Happy Leyendecker Baby New Year 2018!

Happy Leyendecker Baby New Year fro Lines and Colors
As I’ve done every December 31st for the last 12 years, I’ll wish Lines and Colors readers a Happy New Year with more of J.C. Leyendecker’s wonderful Saturday Evening Post New Years covers.

The brilliant American illustrator J.C. Leyendecker set our modern conception of representing the new year as a baby, with the use of a New Years baby to welcome in 1908 in the cover shown above, top. He continued the practice every year into the 1940s, usually incorporating topics of the day into his interpretation of the baby.

Here’s hoping you all have a great new year, filled with lots of fantastic art and inspiration!



Thierry Duval

Thierry Duval, watercolors of Paris
Thierry Duval is an artist from Paris, France, who paints the streets, buildings, plazas — and especially, bridges — of his home city in crisp, precisely observed watercolors.

Some of his paintings brim with light and contrast, others are poetically muted and atmospheric. Almost all have a palpable sense of the textures of stone, water and natural forms.

I can’t find a dedicated website for Duval, but you can see examples of his work on his Flickr galleries, and lots of images and videos of his process on his Instagram feed.

There is a collection of his work, Vues de Paris à L’aquarelle that I cannot find on Amazon US, but it is apparently available directly from the artist (information here); you can also see it on Amazon.fr. It is also apparently available from Gourcuff Gradenigo.

There is a brief overview of Duval’s work on YouTube and on Tutt’Art.

[Suggestion courtesy of James Gurney]


James Niehues

James Niehues, hand painted aerial maps of ski resorts
James Niehues ia an artist based in Colorado who creates hand-painted aerial maps of ski resorts, golf resorts and other outdoor sporting sites.

He paints these at relatively large scale in gouache, using both brushes and airbrush, which allows him to give a high level of detail and texture to his largely mountainous scenes.

In the galleries on his website you will also find ski resorts in other parts of the US and internationally, as well as golf resorts. In addition, you will find aerial map views of mountain landscapes in warmer months and more traditional landscape views that he calls “scenic paintings”. (These are accessed from a not too obvious pop-out menu in the main navigation, or from a list in the page footer.)

Niehuse has a number of his images available as prints through ImageKind.


Eye Candy for Today: Claude Lorrain drawing of an oak tree

Study of an Oak Tree, Claude Lorrai
Study of an Oak Tree, Claude Lorrain

Roughly 13 x 9 inches (33 x 22 cm), pen and brown ink, brown wash, over graphite.

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable version here, as part of this article on the Claudian Landscape; original is in the British Museum.

17th century French painter Claude Lorrain was one of the most influential landscape painters in Western Art, and his classical landscapes inspired painters for generations after. His influence on John Constable, for example, was considerable, and this drawing may have been direct inspiration for one of Constable’s own location oil sketches (as seen in this post on Constable, in the seventh image down).

Claude composed his large landscape paintings in the studio, but based their naturalistic details on field drawings. This one is perhaps more finished than most, with a beautiful composition of its own, a keen observation of detail and a wonderful sense of atmospheric perspective and distance.

I love how he has “turned” the form of the tree trunk, with the dimly lit ivy on the left edge leading into deeper shadow, through the subdued middle tones and out to the brightly lit bark at the right.


Felepe Santamans

Felepe Santamans, pastel still life and figures
Felepe Santamans is a contemporary Spanish artist from Valencia who trained at the Academy Barrera of Valencia, and continued in The School of Fine Arts at the Fuster Academy. He also studied under Jose Espert, who he counts as a major influence.

Santamans’ original training was in oil painting, but he moved into pastel, attracted by the brilliance of color afforded by the medium.

His subjects are primarily figures and still life; in both he achieves a vibrance and presence that also take advantage of the textural effects for which pastel is ideal.

I can’t find a dedicated sited for Santamans, but there are other sites that show a selection of his work.

[Via Jeffery Hayes]


Rembrandt etching: Adoration of the Shepherds

The Adoration of the Shepherds, Rembrandt Harmenz van Rijn
The Adoration of the Shepherds, Rembrandt Harmenz van Rijn

Etching and drypoint, roughly 6 x 8 inches (15 x 20 cm); in the collection of the Rijksmuseum. There is also a version on Google Art Project.

Here we see another example of Rembrandt’s uncanny mastery of the art of etching. His daring composition, in which the attending figures barely emerge from the darkness, is dramatic and subtle at the same time.

As with most etchings, this one exists as a number of versions from different states of the plate. The Rijksmuseum itself has at least two other prints, from the second state and the sixth state, in which Rembrandt has made the main figures darker and the light even more subtle.

I prefer this earlier version, though, because of the wonderful linear quality of the drawing of the mother and child.