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Question about Flesh Tones

Thomas DuVal asks: any tips for getting realistic skin tones with watercolor? I'm having a hard time with my portraits looking lifeless, or like dolls. Thanks! Tom Lovell, oil Thomas, here's what one of my heroes, Tom Lovell, said I when asked him the same question (about oil): "Keep in mind that flesh tones are essentially quite neutral. Show More Summary

W. Heath Robinson (update)

William Heath Robinson, who signed his pictures “W. Heath Robinson”, was an English illustrator, cartoonist, author and watercolorist known in particular for his wry cartoons and his series of drawings depicting unlikely and complicated contraptions for accomplishing mundane tasks. Show More Summary

Gouache: Tubes or Pans?

Today let's consider some questions that blog readers often ask about gouache. Do you use gouache squeezed out of tubes, or dried in pan form? Secondly, how do you reactivate the gouache after it dries on your palette? It is possible to use gouache in pans, since gouache is water soluble. Show More Summary

March Snow in Kingston

A beam of late afternoon sunlight slashes across the road and wraps over a snowbank. The light is fleeting, and so is the snow. A tangle of bare branches veils The Governor Clinton Apartments. I want to cram it all into my little book. Show More Summary

Eye Candy for Today: Sargent’s portrait of Mrs. Hammersly

Mrs. Hugh Hammersley, John Singer Sargent In the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s only paint, brushes and canvas, folks. (Sigh.)  

Guest Post from Codeman Dan

Today let's hear from Dan Gurney, the developer of our new sketching app. This is adapted from his article in Medium called Building the “Living Sketchbook” app. Dan says: "My dad is an artist, and for a long time he’s wished for anShow More Summary

James Gurney’s Living Sketchbook app

One of the most fascinating ways to see into the mind of an artist is to have the opportunity to look through their sketchbooks. This is not often possible, sketchbooks are frequently personal, full of unfinished thoughts and experiments and seldom voulnteered for display by the artists themselves. When the opportunity does arise, it’s a […]

Eye Candy for Today: Pissarro’s Boulevard Montmartre, Spring

Boulevard Montmartre, Spring; Camille Pissarro Link is to a zoomable version on the Google Art Project; there is a downloadablve version on Wikimedia Commons. Google’s listing indicates the original is in the collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; but I can’t find it in their online database. This is one of the remarkable series of […]

Bernie Wrightson

Bernie (Berni) Wrigntson was an American comics artist and illustrator known for his work on horror comics for DC Comics and Warren Publishing, on titles like Batman and, in particular, Swamp Thing. Bernie Writghtson died on Saturday at the age of 68. His work on Swamp Thing set new standards for horror comics art and […]

The Living Sketchbook App is Live

The Living Sketchbook™ is new technology that lets you experience one of my sketchbooks on your smartphone or tablet. (Link to video trailer on YouTube)The first in the series, Volume 1: Boyhood Home, is now available for iOS iPhones and iPads at the App Store and for Android phones and tablets at Google Play. Show More Summary

RIP Bernie Wrightson

I'm sad to hear about the passing of horror illustrator and concept artist Bernie Wrightson (1948-2017). He's at the center of this picture, which also includes Pete Von Sholly (far left) and Dave Merritt at Jonas' Studios in 1993.

Menzel's Painting Mediums

"Traveling in beautiful nature" by Adolph Menzel, gouache, 11x15 inches A question came in: "James Gurney, can you tell us what medium(s) Adolph Menzel used when he painted?" He used them all: oil, gouache, watercolor, and pastel. His...Show More Summary

John Lavery

John Lavery was an Irish painter who spent a good deal of his career living and working in London. He is known primarily for his portraits and depictions of the the First World War, but I find his landscapes most appealing, especially those depicting water. Lavery was acquainted with James McNeil Whistler, an expatriate American […]

Teaser for Living Sketchbook

Here's a teaser trailer for The Living Sketchbook™ app, releasing Monday, March 20 for iOS and Android devices. (Link to YouTube video) FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Sharon Cullen: "CANT WAIT! What does the app do exactly? Is it video clips of you??"Hi, Sharon—it lets you look through every page of one of my sketchbooks. Show More Summary

The Burren, County Clare

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everybody! Here's a view across the Burren near Kilfenora, County Clare, Ireland. The Burren, Oil, 8x10 inches. To give you a sense of scale, those two dark lines at right are stone walls. Note that the clouds...Show More Summary

Graveyard Scene by Tom Lovell

This 1947 illustration by Tom Lovell for True Magazine was for an article called "Extra Corpse in the Graveyard." It's a good image to study for color and composition. Color and Value • You could probably paint this with Venetian red, viridian, and white, maybe with a touch of raw umber and yellow ochre. Show More Summary

App Review from Erwin Lian

Thanks to Erwin "Cherngzhi" Lian, creator of "The Perfect Sketchbook" for his review of the soon-to-be-released app, Living Sketchbook, Vol.1. "When I found out about his app, I thought to myself: 'Why didn’t I think of that?' It embraces...Show More Summary

101 Great Illustrators from the Golden Age, 1890-1925

Discovering art that you love by artists whose work is new to you can be a little like meeting a person to whom you’re romantically attracted — there’s an initial rush of infatuation that is so pleasurable the feeling can be addictive. Growing up in northern Delaware (in a house a few hundred yards from […]

Ernst Fredinand Oehme

Ernst Fredinand Oehme was a 19th century German Romantic landscape painter noted for his darkly atmospheric landscapes and paintings of architectural subjects. Oehme studied with the highly regarded Danish painter Johan Christian Dahl, and through him met Caspar David Friedrich. The influence of both painters is evident in Oehme’s initial choices of subject matter and […]

Advance Review of Living Sketchbook, Vol. 1

Brad Teare of the blog Thick Paint had a chance to test out the upcoming Living Sketchbook™ app, and he wrote a review of it:"Imagine being invited to your favorite artist's studio and getting a chance to thumb through his or her sketchbook. Show More Summary

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