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DIY Pochade Boxes – make your own cheap pochade box from simple materials

As I pointed out in my previous post on making DIY pochade boxes out of cigar boxes, the cost of a commercial pochade box can sometimes be prohibitive, particularly for those on a tight budget or who are as yet uncertain if they want to commit serious resources to plein air painting. So blog posts […]

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 […]

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

Cesar Santos and his Sketchbook

Cuban-American portrait painter Cesar Santos uses his sketchbooks for mixed media, including oil. He started this portrait in pencil, sealed the surface with fixative, and then used semi-transparent layers of oil over it. He also makes master copies from statues in museums, changing them a bit to add natural hair and realistic eyes with irises. Show More Summary

Mapping an art style onto a talking face

Daniel Sýkora has developed software that uses the stylistic information from a painting or sculpture,and applies it to video of a moving face, changing the metrics to match the target face. (Link to YouTube) Note: the video is silent. Show More Summary

Generative design resembles Art Nouveau

Computer modeling tools such as ZBrush and Maya have made it easier to visualize whatever form that a human designer imagines. And 3D printing has made it possible to translate that design into physical form. "The three structural elements...Show More Summary

Evolving the Camera Lucida

For centuries, artists have developed devices to help translate what they see directly onto paper. One of those tools is the camera lucida, which has remained popular even after the invention of photography.As you look through the viewfinder,...Show More Summary

Preview of CGI Tech at Siggraph 2017

(Link to YouTube) Every year at the Siggraph conference, pioneers in the field of computer graphics share their new technology.This geeky preview highlights the technical accomplishments that will filter down to the visual effects we see in movies and animated TV commercials. Show More Summary

Text-to-Image Synthesis

Novel photo-real images generated by an adversarial network of computers based solely on a written prompt, without human intervention or photo cues.Low resolution version on top row iterated to higher res on bottom row.via Olivier Grisel...Show More Summary

Eye tracking a pianist

(Link to YouTube) Expert pianist Daniel Beliavsky and his student Charlotte Bennett analyze eye-tracking footage taken while they perform, both from memory and from sheet music.The more experienced pianist knows where the keys are and...Show More Summary

James Gurney’s Living Sketchbook app

One of the most fascinating ways to see into the mind of an artist is to have the opportunity to look through their sketchbooks. This is not often possible, sketchbooks are frequently personal, full of unfinished thoughts and experiments and seldom voulnteered for display by the artists themselves. When the opportunity does arise, it’s a […]

Daniel Sprick

Originally from Arkansas, educated in Colorado and New York and currently living in Denver, Daniel Sprick is an American painter who focuses on portraits, figures and still life, and occasionally landscape. Sprick’s subjects are clearly observed, precisely drawn and rendered with finess, but to my eye, they always seem to carry with them an element […]

Animated film "Scavengers"

Scavengers from Joseph Bennett on Vimeo."Scavengers" is an animated short that presents human explorers dealing with a strange alien biology on a foreign planet. (Link to Vimeo) Part of the effectiveness of the film comes from the decision not to use spoken language and very little music, focusing instead on concrete sound effects.Via Cartoon Brew

X-ray video technology

Using a combination of X-ray video, motion control tracking, and computer graphics, scientists are able to show what goes on inside animals while they're moving. Frames from an XROMM made by Jonas Lauströer. Above are stills of a chihuahua's...Show More Summary

Dealing with Our Inner Critic

Gabriel Cornelius Ritter von Max (1840-1915), who actually lived with a family of monkeys Over on YouTube, Natasha asks: "Because of all your videos, it has inspired me to want to go out and quit being afraid of what others think or say about my paintings. Show More Summary

Pep Talk from Harvey Dunn

American illustrator Harvey Dunn (1884-1952) gave the following "kick in the butt" to his students about the importance of graduating from student work to your life work, driven by personal ideas. "When I was out in Chicago recently, I went into a class, a sort of a club where seven or eight men were painting and doing good student work. Show More Summary

Optical Box (1750-1790)

This optical box from the Museum of Cinema in Catalonia dates from the late 18th century. (Link to YouTube video). It had multiple functions: You could use it as a camera obscura for drawing. Besides this, it could be folded up into the shape of a book and easily transported. Show More Summary

X-Story, Vitaliy Shushko

X-Story is an animated short (roughly 12 minutes) by Vitaliy Shushko. At first, I thought this was a promo or incorporated animation for a game from a major company. Given the production values, length and level of accomplishment, I was surprised to find that this was an independent animation project. I checked Shushko’s blog and […]

Casein Painting in the Wild, James Gurney

Casein is a water based paint that uses milk protein as its binder. It shares many characteristics with gouache; both are water-based, opaque and dry to an appealing matte finish. Both dry quickly and can be used in concert with other water based mediums. Both are neglected step-children of watercolor and are somewhat on the […]

Caricature Iterations

It often takes four or five tries at a caricature to before a theme emerges. Then it's a matter of simplifying. Tony DeMarco, fiddler in the Irish tradition from NYC Tony was talking and moving as he played a concert, so I had a chance to observe him in a variety of angles and expressions. If you want a reality check, you can watch Tony talk and fiddle on this YouTube video.

General Visual Arts
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