art-of-sm (12k image)Stephen Silver is an artist who worked on the character design of such seminal TV series as Kevin Smith’s Clerks and Disney’s Kim Possible. This book collects many of his early drawings as a caricature artist as well as designs for animated series, including Nickelodeon’s upcoming Crash Nebula and previously unpublished sketches and designs for Clerks. The 160 pages of the book are chock full of portraits, caricatures, paintings displaying an amazing range of styles, from the modern animation works to retro drawings remindful of Jack Davis and other Mad artists, to the unique stylish portraits in the footprints of Al Hirschfeld.

hock (11k image)art-of-sm (12k image)ss (8k image)Of particular interest are the designs for Silver’s own comic book series, soon to be an animated series: Wildlife Force. These drawings showcase Silver’s ability to create living, breathing characters with just a few simple lines.

Silver’s economy of lines is even more evident in his series of portraits, reminiscent of the glorious days of UPA. It’s hard to believe that the same artist can go from the hyperrealistic details of his commercial illustrations to the simple elegance of these paintings.

Despite his versatility, Silver has developed his own style, as evident in a stunning series of heads drawn on long strips of paper.
It’s a style that retains the immediacy of a sketch while achieving the polished look of a finished drawings. You can see Silver’s love for the human figure, particularly the infinite variety of expressions of the face, pouring out from each of these pictures.

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After browsing through the thousands of drawings in this book, you’d think it collects every single doodle that Silver ever made, but there is more stuff coming: The Art of Silver is the first of a series of volumes. You can have a sneak peek of the rest of the artist’s production at his website: SilverToons, where you can also purchse this fantastic volume for $40.