Strange Days Have Found Us

The Surreal Art Of Danny Van Ryswyk

Amsterdam based artist Danny van Ryswyk creates these dark and surreal artworks, where the old victorian photography and computer manipulation are mixed together in an out-worldly sense of obscure absurdity. He finds something mysterious in the aspect of decay, like a “peephole where you can see another dimension.”

Strange Days Have Found Us


Danny has been a commercial photo-realistic illustrator for many years and started working in this field with airbrush and acrylics in 1993.

I was specialized in packaging illustrations and have made countless illustrations of fruit, candies, cookies, anything you can think of that is put on a package and can be bought in the supermarket. I also studied the painting methods of the Dutch Old Masters and did practice these ancient oil painting techniques. I think it is very important to have a fundamental background in traditional arts and its materials before moving on to digital art.

White Rabbit

An important part in the creation of his artworks was the strange UFO encounter that he and his mother had when he was a kid. This made a huge impact on his future artworks, leading him to seek a connection between our world and the extraterrestrial existence, spiritualism and everything that goes beyond the scientific explanation.


The Wondrous

I always start my work in 3D and never make a sketch. I just visualize the image and work from there. ZBrush is the 3D program I work with. It is a very advanced artist orientated ‘sculpting’ software. It works almost like real clay. You start with nothing, a simple shape and then you start sculpting. ZBrush is used a lot for special effects Hollywood movies as well. It is an organic modeling software tool, and allows complete freedom of expression. The sculpture is then brought over to another 3D application where I set-up lighting, cameras, texture, and often some more modeling. Many tests with positions and lighting are performed. When I am completely satisfied I render the whole scene in b&w. This render is then brought over to Photoshop where I start painting and refining the image for as long as needed till I get what I have in mind. It is a very time consuming process, and in most ways very traditional in painting and sculpting techniques. That’s why it is so important to have this background, as the computer will not make things any easier for an artist, it is just a tool. The final work is printed in-house as a giclee pigment print on archival paper. I think it is one of the most beautiful and archival printing methods that is available to artists today.

The Empress of Poison

(courtesy of Danny Van Ryswyk)

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