Thomas Fluharty

paintings, illustration, charicatures
After an extensive career as an illustrator and storyboard artist, Thomas Fluharty has turned his focus to personal projects, often applying his classical art training to painted caricatures of pop culture icons.

As you explore his website, you’ll find other series, including wonderfully expressive dogs and nicely nasty sharks.

You can also find a selection of his illustration, both editorial and for children’s books. In the latter section are many of my favorites of his paintings.

Also in his website galleries, and even more on his Instagram feed, are examples of his fluid and gestural drawings, some preliminary for finished works and some drawn just for their own sake.

In his website store, you will find not only books, prints and originals, but layered PSD files that can be purchased to examine his technique.

Fluharty also teaches classes in oil painting and drawing fundamentals through Schoolism.

Fluharty is a children’s book author as well as illustrator, and you can find several of his titles on Amazon.


Alexander Zavarin

Alexander Zavarin, landscape, still life, figutative paintings
Alexander Zavarin is a painter currently living and working in Moscow.

Zavarin often works in a highly textural style, with thick paint application and physical textures contributing to the overall look and appeal of his paintings. It looks as though much is done with painting knives, but I don’t actually have any information about his process.

At times, he moves toward the non-representational, but doesn’t quite step over that line, with large rough edged shapes and blocks of color still resolving into recognizable objects. At other times, he moves toward the more straightforwardly representational, and into Tonalist territory.

His still life paintings are notable not only for their forceful use of texture, but for his application of color in a way that is similar to the atmospheric effects normally applied to landscape.

You can view the galleries on his website by category. In the “Miscellaneous category, you’ll find works that feature stylized figures and often have a narrative component; whether they were intended as illustrations, I don’t know.

I prefer to browse through by the general category of “Painting“, viewing a mix of his subjects and styles.

As much as I enjoy his use of color and texture, it’s Zavarin’s varied use of edges I find most interesting, from broken and scumbled to softly feathered, sometimes sharp and sometimes “lost”, giving his compositions an appealing sense of unity and harmony.


Eye Candy for Today: Frederic Leighton’s Winding the Skein

Winding the Skein, Lord Frederic Leighton

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

I think the Google Art Project version — and the downloadable version of that file on Wikimedia Commons — are too warm and saturated. The images on the Art Gallery of New South Wales site are much lighter and seem more naturalistic (in contrast to the tendency many museums have to post images that are too dark). For the images above, I’ve adjusted the file from Wikimedia Commons to be closer in appearance to the smaller images from the museum.

While the Art Gallery of NSW doesn’t offer a high resolution image, they do feature a number of detail enlargements on their page for the painting.

Leighton’s dreamily idealized bit of labor is set against the backdrop of a real place, the bay of Lindos on the Greek island of Rhodes.


Richard Doyle

Richard Doyle, Victorian illustrator and cartoonist
Richard “Dickie” Doyle was a Victorian illustrator and cartoonist, known for his work as a fairy story illustrator and as a cartoonist for Punch, the seminal British humor magazine, for which he designed the masthead.

Doyles fantasy illustrations, done in ink and watercolor, were colorful and often richly textural. They were innocently charmingly with an occasional touch of darker themes.

Examples of Doyle’s work on the web are somewhat scattered and inconsistent in size, but there are enough good images to make a search worthwhile. I’ve listed several resources below.

Richard Doyle was the uncle of Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


Eye Candy for Today: Willem Claesz Heda’s Banquet Piece with Mince Pie

Banquet Piece with Mince Pie,
Banquet Piece with Mince Pie, Willem Claesz Heda

Oil on canvas, roughly 56 x 58 inches (143 x 147 cm).

In the National Gallery of Art, DC, which has both a zoomable and downloadable version. The largest downloadable version (which requires a free sign-in account) is 4000 pixels wide and 20 MB in file size.

There is also a zoomable file on Google Art Project, and a downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons. The largest version of the latter is even larger, at 10,000 pixels wide and 43 MB in file size.

Grand paintings of luxurious meals served in expensive dinnerware — or the aftermath of such meals — were popular with the wealthy merchant class in the Netherlands in the 17th century. Willem Claesz (Claeszoon) Heda was one of the supreme masters of the form.

It’s interesting to compare his paintings in this genre to his similarly masterful contemporary Pieter Claesz.


Howard Friedland

Howard Friedland, landscape, still life and animal paintings
Originally from New York, Howard Friedland is a painter living and working in Bozeman, Montana.

In addition to finding subjects in the area where he lives, Friedland has traveled and painted across the U.S. as well as in Europe and China.

His approach is boldly painterly, his confident brush marks describing his subjects with geometric solidity while edges dissolve into atmosphere and distance.

Freidland’s subjects fall into three broad categories, landscape, still life and other subjects, including wild and domestic animals.

I particularly enjoy his compositions that are, in essence, outdoor still life, in which sunlight reveals the objects very differently than artificial lighting.

Friedland conducts workshops both in the U.S. and abroad.

Howard Friedland is married to painter Susan Blackwood, and their website is shared, as is the Jade Street Gallery site, that offers their work for sale.

Friedland is also represented by Highlands Art Gallery, and you will find some larger images of his paintings on their site than on his own, which give you a better idea of his surface quality and brush work.