Beauty is subjective.
It is rare for two people to have the same thoughts on a piece of art. I think that makes the concept of art as beautiful as the works it produces.
So! I’ve compiled 25 beautiful, loosely anime art styled images to share with whoever wishes to read this post, and while you may not agree with my views on each work exactly, I do hope you may share in the beauty regardless.
Dhiea — The Light That Melts a Frozen World…
Dhiea is an artist with many talents. Not only can she draw, but she has written a poem that matches her artworks. I am personally quite grateful to the poem, as the characters Dhiea draws are those within the poem. Pause: The Incomplete Ideology Poem, to be precise. The starring characters are Dhiea and Mo Seville, and their life is reflected in the art.
I love the way the light source is not the moon in this image, which is black, but the lower sky. In some aspects, it throws off Dhiea’s shadowing a little bit, but for the most part, it’s done quite well.
El-Zheng — Water Odyssey
Water Odyssey is an illustration for the Eternita: Forgotten Melody picture book, which goes with the CD, I believe. I don’t know much about it besides the fact that it produces some beautiful illustrations from various artists. I knew I wanted at least one of them in this list, and I selected El-Zheng’s because I admire his underwater coloring, as wel as his perspective, and his depiction of the girls themselves.
ALPHONSE — Makinami EVA-2010
I personally haven’t seen Evangelion, but I do like Makinami, even if she’s a total Kotoha (Yozakura Quartet) ripoff. I think she has a nice uniform, and I like her hair band. Anyway, I picked this Illustrious illustration because, as with the last two, I really like the way the lighting is done. And I think it’s relatively rare to see a girl actually affected by her surroundings, in this case the sun.
Artists tend to draw their character and mold the background around them, so it’s good to see a break from that every now and then. I also really like Maki’s pose. Her hand curled under like that looks exceptionally nice.
JaneMere — Atelier
JaneMere’s Atelier is her submission for Pixiv’s Oekaki Musume 2009 (お絵描き娘2009 is the tag), which I believe will be an artbook? All of the works generated from the event are amazing, but this was one of my favorites. Many of the illustrations took on fantastic elements, such as this work’s floating paint pots, which is one of the reasons why I love it so much.
JaneMere has a very paint-like style, and it shows quite clearly in this illustration. A painted painter painting!
ky692 — ＊＊☆＊＊
The other favorite of mine from Oekaki Musume 2009 was this. I think there is a certain beauty in simplicity, and while I wouldn’t call this work “simple” overall, the art style itself is very much so.
Beyond the art style, it’s the complexity of the image itself that I love. Fish, marching from their stations on the canvas to new life in the air. Water dripping like paint, blooming flowers and empty stems. It’s not as complex as it could be, but it certainly has multiple facets.
VOFAN — Light feed
If you know me at all, you had to know I’d sneak a Vofan artwork into the mix. I’ve loved Vofan since before Vofan’s work was even very good. He has a talent for lightning that I don’t even need to go into, and his character designs and outfits are superb.
What struck me in particular about this image was, for one, the setting. You don’t see girls lying on trunks every day. Additionally, I like her pose, as plain as it may be, and I really like Vofan’s new focus effects. He has started blurring the edges of the image to bring attention to the girls’ faces, and I think it works well. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing the entire, sharp image though.
Umiu Geso — World of Fairies
Goodness, what can I say about this work? Fairies of all the important species (and more) congregating in one place! I like the fairies’ designs; the valkyrie-type especially. I also like that the focal point is in the middle, but the image still works well around it, which seems to be somewhat rare. Additionally, detail is given to the edges as much as anywhere else, which I appreciate.
As a sidenote, the full version of the image on this site is a scaled version of the actual image. Please check out pixiv for the full, full version.
Eiri Akikawa — 。*:゜☆piano☆゜:。*。
From the title, I assume the girls are playing a piano. Or are in a piano? Or something to do with a piano! I don’t know, but it’s interesting. I generally prefer smoother linearts, but I think the concept beats the lines in this image (even if I’m not entirely certain what the concept is). The artist could have done the hands better though.
Ukai Saki — When You’ve Finished Eating Alt Heidelberg
This rendition of Tooko from Bungaku Shoujo is one that I have mentioned on my personal blog many times, and I still love it every time I see it. The focal point is the girl, but the background of books attracts attention. And the large moon. I don’t know the entire story of Bungaku Shoujo, but she seems to be happy, and that happiness connects with the audience, I feel.
To explain the title, Bungaku Shoujo is a story about a girl who eats books, and Alt Heidelberg is a novel by Wilhelm Meyer-Förster. Also scaled slightly, so you know.
Sino — Saya’s Song
Tokido Saya from Little Busters!. I haven’t played the game, but from what I understand, Saya’s story is a sad one. I enjoy seeing such a peaceful Saya, and Sino’s art and coloring style is excellent, especially lately. I think Saya’s torso could afford to be slightly longer, but the hair coloring job and the overall atmosphere of the image cancel that issue.
Goto P — Reading Girl
Goto P isn’t an artist that needs a lot of introduction. His work is known many places on the internet, and even those who don’t know who he is have generally seen some of his work somewhere. I like this piece especially though, because I think it emphasizes the delicate joy of reading, and the lighting effect on her hair is nice.
Hara — eternal
Hara is an artist who likes to do small things, likes to do big things, and, overall, likes to do beautiful things. Hara’s soft detailing creates a very subtle beauty, which I personally love looking at. I think my favorite things about this image are the glow of the sword and the ability to think that the boy is stabbing her, though he is not. Which is what I thought when I first saw the thumbnail on pixiv.
Though that might just be me.
kb — The Abstract [World] on the Desk
This is not the kind of image I would try to judge from the thumbnail. Because it’s also the kind of image that has a lot going on. A dragon burning Len Kagamine (Vocaloid), Pokemon in the air; this desktop is a busy place!
kentaro — Cities
Well, here’s a scenic image that my preview does nothing for. The detailing on these buildings is magnificent, the tapestries provide a dash of color to the otherwise pale grey, and the light shining down emphasizes everything that isn’t a building. But my favorite part of this image has to be the birds made from light.
Simosi — Nap
This is an old image. It’s also an image I’ve admired for a while. Fall themed images are a favorite of mine, as I love the colors and the other elements of fall. For instance, squirrels (rare to see in art) and fall fruits and nuts. There’s something very homey about this sort of stuff for me, and a drowsy girl thrown into the mix? That’s close to perfect harmony. Fall is brisk, but it can also be lazy.
Master Bimo — Byun Byun
The sound of something moving by quickly is the title. Hmm? I don’t quite understand this one. Unless maybe the idea is that someone (or something) is rushing by and happened to catch sight of this scene as they passed. Regardless, I think the artwork itself is pleasant.
I like the rough jungle. That sort of thing isn’t something you generally run into. I also like the rough look of the jungle’s inhabitant, as well as her solidarity in the world. The quality could be slightly better in this image, but I won’t complain. Also, this is slightly scaled/reduced in quality. See the artist’s site for a better one.
k — If You Were Here With Me
Here’s a change from the scenic beauties I’ve been talking about. I like the simplicity of this image. A girl in a sundress, standing in front of an incomplete sky. The sunglasses attached to her back provide a dash of something new that brings the image full circle. Small things that complete an image are wonderful.
M-ca — Stardust Leash
The stardust effect is basically what makes this image beautiful. Though I like the girl’s calm expression as well. Sound Horizon produces some nice artwork.
Mubouou Aasaa — Boots, Sneakers, and a Red Ribbon
Clothing design: Simple, detailed, edgy; awesome. Character walking away from the audience. Lighting that emphasizes the more unique parts about the clothing design. Streaks of bright amidst the black and white. This is why it’s beautiful.
Fuzi Choko — A Girl’s Journey and the Yet Unseen World
A girl embarking on a journey! What fun! Fuzi Choko works always include colorful detail and a lot to look at. My favorite part of this particular image, and the reason that I selected it, is the coloring on the train.
Also, image is scaled, see the artist’s website for the full version, etc.
Cait — Miku ((♪))
I’m sick of Miku Hatsune’s design, along withthe rest of the Vocaloid cast, but this image stood out for whatever reason. The best thing I can pinpoint about it is the headphone design, a type that I have a particular fondness for, and the eye coloring.
Hana Mizu — It Would Be Nice If We Meet Again
This artist is very special to me, for reasons I don’t understand. This image isn’t a scenic wonder, it doesn’t play with color or lighting. There isn’t one certain thing that stands out and makes it beautiful, but for some reason it speaks to me and has spoken to me since the day I discovered it on pixiv.
I think that there is another, less well-recognized, side to beauty. Not one that speaks to the senses, but to the viewer’s heart (that sounds cheesy, I’m sorry). An images ability to grab the reader is a special kind of beauty that stands out more than what first hits the eyes.
Coffee Kizoku — Kula Diamond
I’m not familiar with this character, but I do think she’s drawn well here. I believe those shards are ice? I selected this image to reflect that even images that focus close in on the character, the opposite of a scenic image, can be as beautiful as the scenic selections.
Though, you have to like the art style to begin with. (Which I do here.)
Hagiwara Rin — Forest Green
Every now and then, images will be able to make an art enthusiast, or even a regular viewer gasp. This is one of those times. It’s a relatively simple image of green and white, but the execution kills me. I think in this case, the art needs to speak for itself, and the viewer has to form their own opinion.
Poko — First in Line, Please Follow Me
And to wind it up, I’ll introduce Poko, an artist I’ve followed for a long time. Poko seems to specialize in modified Japanese dress; short kimono-like outfits would be the best description I can come up with. Maybe there is a more proper name, but I don’t know it. And this traditional dress is offset by thigh high socks and boots, which create an enjoyable contrast.
I also like Poko’s color choice and imagination. Whatever that strange creature is, it intrigues me, as does the setting and the character. What brought her to that place? Being able to string the viewer along with your mysteries is quite a skill for an artist to have. It makes the viewer want more.
Again, I say, that beauty is subjective.
One person may look at an artwork and be overwhelmed, while another may sneer in disgust. Interpretations vary; art schools and debates were born from that fact. But essentially, a truly beautiful image will be able to speak to more than just one person. A truly beautiful image will be able to communicate its point to many viewers.
Truly beautiful art, I believe, can speak for itself. It will not always communicate the same message to everyone, but it will communicate something.
And just as a note…there is nice art out there. Sometimes we just have to look for it.
Header image by ccru.