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Bill Cone

Bill Cone is a visual development and background artist for Pixar Animation Studios, and is also a dedicated plein air pastel painter. There is often some question about whether pastel is “drawing” or “painting”. It can be either, of course (or even both simultaneously), but I think the distinction has more to do with handling […]

Aug(de)mented Reality 2

Marty Cooper, who goes by the name "Hombre McSteez," animates in plein air, using felt-tipped markers, whiteout, transparency cels, and an iPhone. He calls the result "Aug(de)mented Reality." Here's the latest. Watch for the Adam Savage cameo.And here's the original video, which has racked up more than four million views.

Eye Candy for Today: Roslin’s Lady with the Veil

The Lady with the Veil, Alexander Roslin Zoomable image on Google Art Project, downloadable high resolution file on Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Nationalmuseum Sweden. Roslin, a Swedish Rococo portrait painter who spent much of his career in France, used his wife, pastel painter Marie-Suzanne Giroust, as his model for this enigmatic and alluringly […]


Gemi is the professional name used by a Japanese illustrator who works in watercolor (or its digital equivalent, I’m uncertain); and whose compositions often center on a lone young woman in contemplative situations. Though some of her work is of more commonplace subjects, in the stylistic vein of manga and anime, much of it is […]

Laurent Gapaillard

Laurent Gapaillard is a French concept and visual development artist for the film and gaming industries. He is also noted for children’s book illustration, particularly The Yark, written by Bertrand Santini (images above, bottom four) Gapaillard has a blog, though it hasn’t been active for a couple of years, and doesn’t include much in the […]

A Portrait of Whistler

Portrait painters have often observed that the more faithful the likeness, the more the subject will hate it.Sir John Lavery, who knew James Abbott McNeill Whistler well said that Giovanni Boldini's portrait of him was a speaking likeness.But Whistler didn't think so. Show More Summary

Eye Candy for Today: Cropsey’s Starrucca Viaduct

Starrucca Viaduct, Pennsylvania, Jasper Francis Cropsey On Google Art Project, high resolution downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Toledo Museum of Art. Given the level of detail, Cropsey’s painting of the Susquehanna River Valley, and the great railroad viaduct that spanned the river in northeastern Pennsylvania, is smaller in scale that might […]

Charles Santore

Philadelphia illustrator Charles Santore stated out doing editorial illustrations — individual pieces that accompanied articles in periodicals — but once he experienced an assignment to illustrate a children’s book, a new edition ofShow More Summary

Painting Big, Painting Small

On the internet, images have no scale; they only have resolution. But in public exhibitions, size matters. Artists who want their original paintings to stand out in a gallery or museum show know that you can grab a viewer's attention if you paint really big or really small. Show More Summary

Eye Candy for Today: Herbert Railton pen and ink illustration

Entance to the Poets Corner, from A Brief Account of Westminster Abbey; Herbert Railton Railton was a well known 19th century British artist and illustrator, and is one of my favorite pen and ink artists. His wonderful architectural renderings are a brilliant balance of detail and suggestion. Intricate textural passages can lead directly into areas […]

Robert Reid

Robert Lewis Reid was an American painter active in the late 19thand early 20th centuries. He was a member of the Ten American Painters, a group that broke away from the established and tradition-bound Society of American Artists to pursue the new styles of painting being explored in Europe by the Impressionists and others. Like […]

Weaving warm and cool threads throughout the picture

Hans Heysen (1884-1968) was an Australian painter who was born in Germany. In his watercolors he achieved a luminous, colorful effect with a very simple warm-cool palette. In the painting "Midsummer Morning" 1908, his color range is restricted to blues and yellow/orange colors. Show More Summary

Dan Gurney Receives 2014 Edison-Ford Medal

My cousin Dan Gurney was recently honored with the 2014 Edison-Ford Medal for Innovation. NBC created this tribute film about his lifetime of achievement as a race car driver, engineer, builder, and team owner. (Link to video) In accepting the award, he said, “This is truly an amazing, humbling award. Show More Summary

Eye Candy for Today: The Sense of Sight, Annie Louisa Swynnerton

The Sense of Sight, Annie Louisa Swynnerton (née Robinson) On Google Art Project, downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. Swynnerton depicts an angel enraptured by the visual world, as no doubt was the artist.

Rembrandt: The Late Works at the National Gallery, London

Rembrandt: The Late Works is a landmark exhibition of paintings, drawings and etchings of the 17th century Dutch master on view at the National Gallery, London, until 18 January 2015. There are some great works in the exhibition, including the two remarkable self-portraits I recently highlighted here and here, along with other masterpieces. Among the […]

Folies Bergère

Advertising posters for music-hall cabaret shows in Paris in the late 19th century Title: Folies-Bergère, tous les soirs, Thaumaturgie humoristique par le Comte Patrizio de Castiglione Artist: Jules ChéretDate: 1875Title: Folies-Bergère...Les Prices, ramoneurs musicaux...Artist: F Appel (lithographer)Date: 1890Title: Folies-Bergère. Show More Summary

Pawel Kuczynski

Pawel Kuczynski is a Polish artist whose illustrations combine characteristics of satirical social commentary cartoons and editorial illustration. Using a rendered style, Kuczynski uses metaphor and logical twists to point out injustice, absurdity, greed, and other social ills, as well as simply exploring some whimsical flights of fancy. Show More Summary

Going Beyond the Facts

Blog reader Haden asks: "Everyone is familiar with the rule - the darkest light in the light has to be lighter than the lightest dark in the shadow. Keep the light and dark tonal ranges separate to show realistic form. But I've seenShow More Summary

Arnold Böcklin’s Isle of the Dead (Alte Nationalgalerie version)

Isle of the Dead, Arnold Böcklin Today is Halloween, or Hallow’een, short for “All Hallows’ Evening” — the evening before a day dedicated to remembrance of the dead (and marked by costumery and other activities meant to mock death itself). With the theme of the dead in mind, here is one of five different versions […]

Jared Muralt

Swiss illustrator and comics artist Jared Muralt works in a pen and ink style that combines line and hatching with bits of lightly applied stipple. Many of his illustrations are colored, either with watercolor or digital color. You can see his work as within the milieu of French and Belgian comics art styles, particularly those […]

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