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Watercolor Streetscapes of Irwin Greenberg

St. Germaine Nocturne by I. Greenberg Irwin Greenberg (1922-2009) was an American artist and teacher whose watercolor street scenes were beloved by his students and fellow painters. Mr. Greenberg—or "Greeny," as he was known to his friends and students—taught at the Art Students League in New York. Show More Summary

Gobelins students’ animations for Annecy 2017

As I’ve been noting every year since 2006, each year at this time, small teams of graduating students from Gobelins, l’école de l’image (Goeblins School of Communications) in Paris create short animations (usually about 1 minute) to be used as introductions to each of the five day’s events at the Annecy International Festival of Animation. […]

Fade Test for Gouache

A little more than nine months ago, the Shinhan company of Korea sent me a set of their Pass Design watercolor/gouache hybrid paints to try out. I gave a preliminary review of the brand's working properties after a painting a pharmacy using a limited palette of colors. Show More Summary

70k on Instagram

An "un-drawing" in celebration of 70k followers on Instagram. (Link to video on FB)See my feed for yourself: @jgurneyart on Instagram

Chihuly vs. the Paparazzi

Gouache study of Dale Chihuly's "Sol del Citrón" by James Gurney Last weekend at the New York Botanical Garden I sat near a gigantic glass sculpture, trying to figure out how to translate it into my sketchbook. Fortunately I had my gouache with me, and I captured the whole experience for you on this video. Show More Summary

Review of "Sketch Easel" Video

Charley Parker of the art blog "Lines and Colors" took a look at my new sketch easel video. Check out what he has to say: James Gurney’s How to Make a Sketch Easel He also did a post yesterday about DIY cigar-box-easel conversions, and he has more to come on homemade easels.

Eye Candy for Today: Giacomo Guardi gouache painting of Venice

View of the Rialto Bridge, Giacomo Guardi Gouache on paper, roughly 5 x 9 inches (13 x 24 cm); in the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum. On the Morgan’s page, you can use the Download link under the image, or the Zoom tab above it. When using the zoom, it’s helpful to know […]

DIY Cigar Box Pochade Boxes – make your own cheap pochade box from a cigar box

As I described in my original post on the subject (which will be updated shortly), pochade boxes are small, usually wooden boxes, meant to serve as a portable artist’s palette and easel for painting on location. Many also contain storage for supplies. Most are equipped to be mounted to camera tripods, but some are simply […]

Eye Candy for Today: Monet’s Springtime

Springtime, Claude Monet Link is to zoomable version on the Google Art Project; downloadable version on Wikipedia; original is in the Walters Art Museum. In this painting by Monet of his first wife and frequent model, Camille Doncieux, we can see the painter’s fascination with light and color. The foliage is gesturally indicated, with mere […]

Vintage Paper Toy "Fairy City"

Toy collector Mel Birnkrant has many rare treasures. But one of the most ephemeral is a paper construction set called the "Fairy City."It presents a view of American city life 100 years ago. Mel carefully built it, and then we "unbuilt it" in time lapse and reversed the film, adding in a little stop-motion animation at the end just for fun. Show More Summary

James Gurney’s How to Make a Sketch Easel

As I will point out in an article soon to follow this one about DIY pochade boxes, there are a lot of blog posts and videos out there that offer do-it-yourself instructions for making outdoor painting kits, from simple watercolor kits in bag to complex pochade boxes. Unfortunately, most of them, however well intentioned, suffer […]

I made a friend in Bryant Park

I painted this guy in New York City on Saturday evening. He was talking into his earbud mic for a long time, holding pretty still. He didn't notice me sketching him. Bryant Park, 4 x 4 inches, gouache When I was done, I showed him the picture so that he could put it on his Facebook. He was a super nice guy, and was pleased to be my impromptu model. (Link to video)

Heinrich Hermanns

Heinrich Hermanns was a German painter and printmaker active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, and in addition to his training and the influence of other German painters, he took inspiration from the French Barbizon School and later the Impressionists. Hermanns was noted for his painterly […]

Paint Out Today at NYBG

Study by Frederick Leighton Today I'll be painting at the New York Botanical Gardens along with a group of other plein-air painters. Come by and say hello.

Weatherbeaten Melody

Hans Fischerkoesen was sometimes called "Germany's Disney," but he's not too well known in the USA, even among aficionados of classic animation. His most notable film is called "Weatherbeaten Melody" (Verwitterte Melodie), (Link to YouTube)The story is about with a bee in the meadow who uses his (or her?) stinger to play an abandoned record player. Show More Summary

Painting BG Details from Life

Even if I'm painting an imaginary scene with dinosaurs set in another world, I like to take the painting outside when I can. That way I can paint the scenic or background details with more energy and conviction, such as this bank of tulips in a friend's garden. "Small Wonder" from Dinotopia: The World Beneath, which you can get signed from my website or from Amazon.

Proko Collab

When I was in San Diego, I did a collaboration video with friend and fellow YouTuber Stan Prokopenko."(Link to my video) Here's my video.... (Link to YouTube)...and here is his. Enjoy, and check out his website at

Eye Candy for Today: Carl Larsson ink and watercolor

The Veranda. From A Home (26 watercolours), Carl Larsson Ink and watercolor, roughly 13 x 17 inches (32 x 43 cm); in the collection of the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm (zoomable file); high resolution downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons. This delightful pen and watercolor is part of a series of similar pieces that were intended to be […]

Cracking the Code of Face Recognition

Scientists at Caltech have come to a better understanding of how the brain recognize faces. They already knew from brain imaging studies that certain brain regions are especially active during a face recognition task.But what those regions do and how they interact with each other has remained a mystery. Show More Summary

Treasure trove of high-res images from Nationalmuseum Stockholm

In a gesture to make up for the inaccessibility of much of the museum’s collections during a major renovation to the building, the Nationalmuseum Stockholm has just released 3000 high resolution public domain art images from its collection to Wikimedia Commons. There is an article on the museum’s website here. The images are arranged on […]

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