Fantasy Art and Surrealism Paintings,
Visionary Art and Fantastic Art,
Black & White Drawings and Inkings.


Over 400 images of visionary surrealism, fine art,
fantasy art and black/white illustrations.

Michael Csontos
(Pronounced Chun-tos)

You can enter to Fantasy Art & Visionary Surrealism Thumbnails here or you can
scroll down to enter the thumbnails page.

You can enter to Graphic Illustrations here or halfway down this page.

Check out the The Gallery page which has my most recent paintings.

"The Art of Visualizing Black & White - 
A Guide to Intuitive Drawing"

How to Draw Anything

180 illustrations. This book explains how I 'see' the images that develop
in my works and is a reference on how to draw anything,
how to draw fantasy art, and how to draw surrealism,
including graphic art and illustrations.
Available on
Take a moment to read about The Art of Visualizing Black & White and preview 19 of the images.

"The Perceptions of Michael Csontos"

Fantasy Art Paintings

The full color book of 30 years of fantasy art,
fantastic art and surrealism paintings. Over 180 images
which include 19 new inkings not included in the black & white book.
Almost 40 new and different images not included on this website.
Includes eleven pages of text explaining technique, symbolism and inspiration.
A five page painting technique with nine step by step illustrations.
and a two page inking and drawing technique with eight illustrations.
Available on
Read more about it here.

"Perceptions II"

Fantasy Art Paintings

Perceptions II is the second volume of paintings
and black and white creations based on spontaneous visualizations.
Composed entirely of fantasy and surrealism imagery
this book has fifty paintings and eighty-seven black and white compositions.

Almost a three year project, I have produced these images
using my visualization procedure for the initial creative aspect.
Once the imagery was composed and established
then the actual painting process began using a modified wash technique.
This process produced the paintings at a faster rate.

Available on
You can read more about it and preview allmost all the images here.

Perceptions III

Perceptions III is the latest book of almost 200 illustrations
created with a visualizing technique. Entirely composed of black and white
imagery this volume shows the amazing variety of ideas that can be
developed by letting the mind's eye just do its own thing.
There are two smaller sections that were not created from an abstract beginning.
They are the book illustrations and the life drawings.

Read more about Perceptions III here and see some of the images.

Available on

You can also enter to original oil paintings of fantasy art, fantastic art and surrealism thumbnails through the image directly below.

Surrealism and Fantasy Art

Detail from "Baby Giraffes"

Contact Michael for art commissions

I also do graphic art and illustrations for commercial projects and applications.
Graphic Illustration.

Prescott Graphic Artist

"Michael Csontos is a fantasy artist whose imagination is unparalleled."
William T. Dustin - CC Sales Lithography, Chicago, IL.

A variety of descriptions...

Fantasy Art - images from the activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable. A fanciful mental image, typically one on which a person dwells at length or repeatedly and which reflects their conscious or unconscious wishes. An idea with no basis in reality. A genre of imaginative fiction involving magic and adventure, especially in a setting other than the real world. A composition, free in form (surrealism?), typically involving variations on an existing work or the imaginative representation of a situation or story. An imagined occurrence. Also known to include: imagination, fancy, make-believe, creativity, vision, daydreaming, reverie, delusion and illusion.

I do create artwork initially by randomly and absentmindedly sketching, so the resulting images must come from conscious or unconscious influences, which direct my actions and feelings.

From the 16th to the 19th centuries the Latinized spelling phantasy was also used.

Fantastic Art - imaginative or fanciful; remote from reality. Strange or exotic; seeming more appropriate to a fairy tale than to reality or practical use. Extraordinarily different from an everyday occurrence. Also known to include: marvelous, wonderful, sensational, superb, dazzling, out of this world, breathtaking, fabulous, magic, awesome, incredible, unbelievable, implausible, improbable, strange, whimsical, capricious, visionary, surreal, fantasy, exotic and phenomenal.

I also use fantastic art in reference to my works where I use a lot of detail.

I would like to believe that my work is not whimsical. I did however, use it to describe one painting. Also one lady used it to describe all my works. I really didn't care for her comment. Maybe it was the way she said it.

From the 16th to the 19th centuries the Latinized spelling phantastic was also used.

Surrealism - a 20th-century avant-garde movement in art and literature that sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind, for example by the irrational juxtaposition of images. A mix of fact and fantasy. Also known to include the weird, strange, freakish unearthly, uncanny, unusual, dreamlike and phantasmagorical (optical illusion). The autonomous nature of creativity.

I would like to believe that my work is not freakish, bizarre or weird.

The phase 'dreamlike' could apply quite a bit as many of the surreal type painting did appear to me in dreams.

The surrealist movement was launched in 1924 by a manifesto of Andre Breton and having a strong political content, (as opposed to a visionary comment - my opinion), the movement grew out of symbolism and Dada and was strongly influenced by Sigmund Freud. In the visual arts, its most notable exponents were Andre Masson, Jean Arp, Joan Miro, Rene Magritte, Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel.

If you would like to read about the history of surrealism please visit...

Visionary Art - (from wikipedia) Visionary art often carries themes of spiritual, mystical or inner awareness. Despite this broad definition, there does seem to be emerging some definition as to what constitutes the contemporary visionary art 'scene' and which artists can be considered especially influential. Some of the visionary art I have researched seems to be along the lines of symmetry and mandala layouts utilizing bright colors and design elements from Hindu inspirations. I'm not sure that this constitutes a visionary influence. Other artwork under the terms of visionary art seem to actually resemble visions from dreams and meditations. Some of those I find to be incredible. I guess it all depends on what each of us experience in our own dreams and visions.

Some people have referred to some of my works as visionary. It seems that visionary art is the new definition of surrealism, which seems to also include fantastic art and conceptualism especially if you do any type of internet search for art along those lines. The editor at one of the major art book publishers in NYC where I sent my very first book prototype about 35 years ago, told me surrealism was dead. Apparently I did not believe him as myself and many others have continued to paint in that style since then. If I had told him I was a painter of visionary art, he might have said my ego was out of control. If I sometimes have no idea of what to paint and nothing seems to appear out of my initial sketching and mindless doodling then I will meditate and ask for my next imagery. During that meditation an image always appears. Is that a vision?

As you can tell from the descriptions a few of the related concepts and meanings of fantasy, fantastic art, visionary art and surrealism are somewhat interchangeable. As I review the compositions of my paintings (I can hang about 35 of them in my studio) it seems that the imagery reflects a current state of mind or a series of subconscious thoughts that come to the surface as the imagery in the paintings develop a final conclusion. This personal reflection seems to directly coincide with the second reference to the meanings of fantasy. I'm not sure if Frank Frazetta had personal reflections as he created his works because I never got the chance to speak with him, even though I was born only a few miles away and lived a few hours away. He certainly was the master of fantasy. He did mention in one of his books that as a kid growing up in New York City he knew 'Conan'.

The phrase 'juxtaposing' (from surrealism), gives to me the impression of the traditional views of the artists that initiated that movement. I have only painted a few paintings (maybe eleven) that actually seem to have imagery, colors and objects randomly placed. And of those eleven, I feel only three, have what you may refer to as juxtaposed imagery. And of those three, I feel the imagery has an intended continuity of implied mental impressions. I don't really randomly place anything, even though it may look like it. Most modern fine art surrealist, I have noticed (myself included) are not into the juxtaposing aspect of imagery. They seem to be more interested in portraying a thought or concept. This portrayal involves only slightly twisting or manipulating realism into an aesthetic and conceptual work of art. Conceptual art is art in which the idea presented is considered more important than the finished product.

As for 'fantastic', the meanings here seem somewhat over and above what I'm actually trying to portray. I did title my works 'Incredible Surrealism' at one time. Using 'incredible' as being one of the synonyms of the term fantastic. As my first book prototypes were passed around for review, some comments came back that indicated the title was superfluous. But then again if I can't toot my own horn, I doubt anyone will toot it for me. Salvador Dali told his parents at the age of six that he was going to be famous. Maybe he had a premonition. All I can say about myself is that I knew I wanted to do art.

So that being the case, 'fantasy art', 'surrealism', fantastic artwork and visionary art all seem suitable for referencing my work. Although 'modern surrealism' has the most appropriate and encompassing category. For this web site, I use all the genres as I feel they apply. And even if some do not seem appropriate, as in the case where 'fantasy art', may only allude to dragons, warriors, fairies, castles and the like, then that is probably why my subconscious picked out the title 'Perceptions' for my first color book. I did consider using the phase 'Fantastic Artwork' but I believe it was over used already and it did not convey as accurately as 'Perceptions', mainly because of the way the paintings are created. Plus I wanted the book title to be different. Unfortunately though, most people, as I have found through research, do not type the words 'perception artwork' into a search engine. The word perception suggests a way of interpreting something. I always (99% of the time not including commissions dealing with an author's text or a request for a referenced landscape) start a painting or inking by just doodling abstractly with either paint, pencil or charcoal. The resulting imagery (no matter how you choose to define or categorize it) is developed from that initial beginning. It is perceived (therefore a perception). The word 'perceptions' has stuck with my creative thought process so much that I titled my third book 'Perceptions II'. After that came 'Perceptions III', which is basically an idea book that shows a variety of images developed from abstract sketches and doodles.

It still seems every painting has its own perception and genre. So based on that reasoning I will mention (for this web site only) what category I feel each painting belongs to, whether I believe it is a fantasy art approach, a fantastic art approach, surrealism or even a visionary approach. There are also a few I categorize as just landscapes and erotic art. It is not really necessary to do this considering any piece of art should stand on its own merit without a title, category or explanation, but it is just something I felt I wanted to do. It is interesting to note that I have never had a title to a piece of art before the art was started. So after all that is said and done, if I had to classify myself as to my personal preferences of theme, I would have to say I'm a contemporary surrealist that also does fantasy and visionary art. I guess that means I'm just an artist doing his thing. Please enjoy the work. All images are copyright with the Library of Congress.