Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mark Stewart

Mark Stewart, watercolor
Mark Stewart is a Texas based watercolor painter and architect. Though his architectural training shows in his adept representation of rural buildings and interior spaces, I find it interesting that the majority of his paintings appear to focus on organic landscape elements and portraits rather than citycapes.

Stewart lists among his influences Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper, and his admiration for them informs his approach to composition, light and texture.

Throughout his work is a fascination with subtle variation in light and shadow, particularly as revealed in the play of light across textural surfaces.

The textural element is particularly strong in his approach, which makes the relatively small images on his website a bit frustrating. There are a few larger images on the Broadmoor Galleries website.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Eye Candy for Today: Charles Le Brun’s The King Governs by Himself

The King Governs by Himself, Charles Le Brun
The King Governs by Himself, Charles Le Brun

Zoomable version on Google Art Project; high-resolution (57mb) downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons; view from the other direction on The Athenaeum; original is in the Palace of Versailles.

This is the centerpiece of a remarkable series of large scale works by 17th century French painter Charles Le Brun for the ceiling of the Hall of Mirrors in Louis XiV’s Palace of Versailles. These weren’t done as frescoes, but as paintings on canvas that were attached to the ceiling by the process of marouflage, in which the surface of the wall or ceiling is prepared with white lead and oil and the canvas pressed into it.

The panels were meant to be looked at from either side as they straddled the vault of the hall horizontally.

There are so many metaphors and allusions to gods and myths and muses and history and all sorts of glorious glory of the glorious king in this image — not to mention games and music and feasting and lions(!) and just odd goings on in the various parts of its two sides — that I don’t even know where to begin.

Somehow, I can’t help but think of a New Yorker cartoon I once saw, in which a court painter has presented his composition glorifying a king to his royal highness, who says: “Give me more angels, and make them happier to see me.”

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Milind Mulick

mulick_450, watercolor
Milind Mmulick is a painter based in Pune, India, who paints in watercolor, primarily transparent, but also works with opaque watercolor (gouache).

He often takes a nicely textural approach when portraying cityscapes and landscapes, conveying the gritty feeling of paving stones and weathered walls with passages of dry brush and spatter. He uses both muted and full value ranges, working with the character of each to evoke sunlight and overcast days. His backgroud in commercial art and architectural rendering shows in his efficient rendering and solid grounding in perspective.

His still life subjects, which often make use of opaque passages, are usually of kitchen items, frequently reflective to the point where they form a mini-self portrait of the artist.

According to his website, Mulick teaches workshops in his local area; he also has several instructional watercolor books, that are available here in the U.S.

There are several watercolor demo videos featuring Mulick on YouTube.

Monday, August 10, 2015

infra:REAL – The Art of Imaginative Realism

infra:REAL - The Art of Imaginative Realism, Jonathan Levine Gallery: Eric Velhagen, Kirk Reinert, Donato Giancola, Dorian Vallejo, Bob Eggleton, John Harris, Gerald Brom, Scott Burdick, Jim Burns, John Jude Palencar, Ian Miller, Jeremy Mann, Julie Bell, Brad Kunkle
infra:REAL – The Art of Imaginative Realism” is a group exhibition of what is often referred to as “fantastic art”, a field that borders on fantasy and science fiction illustration on one side, and the gallery art traditions of Surrealism, Magic Realism and “Fairie Art” on the other.

In most cases there is a strong emphasis on figurative work, and there is often a narrative component to the compositions, whether overt or implied.

The exhibition is curated by Patrick Wilshire, who along with his wife Jeannie Wilshire, are the founders of the Association of Fantastic Art, and the related Illuxcon.

The selections for the show come from a long list of some of the most prominent names in the field, as well as some — like Scott Burdick and Jeremy Mann — who are outside its customary borders.

“infra:REAL – The Art of Imaginative Realism” will be on display at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York until August 22, 2015

(Images above: Eric Velhagen, Kirk Reinert, Donato Giancola, Dorian Vallejo, Bob Eggleton, John Harris, Gerald Brom, Scott Burdick, Jim Burns, John Jude Palencar, Ian Miller, Jeremy Mann, Julie Bell, Brad Kunkle)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Eye Candy for Today: Rembrandt townscape drawing

Stadspoort, Rembrandt Harmenz van Rijn, pen and wash drawing
Stadspoort, Rembrandt Harmenz van Rijn

In the collection of the Rijksmuseum; pen and brown ink, with wash; roughly 5 x 7 inches (138×196 mm).

You will sometimes hear those writing about art, myself included, use the phrase economy of notation. If you were to look up that phrase in my personal dictionary, the definition would be Rembrandt’s pen and wash drawings.

Though this could be called a “sketch” — likely drawn for Rembrandt’s own practice, study or simply a love of drawing — it’s complete. Nothing more is needed to convey this scene. There is light, atmosphere, depth, texture and a palpable sense of presence and place — all indicated with a minimum of gestural lines and a free application of tone in key areas.

Nothing essential has been left out; nothing inessential has been added.

Zen.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Jake Panian


Jake Panian is a visual development artist workign in the animation, film and gaming industries. His animated film credits include Rio, Rio 2, Epic, Ice Age 4, and the upcoming features Peanuts and Ice Age 5.

Panian has a blog and Instagram feed that feature some of his professional work but focus largely on his personal projects, sketches, demos and playful character experiments.

His digital painting technique emphasizes texture and dramatic modeling with light and shadow, giving his characters in particular a sculptural, dimensional feeling.

Panian is currently working with Blizzard Entertainment, and also an instructor for the online school, CG Master Academy.