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Skulls and Skeletons: The Art of Vlad Gradobyk

A drawing of a skeleton with wingsUntitled

Artist and illustrator Vlad Gradobyk uses bones as a motif, creating beautifully detailed illustrations of skulls and skeletons. The artist uses a dense, layered cross-hatching technique to produce images with an aesthetic similar to antique lithograph prints.

A drawing of two drunk skeletonsUntitled

There’s a wonderful -- and perhaps paradoxical -- sense of life in Gradobyk’s artworks. His skeletal figures are pictured eating, drinking, riding horseback, and performing various other activities that give the impression of life being lived to its fullest. There’s an incredible amount of detail in each of the works. The artist tends to focus on a central figure in his compositions, but that figure is often surrounded by objects and contextual details that serve to build a rich narrative scene. 


Some of the artists works take a more blended, softer approach, building up shadows with a smudged charcoal effect rather than cross-hatching. This style allows for dramatic depictions of ravens and other classic gothic motifs.

A drawing of a skull with a crow nesting in its crownUntitled

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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