This Sci-Fi Guru Can Draw

I'm totally a sci-fi junkie and H.R. Giger is truly a master artist in the genre of fantastic realism. I first came across his work through his designs for Alien. Lately, with the release of Prometheus, his art came up on my radar again.

Now, his work is…out there. His style is so unique that it has its own term: biomechanical, where human bodies and machines enmesh. And yes, there is a bit of a "yig" factor to some of his work, but in terms of execution? He's amazing.

H.R. Giger has an amazing way of manipulating a very limited color palate into an extraordinary range of color.
H.R. Giger has an amazing way of manipulating a very limited
color palette into an extraordinary range of color.

I always assumed that his artworks were predominately pencil drawings. The monochromatic gradation he's known for seemed like it could only be made with a drawing pencil. But I was off. In fact, Giger often used an airbrush to create his grisaille paintings and now draws mostly in pastel or ink.

Galerie Carré Blanc by H.R. Giger, (drawing from the 700 Years of Waiting series),  1991, ink drawing on transcop.
Galerie Carré Blanc by H.R. Giger, (drawing
from the 700 Years of Waiting series), 
1991, ink drawing on transcop.

What's most intriguing about Giger's career is that he started out as a "regular" two-dimensional artist, working on paper, but that was just the beginning. He took the objects and visions of his imagination, probably made pencil drawing or a pen and ink drawing of them, and then his artistic world kind of exploded around him. He did album covers, architectural designs, a museum, and movie after movie. But it all started with drawing pencil sketches in a notebook just like the rest of us work. 

Giger's artistic trajectory shows how drawing can be such a catalyst for artists–a starting point for amazing work and growth if we really commit to it. Our latest Drawing 2011 CD gives you all of Drawing magazine's issues for an entire year in one disc. As I was browsing through it I realized, yet again, just how wild drawing is–how many unusual and curious as well as skillful works are being done with pencil drawings, charcoal, and more. Enjoy discovering that wider world for yourself–and putting your own mark on it!


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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.