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Eye Candy for Today: Johann Tischbein chalk portrait

Profile Portrait of Miss Wieling, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein Red chalk on paper, 14 x 10 inches (35 x 26 cm). In the Metropolitan Museum of Art This forceful but delicate profile portrait is made graphically strong by the artist’s use of dramatic value contrast between the face and background. His approach is precise, with […]

Circumzenithal Arc

A few days ago I photographed this circumzenithal arc in the sky above the Hudson Valley. These halo phenomena are sometimes called "smiles in the sky" or "upside down rainbows."Unlike a normal rainbow, which describes a circle centered around the antisolar point (directly opposite the sun), this light effect curves around the zenith. Show More Summary

Raymond Berry

Virginia artist Ray Berry walks a line between representation and suggestion, his strongly seasonal landscapes reveal themselves on closer inspection to be strikingly physical applications of paint. He works both in oil and the difficult hot wax process of encaustic, the latter giving even greater leeway for producing a textural surface, to the point of […]

Question: Drying Time in Oil Paint

Pedram F., an artist who works in Sweden, asks: "Heya James! Big fan and silent watcher of your posts and blog here! I'm going to break the silence tho' this time around because I have been watching your latest video on the Rise of Tyrannosaurus that I bought recently. Show More Summary

Sci-Art Pedigree

This striking set of hand-painted botanical and insect prints was produced by Johanna Helena Herolt, a lesser known member of the 17th c. German-Dutch Merian family of artists. The Merian dynasty of artists really began in Switzerland with Johanna Helena Herolt's grandfather, Matthäus Merian the Elder (d. Show More Summary

Eye Candy for Today: WT Richards’ Lago Avernus

Lago Avernus, William Trost Richards In the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Watercolor and gouache on blue paper, 4 1/2 x 9 1/9 inches (11 x 24 cm). Lago Avernus (“Lake Avernus”) is a lake in a volcanic crater in the Campania region of southern Italy. Once believed to be the mythical entrance to the Underworld, […]

GJ Book Club: Chapter 3 "Vision"

On GJ Book Club, we're studying Harold Speed's 1917 classic The Practice and Science of Drawing. The following numbered paragraphs cite key points in italics, followed by a brief remark of my own. If you would like to respond to a specific point, please precede your comment by the corresponding number.1. Show More Summary

Preliminary Sketches for TYRANNOSAURS

First off: WOW! Thanks so much for your generous response to my new video "TYRANNOSAURS: Behind the Art," which documents the illustrations I just did for the May 2015 article in Scientific American Magazine. Here's the trailer on YouTube...Show More Summary

Maxwell Doig

The most frequent subjects of UK artist maxwell Doig are isolated figures on wonderfully textural backgrounds. The figures seem isolated both in the compositional sense and in the feeling of emotional detachment; they are often absorbed in their own interests. Though obviously posed, frequently in repeated positions, they seem oblivious to both the artist and […]

Boris Bakliza

Boris Bakliza is an illustrator and visual development artist from Serbia, working in the publishing, gaming and animation fields. I enjoy his penchant for combining springy, cartoony drawing with textural rendering, particularly in his depiction of worn or weathered metal surfaces.

Tyrannosaurs: Behind the Art

(Link to video) For the last couple of months I've been working hard on a secret project that I can now tell you about. Yesterday Scientific American Magazine announced its May feature called "Rise of the Tyrannosaurs." The article was...Show More Summary

Eye Candy for Today: Sargent’s Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose; John Singer Sargent Link is to a zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable, high-resolution file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Tate, Britain. One of my favorite paintings by Sargent (which is to say, one of my favorite paintings by anyone), this is something of an elaborately constructed fantasy […]

Dinotopia: World Beneath, Episode 11

It's Tuesday, time for Episode 11 of the serialized audio dramatization of Dinotopia: The World Beneath. You can listen to the track by clicking on the play button below, or by following the direct link to SoundCloud. The dino-strutters emerge in the Rainy Basin, which is inhabited by tyrannosaurs. Show More Summary

New Item

There's a new item in the barn—baby chicks in the incubator. They're posing for their first portrait. Well, actually they don't pose at all. They doze, eat, and poop on a five minute cycle. The sticker is from the grocery store. My other challenge is Handsome the uber-friendly cat. Show More Summary

Enoki Toshiyuki

Enoki Toshiyuki is a contemporary Japanese artist who works in the techniques of traditional lacquer painting, as well as acrylic, oil, metal leaf and ink on canvas. His subjects vary from fantasy and myth to more straightforwardly representational, but all incorporate rich textural elements, and frequently, complex patterns. These elements, combined with subdued color and […]

Baroque Ensemble

Last night we heard a concert by the Bard College Baroque Ensemble in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Dr. Alexander Bonus directs the Bard Baroque Ensemble During the performance, I painted the director Alexander Bonus seated at the harpsichord. Show More Summary

Eye Candy for today: Rembrandt Peale’s portrait of his daughter, Rosalba

Portrait of Rosalba Peale, Rembrandt Peale The link is to a zoomable version on the Google Art Project; there is a downloadable file on Wikipedia; the original is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which also has a zoomable version. As his father, Charles Wilson Peale, had done for him, Rembrandt Peale tutored his daughters […]

Brian Robinson

After a successful career as a graphic designer, during which he painted when possible on the side, UK artist Brian Robinson transitioned into full time gallery art. His crisply realized watercolor landscapes and townscapes glow with...Show More Summary

Eye Candy for Today: Adolph Menzel’s Balcony Room

The Balcony Room (Das Balkonzimmer), Adolph Menzel Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project, downloadable file on Wikipedia, original is in the Staatliche Museum, Berlin. In addition to Menzel’s wonderfully casual, painterly brushwork, this piece is noted for its interesting composition, in which a large portion of the image is “empty”. To me, […]

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