Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Illustration Friday - Invention

When you say invention , the first person I would have in my mind like probably the best inventor has name Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). He is best remembered as the painter of the Mona Lisa (1503-1506) and The Last Supper (1495) . But he's almost equally famous for his astonishing multiplicity of talents, he is celebrated as the inventor of extraordinary machines and mechanical devices that entered our culture several centuries after his death : he dabbled in architecture, sculpture, engineering, geology, hydraulics and the military arts, all with success, and in his spare time doodled parachutes and flying machines that resembled inventions of the 19th and 20th centuries. Unfortunately, many of his scientific projects were never completed. He recorded his technical notes and sketches in numerous notebooks. After Leonardo's death, Francesco Melzi, his favourite student, brought many of his manuscripts and drawings back to Italy. In fact, Leonardo's manuscripts are today nothing like the way they appeared and were grouped together during his lifetime. Pompeo Leoni, a sculptor at the court of the King of Spain, split up the original manuscripts, cut and pasted pages and created two separate collections.
One is now called the "Codex Atlanticus". This Codex, kept in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, today consists of twelve leather-bound volumes, comprising 1,119 supports which gather together pages of different sizes, contains some of Leonardo's most famous drawings and notes.

There is a my contribution to this week theme , done in sepia ink and with watercolor pencil.
In Leonardo’s day, systems for working at a deep level underwater were already being studied. Leonardo devised a leather diving suit. Cane hoses fixed together by leather joints enabled the diver to breathe through intake/outake valve. Steel spirals were inserted into the joints so as to prevent them from being crushed by the pressure of the water. The tubes used for breathing stuck out of the water and were held in place and protected by a dedicated cork floating device which served as a buoy. Leonardo also came up with webbed gloves and flippers which are very similar to the flippers now used by frogmen.
This photo is from summer 2006 exhibition in Slovak National Museum - Leonardo Da Vinci -curious genius , which was based right on "Codex Atlanticus" (exactly on 68 pages only and 21 models) . It is european project of itinerant exhibition in cooperation with Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy and various cultural institutes and UNESCO. It is worth of visiting it !
Leonardo wrote in Italian using a special kind of shorthand that he invented himself. People who study his notebooks have long been puzzled by something else, however. He usually used "mirror writing", starting at the right side of the page and moving to the left. Only when he was writing something intended for other people did he write in the normal direction.This practice contributed to his discoveries and observations remaining unread and undisseminated for centuries after his death.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Illustration Friday - Smoke

The topic at Illustration Friday this week is 'smoke'.

Watercolor and woodless color pencil Progresso (both Koh-I-Noor).