Garrett Hanna

Garrett Hanna
Originally from Canada and now living in California, Garrett Hanna is an illustrator working primarily in the gaming industry.

Hanna has a wonderfully frenetic, loopy and delightfully over-the-top style that jumps off the page at you. He often works with a bright palette, controlling his compositions with value changes.

You can find his work on his blog and Tumblr, as well as on CGHub.


The miniature marvels of Simon Bening

Simon Bening, illumination miniatures, book of hours, calendar, labors
Prior to the mid-16th century, watercolor was primarily used for the painting of miniatures in illuminated books. These hand-painted and inscribed volumes were usually devotional, but sometimes were essentially calendars.

Perhaps the greatest and last Flemish master of this form was Simon Bening. He was a member of a family of artists. His father, Alexander Bening, was a painter, his eldest daughter became court painter to Edward VI of England, and another daughter was an art dealer.

The best examples, in terms of quantity and image quality, are on the Getty Museum site. There are 90 images. While some are illuminated pages of text with images around the edges, those at the very beginning and very end of the selections are full images. Once you click to the detail page for an individual image, look for the “Download” link under the image for the high-resolution version.

These paintings, done in watercolor on vellum, occasionally augmented with gold leaf, were tiny. Those shown above, at top, first two (each shown here with a detail) were on pages roughly 7 by 4 1/2 inches (18x11cm).

At the very end of the selections on the Getty, are two horizontal images that are roughly 2 by 4 inches (5x10cm), one of which is shown above, with detail — bottom two.

My favorite series, however, is the Labors of the Months, from a book of hours and calendar, accessible on Wikimedia Commons, though the images are not as high quality or high resolution. These are essentially a wonderful series of miniature landscapes, at a time when landscape was just coming into favor as an important subject. There is information about a facsimile of the book here. It is roughly 5 1/2 by 4 inches (14x10cm).

I love the rich, painterly quality Bening achieves with his watercolor (and/or gouache, I presume), even at the restrictive size in which he was working.


Eye Candy for Today: Manet still life

Still Life with Melon and Peaches, Edouard Manet
Still Life with Melon and Peaches, Edouard Manet

A summer table for you on Manet’s birthday.

Manet is noted as a figurative painter, and his still life subjects, I think, often get less attention than they deserve.

Original is in the National Gallery of Art, D.C. There is a good sized image on Wikipedia.


Orlando Arocena

Orlando Arocena
Illustrator and character designer Orlando Arocena is from New York, where he studied at the Pratt Institute.

Arocena works primarily in vector art, creating his striking illustrations in Adobe Illustrator with a Wacom tablet.

His Behance portfolio features lots of process step-throughs, showing the paths in both line and fill mode. You can also find a process article on the Wacom site.

The best way to quickly get a feeling for Arocena’s work, however, is through his portfolio on the site of his artists’ representative, Richard Solomon.

His Behance presence also includes some of his sketches in ballpoint and marker from museums, jazz clubs and public transit.


David Dunlop

David Dunlop
David Dunlop is a painter and lecturer based in Connecticut. He is the author and host of the PBS series Landscapes Through Time, which wrote about earlier today here on Lines and Colors.

I came across his work from that program when I first saw it a few years ago. In the course of the show, he paints quick oil sketches in the manner of several late-19th century painters. His own work is a little more toward interpretive semi-representational landscapes than I would have expected, but I very much like some of his compositions suggestive of reflections in water, and those in which he walks the line between abstraction and naturalism a bit closer to the representational side.

Dunlop’s website has a gallery of his paintings and links to a number of his projects, including Landscapes Through Time — which I believe is due for production of a second series — and a 4 DVD independent series, Painting Landscapes with David Dunlop, and another titled Painting Skies with David Dunlop.

I haven’t seen the latter two sets yet, but I assume they are similar in style to Landscapes Through Time, and you can probably get a feeling for them by viewing his YouTube videos on Ten Minute Oil Sketch, Fog Painting at Prouts Neck, ME and others.

Of particular interest is Dunlop’s blog, on which he engages in more of his thoughtful analysis of various aspects of painting, particularly as it relates to the 19th century painters with whom he feels an affinity.

Dunlop gives lectures and teaches workshops, with information both through his own site and Hudson Valley Art Workshops.


Landscapes Through Time with David Dunlop

Landscapes Through Time with David Dunlop
Landscapes Through Time is a 13-part PBS series, produced several years ago, in which landscape painter David Dunlop goes on location to places were several notable landscape painters, mostly from the late 19th century, painted.

Each episode is devoted primarily to an individual painter. In the half-hour episodes he talks about the painters, their methods, palettes and historical background, all while painting a sketch more or less in the method of the painter he is discussing.

It’s a fascinating, informative and well-done show, and Dunlop is a clear and enthusiastic presenter.

It’s currently playing again on the Create TV channel, an offshoot of PBS, in most locations on Wednesdays at 12:30 PM and Sundays at 6:30 AM.

Unfortunately, the asinine program managers at the channel, instead of repeating the episode from Sunday on Wednesday so you have two chances to catch it, as they have done in the past, are playing the episodes straight through, so you have to get up on Sunday morning at 6:30 to catch them all – or record them, defeating their own efforts to sell them on DVD.

But then, these idiots are determined to squander whatever potential is suggested by the name “Create TV” by doggedly doing their best to turn it into “Just Another Cooking Channel”.

I recommend the shows if you can catch them. Maybe they’ll run them around again before displacing them with “Tomato Salsa I Have Known” or something similar.

There is an excerpt of the show on Monet on YouTube that gives a good idea of the nature of the shows, including Dunlop’s insightful description of the influence of Chevreul’s color theory on Monet and the other Impressionists.

The DVD’s are available through Dunlop’s site, and there is a listing of the episodes here and more detail in this PDF. There are also some other video clips.

Apparently there was a successful (as far as I know) Kickstarter project to get a second series off the ground, but I don’t know the status of production.

Today’s episode, if you can catch it, is “American Impressionists in Giverny”.

[Addendum: Connie Simmons, who produced and directed Landscapes Through Time, has kindly informed me that the second series is in the editing stage. I’ll try to keep you updated when it becomes available.]