Watch This Colorful, Beautifully Illustrated, Retro Sci-Fi Short Film

Lili des Bellons is a French illustrator and cartoonist with tens of thousands of followers on social media. His years of work in illustration and animation have resulted in a prolific body of surreal, sci-fi, retro and anime inspired artwork all leading up to Des Bellons’s short animation, Alma.

Des Bellons’s recently released trailer for the Alma looks like a gorgeous amalgamation of Rick and Morty, Cowboy Bebop and Marvel’s Tales to Astonish. It’s filled with glorious, surreal, sci-fi imagination and bursting color. The release was accompanied by a series of stills from the work in progress which gives the viewer a further peek into the work Bellons has been doing for this project, revealing a world teeming with retro inspired sci fi scenes. My favorite part of the stills is the introduction of a race of aliens with upside down v’s for mouths. They carry swords and fifties inspired ray guns, masters of the weapons of the future and the past. And they’re small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Seeing one of them brandish their sword makes me want to see the little green guys in action! The work as a whole really scratches that retro sci-fi itch while pushing the ideas forward with an infectious undercurrent of fun.

Sci-Fi town

Colorful sci-fi town

Retro sci-fi illustrations

Retro sci-fi raygun

50s style sci fi

Reto-style aliens on a spaceship

Small Artwork. Big Characters.

Marija Tiurina, London-based illustrator and self-professed “pigeon stalker,” had a big, small year in 2018. Last year saw Tiurina producing more “small artworks” than she has in any other year. These small artworks are the biggest feature of her drawing and paintings. Her artwork is on the cartooning side, often depicting various female characters, personified illustrations of food, like toast with a smiling square of melty butter, or every day objects, like a coffee mug. The best part about all of it, aside from the delight of the illustrations themselves, is the various sizes of the pieces. The toast with butter is on stamp sized magnet backings, perfect for around the home but depressing if they fall of your fridge and get dingey. This small size of much of Tiurina’s art, is most enjoyable when applied to the various figures she has produced in this style.

Small noodles drawing

These pieces, the small figures, enter Tiurina’s portfolio as though announcing an earthier, bizarre Banksy. Tiurina’s figures, rather than finding themselves on walls or in city streets, are often placed in natural surroundings. You’ll laugh at the sense of pure joy excitement you get from seeing a cartoon head with leaves and twigs for hair leering over the top of an actual mushroom actually growing out of the ground. It’s impossible to not at least smile when you see the cartoon figure as though it has come to life. My favorite being the seemingly lost traveler. She stands amongst some moss, a songbird standing on top of her head while she looks confused next to road signs pointing in competing directions to very different countries. The idea that this cartoon lady might be standing in the woods now, considering whether to keep heading on to Sweden or turn back towards Lapland, will never not make me happy. So many of Tiurina’s small artworks invoke this same spirit. It’s prolific in its variety of imagination and modes for depiction. If you walk the woods, be sure to watch for cartoon people and creatures out there and make sure you watch out for more from Marija Tiurina.

Drawing of a tiny girl at a crossroad

Drawing of a lady with orange hair


Group of people drawing


All the Tiny Drawings

Zodiac Signs Portrayed As Witches

Vivien Szaniszlo uses her ample talents in the name of surrealism, often doing portraits of women through various methods and materials. She uses watercolor, oil and mixed media. Szaniszlo has a history of using the zodiac to spurn inspiration for her artwork, having painted “a zodiac series about the difference between life and death” in the past. She has once again turned to the zodiac with one of her most recent series of twelve, her portrayal of the signs of the zodiac as witches with their cats.

Zodiac Sign: Leo


Zodiac Sign: Leo

Unless you’re an expert on the zodiac and astrology in general, when confronted with zodiac related things, its natural to turn your attention to your own sign. I’m no different. All of the pieces in this series are filled with color and surreal details, all of them are eye catching and interesting, none of them mean as much to me as the one representing my own sign, Aquarius. The Aquarius witch and her Aquarius cats are such magical, whimsical fun. Adorable, tiny white kitties climb up the colorful, blue and orange, hot and cold skinned witch, climbing to her head. The curious felines are trying to peer down into the witch’s skull, the contents revealed to contain stars and planets now brimming out over the edges, planets dancing around in her eyeline. It’s a perfect representation of the Aquarius in the world, head in the stars, daydreaming, surrounded by cats climbing all over our bodies. Don’t be fooled though, mine is a cool blooded sign, many of the other Zodiac witches are revealed to be much darker, punches of color blasting through black voids and clothing. It’s a wild effect, one theoretically depicting the essence of all of us in some way. A worthy addition to Szaniszlo’s growing Zodiac inspired artwork.

Zodiac Sign: Aquarius


Zodiac Sign: Aquarius

Zodiac Sign: Taurus


Zodiac Sign: Taurus

Zodiac Sign: Libra


Zodiac Sign: Libra

Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius


Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius

Zodiac Sign: Scorpio


Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

Zodiac Sign: Virgo


Zodiac Sign: Virgo

Animals Drawn in a Kaleidoscopic Explosions of Color

Rohan Dahotre is a freelance illustrator working out of Pune, India. Dahotre’s mission is “spreading wildlife awareness through illustrations.” Dahotre’s pursuit of that mission invokes the beauty of our planet’s wildlife alongside the inevitable melancholy attached to their imminent doom without protective actions and loving care. For 2019, Dahotre put together a gorgeous calendar, Losing Wildlife, aimed at spotlighting some of the species we’re in danger of losing. With the calendar, he aims to raise awareness of the role that conservation plays in preserving these animals. He asks for a small reduction in your needs, noting, it “can go a long way.”

Polar Bear Drawing

The illustrations within the calendar are a series of kaleidoscopic explosions of color, swirling through the background, surrounding detailed illustrations of the faces of twelve of Earth’s most beautiful, sadly, endangered species. There are sly wildcats, like the smiling Bengal Tiger (July) or Iberian Lynx (November). There are furrier, beloved bears, the precious, grinning Giant Panda (February) and the depressive, accusing look of the Polar Bear (June). Each of the pieces are tinted with surreal, Joshua tree/Burning man level coloring that give the wildlife the appropriately trippy feel of a creature that could soon be an actual figment of our memory and imagination. Every piece feels spiritual and contemplative, worth lots of attention and consideration. Similar to the level of attention and consideration Dahotre knows we’ll need to save these amazing creatures.

Wild Dog


Tiger Drawing

Racoon Drawing

Sloth Bear Drawing

Animals Painted on Bird Feathers

Imogen Clark, the artist behind DustySoulsArt, is a master of intricacy, providing breathtaking works. Telling her own story, Clark, known as “the feather lady,” started painting feathers, not just paining on feathers, truly painting them, in 2013. It’s a skill that she acquired through admitted “patience, much practice, and understanding of birds.” I don’t think that means that she coaxes the birds into taloning over a feather, rather the understanding of the character of feathers of different types of birds and how it impacts the process of painting them. In her selection of favorite paintings of 2018, five years after beginning the practice, Clark specifies the type of bird the feather comes from allowing the viewer to have illustrated for them, how the bird type effects and fits into the final piece.

Fox drawn on a turkey feather

The scenes depicted on the feathers are stunning, hold your breath levels of immaculate. Many of these are scenes of animals in nature, like the first piece, Fox On Turkey feather. A gorgeous, colorfully vibrant orange fox, natural predator of fowl, stares up, maybe sniffing the air for prey, while standing on the ground built by the texture of the turkey’s feather. It’s glossy mixture of browns and whites, the fibers in the feather appearing like snow covered blades of grass mixed with rippled swaths of mud. It’s incredibly detailed and full despite using only a feather as the canvas. Most of the other pieces on Clark’s list follow this template, an animal on a feather with the color of the feather heavily influencing the overall palette of the painting itself, magnificent. There are also a couple of jewelry pieces (she has an Etsy store, DarkSoulsArt) that incorporate the feather paintings.

Mother and Child drawn on a feather

The big standout and my favorite piece is Mother and Child on Peacock. The main reason I love this piece is just how unexpected it is. When you hear peacock you think of peacocking, vibrant, colorful, over the top and in your face. Surprisingly, this peacock feather painting is perhaps the most understated piece on the whole list. The feather is one of the bird’s black ones. The accompanying scene is appropriately and stirringly painted in black and white. The mother and child feel locked in time, stark, eternally beautiful. It’s powerfully cold and warm simultaneously. All of Imogen Clark’s paintings on this list are stirring in some sense or another. Perfect combination of talent and choice. Well worth looking up and maybe swinging by that storefront.

Parrot draw on a parrot feather

Elephant drawing on a feather

Painting of a Chaco Owl

Drawing of a falcon


Disney Heroes and Villains Drawn Together As One Person

In her own words, Dada is “an artist who loves to draw all sorts of subjects using all kinds of different mediums.” Her most unique trait as an artist is her penchant for grafting the faces of two characters, often Disney characters, onto one head with two halves. In general, the renderings are extremely faithful to their source material, alternating between light and adorable, and vivid and surreal. Some of the combo choices include shared species like Simba and Scar, while others are more human/animal hybrids like Beauty and The Beast. Dada’s work is a freaky, cute delight.

Aladdin and Jaffar drawn together

While it is lovely to see Snow White and the Evil Queen, the ones most intriguing are those that unexpectedly complement each other and reveal traits that were previously hidden. A telling example of this is the combo of Aladdin and Jafar. This is the Aladdin in his royal, rich man gear, combined with an interpretation of Jafar that is truer to the dark anti-Aladdin that he really is, a swarthy, black hat Aladdin. It’s a perspective clearly illustrated in the film yet not so clearly as interpreted by Dada who also brings out previously hidden feminine qualities to the character. It causes you to reconsider your nostalgia of the street rat and his foe. It’s what the best of Dada’s work does, makes you see some of the most beloved characters of your pop culture past and present, things you’ve lived with and observed your whole life, in entirely new ways. It’s perspective, one of the hallmarks of a good artist. 

Ariel and Ursula drawn as one person

Aurora and Malificent

Hercules and Hades

Simba & Scar

Snow White and the Evil Queen

Monsters Are Taking Over These Vintage Photos

Remo Quincot is an illustrator and skateboarder based out of Barcelona, Spain. I love how his grungy, skater-style bleeds straight into his artwork. His monstrous characters are perfectly painted to create scenarios that are the ideal blend of edgy and comical rolled into one. With his classic doodle-bombing of old black and white pictures, the bright pop of color works wonders over top of the old, vintage-style photography. I simply cannot get enough!

Pencil Drawings Brought To Life With More Than Just Color” target=”_blank”>Ricardo Nunez is a Philadelphia-based illustrator who left Colombia 10 years ago to learn English and chase his dreams. He hasn’t stopped traveling since.
On Ricardo’s instagram, I stumbled upon a story that he shared in regards to the illustration above. He talks about how during his travels, he met a Canadian woman who made the decision to sacrifice her body for nine months to grow a life for a sterile couple. It was a difficult process since the life growing inside her is a life she loves, but in the process she is helping to make their dreams come true. Ricardo says “I’m still impressed by her kindness. She decided to put her happiness behind in order to make others happy. This is an illustration in process for her.”
His illustrative style begins with a gorgeous, soft pencil sketch. Then, the drawing is digitally refined later with color that brings it all to life. I sincerely believe that the most powerful aspect of any creative work is hearing the stories that inspire these beautiful illustrations, giving the work an incredible power for people to connect with.

Masterful Use of Color To Create the Illusion of Illumination in Drawings

Embracing the modern media landscape, Angel Ganev has a healthy collection of YouTube videos that have garnered tens of thousands of views where he shows how he works using reference and builds his signature style. Much of Ganev’s work is comprised of portraits where he has taken a reference photo, processed the subject of the photo through his imagination and reproduced them as a stylized character.

Anime-Style Drawing

The most interesting aspect of Ganev’s work is how he accents the stylized characters that he creates. His subjects are adequately drawn, manga inspired depictions of women. Some of these are fully digitally painted, colored portraits of the women. Others however are left largely uncolored and then treated with minimal, localized color where Ganev shows off his enviable skills with color. By using super bright hues on the faces of the women he draws, Ganev is able to give the viewer the illusion that the piece is actually being illuminated. These particular works are typically presented with the artist’s pencil strewn across the body of the frame, a kind of mic drop for the effects he can create by hand.

Drawing of a Girl Biting an Apple

One of the sketches, where a woman is looking off while she holds a glowing red apple, is sure to make your jaw drop. The apple emanates on and from the woman’s hand and illuminates her cheek as she glances at something off to the side. It’s surreal in the way that it seems to construct reality in the piece, like it has been charmed by a magical spell. Ganev’s portfolio is strewn with pieces featuring such detail as the glowing apple and the effect never loses its effect on the viewer.

Go on, be charmed, fall under the spell of Angel Ganev.

Drawing with a light outline

Blue Outline Makes Art Pop

Drawing of a Girl with Olive Hair Clip

Anime-Style Portrait

Sample Portrait From Photo to Anime

Antique Photographs Transformed Into Iconic Pop Culture Figures

Typically working in oil on canvas, Alex Gross‘ work exhibits an abiding interest in pop culture and the passage of time. It is in the mixed media portion of Gross’s portfolio where the synergy between these two truly comes alive and pops in fun, thrilling ways.

Pixar: Mr. Incredible

Old School Drawing of Mr. Incredible

Pixar: Mr. Incredible

In Gross’s mixed media work, he combines his skills as a painter with antique photographs that he has acquired and transformed into iconic figures throughout pop culture. His presentation of the work allows you to see the transformation from past to future, from ho hum old-timey civilian to modern day hero or villain. He presents the work as it was, the aforementioned, authentically sepia toned antique photo while opposite it is the fully colored, fully morphed original work.

X-Men: Wolverine

Drawing of Wolverine

X-Men: Wolverine

The range of characters is plentiful with the dozens of works in this series and they’re all fun to look at. Upon close inspection, the viewer can see how Gross took the appearance of the original photo’s subject as the inspiration for who they become in the pop culture future. One of my favorites is Bloody Wolverine. On the left is an antique photo of a rectangular headed, mutton chop adorned man with psychopath eyes. He looks like a nineteenth century, clean-cut Wolverine trying to blend in among society. After Gross has turned his brush upon the photo, we’re treated to those same psychopath eyes set in a blood-spattered face as Wolverine stands before us in his classic yellow uniform, blood running down his claws after a kill, stopping to pose for a photo. It’s a fantastic painting of Wolverine as all of his figures (Daredevil, 60’s batman, Harley Quinn, Arya Stark, the list goes on and on) are of their respective characters but it’s also both interesting and hilarious to actually have a picture of a real person in the past, in front of you, when you’re thinking about what it’d be like to have people from the past dressed up like we are now. The heightening of that thought trail to super hero costumes makes the trip down that much more fun. Don’t miss it!

Marvel: The Black Panther

Old School Drawing of Black Panther

Marvel: The Black Panther

Game of Throne: Arya Stark

Arya Stark Painting

Game of Throne: Arya Stark

Marvel: Daredevil

Daredevil Drawing

Marvel: Daredevil

The Simpsons: Marge Simpson

Drawing of Marge Simpson

The Simpsons: Marge Simpson

Star Trek: Picard

Drawing of Picard

Star Trek: Picard

Marvel: Winter Soldier (Captain America)

Drawing of the Winter Soldier

Marvel: Winter Soldier (Captain America)

X-Men: Magneto

Old Drawing of Magento

X-Men: Magneto

Drawing of Django



Starwars: Darth Vader and Family

Darth Vader and Family

Starwars: Darth Vader and Family