Jeff Simpson is an illustrator currently working for Eidos Montreal. He has worked quite a few times with Imagine FX magazine, doing covers, lectures, and tutorials. His work is really phenomenal in how it blends the illustrative and Fine Art world – his style is sometimes reminiscent of Phil Hale and Rick Berry, with their intense brushwork and color usage. There is a stylistic line between his personal work and freelance work, but both are equally skilled. I really commend people who are able to still be so prolific in-between working hours, personal life and other events and still find time to draw for themselves. But, you don’t get this good by sitting back and waiting for inspiration to strike.
I personally like his abstract portraits the best. Of course his concept work and character designs are rad, but nothing tickles my fancy more than an artist using digital skills in traditional mediums – his oil paintings (though they are ‘spruced up’, it seems, in Photoshop) have the same thought process and technique as his digital paintings do, and vice versa. His digital work has an authenticity that can only stem from his traditional work. His work never underestimates the ability of the user’s eye – his work is perfectly balanced in detail, knowing full well that the human eye can only see so much at once. His pieces aren’t over worked, but instead focus nicely on compositional elements that really bring beauty to the audience’s eyes without getting tired. It bothers me sometimes when artists treat the entirety of their pieces with the same amount of rendering and detail. Simpson never makes that mistake.
His work is known for its simplicity, boldness and mastery of brushwork. He is remembered by many painters as a very encouraging teacher.
He had one daughter, Elizabeth Wesson
Thank GOD, I really was wondering if he had offspring and what his student’s thought of him – THAT is good news. His work is, however, simplistic, bold, and masterful so at least they got that part right.
But seriously, these paintings are very charming. They are simple in their shape design and usage of colors. You won’t see layers upon layers here, but clear cut silhouettes matched with strong pen work on top. He is a typical watercolorist, finding the minimum amount of information to describe his topic so as to never overwork. My favorite part is his simple outlines sometimes used in pen, it really gives them an illustrative feel, especially the renderings on shadows. I think it takes them from normal watercolors to impressive pieces. One of the best pieces I found on him was a study of a house (shown below) done in multiple weather conditions -notice the temperature differences on the white house (hint: it looks cooler in warm weather, interestingly enough).
So, like the doofus that I am, I never uploaded the images I took during my time volunteering with Nuart 2013 in Stavanger. These images give me such a wonderful tingle when I see them again now, almost 5 months later, because it was such a fantastic experience. Helping out some of the industry’s best artists for a whole week make some huge, massive art on walls outside was exactly what I want to do with my life. Granted, I could have done without the rain, and less menial tasks such given to lowly volunteers such as myself, but at least I got free food out of it. (And a HUGE thanks to Martyn Reed and the artists for giving me permission to take photos and post them to my tiny, insignificant blog and also for making me feel so welcome!) If anyone is interested in urban art, then Stavanger is like a holy land of sorts – the entire city is covered. Many of these pieces were either local or left over from previous Nuart Festivals, so the whole city is simply covered! I really loved to take pictures of all the tags and art allover the city – from big wall pieces to tiny,mindless scribbles. It has a fantastic dynamic.
Nuart normally takes place in the beginning of September, and I highly recommend a visit!
This is only about 1/6 of what I took, but I lost my memory stick somewhere in Bergen a week later…..sigh. Guess I’ll just have to take them again next year…