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The Backgrounds of "Ghost in the Shell"

The animated film "Ghost in the Shell" was released in 1995, and the backgrounds were produced with physical paint. Observer K Huitula described the technical process: "They were painted with about 30 different colors of bottled poster color [a liquid form of gouache, also known as tempera]. Show More Summary

Rocky Mountain High, Part 1

So if you're following my little adventure out West last week, after San Francisco I flew into Denver. The airport is quite a distance from town--closer to the state of Idaho, actually, than the Mile High City. You're not really aware...Show More Summary

Alfred Parsons

Alfred Parsons was a British landscape painter, illustrator and botanical artist, active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His sensitivity to the nuances of natural forms and colors is particularly evident in his evocative portrayals of flowering trees in spring. Parsons also brought his artistic sensibilities and botanical knowledge to garden design. In […]

Rodriguez interviews Del Toro

(Link to video) Movie director Robert Rodriguez has been conducting a series of online interviews with fellow directors. Whether you're a movie fan, a budding filmmaker, or a painter, the interviews are fascinating, because they come...Show More Summary

Lens Flare and Light Spill

The upcoming issue of International Artist magazine includes an article that I wrote about lens flare, light spill, and color coronas. These phenomena are familiar from photography, but similar effects occur in the human eye, and they can be very effective in painting. Show More Summary

Bill Mudron

Bill Mudron is an illustrator and designer from Texas, who came to my attention through a series of posters he created, inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s animated films and done in the woodblock print style of Kawase Hasui. In these, I not only enjoy his subtle approach, but his choice to reduce the characters to small […]

Vibert's Gouaches

One of the masters of gouache painting was the French academician Jehan Georges Vibert (1840-1902). All the paintings in this post are in watercolor / gouache. Jehan Georges Vibert The Ant and the Grasshopper, 1875 Vibert had a special gift for storytelling. Show More Summary

Eye Candy for Today: Karl Spitzweg’s Childhood Friends

Childhood Friends, Karl Spitzweg Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project, downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich. I love the illustrative qualities in the piece — the theatrical lighting, the narrative element and the caricaturish portrayal of the old friends, shown in an apparent reunion […]

GJ Book Club: Chapter 5: Mass Drawing

FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2015 On the GJ Book Club, we're studying Chapter 5, "Mass Drawing," of 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. Show More Summary

Speed Chapter 6: "Academic and Conventional"

On the GJ Book Club, we're studying Chapter 6, "The Academic and Conventional" in 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. Show More Summary

Last Portrait of Turk

Turk, the gentle giant of a draft horse, died this week. I painted one last portrait of him and made a video tribute (Link to YouTube).He had been losing weight, even on a special rich diet, and one rear leg was so lame that he was almost unable to get up from the ground. Show More Summary

Kevin Muente

Kevin Muente is an artist based in Kentucky, who is also a professor of art at Northern Kentucky University. His work focuses on landscape and figures in landscape, the latter often engaged in some kind of activity, or a state or situation with some emotional resonance. Muente’s approach is one of clear observation and focused […]

Proko's Skelly App

Stan Prokopenko and his team have just released a new app called "Skelly." It's named after the virtual skeleton character from Prokopenko's anatomy instruction videos on YouTube. The Skelly app lets you put the human skeleton into any pose and to see it from any angle. Show More Summary

Art in San Francisco

If you follow this blog you know I haven’t been posting with he same regularity as in the past. I’ve been showing and traveling a lot. Let me bring you up to speed on what I’ve been up to. Last week I flew to San Francisco for the opening...Show More Summary

Kim Parkhurst

Kim Parkhurst is a Massachussetts based illustrator who loves to paint animals, whether in childrens’ book style illustrations or as anthropomorphized versions of particular individuals. In her anthropomorphized animal portraits, she...Show More Summary

Eye Candy for Today: Canaletto’s Capriccio with monumental staircase

A capriccio with a monumental staircase, Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal) Pen and ink with gray wash, roughly 14 x 21 inches ( 36 x 53 cm). Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Royal Collection, which also has a a zoomable version and a […]

Dinotopia / World Beneath Podcast, Episode 14

Close your eyes, open your imagination, and travel to Dinotopia. It's time for Episode 14 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. Show More Summary

Oleg Kozak

Oleg Kozak is a painter from Lviv, Ukraine who paints bright, crisp watercolors of landscapes and portraits. Throughout his landscapes runs a fascination with the play of light and shadow; with dappled light, in particular, theatrically spotlighting key elements while others recede into darkness. I’m especially fond of his portrayals of smaller, more intimate portions […]

On-the-Spot Humorous Illustration

I like trying out new ideas when I'm drawing on location. One approach that I tried many years ago is the on-the-spot character study. For this one, I was sitting in a barber shop while a customer was getting a haircut. I told them what I was doing, and they didn't pay much attention to me after that. Show More Summary

The Meissonier / Mackay Affair

A scandal about a displeased portrait client damaged the career of the most famous painter of his day, Ernest Meissonier (French 1815-1891), and ended with the portrait thrown onto a fire. Ernest Meissonier, Self Portrait Despite his...Show More Summary

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