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New Sketchbook Cover

It's always fun to paint the lettering on a new sketchbook cover. This one's called "Entrance Ramp" after the first painting in the book. I drew the guidelines with a white Supracolor Watercolor Pencil and a ballpoint pen.I'm using One-Shot lettering paint (chrome yellow) on a Pentalic watercolor journal.----Previously: Your sketchbook coversTitles on sketchbook covers

Edelfelt's Sketchbooks

The Finnish National Art Gallery has released online the sketchbooks of Albert Edelfelt (1854-1905). Since the 104 sketchbooks are in chronological order, you can trace the journey of his mind and see the people he met and the moments he lived. Show More Summary

Jill Carver

Jill Carver is originally from the U.K., where she was a curatorial research assistant at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Since moving to the U.S. and transitioning into painting full time, she devotes herself to richly colored landscapes abstracted (in the best sense of that word, meaning to distill the essence) from the streams, […]

Lovell's Frozen Companion

A friend sent me this unusual painting by Tom Lovell (1909-1997). Apparently Lovell came across the strange true story about two gold miners in Greenland. One of them couldn't take the weather and died. His companion buried him under the woodpile because the ground was frozen. Show More Summary

Jen zee

Jen Zee is an illustrator and concept artist for the gaming industry, and art director at Supergiant Games. I initially came across her crisp, colorful and strongly geometric illustrations for Transistor (above, top). In searching out more of her work, I was also impressed with her more moody and atmospheric pieces, and her strong, theatrical […]

GJ Book Club: Chapter 17: Portrait Drawing

On the GJ Book Club, we're looking at Chapter 17: "Portrait Drawing" in Harold Speed's 1917 classic The Practice and Science of Drawing.Now we arrive at a solid chapter that is full of Speed's best thoughts about how to approach a portrait. Show More Summary

Entrance Ramp

At sunrise I'm standing at the bottom of an entrance ramp leading down into a parking lot in Kingston, New York. It's not a place that tourists would ever think of going. Entrance Ramp, c asein, 5 x 8 inches. Instead, ordinary people come here on their daily routines. Show More Summary

Diner Portrait in Gouache

This guy eats his bacon at a diner table near me. Gouache, 4 x 5 inches There's a soft light from the right, and a bright edge light from behind. He has a dark mustache, dark eyebrows, graying hair, no teeth. Maybe he's on his way home from the Hemingway Lookalike Contest. Show More Summary

Joy Ride in a Paint Box

After leading the Allies to victory in World War II, Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) became an ardent outdoor painter. Never has painting had such an enthusiastic and eloquent champion. "Painting is a companion with whom one may walk...Show More Summary

Prehistoric Times Reviews "Tyrannosaurs"

Prehistoric Times, the magazine of all things dinosaurian, reviewed my recent tutorial video Tyrannosaurs: Behind the Art. "Jim's new video tutorial gives you front row seats at the creation of two Tyrannosaur paintings for Scientific American magazine, including one. Show More Summary

Eye Candy for Today: Menzel’s Flute Concert

Flute Concert with Frederick the Great in Sanssouci, Adolph Menzel Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Alte Nationalgalerie, National Museums in Berlin. The ostensible subject, Frederick the Great — about whom Menzel painted a series of works — is almost lost among the […]


Do you do Pinterest? If so you might want to check out my Pinboards on Gouache and Casein painting.

Co-op Truck

"Co-op Truck," black and white gouache, 5 x 8 inches. I have a half hour while they unload the food co-op truck, so I set up my sketchbook on a garbage can. The driver waits in the shade, leaning against the truck. The preliminary drawing has accurate measurements, but it is very rough and incomplete, just a map of the big shapes. Show More Summary

Randy Glass

Randy Glass is a well-known illustrator who specializes in the pen and ink technique of stipple, in which a multitude of carefully placed dots — sometimes of varying size — coalesce visually to create tone. It’s a technique adapted to the relatively low resolution of newspaper printing, in which the artist has more control over […]

Grzegorz Wróbel (update)

Grzegorz Wróbel is a Polish watercolorist who I first wrote about in 2010. Wróbel’s background in architectural design gives his cityscapes and street scenes a feeling of effortless strength that belies the complex challenge of perspective and rendering they present. He deftly steps between detail and suggestion, giving his compositions both a tactile immediacy and […]


Back in 2012, I wrote about a website called Pigments through the Ages; a resource about the history and nature of artist’s pigments. That site is 10 years old now, and as far as I know, is no longer being actively developed. However, one of the original authors of that site, Juraj Lipscher, has created […]

Embodied Cognition

Embodied cognition is an emerging idea in neuroscience which explores the connection between the mind and the body. Contrary to the older view dating back to Descartes that the mind and body occupy separate realms, and that aesthetic...Show More Summary

Eye Candy for Today: Girolamo dai Libri’s Madonna and Child with Saints

Madonna and Child with Saints, Girolamo dai Libri Tempera and oil on canvas; 16th century, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Use the zoom or download icons under the image. To my mind, this could be titled “Madonna and Child with Laurel Tree“, so striking is the tree’s presence, painstakingly detailed and dominating the composition. […]

New Painting Challenge: Outdoor Market

Eugene Galien Laloue (1854 - 1941) Paris, le marché aux fleurs Gouache on board, 8 1/4 x 13 1/4 inches We had such an enthusiastic response to our last Gouache Challenge that many of you asked for another opportunity.I hesitate to call...Show More Summary

Sung Choi

Sung Choi is a concept artist based in Seattle, working in the gaming and entertainment industry. His concept work is dramatically atmospheric, with subdued colors and muted values not only creating depth but mood. Choi has tuned his digital painting tools to create a very brushy, painterly effect, and uses the same characteristics in what […]

General Visual Arts
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