image you attach is the one you want to be the thumbnail.

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  29. #26
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    I love your work, I just said! But I can repeat it forever!
    My favourite is "Orbit".
    Thanx!

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  30. #27
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    wow...nice
    my fav in the latest batch are the "the spirit of the elm" and "woman with a lily"
    they go to my inspiration folder

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  31. #28
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    These are great man.
    I love your Venus.

    Best of luck with the hunt.

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  32. #29
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    Loe Ki: That's extremely kind of you, thank you for the encouragement Loe.
    Kev Ferrara: Thanks a million Kev, your ideas and judgement mean a great deal to me.
    Havoc-DM: Many thanks! I've tried what you recommended regarding the thumbnail and it seems to have worked!
    DANKA: Thank you Danka, you are too generous! It's good to know which are people's favourites - all grist to the mill!
    bhanu: Like I said to DANKA, it's great to get specific feedback on which paintings are people's favourites. I've seen some of your posts commending other people's fantastic work so I'm really honoured to have a couple of images be put by some of your favourites. Thanks for dropping by!
    Jasonwclark: Thanks for the encouragement Jason. The Venus picture is the most 'awkward' of the paintings - I tried all sorts of variations of the pose of those legs to give the thing a more 'conventional sensuality' but it simply tore the image away from what I felt to be its 'soul'. In the end I had to let the image tell me what to do (along with some excellent advise from Mr Kev Ferrara)

    From Gegarin's point of view
    http://www.chrisbennettartist.co.uk/
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  33. #30
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    Thanks for the closeup of "Susan steps out". I love your strokes. I also love the captured moment quality of all of these. I like how the elements of your work combine to evoke a profound stillness. I do think in preserving the triangle in "Venus in ascension" you cheated the woman's arms beyond believability. Arm length seems to me to be an issue in "woman with a lily" as well.

    As for the fine art v. illustration issue; about a year ago I showed my painting mentor a copy of "A Christmas Carol" illustrated by Christian Birmingham, explaining I was really inspired by this "illustrator". He thumbed through the book a couple minutes, then said "Well, you're right, the artist is very good, but he isn't an illustrator, he's a painter. Probably a representative of the publisher approached him, expressed the firm's admiration for his work, and said they were interested in a project for which they'd like to commission him."

    My teacher is a portrait painter and muralist with a career spanning 40 years, and I know this includes one illustrated book, so I assumed he was speculating based on his own experience.

    He went on to say,"If you want to be an illustrator, that's one thing, but you must understand illustration is a discipline different than painting, with a different course of study and ultimately a different emphasis."
    I just nodded and went back to my easel, and realized later I should've asked him to explain the difference. I did the next time I was in class during the model break. His reply;"Painters--fine artists--have to know more."
    In his view, and his name is Jon Onye Lockard, by the way, a trained painter can move more easily into illustration than an illustrator can into fine art.
    On the other hand, I subsequently looked up bio information on Birmingham, and found his own study in art culminated in a concentration...in illustration.
    And so it goes.

    "Three's so little room for error."--Elwell
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