Andrea J. Smith

Andrea J, Smith
Originally from Australia, Andrea J, Smith has studied and taught in the U.S. and Europe, and now lives in Rome where she founded and directs Atelier Canova.

In addition to studies at the Florence Academy of Art, where she later became an instructor in drawing, she studied in the U.S. with Michael Aviano, Michael Grimaldi and Nelson Shanks; and co-founded the Harlem Studio of Art with Judy Kudlow.

Smith’s atelier emphasizes classical art training in still life, portrait, figure and landscape painting, and you will find a few examples of her work in those areas in the description of the areas of study.

On her own website, you will find sections for still life, figurative and landscape, with an emphasis on still life.

Her commend of value, color and texture give her still life compositions a wonderful sense of harmony and unity, within which she conjures an almost Chardin-like sense of silent contemplation.

In both her landscape and figurative works, you can also see her dedication to the classical traditions of European painting.

Douglas Smith

Douglas Smith
There is something special about the appeal of scratchboard. In skilled hands it can combine some of the visual charm of woodcuts or engravings with the best characteristics of pen and ink.

The work of Douglas Smith is a prime example of the medium’s strengths.

Smith is an illustrator, originally from New York, who established his career in Boston and now lives on the coast of Maine.

His illustrations are often filled with visual drama; but are grounded in the textural characteristics he gives them with his painstakingly executed areas of pattern and linear tone. That anchoring gives them a weight that invites your eye to linger, moving over the drawings more slowly than might ordinarily be the case.

Smith often brings his scratchboard illustrations to a color finish, applying washes of watercolor to a copy of the scratchboard piece. There is a nice description of his illustration process on the site of his artists representative, Richard Solomon, along with an extensive portfolio of his work.

Though the color pieces are presented first, and are indeed wonderful, I recommend continuing back into the “pure” scratchboard, both for a comparison and to enjoy the beautiful linear tones of the black and white work.

Though I can’t find a dedicated website or blog for Smith, you can find additional galleries of his work on Behance and Workbook.

Herbert James Draper

Herbert James Draper
Herbert James Draper was a late Victorian / early 20th century artist who specialized for much of his career in mythological subjects.

His most famous painting, The Lament for Icarus (above, top with detail) is in the Tate (high-resolution version on Google Art Project and Wikimedia Commons).

Earlier in his career he was an illustrator. As the popularity of his mythological and literary subjects, and his classical Victorian approach to painting, waned in his later career, he turned more to portraiture.

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

“Picturing Dinosaurs” on

Picturing Dinosaurs on Charles R. Knight, Robert F. Walters, William Stout, Rudolph Zallinger, James Gurney, Zdeněk Burian, Peter Schouten,  Douglas Henderson
As the latest installment of her wonderful ongoing series of themed “Picturing…” posts on, Irene Gallo has posted “Picturing Dinosaurs“, a theme near and dear to my heart (or more accurately, near and dear to the fevered brain of the 10 year old kid in me that still holds major sway over what I like).

For someone who is a self professed non-expert on dinosaurs, Gallo has pretty much covered the bases, with nods to paleo art greats past and present, as well as some fun and essential pop culture dinosaur references like Moebius’s Arzach pterosaur, Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes T-rex in a jet and Kirby’s Devil Dinosaur.

What fun!

(Images above: Charles R. Knight, Robert F. Walters, William Stout, Rudolph Zallinger, James Gurney, Zdeněk Burian, Peter Schouten, Douglas Henderson)

Ed Binkley (update)

Ed Binkley
It’s been a while since I checked in on fantasy and concept artist Ed Binkley, so I thought I’d pull back the deep forest undergrowth and see what’s happening under the leaves.

The good news is that Binkley has posted additional images to his blog and his Holy-Men and Monsters gallery.

Binkley’s wonderfully textural evocations of fantasy subjects may carry echoes of Golden Age illustrators like Arthur Rackham and Victorian faerie artists like Richard Dadd and John Anster Fitzgerald, and perhaps a touch of contemporaries like Jean-Baptiste Monge, but Binkley is, if you’ll excuse the expression, in his own world.

I consistently admire his ability to balance intricate detail with atmospheric open passages, as well as his striking use of value and texture contrasts to lead the eye and suggest layers of depth.

Glenn Gustafson

Glenn Gustafson
Glenn Gustafson is an illustrator from North Carolina whose crisp clear illustration style takes advantage of the graphic properties of vector art, along with a keen sense of light and atmosphere, to produce a range of work that has both punch and subtlety.

In his website’s portfolio section you will find subsections for various subjects and approaches. I particularly enjoy the pieces in the “Retro” section.

You can find additional examples of his work on Directory of Illustration and Workbook.