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Today is the Deadline for Focus on Nature

If you're a natural science illustrator, here's an important reminder. Today is the deadline to enter your work in Focus on Nature, an exhibition of scientifically-based nature art hosted by the New York State Museum.It's free and easy to enter. Show More Summary

Seeing without Interpreting

Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) 'Wing of a Blue Roller' (watercolor and gouache) When Chuck Hagner was in college in Freiburg, Germany, he took a course on the Renaissance that taught him how to see. The professor had selected a group of paintings in nearby museums and assigned a different one to each student. Show More Summary

Fake Food Art in Japan

A peek behind the scenes at the artists who make the realistic-looking fake food for display in Japanese restaurants. (Link to YouTube) Image from Amusing Planet According to Amusing Planet:"Making plastic food is an art in itself, and the manufacturers fiercely guard their trade secrets. Show More Summary

Van Dyck Exhibition at the Frick

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641) Self-Portrait, ca. 1620–21 oil/canvas 47 1/8 × 34 5/8 in. (119.7 × 87.9 cm) A major exhibition of the portrait art of Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) has opened at the Frick collection in New York. The exhibition...Show More Summary

Painting a Drainage Ditch

The air is warming and the water is flowing. The fields are grooved with drainage ditches to carry off the rain water. James Gurney, Drainage Ditch, gouache 5x8 inches Sun-sparkles dance on the water surface. Under the water the drowned grass moves lazily in the current. Show More Summary

Harold Speed on Reynolds, Gainsborough, Hals, and Rembrandt

Today we'll continue Chapter 9: "Painting from the Life" from Harold Speed's 1924 art instruction book Oil Painting Techniques and Materials.I'll present Speed's main points in boldface type either verbatim or paraphrased, followed by my comments. Show More Summary

Spring Cleaning

The fox family cleaned out their den, and look what they threw out -- a perfect raccoon skull. ----- Previously on the blog: Baby Foxes Nursing

Eye Candy for Today: Joaquim Vayreda’s Beginning of Spring

The Beginning of Spring, Joaquim Vayreda Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Museu Nacional D’Art de Catalunya. A wonderful painterly evocation of the cusp of Spring by Spanish painter Joaquim Vayreda, who painted in the Catalan region in Spain in the late 19th […]

On-the-Spot Surrealism

I have an article in the new issue of International Artist (#108 April/May) is called "On-the-Spot Surrealism." I share tips for putting an imaginative twist on your plein-air painting—not just fantasy and science fiction ideas, but also changing the lighting, pose, or background of what's in front of you. Show More Summary

Tom Lovell (update)

Tom Lovell was a superb American illustrator who was active through much of the 20th century. His stye ranged from straightforward, classically delineated realism to dramatically composed pulp magazine action to the more graphically designed illustrations often associated with cutting edge mid-century styles. Show More Summary

Modeling Clay Maquettes

When all you need is a quick reference sculpt, you can use modeling clay. This oil-based clay never hardens and can be infinitely recycled.This behind-the-scenes video snippet shows how I used modeling clay to visualize the lighting for a painting of a snake attacking the nest of baby sauropods. Show More Summary

Value Stepping for Depth

Das Geroldsauer Tal bei Baden-Badenby Johann Wilhelm Schirmer (1807–1863) This painting by Johann Wilhelm Schirmer uses value stepping to achieve depth and atmosphere. In the foreground there's a full range of values used to model the foliage. Show More Summary

Meissonier's Portrait of the Sergeant

In his 1914 biography, Frederic Cooper describes Portrait of the Sergeant by Jean-Louis Meissonier (1815-1891). "What a magnificent collection of different degrees of attention: that of the portrait painter as he studies his model standing...Show More Summary

Gryphon-Headed Handrail

I carved this gryphon-headed handrail for my studio stairs. It's made out of poplar and finished with stain and tung oil.It appears in the opening shot of the video "Tyrannosaurs: Behind the Art."

Edward Harrison Compton

Born in Germany to English parents, Edward Harrison Compton was a landscape painter and illustrator active in the early 20th century. Compton began his training under the tutelage of his father, landscape painter Edward Theodore Compton, and went on to study in London at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. His desire to follow […]

Harold Speed on Velázquez

Today we'll continue Chapter 9: "Painting from the Life" from Harold Speed's 1924 art instruction book Oil Painting Techniques and Materials.I'll present Speed's main points in boldface type either verbatim or paraphrased, followed by my comments. Show More Summary

Eliza Ivanova

Eliza Ivanova is an animator and illustrator based in San Francisco and currently working with Pixar Animation Studios. Her feature film credits include The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out, Monsters University and Brave, as well as short films Toy Story of Terror and The Dam Keeper. Her website consists primarily of personal sketches, many in Moleskine […]

High resolution images of Vermeer’s paintings

Johannes Vermeer was either a remarkable 17th century Dutch painter or an enchanted sorcerer of light from beyond time and space — sometimes it’s hard to tell — but I find his work particularly entrancing among all painters. His known existing oeuvre consists of only 36 paintings, each fascinating in their own way. I have […]

Trailer for "Loving Vincent"

Here's trailer for an upcoming film called "Loving Vincent" (link to YouTube). The film is created with 12 frames per second, with each frame being a painting inspired by the work of Vincent Van Gogh.According to the advance publicity, as many as 100 painters are contributing work to this feature film in production in Poland. Show More Summary

Last Day to Enter the Portrait Competition

Today is the last day to enter the 2016 International Portrait Competition. It costs $45 to enter, but there are a lot of award categories, and if your work is chosen, it's good recognition. You can find entry information at this li...

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