Blog Profile / Gurney Journey

Filed Under:Arts / General Visual Arts
Posts on Regator:2758
Posts / Week:6.7
Archived Since:August 9, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Interpreting in Pen and Ink

How would you translate this photograph into a pen and ink drawing? Here's the way Charles Maginnis, a writer from 1903, analyzed the problem. "First of all, then, does the subject, from the point of view at which the photograph is taken, compose well? It cannot be said that it does. Show More Summary

Drawing Animals: Advice from 1907

"The only materials needed for sketching from live animals in the field are two pencils, one soft and blunt, and one fairly hard and well sharpened; a sketch-book, preferably of the loose leaf kind, of small size; and a soft eraser."So begins a 1907 article on animal drawing in the children's magazine St. Show More Summary


A zograscope is an optical device designed to disrupt depth cues when looking at a flat picture and create the feeling that you're looking at a real scene.It consists of a large lens held vertically in a frame, and attached to an angled mirror. Show More Summary

Liljefors: Pine Marten and Grouse

Bruno Liljefors (Swedish, 1860-1939) painted this dramatic scene of a pine marten jumping up to capture a black grouse hen. The marten appears at the top of its leap, its rear feet upraised and its tail in a blur. Liljefors, Pine marten...Show More Summary

World's Blackest Black

Even the blackest pigment reflects back a lot of light. But now scientists have developed Vantablack, a high-tech surface that absorbs nearly 100% of the light that reaches it. (Link to video on YouTube)

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

Sometimes a still life won't hold still.

Here's an interesting subject for a quick gouache study: a frosted cake sitting on the counter at the diner. It's got it all: chrome, a clear plastic cover, a paper doily, and white frosting. There's a warm underpainting in casein that I can leave mostly intact to represent the linoleum counter. Show More Summary

Character Design: Drawing vs. Acting

A single drawing of a character in a standing pose isn't really a character design. Bob Clampett's model sheet for Daffy Duck That's why good model sheets have so many extreme poses and expressions. And that's why animators make the best character designers.A character design is more about acting performance than it is about static design. Show More Summary

Dinotopia Miniatures Now in Taiwan

The Dinotopia models by Bill Lankford are now installed at the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan. Previously: Tennessee Man Builds Dinotopia in Miniature

Demo by Kazuo Oga

In this video, Studio Ghibli's background painting master Kazuo Oga demonstrates how he paints a misty landscape. (Thanks, Daroo)He's using Knicker poster color, which comes in jars. He wets both sides of the paper before placing it on the work surface. Show More Summary

A Watercolor Landscape by J. W. North

On the recent post about the misty landscapes of John William Tristram, you all had some great insights about methods with watercolor and gouache, in particular about painting over a ground primed with white gouache. John William North,...Show More Summary

Announcing "Metro North" coming out next month.

Thanks to your support and enthusiasm, "Metro North"—Vol.2 of the Living Sketchbook app—is in production and will come out on April 17. (Link to video) I'm using 1-Shot sign painter's enamel for the lettering on a Pentalic watercolor journal. Show More Summary

John William Tristram

John William Tristram (1870-1938) was an Australian watercolor painter with a poetic sense of softness and atmosphere.The forms seem veiled, and the values are relatively light in key, with just that dark tree mass anchoring the tones. Show More Summary

Flurry Effect

Animator Dave Tendlar invented what he called the "Flurry Effect" in 1935 for a Fleischer / Popeye short called Choose Your 'Weppins.'(Skip ahead to 4:58) The idea is to fill the air with such a profusion of fragmented elements that you can't tell what phase of the action you're looking at.The Road Runner / Wile E. Show More Summary

Window 10 at the DMV

Jeanette is having her driver's license renewed, so we're sitting in the waiting room at the DMV. People fill out their forms and get called up to different windows to have their picture taken and their eyes tested (Link to video on Facebook). Show More Summary

Question about Flesh Tones

Thomas DuVal asks: any tips for getting realistic skin tones with watercolor? I'm having a hard time with my portraits looking lifeless, or like dolls. Thanks! Tom Lovell, oil Thomas, here's what one of my heroes, Tom Lovell, said I when asked him the same question (about oil): "Keep in mind that flesh tones are essentially quite neutral. Show More Summary

Gouache: Tubes or Pans?

Today let's consider some questions that blog readers often ask about gouache. Do you use gouache squeezed out of tubes, or dried in pan form? Secondly, how do you reactivate the gouache after it dries on your palette? It is possible to use gouache in pans, since gouache is water soluble. Show More Summary

March Snow in Kingston

A beam of late afternoon sunlight slashes across the road and wraps over a snowbank. The light is fleeting, and so is the snow. A tangle of bare branches veils The Governor Clinton Apartments. I want to cram it all into my little book. Show More Summary

Guest Post from Codeman Dan

Today let's hear from Dan Gurney, the developer of our new sketching app. This is adapted from his article in Medium called Building the “Living Sketchbook” app. Dan says: "My dad is an artist, and for a long time he’s wished for anShow More Summary

The Living Sketchbook App is Live

The Living Sketchbook™ is new technology that lets you experience one of my sketchbooks on your smartphone or tablet. (Link to video trailer on YouTube)The first in the series, Volume 1: Boyhood Home, is now available for iOS iPhones and iPads at the App Store and for Android phones and tablets at Google Play. Show More Summary

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