Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Eye Candy for Today: Grimshaw’s Stapleton Park

Stapleton Park near Pontefract Sun, John Atkinson Grimshaw
Stapleton Park near Pontefract Sun, John Atkinson Grimshaw

On WikiArt. The original is in a private collection.

Grimshaw loved to do these scenes of softly lit Autumn evenings with a lone figure, usually a woman seen from behind, walking down an empty stretch of road. See also my previous Eye Candy post of Grimwhaw’s Evening Glow.

Wayne Haag

Wayne Haag, concept art and science fictio illustration
Wayne Haag is an Australian matte painter and illustrator whose film credits include The Fifth Element, Lord of the Rings, The Wolverine, Maze Runner and Gods of Egypt, as well as the television series Farscape.

Haag works both in digital and traditional media, but prefers when possible to paint science fiction subjects in oil. As you look through his website portfolio and Archives, you may find images that you would assume are digital — given the preferences in contemporary illustration circles — but are in fact, done in traditional oil painting.

In addition to his website, you can find his work, in general reproduced somewhat larger, on his Behance portfolio, and his blog, which also includes detail crops, and other images that shed some light on his process.

His illustration paintings take from his matte painting skills a deft handling of atmospheric perspective and the suggestion of scale, as well as a controlled evocation of filtered light.

His website section under “Art Archive” for “Landscape and other paintings” includes plein air and studio landscape painting and portrait subjects.

I particularly like his painting of Karan Sculling on the Maribyrnong River (images above, bottom), which recalls Thomas Eakins’ paintings of scullers on the Schuylkill River here in Philadelphia.

[Via Concept Art World]

New Draw Mix Paint painting instruction course

Draw Mix Paint, online paintinf instruction course from Mark Carder
As I reported in 2013, well regarded painter Mark Carder, who some years ago created a specific instruction method for those learning to paint, had put much of his former course into a series of new videos and made them freely available on his site Draw Mix Paint.

Carder has recently taken those videos, added a good deal of supplementary web based material, and arranged them into a more formal course, guiding the student through step-by-step.

In addition to the basic teach yourself course, Carder is offering a new premium version that is essentially an online class — with longer, more detailed videos and personal interaction with Carder.

Students following the free course can work from life, from their own photographs, or from laminated photographic reproductions of still life arrangements or portrait subjects prepared by Carder (these are available to those not taking the paid course, along with the deluxe videos, on a separate purchase basis).

The more detailed course, in which Carder interacts with the student, is based specifically around the pre-composed subjects of the photographic prints, so that instructor and student are on the same page. Students select one as included in their enrollment.

I’ll point out again that this course is not so much about a method of painting as a method of learning to paint, and by many accounts a very successful one.

Those who are already further along the learning curve in painting may find it laborious, as it is based on careful observation and measurement with sighting tools, and incremental steps of value and color changes. For those just starting, however, Carder has provided a method for going from non-painting to painting in the context of a single course.

Carder’s methods are based on traditional techniques, and are aimed specifically at painting straightforward representational realism in oil.

I provided a more detailed description of his method in my previous article on Draw Mix Paint.

The premium version of the online course, with interaction from Carder, is limited to 30 students per month. The initial registration step is to choose a subject photograph and the month for which you would like to register.

To start the free version of the course (which should give a preview of the more in-depth version), look for the “Start without Enrolling” button from this page.

Carder’s site also includes links to the original free instructional videos, his supply list and an active discussion forum.

Edward Kinsella

Edward Kinsella, illustration and portraits
Edward Kinsella III is a St. Louis based illustrator whose client list includes The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Playboy, The Boston Globe, Wired, Washington Post, Simon and Schuster, and Penguin, among others.

His approach to his subjects, though sometimes straightforward, often includes a narrative twist. His visual approach plays with subtle variations in color and value, augmented with texture.

His subjects are often rendered essentially in subdued monochrome, but offset with a background or single object of a more intense color.

Sometimes, this is reversed, with the color on the highlighted subject, but always within deftly restrained value and color ranges.

In addition to his website portfolio and a portfolio on the site of his artists’ representatives, Richard Solomon, Kinsella’s home page serves as a blog (there are links to additional pages at the bottom, though the icons seem to be missing).

Kinsella also has a sketchbook, on Tumblr, in which he frequently plays with the deep chiaroscuro available in ink.

The Richard Solomon site includes a page on Kinsella’s process.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Eye Candy for Today: Cornelis Springer’s St Laurens

Delftse Vaart and the St Laurens church in Rotterdam,  Cornelis Springer, 19th century Dutch cityscape
Delftse Vaart and the St Laurens church in Rotterdam, Cornelis Springer

Image on Wikimedia Commons. I don’t know the location of the original. I assume it’s in a private collection, as the painting came up for auction through Sotheby’s in 2012.

I love these 19th century Dutch cityscapes by Springer; they’re marvels of texture and atmosphere. Look at the detailed rendering and range of values in the church and other buildings in the middle distance, and yet how dramatically they recede in comparison to the foreground buildings.

I also admire the variations in color and texture within individual walls, and yet how well they hang together as large value masses.

Despite the numerous complex forms and their individual characteristics, everything in the composition fits together seamlessly — gently but inexorably guiding your eye through from foreground to background like an insistent tour guide.

Eye candy indeed.

Zinaida Serebriakova

Zinaida Serebriakova
Zinaida Yevgenyevna Serebriakova (née Lanceray) was a Ukranian/Russian painter active in the early 20th century.

Born near what is now Kharkiv, Ukraine into a well-to-do family, she studied at an art school under the direction of Ilya Repin, and went on to study with noted portraitist Osip Braz. She also traveled to Italy and Paris, studying at museums where possible.

Her work over time carried elements of Realism, Impressionism, Art Nouveau and Expressionism. Her subjects included landscape, still life and figures, but her primary interest was portraiture. In addition to portraits both formal and informal, she frequently painted and drew her children and created several self-portraits, the most famous of which (image above, top) helped establish her career.

She also found dancers of particular interest, featuring them in many compositions, as well as her own daughter in dancers garb from her classes (above, bottom).

Serebriakova worked in oil, water media and pastel. Some of her pastels of dancers have a Degas-like character.

After a tragic period following her husband’s sudden death, the rise of the Soviet Union and the closing of its borders left her in France, unable to return, and separated her from her two eldest children for a number of years. She eventually took French citizenship, residing in Paris for the remainder of her life. She traveled extensively and a number of her works are from her travels in Morocco and North Africa.

[Note: some images on the linked sites could be considered NSFW]

[Suggestion courtesy of Eric kelly]