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 SouthAfricanArtists.com
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 (2004 and 2006), a sculpture project for the Dubai Municipality horse museum (2007) and mural work at the Dubai IMG Worlds of Adventure indoor theme park (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 animation collaboration projects for corporation info-graphic material. In 2013 he received a first place award for a medical animation
competition for the Iheed institute. Poetry and writing
developed from his fine art, illustration and animation creations, in the form of webcomics, animated poems and illustrated poetry eBooks. His search for new ideas and experimentation with new techniques, styles and media is ongoing.
My Work Process
With 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 canvas is 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 own 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.
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. Iheed Animation 1st place Award, Oct. 2013.
Feel free to contact Benjamin with regards to creative work, commissions, collaboration, teaching or advice. If you are interested in purchasing artwork, his work is available at South African Artists online gallery
as well as current and upcoming solo and group exhibitions which are listed on this website.
Animation work can be seen on his youtube channel, BenjAnim
Visits to his studio are by appointment only.
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 June 2018.
'Spring' group exhibition, Art Lovers 1932, 13 September to 27 September 2018.
Solo exhibition, Moments, Johann van Heerden's Art gallery, Pretoria, 13 September to 22 September 2018.
Comic Con Africa 14,15,16 September 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.
Comic Con Africa, 21 to 24 September 2019.
'Landscapes of my childhood', Johann van Heerden Gallery, 14 July - 2 August 2019.