I picked up this print by Vincent Fleming a few years ago at an art fair. Fleming is an artist from Alton, Illinois who does mainly fantasy art, but this piece caught my eye because it’s an octopus, one of my favorite animals.
His art is probably considered more fine art than illustration, however, I kind of consider him an illustrator because most of the pieces I have seen seem to be telling a story (and probably would work for book illustrations). However, Fleming himself considers his art as simply art for entertainment's sake. A quote from his (rather poorly designed) website states, "If you should purchase one of his works or a print he wants you to enjoy it as much as he enjoyed painting it."
Some of his other work seems a bit cheesy to me, yet I really like this scene because it’s so dramatic. There is a lot of movement in this piece, and it has a lot to do with how he composed the image. My eyes are drawn through the image from the octopus’s eye, to the ship, and to his tentacle. There is a nice line from the octopus, through the ship (which points to his tentacle), and towards the lightening.
I really like the texture of the water in this image. Fleming seems to know how to represent forms with just a few brush strokes rather than over blending or complicating an image. I also like how the water, ship and octopus are more realistic while the sky is more of abstract color splotches. He seems to have a good sense of light, and the highlighting on the octopus’s arm is nice. The color palate is also a good choice. The cool tones add to the ominous mood.