New Argon Zark! webcomic page

Argon Zark webcomic new page

Argon Zark webcomic new page (detaile)

It’s not that often that I feature my own work on Lines and Colors, but this is special occasion for me. I’ve just posted the first new page to my webcomic, Argon Zark!, in quite some time.

I’m really pleased to have the comic moving again, and looking forward to continuing the story. (It will not interfere with my work on Lines and Colors. If it garners enough support, it may actually free up more time for writing Lines and Colors posts.)

For those who are familiar with Argon Zark!, you can see the new page here.

If you’re not familiar with the comic, but are curious about my endeavor, start with the first page of the current story, or go to the home page.

You can also read my recent Lines and Colors post with a little background about the comic, and about how I’ve gone over the current story and brought it up to date with bigger graphics and current web technology: Argon Zark! remastered.


James McIntosh Patrick

James McIntosh Patrick, Scottish landscape paintings

James McIntosh Patrick, Scottish landscape paintings

James McIntosh Patrick was a Scottish painter active through much of the 20th century. Though he started as an etcher, and also painted portraits, he is known primarily for his landscape paintings of the Scottish countryside, both in watercolor and oil.

His approach was often immediate and painterly but with rich textural detail and often with high chroma passages.

Les animaux tels qu’ils sont

Les animaux tels qu'ils sont, how to draw animals

Les animaux tels qu'ils sont, how to draw animals

Les animaux tels qu’ils sont, which Google translates as “The animals as they are” is a book published in France in 1959 that offers 90 plus examples of how to draw animals using simplified geometric forms.

Someone has apparently determined that the book now falls in the public domain, as the pages are available in high resolution on Wikimedia Commons.

There is also a set of pages on this Flickr collection, that makes it easier to view and browse them, but the image files are easier to download from Wikimedia.

Eye Candy for Today; Rembrandt landscape etching of trees, houses and tower

View of some houses with trees and a tower, etching and drypoint, Rembrandt van Rijn

View of some houses with trees and a tower, etching and drypoint (details) Rembrandt van Rijn

View of some houses with trees and a tower, Rembrandt van Rijn

Etching and drypoint, roughly 5 x 12 inches (12 x 32 cm); in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, which has a zoomable image on the website (also downloadble if you sign up for a free Rijksstudio account).

This is one of my favorite landscape etchings by Rembrandt, which, for me, is saying something, because I love them all. This one is just so astonishingly beautiful it boggles my mind.

First, there is the composition, the way your eye is unerringly pulled into the scene and then led through it, delighted with linear and textural effects along the way. Then there is the drama of the values, the dense dark of the trees to the left, balanced by the darks in the primary house, the lighter touches on the path in the foreground and the house to the right, and the echo of darker values on the tower in the background.

Such a feeling of space, texture, time and presence.

An etching, for all of the wonderful characteristics inherent in that medium, is still, first and foremost, a drawing. Unlike Rembrandt’s landscape pen and wash drawings — which as far as can be determined, were done for his own pleasure or practice — his etchings were more formal, intended for multiple reproductions, presumably for sale or at least as gifts for valued patrons.

At their best, Rembrandt’s landscape drawings give me an uncanny feeling of being there — of sitting next to him as he sees and draws his subject — focused, aware and contemplative.

Don’t just take my detail crops as an indication of how wonderful this drawing is, do yourself the favor of going to the Rijksmuseum’s page and zooming in at full screen.

Alyssa Winans

Alyssa Winans, illustration

Alyssa Winans, illustration

Alyssa Winans is an illustrator and concept artist for the gaming industry based in the San Francisco area. She is also a Google Doodle artist.

Winans often uses restrained palettes, along with subtle graphic and textural elements, to give her subjects presence and focus. I enjoy the way she controls her values in textural passages, usually in contrast to the overall value dynamics of the composition.

Her website has a selection of her illustrations and spot illustrations, as well as Google Doodles (see my posts on Google Doodles).

You can also view a somewhat wider selection of her work on her Behance portfolio, as well as on her Tumblr and Instagram accounts.

Winans has prints of her work available on inPrint.

Eye Candy for Today: Willem Kalf Still Life with Ewer and Basin, Fruit, Nautilus Cup and other Objects

Willem Kalf, Still Life with Ewer and Basin, Fruit, Nautilus Cup and other Objects

Willem Kalf, Still Life with Ewer and Basin, Fruit, Nautilus Cup and other Objects (details)

Still Life with Ewer and Basin, Fruit, Nautilus Cup and other Objects, Willem Kalf

Oil on canvas, roughly 44 x 33 inches (111 x 84 cm); in the collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museo Nacional, Madrid, which has zoomable and downloadable versions of the image on their site.

This is another stunning gem by 17th century Dutch still life master Willem Kalf in the manner known as a “pronk” (ornate or ostentatious) still life — finely crafted objects even more finely painted.

The ewer (a decorative pitcher or jug) and basin are supposedly the focus of the composition; as beautiful as they are, my eye goes quickly to the cup made form the shell of a chambered nautilus, even though it’s in shadow. It’s interesting to compare it with the one in this painting.

The glasses of wine in the background behind the nautilus cup — one red, one white — are just barely discernible in the reproduction.

Not having had the pleasure of seeing the original, I don’t know if the painting is actually that dark. (I’ve noticed that many reproductions of paintings presented by museums on their websites are darker than the actual paintings, for reasons I have yet to understand.)

The museum’s page goes into some interesting background about both the painting and the objects that are its subject.