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Art Rules

Yesterday I listened to a lecture where a professional artist said "You can't paint a landscape without showing the horizon or the sky. Any painting without at least some sky will be oppressive. Stay away from it."That made me want to...Show More Summary

Otakar Lebeda

Otakar Lebeda was a 19th century Czech painter whose tragically short life and career have been compared to that of Vincent van Gogh. Lebeda began painting at an early age, and had the opportunity to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague with noted landscape painter Julius Ma?ák. He started out in a […]

Gumball machines in a laundromat

Heres a page from my sketchbook yesterday—some gumball machines in a San Diego laundromat. I showed the owner a few pages from my sketchbook and she loaned me a stool to sit on. Her daughter is a budding artist and she watched with great interest and then did a drawing of her own. Show More Summary

Dinosaurs on the March

We've arrived in San Diego. Not much wi-fi where we are, but we'll try to keep up. This Ankylosaurus is from Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara.

Seven Minute Silhouettes

At Spectrum Fantastic Art Live here in Kansas City, we had a fun time talking about portable sketching setups. Then I did a quick demo of a quick paint-sketch technique, thanks to two volunteers who stood looking at their cellphones....Show More Summary

Mark English at the Marriott Lounge

I'm in Kansas City for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live. The artists are all hanging out in the lounge eating tacos and sipping beer. It's fun talking shop with some of the legends of the business, such as Mark English (born 1933), who helped define the world of contemporary illustration that I entered when I started out. Show More Summary

Miguel Angel Moya

Miguel Angel Moya is a contemporary realist painter originally from Valencia, Spain. Hi subjects include orchestras and musicians, inspired by Moya’s own time as a professional violinist, as well as cityscapes and architectural interiors. In his most recent series, Moya has focused on enigmatic still life of biological forms — mostly sea creatures — suspended […]

Weird limited palette

I love weird limited palettes. This one is purple, cad yellow deep, raw sienna, and white. (Link to FB vid) From the Metro North app.

Bakery Case

Painting the bakery case at a little deli.(Link to video) This is another page from my new Living Sketchbook app, "Metro North" Pick up for yourself.Three versions to suit your device: • App for Apple iOS phones and tablets from the App Store• App for Android devices from Google Play• For laptop and desktop computers, or people with old phones or tablets, a "PDF+ Edition".

Four Professions Portrayed

Portraits of the professions of florist, writer, musician, and barber, where the faces are composed of the tools of their trades. ----- In the style of Arcimboldo (Wikipedia link) Book on Arcimboldo: 1526-1593See also Nicolas de Larmessin's Grotesques of the ProfessionsVia Public Domain Review

Chicks, Hens, and Eggs

For this sketching adventure, we start out in the barn, where the young chicks are in the incubator box. A year later those same chicks have grown up into laying hens. (Link to Video on YouTube) The pen I'm using for the written notes is a Noodler's Ahab fountain pen with Higgins sepia ink. Show More Summary

Controlling White Values in a Still Life

Many subjects have a range of whites, none of them pure white.In this diner still life, there's the white paper placemat in shadow, the placemat in light, and the white "PEPSI" lettering painted on the near side of the glass. And then there are white highlights. Show More Summary

Metro North App is Here

(Link to trailer on YouTube) The Living Sketchbook, Volume 2: Metro North app is now available. It's a complete immersion into my recent sketchbook, with high-res scalable images of every page, plus audio commentary and behind-the-scenes videos, all for just $4.99. Show More Summary

Happy Easter

Happy Easter! Here's a gouache sketch of some bunnies at the farm. I used a special gouache technique for this one, painting into a wet, dark under-layer, which makes soft edges much easier. The bunny sketch is just one page of the Metro North app, which releases for iOS and Android phones and tablets tomorrow. Show More Summary

Car Noir

I'm standing in the bright spring sunshine, painting a moody night scene. That's because I try to paint both what's in front of my eyes as well as what's behind them. To me, there's something epic and mysterious about a white Lincoln Town car—especially one parked near a trash can and a basement entrance. Show More Summary

Sketching in Low Light Conditions

Sketching with an LED hat Madill Studio asks:"Hi, James: Speaking of low-light conditions, do you have any observational tips on how to check values in such conditions (think low-lit cafe or similar). Also curious if I get a battery operated lamp for night sketching, what would be a good lumens range?" You're right. Show More Summary

David Farquharson

David Farquharson (1839-1907), The End of the Day's Fishing, 56 x 91.5 cm This oil landscape by David Farquharson (Scottish/English, 1839-1907) has a marvelous sense of scale and depth. A few observations: 1. Note the tiny fishermen figures on the right side of the picture. Show More Summary

Eye Candy for Today: Ivan Shishkin’s Rye

Rye, Ivan Shishkin Link is to zoomable version on the Google Art Project, downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. In contrast to his scenes of thick forest groves, Russian landscape master Ivan Shishkin here stands his trees as sentinels above the expanse of a rye field. A dirt […]

SciFi Exhib Opens Soon in London

Dinosaur Parade, Waterfall City and four other Dinotopia paintings just headed off today on a journey that will take them to London, Athens, Denmark, and beyond. They'll be on a multi-year tour, part of an exhibition called "Into the...Show More Summary

Fluid and Particle Showreel

I love the mesmerizing complexity and interactivity of this CGI fluid and particle showreel from Digital District. (Link to YouTube)

General Visual Arts
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