Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A common influence... maybe: Dorian Cleavenger


There are times that I wander into genres that I personally wouldn't work in but admire those who do. Perhaps it is due to the fact that it's completely opposite of the subject matter and even color palette that I work in but I sometimes find myself drawn towards the works of those who specialize in the genre of dark fantasy. One such artist is Gerald Brom (which I mentioned back in late September) but another is Dorian Cleavenger.

"Dance of the Dragon" by Dorian Cleavenger
Originally starting off as a free lance artist for large companies at the start of his career, Dorian Cleavenger soon broke off and started producing images of his own. As an acrylic painter, the medium allowed him to work quickly to create pieces in his unique style of nearly realistic feeling fantasy imagery. It didn't take long for his popularity and fame to go world wide as word spread through publications of his work, starting in Germany followed by South Africa, China, Russia, Belgium and the United States. There are some who would also consider him one of the top dark erotica artists due to the common theme of suggested sexuality in many of his pieces.

When it comes to dark fantasy, it's always difficult to really tell who might have been influenced by a single person or not. It's mainly due to the fact that many tend to blend the inspiration and influences from a handful of artists into their work. Even with this bit of a challenge, I went about my search and picked out 5 artists to ask my question:

“With your beautiful creations, I was wondering if perhaps the dark fantasy artist Dorian Cleavenger was in some way one of your sources of inspiration. “

"Present for Caroline" by Cathrine Nodet
A digital artist located in France, Catherine has a dark though elegant flare to her work. Mainly doing commissions for clients which results in some beautiful character concepts, she has done book covers for a couple of indie writers such as Lynn Perretta and Wendy Tyler Ryan. With a soft touch, her works make the viewer want to know more about the characters she has created or take the route of tossing that information out and making stories of their own. It's perhaps the fact that there is a glow of some sort in her pieces that causes her digital paintings to come to 'life' in some way.
"No sorry not at all!
Instead artists like Mélanie Delon, Linda Bergkvist, Luis Royo, Boris Valejo... and many classical painters. ^^" ~Catherine Nodet

SteveArgyle.deviantart.com (United States)
"Praetor's Grasp" by Steve Argyle
Professional digital artist living in the United States, Steve Argyle is one of the favorites of deviantART. Balancing between bloody and beautiful, he uses a deep rich color palette along with a hefty helping of shadows which is perfectly countered by an ethereal glow which pushes the envelope just enough. His subject matter usually consists of fantasy and scifi with creations of his own imagination and a healthy dose of Star Wars Universe characters to help fill things out.
"Yep, that guy is pretty awesome." ~Steve Argyle

"Dead Birds" by Lizzy John
Lizzy-John.deviantart.com (United States)
Also located in the United States, digital artist Lizzy focuses mostly in the fantasy genre. Presenting characters of her own imagination that are often for other projects she's involved with or concepts that come to her. Her choice of color palette actually depends on the subject matter she's working on but blues, greys and yellows seem to be a theme in her earlier pieces where as more recently she has started using more pinks and brown tones.
"Nope, never heard of him before this note. After a google search I can say that while we've got a similar dark fantasy theme going on, much of his work is more sexual than anything I've ever done. He's obviously got a lot of skill, though.
Thanks for the kind words!" ~Lizzy



There has been 2 artists who have yet been able to contact me so as always, I present to you examples of their work so that you can decide on your own if they were influenced in some way by Dorian Cleavenger.
"Warrior Mermaid" by Michelle Monique

A photographer in the United States, Michelle has already risen up in the ranks on deviantART in a short period of time with her concepts and pictures. All of her work is photography (of course) but there are a portion of them which are enhanced digitally in order to get the feeling she's after. This can be seen in her works where her model is cosplaying as a game or movie character. She does have a list of her clients and the awards she has received posted on her journal which impressive to see considering she is still fairly young in the community.
"Eros and Thanathos" by Sara Forlenza



Digital artist living in Italy, Sara's works seem to be an even divide between fantasy and scifi. From Star Wars to World of Warcraft (WoW) and her own character creations, she shows an amazing amount of action and emotion in her pieces. It's thanks to her unique style that each piece seems so dark yet vibrant at the same time. 


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