Monday, September 15, 2014

Eye Candy for Today: Tanner’s Seine

The Seine, Henry Ossawa Tanne
The Seine, Henry Ossawa Tanner

Original is in the National Gallery of Art, DC, zoomable version here; high-resolution downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons.

Though not the subject matter for which he is best known, brilliant American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner, who spent most of his later career in France, painted a number of beautifully atmospheric and richly painterly views of Paris and the Seine.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this piece in person, and it’s just a treat.

For more, see my previous posts on Henry Ossawa Tanner (and here).

Sally Tharp (update)

Sally Tharp, still life, color glass, Ball jars
Since I last wrote about Sally Tharp four years ago, she has expanded her variety of approach and subject matter, added more work to her online portfolio, and is now represented by the Shain Gallery in Charlotte, NC.

Her primary source of inspiration and fascination, however, remains with the way light cascades, reflects and refracts through colored glass, in particular Ball canning jars.

She also has a series in which she investigates the rippled surfaces of coke bottles, and her newer subjects include household objects like fans, toys, candy, birds nests, paper bags and clouds.

[Via FASO Fine Art Views]

How to Sharpen a Pencil for Drawing – Karl Gnass

How to Sharpen a Pencil for Drawing - Karl Gnass
At first I though this would be superficial, and though it does go through the basics we all think we know from art school, I’ve been sharpening artist pencils for more years than I can count, and I learned a few things.

Karl Gnass transitioned from a career as concept and storyboard artist into teaching drawing, often to newer generations of artists in the same field.

How to Sharpen a Pencil for Drawing (Part 1) is the first of a four part series on YouTube, that moves from sharpening basics to drawing with tone and form, using the sharpening method that facilitates use of the pencil for both. He emphasizes the advantages of preliminary sketching in tone, making it easier to search and change before committing with line.

These techniques are most suited to compressed charcoal, Prismacolor or other drawing pencils in which the media is soft and relatively thick.

The video series then moves into two more parts on How to Draw the Figure with Line and Tone. There are a number of other videos available on his YouTube channel.

His website is largely promotional for his classes, seminars, books and videos, but there is a gallery section with several examples of his fluid, gestural line and tone figure drawing and portrait style.

[Via ParkaBlogs @ParkaBlogs]

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Eye Candy for Today: Bouguereau’s Work Interrupted

Work Interrupted, William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Work Interrupted, William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Image on Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Mead Art Museum, Amherst College.

Beautifully controlled values and subtle, reserved color in this fanciful depiction of a young woman distracted from her work of winding balls of wool by thoughts of romance — in the person of Cupid, who delicately dabs her ear with perfume.

Though not one of my favorites among 19th century academic painters, I do admire Bouguereau’s skill. Others usually have stronger opinions, one way or the other. See my previous post on William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

Gobelins graduating student animations 2014

Gobelins graduating student animations 2014
Each year for the past 9 years, I’ve been highlighting the annual series of student short animations from Gobelins, l’école de l’image (Goeblins School of Communications) in Paris, that are used as introductions for the daily events at the Annecy International Festival of Animation in the spring.

I’ve been lax, however, in pointing out the longer sets of animated shorts created each year by teams of graduating students at the school.

In comparison to the Annecy shorts, these are longer, 3-4 minutes, and more fully realized as stories. They also, unlike the Annecy shorts, sometimes have words — translated here with subtitles — though most are still wordless. Some incorporate a bit of CGI, but all have a hand-drawn look and feel.

They are also all a bit strange and beautiful. The link I’ve provided drops you into the YouTube queue, beginning with the film called Duo, and the autoplay feature, or playlist links on the right, will take you through the others.

(Images above, screen captures only, not embedded videos: Duo, Edgard, 8.9, Mortal Breakup Inferno, Nebula, Un Certain Regard, Wand’s Wander — please see playlist for credits of student teams)

[Via MetaFilter]

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Charles Muench

Charles Muench, paintings of the Sierra Nevadas and southwest
Nevada painter Charles Muench primarily paints landscape and figures, sometimes combining the two in paintings of figures or portraits in the landscape. Some of these take on the subject of nude figures wading in the shallow water of streams, in obvious admiration for the work of Swedish master Anders Zorn.

Muench also shows his respect for great turn of the 20th century painters of California and the American West — like Maynard Dixon and Edgar Payne — with whom he shares a love of portraying the rugged and colorful mountains and rock formations of those territories.

In all of Muench’s work, however, is his evident fascination with light, both in the rich colors his often brightly lit scenes provide, and particularly in values, the layers of contrasts of light and dark that play through his compositions.

You will sometimes find dark foreground giving way to light middle grounds, only to find the effects of dark and light repeated again in the distance, muted with atmospheric effect.

Muench also plays the the immediate characteristics of light on his foreground subjects, whether figures or the stones on which they sit, glistening in the waters of a softly cascading stream.

In larger reproductions, his work is painterly, with an almost casual surface effect, but carefully laid on a solid framework of traditional draftsmanship.

On his website, you will find galleries of his work in different subject ranges, along with a section of photographs titled “In the Field“, many of which show him working on location. I always enjoy seeing plein air painters working on their pieces in the context of the location, which, in Muench’s case, is often quite dramatic.

Muench teaches workshops and classes, which he lists on his site.

[Via Art and Influence]