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Guido and George's incredible art

Guido Daniele's Eagle HandAmazingly clever, isn't it? We were intrigued when we first saw this image (at left). It reminded us of those comical hand shadows resembling rabbits, cats and other animals that we used to project on to our children's bedroom walls at night.

It's the work of a versatile and talented commercial artist, Guido Daniele, of Milan, Italy.

In the early 1990s he won fame for his "body painting" illustrations for advertisements by several globally-known companies. To produce eye-catching ads for a chocolate maker, he covered the bodies of attractive models with the client's products.

Now he has successfully combined two traditional portrait techniques, photography and oil painting, to produce six enhanced "hand" images, which have to be seen to be believed. Don't just take our word for that. See them for yourself by visiting the Guido Daniele website (listed below).

Asked about those marvellous hand paintings, Guido, using a keyboard without the letter J (J, K, W, X and Y are not part of the standard Italian alphabet) replied:

Thank you very much for your appreciation; the hands-animals-painted were a Leo Burnett project in Milano ( Italy ), the art-director called me and asked me if whose possible for me to paint hands as a different animals ....i say "of course", but not every animal...so I advise which whose best.

We decide to start with a good photographer , a good model and every day I've paint different subyect just looking some photos printed on paper . Later , my yob whose retouched by computer just a little : as the elephant tooth.

Cheers, Guido.

Rock SandwichIn the United States, another clever artist, George Witham, of Townsend, Massachusetts, collects rocks along the New England shore, and paints them to resemble various objects he imagines they resemble.

A story on his website says he began painting rocks 12 years ago, after his 13-year old daughter held up one she had found at the beach, and remarked how much it looked like a shoe.

George painted the rock to look like a blue running sneaker, complete with white shoelaces and racing stripes.

He chooses rocks smoothed by the surf and therefore ideal for painting. He doesn't attach anything to the rock or chisel pieces away, preferring to work with the natural shape.

The story continues:

The natural imperfections, such as chips, streaks or holes, often work to his advantage. A rock with one edge broken off became the half-eaten side of an apple.

Usually, George must study a rock for quite some time before deciding on a subject. Then he draws an outline on the rock in pencil to get a feel for the proportion. He uses acrylic to paint the actual image, then adds a protective coat of clear acrylic varnish. Witham has found that a layer of glossy varnish followed by a layer of dull varnish gives the rock a soft look, ideal for animal fur or feathers. Glossy varnish can produce the look of metal (the crushed soda can), or an animal's eyes and cold, wet nose.

George's work has been sold in crafts and fine art shops. Many of his painted rocks are owned by fellow workers at the Massachusetts company where he works as a graphic artist. Others have been sent to remote corners of the globe.

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Story first posted February 2006

Copyright 2006

Eric Shackle

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