Thursday, August 25, 2016

Stan Miller

Stan Miller, watercolor and tempera
Spokane Washington based painter Stan Miller works in both watercolor and egg tempera, taking as his subjects portraits, landscapes, and in particular, scenes of Venice.

The play of light across textural surfaces plays a key role in all of his compositions, whether revealing the turn of form in a face and head, illuminating the textures of weathered clapboard or dancing off the water in a stone-lined canal.

Within these contexts, Miller explores subtle transitions of color, sophisticated variation in edges and a range of dramatic and muted value relationships.

Miller teaches workshops in Washington State, as well as in other parts of the country. He also has a series of short instructional videos on YouTube (there is an alternate listing of them on Parka Blogs, arranging them by subject).


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Eye Candy for Today: Ingres pencil portrait of Adolphe-Marcellin Defresne

Portrait of Adolphe-Marcellin Defresne, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, graphite pencil
Portrait of Adolphe-Marcellin Defresne, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Graphite pencil on paper, roughly 17×12 inches (43×29 cm). Original is in the Morgan Library and Museum.

Here is another of Ingres’s wonderful pencil portraits, with his trademark combination of exacting portraiture, and loose, almost casual rendering of the figure.

The Morgan Library’s page offers both a zoomable and downloadable version of the image, though the zoomable is a bit larger. Note the “full screen” icon at the right of the controls under the zoomable image.

See my previous Eye Candy post on Ingres’ pencil portrait of the subject’s wife: Mme Adolphe-Marcellin Defresne, née Sophie Leroy.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Leszek Kostuj

Leszek Kostuj, surreal paintings
Polish artist Leszek Kostuj works in traditional media like acrylic and oil, as well as in drawing and digital art.

His flights of imagination are often intricately detailed, layered with overlays of faces and eyes, and arranged in waves of cool colors laced with warmer accents.

Kostuj’s subjects, which often include stylized birds, fish and other natural forms, can vary from whimsical and somewhat representational to more pattern-like divisions of space, dimensionally rendered as fantastical reliefs.

I enjoy the way he plays with the relative size of his elements, giving suggestions of distance with scale and pulling your eye deeper into his images. He combines this with compositional arrangements of curvilinear or wavy forms that suggest movement and energy.

There is a playful, dreamlike quality to his paintings, suggesting a stream-of-consciousness approach to their creation.

His website is in Polish, but with translation flags for other languages at upper right>. The galleries in the translated versions are more limited, though, and the full ones are easily navigated in the Polish version. (I also found that once you click on the English translation flag, some of the navigation for the Polish language site does not work properly, particularly the gallery links.)

I found the gallery of new work particularly interesting. You can also find his work on deviantART and other sites linked below.


Eye Candy for Today: George Roth Landscape

View in the Bentheim Forest, George Andries Roth, oil on canvas
View in the Bentheim Forest, George Andries Roth

Link is to original in the Rijksmusem, which has both zoomable and downloadable versions (with free Rijksstudio account); additional downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons.

In this wonderful 19th century landscape, a shaft of late afternoon light slices through a break in a German forest, illuminating some objects, casting others into deep shadow, and gently warming trees in the distance.

I love the contrast between the dramatic lighting on the foreground tree and the more subtle modulation of value in the groups of trees behind it. There is also a visually fascinating layering of planes of dark and light as your eye moves back into the depth of the landscape.

The workers, horses and their activity give the scene focus and scale. My eye comes in on the foreground tree, shifts down to the middle left foreground, travels back along the path of light through the figures, up through the shaft of the lighter background, curves back through the sky and drops down into the foreground tree — ready to make the pleasurable passage again.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Mars Huang (B6 Drawing Man)

Mars Huang (B6 Drawing Man), watercolor and ink sketches
Mars Huang is an artist based in Japan (I think — most of the pieces are labeled as scenes from Japan and Taiwan). Though he signs his work “Mars”, his Tumblr blog credits him only as “B6 Drawing man”; it wasn’t until I followed a link to one of his process videos on Vimeo, that I came across his actual name.

His blog is filled with delightfully loose and gestural ink and watercolor sketches of architecture, interior spaces, and, in particular, quirky vehicles like scooters and small cars — often loaded down with luggage.

He excels at reducing complex subjects down to their linear essentials, highlighting them with just enough touches of color to give you a sense of texture and presence.

Be sure to follow the link trough to the larger images on his blog, the small example images I’m posting here don’t give an adequate feeling for the work.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Eye Candy for Today: Greuze’s Broken Vessel

The Broken Vessel (La Cruche cassee), Jean-Baptiste Greuze
The Broken Vessel (La Cruche cassée), Jean-Baptiste Greuze

Link is to downloadble large file on Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Louvre.

Though the actual meaning is open to interpretation, the general assumption is that the allegorical subject suggested by the gathered flower petals and broken vase is one of lost innocence and defloration.

Greuze has emphasized the young woman’s youth with the soft edges and delicate handling of her face and hands, contrasted with the more bold and painterly rendering of the vase, dress and flowers.

Somewhat lost here in the delicacy of the presentation is the strongly geometric draftsmanship evident in Greuze’s drawings and many of his portraits.