William Russell Flint

William Russell Flint, watercolors and illustrations
Originally from Scotland, William Russell Flint was an illustrator and watercolor painter who spent much of his career in London, and traveled and painted in France and Italy.

Flint’s illustrations of literary or mythological scenes, as well as Gilbert and Sullivan operas, have a nice quality of Golden Age illustration to them.

He is also noted for his numerous rather politely erotic watercolors of nude or semi-nude young women either posing or engaged in mundane activities, seemingly oblivious to being observed.

Most notable, however, are Flint’s more straightforward watercolors painted during his trips to France and Italy. These are often of architectural subjects, and at their best, have some of the color and clarity found in Sargent’s watercolors.

Among online resources for Flint’s work are a couple of long-established sources for signed and limited edition prints. sirwilliamrussellflintprints.co.uk appears to the the official source associated with the artist’s family, but russellflint.net has a number of zoomable or clickable images at higher resolution.

Wikipedia has a selection of Flint’s illustrations. There is a nice selection of illustrations, landscapes and other subjects on The Pictorial Arts blog (search links). There is also a post on Willaim Russell Flint’s watercolor technique, with a step-by-step description of his work on a specific painting.

There is a brief British Pathé video of Flint in his studio from 1956 (thanks to James Gurney for the tip).


Charles Conder

Charles Conder
Born in England, Charles Conder spent a significant part of his career in Australia, where he became integral to the Heidelberg School of Australian art, becoming friends with notable figures like Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts, and sharing a studio with the latter.

Conder spent the latter part of his career in Europe, where he lived mostliy in England, but moved in Paris circles with artists like Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, and painted in the countryside around Dieppe, where he became friends with Norwegian landscape painter Frits Thaulow.

If you look through images of Conder’s work on the web, you’ll find a lot of his more decorative work, with silk paintings and decorative fans, featuring stylized figures and what appear to be theatrical settings. I have to say I’m not fond of these, but his landscapes, by contrast, can be quite wonderful.

I’ve obviously featured examples of his work that I like here.


Edmund Blair Leighton (update)

Edmund Blair Leighton
When I first highlighted Victorian painter Edmund Blair Leighton back in 2006, resources for images of his paintings on the web were pretty thin. Since then, some new images sources have made it much more rewarding to view his work.

Leighton’s two main themes were of romanticized medieval subjects — knights in armor, chivalry, elegant royal ladies and their attendant environments — and contemporary Victorian subjects of courtship, marriage and romantic intrigue.

Leighton’s paintings almost always had a narrative element, a story either overt or implied, and he rendered them with a combination of exacting draftsmanship and muted atmospheric color punctuated with higher chroma passages.

(Edmund Blair Leighton should be distinguished from Frederick Lord Leighton, no relation, also a Victorian painter I’ve featured previously.)


Eye Candy for Today: Watanabe Seitei ink and color on silk

Bird on Branch Watching Spider, Watanabe Seitei, ink and color on silk
Bird on Branch Watching Spider, Watanabe Seitei

Ink and color on silk; roughly 14 x 10 inches (36 x 26 cm); in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Use the Download or Enlarge links under the image on their site.

Even though the color in the image looks much like watercolor, when the materials listing for Japanese paintings on silk describe the paint component as simply “color” or “colors”, it usually indicates a paint using pigments similar to European or American watercolor paints, but with animal hide glue as a binder. This is a medium that would be called “distemper” in European painting, as opposed to gum arabic based watercolor and gouache.

The application of color in Seitei’s beautiful rendering is no less delicate and subtle that what could be achieved with watercolor, and the combination of that and his beautifully finessed application of ink is simply a marvel.

I was struck by how the leaves in the composition look so much like feathers, as well as the wonderful contrast between the detailed representation of the bird and spider, and the rough sumi-e approach given to the branches.


Woonyoung Jung

Woonyoung Jung, concspt art and illustration, Modern Witches, Athletics with Dinosaurs
Woonyoung Jung is a visual development artist with Dreamworks Animation, but most of his online presence is devoted to his personal work — in particular two delightful series.

One is “Young Witches”, in which young women in colorful — rather then dour black — witches hats are apparently on vacation or an extended road trip, accompanied by their cat familiars who occasionally photobomb the illustrations.

The other is “Athletics with Dinosaurs” in which dinosaurs, dressed appropriately, participate in athletic events with people.

Both series are rendered in a lively, colorful graphic style that has much of the charm of 2D animation drawing.

Jung has prints of some of his images available on Big Cartel.


Merry-Joseph Blondel

Merry-Joseph Blondel, French Neoclassical painter
Merry-Joseph Blondel was a French Neoclassical painter active in the early part of the 19th century.

He studied with the well known painter Jean-Baptiste Regnault, and from fairly early in his career formed a lasting friendship with Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.

Blondel had a tremendously successful career, garnering numerous awards and prestigious commissions, including major works for the Palace of Versailles, the palace of Fontainebleau, the Louvre Museum and the Luxembourg Palace.

His refined, exacting style varied from naturalistic to classicaly styled.

Among reproductions of his works on Wikimedia Commons, you will find a number of greyscale images (images above, second and third from bottom). These are of large scale (6 foot high [190 cm] or larger) commercially hand-printed “wallpapers” produced by Dafour, Paris, and designed by Blondel and Louis Lafitte. The figures in these have a fascinatingly sculptural quality to them. (More info on Sotheby’s, and here.)