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Artist of the Month

Artist of the Month: March, 2005

The Artist of the Month for March, 2005 is Nathan.

User Comments
Nathan shows a distinctive skill for using black and white pencil shading, and puts it to great use in portraying various moods in his drawings (his drawings are not exclusively in black and white pencil, but these comprise the majority of his work). In these pencil drawings, the technique itself tends to be fairly simplistic, rather than overwrought, which is possibly what makes it particularly strong - in each drawing, the character is clearly the focus, and is obviously drawn with great care and feeling, while backgrounds tend to be absent, or understated and only hinted at with a few lines, rather than fleshed out with clarity. The result is that the final product is left with everything it needs to portray the character, and not a lot of "extra" visual information cluttering it.

Aside from pure pencil drawing, Nathan also has some work done in the frequently seen digitally cleaned lineart over cell-painting style. The backgrounds of these digital images are typically much more developed, but not overpoweringly so and still tend to leave their foreground character as the obvious focus. In my opinion, they're good examples, though perhaps not the most outstanding, of digital art technique.

Gadget is by far Nathan's most frequent subject. His drawings depict her across a large spectrum of situations, but somehow the most engaging of all of them are the least dramatic, the ones depicting the everyday reality of life. These pictures of the mundane resonate with me in a particular way that few other artist's works do. Just the way in which she sits on the floor, or stares out at the night sky from her workshop window, instantly creates a sense of it being a depiction of a real person, unique and flawed and with her own nuances and ultimately on the same level as anyone out in the real world, rather than being a depiction of a personification of the set of conceptions people have made about what she should be. This, in my opinion, is something that many fanartists can rarely capture, especially in working with a cartoon character. It's something of the default state in that medium to create a personified idealization or conceptualization, rather than to create a portrayal of someone who seems as if they could be real. Some of Nathan's art is truly exceptional in accomplishing this.
Ray Jones:
I've always liked Nathan's work.....

It's appealing on several levels.

First of all, is technical skill. His drawings look fluid and "real". Poses are natural and movement is well captured.

Second, I like the feeling he captures. These are our friends out in action and adventure, or in relaxation. We can feel as if we are there, with them.

Third, in this time of computer graphics, it's inspirational to see such fine work done with just paper and pencil - and a valuable reminder of the sorts of effects that artistic talent can produce which are not really duplicatable with computer art programs. There is a vitality, a sort of blending and line development which are very hard to reproduce with electronic devices.

All in all, really great work!
Whenever I see one of Nathan's pictures, the music for "These Eyes" seems to describe it well. With Gadget's eyes in particular, they're usually looking right at you and have this "je ne sais quoi" about them that makes you appreciate the effort.

I like Nathan's casual take on Gadget as well. Here we have her in rumpled clothes, doing regular things. Sort of the "informal" Gadget. Nice to see that side of her portrayed.

Nathan also has an affinity for depicting power via weaponry. The pictures of Gadget as a soldier in Counter Strike are "non sequitur" in a way but then again they remind you of her warrior side. The picture of Chip as Max Payne also reminds me of film noir, the "tough and gritty" side of reality portrayed in them.