I’ve been on DeviantART since 2008. At first I only submitted poems and short stories. I was still in high school at the time, and I didn’t draw as much as I do now. For a long time I used the website to keep track of artists I liked. I’ve since transitioned from submitting literary works to submitting artwork, but I still use it to follow artists. I watch hundreds of painters, illustrators, stencilers, and photographers from around the world. Here are four artists I think deserve a little more attention:
Franco has a style that is reminiscent of Disney concept art. He works digitally, using soft brushes and bold shapes. I’ve been a Disney fan since I could walk and talk, so I am naturally drawn to his art.
Thankfully, Franco is not merely a Disney school cutout. There is not always a storybook lesson attached to his illustrations. His works explore a range of subjects, people, and places.
There is plenty to ogle in each of Franco’s works and I often zoom in to see just how he worked out a particular finger, tree, or shirt sleeve.
I’ve been following Franco for a while now and it’s been interesting to see how he develops. At first he was posting mostly single characters sans backdrops. Now he’s moved on to beautiful spreads that incorporate characters and backdrops seamlessly.
Franco updates often on DeviantART and can also be followed on his website.
LOIS VAN BAARLE
Lois van Baarle goes by loish on DeviantART and is one of the first artists I started following on the site. She works digitally, mostly drawing portraits of women.
A couple years ago when I was taking Intermediate Drawing I was talking to a fellow student about our favorite artists. After discussing a couple artists, the other student turned on her phone and said, “Hold on. I wanna show you someone I think you’re really going to like.” When I saw her phone screen turn the classic DeviantART green I asked “Are you looking for loish?” Turns out she was and we spent the next few minutes discussing van Baarle. I’m not sure this story has much of a point, but it’s something I always remember whenever I see a new van Baarle piece. I suppose it shows how art can unify people and spark discussion.
While van Baarle tends to focus on drawing long-haired women (she is truly great at painting hair), I enjoy more her pieces that explore large environments with muted palettes. She is great at using color harmony to evoke emotion.
Like Franco, van Baarle’s illustrations remind me of children’s books. But there’s a darker, more emotional quality in her works, as though her illustrations belong in a picture book for adults.
Lois van Baarle can also be followed on her website.
Francois Beauregard is an architect who posts both his real world drawings and his fantastical sketches to DeviantART.
I’ve always been fascinated by architecture and it’s fun to follow an architect who is able to make his drawings become reality.
Beauregard’s drawings feel as though they’d be right at home in a fantasy novel or a video game’s loading screens.
Every time Beauregard posts a new sketch I am reminded of the cross section books by Stephen Biesty that I used to read when I was little. Perhaps because they both draw medieval style buildings and perhaps because they both love to incorporate crazy detail.
Francois Beauregard does not seem to have a permanent website besides DeviantART, but if you’d like to have your next house designed by him you can reach him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Cheifetz goes by turningshadow on DeviantART, a name that evokes the image of a round object being rendered or described by the sculpting “turning” of a shadow across its surface. Quite the artistic name.
Cheifetz paints a variety of subjects. Portraits, cityscapes, and landscapes are all in his repertoire, but he really shines through his still life paintings.
I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from Cheifetz, particularly for this painting. He has an incredible eye for composition. Additionally, he plays around with techniques, creating paintings that analyze color, value, subject, and composition.
Most of his paintings are done with a palette knife, though he also uses brushes. Cheifetz is one of my main inspirations due to his ability to live off his original artwork.
David Cheifetz can also be followed on his website. I highly suggest subscribing to his mailing list. He sends out biweekly updates that break apart his painting process step-by-step.