The fanciful drawings of Sam Branton often feature pastoral landscapes and wild animals, co-existing in situations that seem ripped out of storybooks. The soft-edged, yet detailed style of his pencil adds a surreal quality to the work. “I would like the drawings to appear to be, at first glance, as an old cartoon, perhaps an illustration of a fable or a mythological story,“ the artist said, in an interview with Antlers Gallery last year.
Branton is currently part of the show “Primordial Soup” at James Freeman Gallery in the U.K. In the show, Branton, ceramics artist Carolein Smit, painter Chris Berens, and painter James Mortimer explore dreamlike worlds together. Or, as the gallery says, for these artists, “unfettered magical thinking sits at the core of their artistic practice, allowing them to tap into hidden ideas and give some shape to things that don’t make sense.”
The show runs through Oct. 8. Branton cites the Northern Renaissance as a major influence in his work, and he prefers to use colored pencil to achieve both the mythological and cinematic qualities of his vision. Below, check out additional examples of the bold, fantastical scenes he concocts.