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Descent On Gotham City (canvas) by Alex Ross
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Alex Ross is widely considered to be one of the most pre-eminent and well-respected comic book artists in the history of the field.
History and Background
Masterfully blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, Ross takes a medium traditionally equipped with two dimensions and gives it the illusion of a third; bringing a new perspective and style to comic book illustration that had never been fully realised in the genre previously. His time at the American Academy of Art revealed to Ross his unique ability to draw photo-realistically, by eye – something his comic book art is now synonymous with. Working almost exclusively in watercolour gouache, Ross strives to make his work “fully believable”. Praised for his life-like human depictions, his rendering style, his attention to detail and composition, Ross is often referred to as the “Norman Rockwell of comics” – bringing the characters he draws to life, and imbuing them with a new energy and spirit, one might have seen Superman or Batman a hundred times, but one does not really know these characters until seeing them illustrated by Alex Ross. Ross’ inimitable style, his expert use of light and shadow, the dramatic composition and command of figural motion all make art by Alex Ross some of the most sought after across the comic book and fine art fields.
Ideas and Inspirations
Even as a three year old boy, Ross was regularly illustrating, replicating life as he saw it. Encouraged by his artist mother and admiring his ministerial father’s moral framework, Ross pursued his passion for drawing and quickly fell in love with the notion of superheroes. Colourful dynamic characters performing fantastic and heroic deeds for the greater good ignited a passion within him, and into his teens and early-adulthood he began to take his draftmanship more seriously; researching and admiring the work of comic book illustrators George Perez and Berni Wrightson before his education took him to the American Academy of Art, where he discovered and was influenced by the work of Salvador Dali, Norman Rockwell, Andrew Loomis and J. C. Leyendecker. It was these formative years and exposure to range of comic book illustrators, styles and contemporary artists that have nurtured, developed and shaped Ross’ natural talent such that he is now one of the most respected and admired comic book artists in the world, with more than 1,000 pages and covers for DC Comics and Marvel to his name.
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