Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan
For many years, Michael Whelan was one of the best known, most popular and well respected artists in the field of fantasy illustration. His work set new standards for the field and continues to inspire new generations of artists.

In the mid 90’s, Whelan transitioned from illustration into gallery art, bringing his refined draftsmanship, dramatic color and wide ranging imagination into the service of imaginative realism. The galleries on his website include extensive selections of both his illustration work, familiar to many as iconic book and record covers, and his newer gallery paintings.

In the latter, I see possible influence of 19th century painters like Arnold Böcklin and Caspar David Fredrich, as well as other symbolists and perhaps some of the other Victorian painters.

Whelan has a deft touch to blending the classical and modern, both in his subject matter and his approach to painting.

Some of his gallery paintings appear to be parts of series, though they are not arranged that way, in which Whelan returns to visual themes. Many of them have a narrative feel, with an implied rather than implicit story waiting for the viewer’s imagination to take up thread and fly.

In addition to the galleries on his website, there is a shop where you can find original art, prints and books; and under “About the Artist”, a series of FAQs that include information on materials and techniques. Though he occasionally works in oil, Whelan’s preferred medium is acrylic, usually on gessoed panel or watercolor board.

 
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Johannes Bosboom

Johannes Bosboom
Nineteenth century painter Johannes Bosboom is known for his portrayals of church interiors, in which he explored light and volumetric space.

He produced several beautiful cityscapes as well, notably the striking View of the Paris Quay and the Cathedral in Rouen (images above, top, with detail). He was also notable and influential as a landscape watercolorist.

I’m particularly impressed with those oil paintings in which he appears to use a highly textural application of paint, giving the surface a contemporary, painterly feeling. It’s difficult to tell from the available images online how prevalent this is in his work, as it shows best in detail views of certain paintings. You can see it in the Rouen painting, and it is very evident in his painting Interior of the Bakenesserkerk, Haarlem, in the National gallery, London, which I featured in more detail in this Eye Candy post.

A number of his watercolors utilize gouache as well as transparent watercolor, and I also very much like his approach to that medium. Many of his watercolor pieces are location sketches — almost monochromatic, but with touches of other colors and combined with chalk or charcoal.

The best selection of his work I’ve found is on the Rijksmuseum website. (See my post on the new Rijksmuseum website for information on how to download large images. You can also access some of the images on the Memory of the Netherlands project.)

 
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Hopper Drawing

Hopper Drawing
Hopper Drawing is a show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York that pulls from a collection of over 2,500 drawings in the museum’s holdings, along with some of Hopper’s most iconic paintings, to examine both his process as a painter and his role as a draftsman.

Though I have not yet seen the exhibition, I’m loooking forward to it. I particularly enjoy seeing both preliminary drawings for paintings and the finished paintings side by side; few arrangements are more revealing of an artist’s process.

The museum has an online feature showcasing the paintings and related studies, though it is hampered by one of those unnecessarily “clever” interfaces that gets in your way rather than making it easy to browse the images.

A new book, Hopper Drawing, accompanies the exhibition.

Hopper Drawing runs until October 6, 2013.

 
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Randy Gallegos

Randy Gallegos
Randy Gallegos is an illustrator working in the realm of fantasy, largely for the gaming industry.

In contrast to current trends, Gallegos prefers to work traditionally in oil whenever possible, though he can work digitally when the assignment requires it. He also uses digital media for preliminary sketches, though he also likes to work traditionally in that respect as well with charcoal sketches.

Much of his work has a feeling of having roots in classical mythology, though he also ventures into more modern subjects, as in his take on an astronaut as embryo (above, bottom).

On his website you will find three galleries of work, including one of sketches that features preliminary drawings for some of the finished pieces. The site also includes a blog and a section of prints and other available reproductions.

There is a brief interview with Gallegos on Lightspeed magazine.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Whistler’s Purple And Rose

Purple and Rose: The Lange Leizen of the Six Marks, James Abbott McNeill Whistler
Purple and Rose: The Lange Leizen of the Six Marks, James Abbott McNeill Whistler

On Google Cultural Institute: Art Project. Also visible as a single large image on Wikimedia Commons (5mb).

Original is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

I stop to be stunned by this beautiful painting every time I visit the museum. I never tire of it and I missed it when it was on loan.

Today is Whistler’s birthday.

 
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