Originally from Australia, Andrea J, Smith has studied and taught in the U.S. and Europe, and now lives in Rome where she founded and directs Atelier Canova.
In addition to studies at the Florence Academy of Art, where she later became an instructor in drawing, she studied in the U.S. with Michael Aviano, Michael Grimaldi and Nelson Shanks; and co-founded the Harlem Studio of Art with Judy Kudlow.
Smith’s atelier emphasizes classical art training in still life, portrait, figure and landscape painting, and you will find a few examples of her work in those areas in the description of the areas of study.
On her own website, you will find sections for still life, figurative and landscape, with an emphasis on still life.
Her commend of value, color and texture give her still life compositions a wonderful sense of harmony and unity, within which she conjures an almost Chardin-like sense of silent contemplation.
In both her landscape and figurative works, you can also see her dedication to the classical traditions of European painting.
There is something special about the appeal of scratchboard. In skilled hands it can combine some of the visual charm of woodcuts or engravings with the best characteristics of pen and ink.
The work of Douglas Smith is a prime example of the medium’s strengths.
Smith is an illustrator, originally from New York, who established his career in Boston and now lives on the coast of Maine.
His illustrations are often filled with visual drama; but are grounded in the textural characteristics he gives them with his painstakingly executed areas of pattern and linear tone. That anchoring gives them a weight that invites your eye to linger, moving over the drawings more slowly than might ordinarily be the case.
Smith often brings his scratchboard illustrations to a color finish, applying washes of watercolor to a copy of the scratchboard piece. There is a nice description of his illustration process on the site of his artists representative, Richard Solomon, along with an extensive portfolio of his work.
Though the color pieces are presented first, and are indeed wonderful, I recommend continuing back into the “pure” scratchboard, both for a comparison and to enjoy the beautiful linear tones of the black and white work.
Though I can’t find a dedicated website or blog for Smith, you can find additional galleries of his work on Behance and Workbook.
As the latest installment of her wonderful ongoing series of themed “Picturing…” posts on Tor.com, Irene Gallo has posted “Picturing Dinosaurs“, a theme near and dear to my heart (or more accurately, near and dear to the fevered brain of the 10 year old kid in me that still holds major sway over what I like).
For someone who is a self professed non-expert on dinosaurs, Gallo has pretty much covered the bases, with nods to paleo art greats past and present, as well as some fun and essential pop culture dinosaur references like Moebius’s Arzach pterosaur, Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes T-rex in a jet and Kirby’s Devil Dinosaur.
(Images above: Charles R. Knight, Robert F. Walters, William Stout, Rudolph Zallinger, James Gurney, Zdeněk Burian, Peter Schouten, Douglas Henderson)