Michael Doyle

Michael Doyle, still life

Michael Doyle, still life, interiors and landscape

Michael Doyle is a painter based in the Delaware Valley area who paints figures, still life, landscapes and interiors. His landscapes and interiors often incorporate still life elements, handled with a rough edged, painterly style suited to their often rustic feel.

Doyle frequently employs backgrounds that are textural combinations of multiple muted colors, giving them energy and a feeling of changing light.

Michael Doyle’s work will be on display in a show at the Somerville Manning Gallery in Wilmington Delaware, beginning tonight, October 19 and running to November 10, 2018.

 
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Edward Julius Detmold

Edward Julius Detmold, classic illustration, animal illustration

Edward Julius Detmold, classic illustration, animal illustration

Edward Julius Detmold and his twin brother Charles Maurice Detmold were book illustrators active in the “Golden Age” of illustration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Both were interested in natural history and animals, and even in their illustrations for books like Kipling’s The Jungle Book and The Fables of Aesop, their images were more likely to feature animals than people.

Both worked in watercolor and ink and were influenced by Japanese Prints, Art Nouveau and the Pre-Raphaelite painters as well as their contemporary illustrators.

I can’t find as much information about Charles, so I’ve focused here on Edward Detmold, and the images shown are (as far as I can determine) by Edward.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Levitan’s Golden Autumn

Golden Autumn (Zolotaya Osen), Isaac Levitan

Golden Autumn (Zolotaya Osen), Isaac Levitan (details)
Golden Autumn (Zolotaya Osen), Isaac Levitan

Link is to page with access to high-resolution image file on Wikimedia Commons. Original is in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing the original, but the Tretyakov image seems a little over exposed to me, so I’m going with the Wikimedia version.

A justifiably famous painting by the 19th century Russian landscape master. Brilliant use of complementary blues and oranges. The greens are more subdued than they may appear at first glance — even when set against strategically placed spots of complementary red — allowing the yellow-oranges to dominate.

I love the variety of color and texture in the grasses.

 
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Rendering in Pen and Ink by Arthur L. Guptill

Rendering in Pen and Ink by Arthur L. Guptill

Rendering in Pen and Ink by Arthur L. Guptill

Pen and ink is a medium with a long history, but despite some modern revival in interest (as evidenced by the current internet-wide exercise of Inktober), its importance has faded from its time as a major drawing medium for Renaissance and Baroque masters, and its strong popularity as a medium for illustration during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Pen and ink is a medium with unique characteristics — in linearity, texture and tone — that have a visual charm shared only with similar techniques in printmaking.

From the waning years of the medium’s heyday as a staple of book illustration, we have a classic volume that is simply the best book on pen and ink I’ve ever encountered: Rendering in Pen and Ink by Arthur L. Guptill

The original version of the book was published in 1930 as Drawing with Pen and Ink, and versions of that volume are still available. The edition titled Rendering in Pen and Ink was created in 1976, leaving out a few of the original illustrations, adding many others and condensing the area devoted to text while enlarging that given to images.

This is a from-the-ground up treatise on drawing with pen and ink, starting with materials, basic marks and methods of making tones — hatching, cross-hatching, stipple and freeform textures — and going on through methods of rendering trees and landscapes, architecture, still life, people and more.

Much emphasis is given to making and controlling tones and suggesting light and shade, something that those learning pen and ink often struggle with, as well as conveying the textures of natural and artificial surfaces.

Many of the illustrations, particular those explaining the basics of ink drawing and rendering, are by Arthur Guptill himself, and he is no slouch at pen drawing. The book is also profusely illustrated with plates by some of the best pen and ink artists from the turn of the 20th century, a high point for the use of pen and ink in books and magazines.

The drawing may strike some as “old fashioned”, in that it has a character of classic illustration — but to others, myself included, this is a Good Thing — a welcome grounding in techniques taken from masters of the medium.

The current 60th Anniversary edition of the book, which is huge, both in page size and number, is available for under $30 on Amazon U.S. For my money, a single chapter would be worth that! (I’ll note that I have an older, well-worn hardbound edition that I’m using for my review, and I can’t speak to the binding and paper quality of the current printing.)

I’ve had the book since I was in my early 20s; I considered it a gem then, and the years have not dimmed my enthusiasm for its value. Rendering in Pen and Ink is highly regarded as a standard must-have book among illustrators and comics artists, but is less well known to other contemporary artists.

There are a lot of books available on drawing in pen and ink, but if you have any interest in working in, and hopefully mastering the medium, this one should be on your shelf.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: John Carlin watercolor portrait miniature

Portrait of a Lady, John Carlin; watercolor on ivory

Portrait of a Lady, John Carlin; watercolor on ivory (detail)

Portrait of a Lady, John Carlin

Watercolor on ivory, roughly 4 x 3 inches (9 x 7 cm); in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

It’s possible that this is a grayscale image of a more colorful painting — the Met’s website pages doesn’t comment — but my guess is that it was painted monochromatically.

The portrait is obviously of a real and not idealized person, and sensitively painted in that wonderful drybrush/stipple watercolor technique that was prevalent in the mid to late 19th century.

At that time, it was commonplace to paint small portraits in watercolor on ivory, often in an oval as part of a broach. In this case, the painting is rectangular, but not much larger than an oval might have been.

I find it interesting that the artist has balanced with composition with the edge of a chair and the suggestion of a room corner behind the sitter.

 
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