He who knows how to appreciate colour relationships, the influence of one colour on another, their contrasts and dissonances, is promised an infinitely diverse imagery.
- Sonia Delaunay
Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.
- Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ingres at the Morgan

Posted by Charley Parker at 11:54 pm

Ingres at the Morgan, graphite drwaings of ean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
Throughout my life I’ve been fortunate to experience a series of wonderful “Ah-Ha!” moments when I’ve come across a new genre or artist that made me feel like I was opening my eyes on a new world.

Discovering the graphite portrait drawings of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres when I was an art student was one of them.

Ingres (pronunciation here) was a renowned French neoclassical painter and one of the finest draftsmen of the 19th Century, if not of Western art in total.

Though he drew in most traditional drawing media, chalk, “crayon” and pen and ink, it was his graphite on paper portrait drawings that wowed me. They have an uncanny presence and weight that belie their actual technique.

Ingres was primarily a portrait painter, and is considered one of the best in the history of art.

His portrait drawings have that amazing character of faces rendered with such skill that they have a palpable personality, but lead your eye into economically rendered bodies and hands that are clearly lines on paper.

I love the sensation produced by the contrast of responding to a drawing as a personality, and within the space of the same drawing, responding to it as a drawing.

I’m not sure if my description is adequate to explain what I mean, but I think anyone who has experienced what I’m trying to describe will recognize the delight it can bring to those who love drawings. (For another example, see Rubens’ portrait drawing of Isabella Brant.)

It also astonishes me how tight and detailed the faces in Ingres’ portrait drawings look on first inspection, but how freely they are actually rendered when viewed more closely.

I’ve been lucky to have seen several of Ingres’ drawings in person; these are relatively rare opportunities as works on paper cannot be exposed to light for long periods without shortening their effective lifespan. Several of those occasions have been at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, which counts several excellent examples of Ingres drawings in its permanent collection.

Those in the area can still catch an exhibition of sixteen of them titled Ingres at the Morgan, that is on display until November 27, 2011.

For those who can’t get to the museum in person, the Morgan has a terrific online feature, in which the drawings can be viewed in full-screen zoomable versions. The page of thumbnails is here. When viewing the detail page for an individual drawing, look for the inconspicuous “Full Screen” button at the right of the row of controls under the image.

There is also a nice accompanying feature on Ingres’ drawing materials and methods.

Ingres’ drawings may make you think differently about the capabilities of the humble graphite pencil.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Edward Sorel: Nice Work If You Can Get It

Posted by Charley Parker at 12:35 am

Edward Sorel: Nice Work If You Can Get It
Edward Sorel: Nice Work If You Can Get It is a 20 minute documentary about the well known cartoonist and satirist filmed by his son, Leo Sorel.

In it the cartoonist discusses his career, his freeform, direct-in-ink drawing process and his degree of self criticism. There is also commentary from some of his famous contemporaries and younger artists who have been influenced by his work.

For more, see my previous post on Edward Sorel.

[Via MetaFilter]

Posted in: CartoonsIllustration   |   3 Comments »

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dinotopia 20th Anniversary Edition

Posted by Charley Parker at 11:07 am

James Gurney's Dinotopia 20th Anniversary Edition
Originally released 20 years ago, Dinotopia: A Land apart from Time was the first of artist/author James Gurney’s acclaimed and popular illustrated adventure story books placed in the same mythical land.

Presented as an adventurer’s sketchbook, which the author has “found”, the story resonates with some of the sense of wonder and discovery to be found in classic 19th Century adventure stories.

The original edition has been out of print for some time. Dover books has released a new 20th Anniversary edition, with images digitally scanned from the original transparencies and 32 new pages of material, including sketches, photos and unused plates and a discussion by Gurney of the creation of the original book.

Those in the U.S. can order signed copies directly from the author.

Here is Gurney’s post about the new edition on his blog, Gurney Journey.


Posted by Charley Parker at 12:41 am

Pythagasaurus is a wonderfully realized CGI animated short about “…the Mighty Pythagasaurus, the fabled tyrannosaurus practiced in the skills of trigonometry and long division”.

The short is directed by Peter Peake and animated by Pascale Bories, with wonderful voice characterization by Bill Bailey, Martin Trenaman and Simon Greenall.

Not exactly what you would expect from the preview images (grin).

[Via MetaFilter]

Posted in: 3d CGIAnimation   |   Comments »

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Isabel Guerra

Posted by Charley Parker at 10:02 am

Isabel Guerra
Sister Isabel Guerra is a nun at the Cistercian monastery of Santa Lucia, Zaragoza in Spain. She is a self-taught painter whose work in oil is often strikingly realistic, at times leaning to classical styles, at other times with more modern elements.

Though she also paints landscapes and still lifes, her primary subjects are portraits of women and girls, usually in naturalistic environments or interiors that incorporate still life subjects, and often bathed in shafts of light.

Though she rejected formal instruction, you can see the influence of painters she has studied, Velásquez, Rembrandt, Vermeer and even Bouguereau. She apparently spent a good deal of time studying paintings at the Prado in Madrid.

She is now an honorary member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Luis and the Real Academia de Bellas Artes y Ciencias Históricas de Toledo.

There is very little biographical information available, The isabelguerra.com website is not official but does have a selection of her works, even if they are not always of good quality. There is a brief interview on El Mundo magazine (ES, Google Translate English here).

[Suggestion courtesy of Aelle Ayres]

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Jack Morefield

Posted by Charley Parker at 11:50 pm

Jack Morefield
Boston based painter Jack Morefield paints large scale acrylic paintings, usually portraits and often of contemporary music, pop culture or even literary figures, in which the image is composed of swirling arrangements of colored strands.

These strands, or bands if you prefer, are at times more or less defined; Morefield works with their edges as part of the textural differences by which he composes the paintings.

In addition to his website, you can find a selection of his work on his deviantART gallery.

(Note: some images should be considered NSFW.)

[Via Escape Into Life]

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Brian Blood (update)

Posted by Charley Parker at 11:41 pm

Brian Blood
I came across an mention of his name the other day that made me want to revisit the work of California plein air painter Brian Blood.

There are now literally hundreds of his subtle but richly colored paintings on his website. Don’t miss the fascinating series in which he paints the interiors of California Missions. Click through to larger versions, though they are still on the small side.

You can see larger images of his work on the site of the Jones & Terwilliger Galleries, and a few larger still on Hollis Fine Art.

For more information, see my previous post on Brian Blood.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Justin Sweet

Posted by Charley Parker at 1:46 pm

Justin Sweet
Justin Sweet is a concept artist, illustrator and gallery artist who works primarily in the fantasy genre.

He has worked on motion picture projects like Game of Thrones, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Green Lantern and illustration projects like Magic: The Gathering.

Though his gallery art is in oil and watercolor, Sweet works digitally for his concept art, valuing the flexibility and speed of handling inherent to that medium. There is a brief interview with him on the ImagineFX site.

On his own website, you can find concept art, drawings, illustrations and a newly added section of concept art from Narnia: Prince Caspian (images above, 4th & 5th down).

In the illustration section there is an unexpected treat in the form of wonderfully handled pen and ink/scratchboard style illustrations (images above, bottom two) that I’m assuming were drawn digitally, perhaps with the Scratchboard Tool in Corel Painter.

Sweet’s artwork is currently on view in a solo exhibition at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California, that runs until November 28, 2011. You can see examples of work from the show on the Nucleus website (images above, first three). When the exhibition ends, you should still be able to find Sweet’s work on this page of the Gallery Nucleus website.

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