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Benjamin Mitchley is a South African fine artist, born on 1 January 1967 in the Free State, South Africa. He matriculated from Welkom High School in 1984 and studied fine arts from 1985 to 1987 at the Vaal University of Technology and Tshwane University of Technology. He is a full-time freelance fine artist, scenic artist, illustrator, 2D digital animator, poet and writer. He does commissions and collaboration in fine art painting, scenic painting, illustration, and 2D digital animation. Since 2003 he exhibited his work in South Africa, and in the same year received his first international exposure with the help of South African Artists online gallery. He had his first international art exhibition in Munich and Hof, in Germany during 2005 and 2006. Since then he gained support from several buyers in Europe, America and South Africa. He furthered his scenic experience while working in Dubai on the IBN Battuta shopping mall during 2004 and 2006, a sculpture project for the Dubai Municipality horse museum in 2007 and a mural painting project at the Dubai IMG Worlds of Adventure indoor theme park in 2016. In Johannesburg, he worked on a scenic project during the first phase of Monte Casino's East-End Teatro in 2007 and created backdrops for television adverts at Golden Island Studios in 2013. Since 2010, as a self-taught animator, he received contract work to create a short film for a SABC documentary and several animation collaboration projects for corporation info-graphics. In 2013 he received a first-place award by the Iheed institute for a medical animation competition. Poetry and writing developed from his fine art, illustration and animation creations, in the form of comic books, animated poems and an illustrated poetry eBook. His search for new ideas and experimentation with new techniques, styles and media is ongoing.
My Work Process
Painting: With a pencil, I draw onto the canvas the outline of the image from which I am working. I start filling the canvas with paint medium until all areas of the canvas are completely covered. Once dry, I continue to add layers of paint medium until I've achieved the desired detail. A few months after drying, l will add a mixture of damar varnish on oil paintings as a protective layer. It brings out the richness in the colour. A similar acrylic medium is applied to acrylic paintings for the same reason. Reference images used for my paintings are from my photographs taken in my surroundings.
I create my digital artwork using design and art software such as Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, Clip Studio Paint EX, Krita, Artrage and Mypaint. I use a digital pen and a 22-U-mini Bosto intuitive monitor to create on. It mimics the feeling of creating a traditional artwork, whether it be drawing or painting. I consider the creative input, the hours spent and costs on this type of work similar to that of a traditional media.
Animation: I create my animation using digital animation software (Moho Pro, Harmony Advanced, Toon Boom Animate, Toon Boom Studio, Clip Studio Paint EX, Krita and Open Toonz). The style of work depends on what I and the client would like to achieve. My main style of work is 2D cut-out and 2D digital animation. For a 2D cut-out style, I would photograph and scan the artwork into photo editing software and create layers by cutting out each moving part. In the animation software these parts are given bones, and sometimes a mesh warp, to help them achieve the movement I would like to see. Sometimes I create an animation before a script evolves. I would see a moving image in my imagination, create it and build a story around it.
Awards and Competitions: 2012 Vuleka competition, SA Art Times Merit Award.
The Iheed Animation 1st place Award, Oct. 2013.
Sanlam Vuleka Exhibition, 2003
Sanlam Vuleka Exhibition, 2004
Obz Art Walk, 2003
SoulPIE Exhibition - 38 Special Art Gallery, Cape Town,2003
Aroma Cafe, Loop street, Cape Town, 2003
Granny Feel Goods, Main Road, Green Point Cape Town, 2003
'Picasso' Red art gallery, Steenburg village, Tokai, 2003
Strada restaurant, Munich, 2005/2006
Koenig Bistro, Munich, 2006
Hof Christmas market, Germany, 2006
The Studio art gallery, Clarens, 2007
Richard Renni gallery, Clarens, 2007
Solo Exhibition,Spirit, The Arts Association of Bellville, Cape Town, 2008
'My Country, My Land', Hyde Park Gallery, Johannesburg, 2009
'Green,Organic,Nature,Nurture', Hyde Park,Jhb. Food and Trees for Africa, 2009
'Gallery On The Side' Four Ways, Johannesburg, 2010/2014
Sanlam Vuleka Exhibition, 2012, Merit award
2nd Annual Group Miniature Exhibition, Art Lovers 1932 Gallery, 9 May 2013
In celebration of Portugal Day, Group Exhibition, Art Lovers 1932, 8 June 2013
Don't let that Horse, Ode to Chagall, Group Exhibition, Art Lovers 1932, 25 June 2013
Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg 2013
Art Lovers 1932 - Erotica group exhibition 19 Sept to 2 Oct.
Art Lovers 1932 - Mixed Media Duo exhibition with Johan van Staden in conjunction with Gordon Froud - Alice in Wonderland group exhibition, 3 Oct. to 16 Oct. 2013
The Alfred Mall Gallery, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, 2014
Gallery On The Side Four Ways, Johannesburg, 2014
Pretoria Art Association members exhibition, 2016
Annual Group Miniature Exhibition, Art Lovers 1932 Gallery, 2017
Solo exhibition, Moments, Trent gallery, Pretoria, 20 April 2018
at Midnight' group exhibition, Johann van Heerden Art Gallery, Pretoria, 1 to 17 June 2018.
'Unexpected' group exhibition, The Viewing Room Art Gallery, St Lorient, 492 Fehrsen St, Brooklyn, Pretoria 27 July to 15 September 2018.
'Indestructible', group exhibition, Trent Gallery 31 Aug. to 13 Sept. 2018.
'Spring' group exhibition, Long Street Art Lovers 1932, 13 September to 11 October 2018.
Solo 'Moments', Johann van Heerden Gallery, 13 Sept. to 30 Sept. 2018.
Comic Con Africa, 14, 15, 16 Sept. 2018.
End year A5 Group Exhibition, Johann van Heerden Gallery, 1 December 2018.
'Postcards from the edge' group exhibition, Johann van Heerden Gallery, 20 January to 18 February 2019.
Solo 'Characters & Concepts', Long Street Art Lovers 1932, 31 January to 12 February 2019.
'Ophelia' group exhibition, Trent Gallery, 1 to 14 March 2019.
'Language of Light' an exhibition of photography, Long Street Art Lovers 1932, 14 March to 26 March 2019.
'Magnificent Moving Machines' Group Exhibition 31 March to 14 April 2019.
FanCon, Capetown, 27 -28 April 2019.
Solo 'Characters & Concepts', Johann van Heerden Gallery, 1 to 27 June 2019.
'Landscapes of my childhood', Johann van Heerden Gallery, 14 July - 2 August 2019.
'Winter Sale', Johann van Heerden Gallery, 4 to 28 August 2019.
Comic Con Africa, 21 to 24 September 2019.
Fine Arts - Gauteng
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