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Joe Derrane (1930-2016)

Yesterday we lost one of the great Irish accordion players, Joe Derrane, at age 86. We saw him at the Paddy O'Brien festival in Tipperary soon after his triumphant return from retirement. Joe played the dance halls in Boston in the 1940s in a highly ornamental style that was all his own. Show More Summary

Splitting Color Illusion

This optical illusion by shows two identical, flickering colored stripes that remain the same throughout the presentation. As the background colors change around them, however, the stripe changes its appearance. Discoverer Mark Vergeer...Show More Summary

Reminder: Food Truck Challenge

Reminder: The Food Truck Painting Challenge is ongoing. The goal is to paint a vehicle used for mobile catering. It's free to enter and the deadline is August 15. This is an old milk wagon that I sketched when I was an art student.Read more about the Food Truck Painting Challenge.

Pencil Accents

Here's a sketch of a barn in upstate New York. After a quick lay-in where I carefully measure all the perspective and spacing, I lay down some big washes, very slightly warm and cool, with a few orange accents. The pencil then comes in to describe textures and accents, from the fine wires on top of the ventilators to the rough texture of the shingles.

Fine Art and Illustration

Blog reader Gary Gowans asks: "Where do you draw the line between fine art and illustration? How about galleries? Does it matter? I have been painting just short of photo realism and am in several good galleries BUT, I love the illustrators of the Golden Age as well as like Fuchs, English, and Robt. Show More Summary

Gender Contrasts

Third Place, Illusion of the Year, 2009 What can you say about the gender of these two faces? They're sort of on the borderline, but if you had to say one was male and the other was female, what would you say? Most people say the face on the left is female and the one on the right is male. Show More Summary

Ian Ramsay

Ian Ramsay was born in England, emigrated to the U.S. where he studied at the University of Utah, and now lives and works in Utah’s Salt Lake Valley. Ramsay’s background in architecture shows in his confident handling of complex urban and architectural subjects. His strong draftstmanship also affords him the ability to work with loose […]

Jason Morgan reviews Imaginative Realism

(Link to YouTube) Professional wildlife artist Jason Morgan does a page by page walkthrough of Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist. Thanks, Jason!----Order a signed copy of Imaginative Realism from our website (USA only)

Bury It

“Bury It” is a very nicely realized animated music video for a song by Chvrches and Haley Williams — animated by Mighty Nice with a design direction established by comics artist and illustrator Jamie Mckelvie, who has worked with the band previously on poster designs. I’m not certain if Mckelvie actually directed the short or […]

Eye Candy for Today: Gabriel Metsu portrait

Portrait of Lucia Wijbrants, Gabriel Metsu Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable high-resolution file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. This splendid 17th century portrait by Metsu was for a long time known simply as “Portrait of a Woman”, but the Minneapolis Institute of Arts website […]

Physiognomy: Comparing People to Animals

Can you guess a person's personality by the shape or appearance of their head? Do some people look like animals, or some animals look like people? Those were questions asked by people in the field of Physiognomy. Here Italian scholar...Show More Summary

Van Gogh’s drawings

As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts showcasing some “Not the usual Van Gogh’s” (and here), we are often given the impression that an artist’s oeuvre is much smaller that is really is because art publishers and even museums tend to emphasize an artist’s “greatest hits” over and over, at the expense of exploring a […]

Plein-Air Portraiture in International Artist

The upcoming August/September issue of International Artist magazine contains my article "Painting Candid Portraits in the Wild," which recaps nine recent adventures in plein-air portraiture.In the article I address a question that comes up often:Is it OK to Sketch Strangers in Public?Yes. Show More Summary

Sunset at the Supermarket

Here's the view across the parking lot of the supermarket yesterday at sunset. Supermarket, gouache, 4 x 7 inches. The painting sequence was a little different on this one. The sky is a transparent wash. I used ultramarine blue and burnt sienna gouache for the dark silhouettes. Show More Summary

How Movement Aids Face Recognition

Every face you're familiar with, whether friend or celebrity, has a distinctive shape and proportion. But familiar faces also have a set of characteristic movements. Those movements, scientists say, are stored in your memory, and play a crucial role in face recognition. Show More Summary

Lovell Book Announced

Publisher Dan Zimmer has announced that he's working on a book about Tom Lovell's work as an illustrator. Here is the unfolded dust jacket design. There was a previous book about Lovell from the 1980s, but it mainly covered his western art work. Show More Summary

Painting a Complex Subject in Watercolor

(Link to You Tube) Painting in transparent watercolor requires careful planning, and that's especially true when there's perspective and lettering involved.In this case I spent nearly one hour of the 2 hour session on the preliminary pencil drawing. After I was sure of that, the rest went pretty fast.-------Watercolor in the Wild Gumroad tutorial

Kevin Hong

Kevin Hong is a New York based illustrator who works in the fantasy art genre. Having graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2015, Hong’s portfolio is not yet extensive, but shows great promise in his engaging blend of influences from Japanese anime and US/European fantasy art. I particularly enjoy his use of color […]

Eye Candy for Today: Louis Buvelot’s Yarra Flats

Yarra Flats, Louis Buvelot Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the National Gallery of Victoria, which also has a zoomable version. 19th century Australian artistShow More Summary

Gouache Materials List

I was putting together a gouache materials list for an upcoming workshop, so I thought I would share it with you, too. Surface You can use illustration board, watercolor paper in sheets, a watercolor paper pad or spiral bound watercolor sketchbooks. Show More Summary

General Visual Arts
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