Eye Candy for Today: George Elgar Hicks genre painting

The Dead Goldfinch (All that was left to love), George Elgar Hicks

The Dead Goldfinch (All that was left to love), George Elgar Hicks

The Dead Goldfinch (“All that was left to love”), George Elgar Hicks; oil on canvas; roughly 24 x 30 inches (62 x 75 cm). Link is to zoomable image on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Genre painting, which became popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, focused on scenes of everyday life and of people who were not particular known individuals, as opposed to portrait or history painting.

It was not uncommon for genre paintings to feature scenes meant to elicit emotions that might appeal to potential patrons, sadness or grief among them.

This scene by 19th century English painter George Elgar Hicks portrays a despondent young peasant girl, her hands gently cradling her dead pet (it’s an ex-goldfinch, to paraphrase Monty Python).

What strikes me about the painting — as in much of Hicks’ work — is his painterly, textural brush work and his use of soft edges. Look in particular at the edges that define the girl’s arms, and how they turn softly into the dark areas of the cloth and wall behind them.

I like the textural application of paint throughout — even in the softest areas of the girl’s face — and the chunky splashes of paint in the highlights of the hair.

David Nakayama

David Nakayama

David Nakayama

David Nakayama is a free lance illustrator, concept artist and illustrator. He is known in particular for his cover art for Marvel Comics, as well as work for DC Comics, Fantasy Flight Games, Upper Deck and others.

Nakayama’s comics covers combine the fun, over-the-top energy and sensationalism characteristic of mainstream American comics with firm draftsmanship and solidly dimensional rendering.

His approach ranges from serious to lighthearted and even comical, in a manner appropriate for the title and subject.

Eye Candy for Today: Emelie Preyer still life

Still Life with Peach, Apricot, Grapes and Hazelnuts on a Tablecloth, Emelie Preyer

Still Life with Peach, Apricot, Grapes and Hazelnuts on a Tablecloth, Emelie Preyer

Still Life with Peach, Apricot, Grapes and Hazelnuts on a Tablecloth, Emelie Preyer

19th century German still life painter Emelie Preyer shows her characteristic touch with the textural surface and beautifully balanced color of these simple fruits and nuts.

Her composition is thoughtfully conceived, and the value and color relationships lead your eye inexorably around and through the painting.

Emelie Prier’s primary teacher was likely her father, Johann Wilhelm Preyer, who was also a superb still life painter.

Megan Lightell

Megan Lightwell

Megan Lightwell

Megan Lightwell is a contemporary Tennessee based painter working in the tonalist tradition.

Her serene, atmospheric landscapes are painted with a restrained palette, compressed values and an emphasis on soft edges.

I particularly enjoy her compositions which she projects depth with receding planes of increasingly muted chroma and value.

Be conscious of the fact that the “Paintings” gallery on her website is divided into subsections accessed from a drop-down menu. I almost missed that at first.

You can also find additional examples of her work through the galleries in which she is represented.

Eye Candy for Today: Hugo Darnaut landscape

Woodland Stream, Hugo Darnaut

Woodland Stream, (details) Hugo Darnaut

Woodland Stream, Hugo Darnaut, oil on panel, roughly 18 x 12 inches (46 x 32 cm); link is to downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in a private collection; image via Dorotheum auction.

Austrian painter Hugo Darnaut (AKA Hugo Fix), who was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, gives us a tranquil scene of a small stream winding through a forest — perhaps just what we need in the midst of a stressful day.

I like the economical way he has indicated the foliage and resolved what was likely a complex background into simpler shapes.

Eudes Correia

Eudes Correia watercolors

Eudes Correia watercolors

Originally from Brazil, Eudes Correia is a watercolorist based in Lisbon.

Correia’s focus is on people, usually outside, walking sitting, riding bikes and other everyday activities. His website galleries are divided into sections for “People” and “Tourists”.

His approach is a wonderful balance of solid draftsmanship and loose, free application of color. His backgrounds are often large brushstrokes or loose splashes of paint. In lesser hands this can sometimes look contrived, but Correia makes it appear perfectly natural and the effect adds to the casual feeling of the image.

Correia travels extensively, conducting workshops in numerous locations around the world. He is Brand ambassador of Winsor & Newton in Europe.

He has a YouTube channel that features a number of videos that show him working.