Eye Candy for Today: Louise Jopling domestic scene

Blue and White, Louise Jopling
Blue and White, Louise Jopling (details)

Blue and White, Louise Jopling, oil on canvas, roughly 49 x 34 inches (123 x 86 cm). Link is to Wikimedia Commons; the page indicates the original is in the Liverpool Museums, but I can’t find mention of it on their site.

Louise Jopling was a Victorian era painter and apparently well known, though I haven’t found many images of her work on the web.

Here she gives us a quiet domestic scene. Two women are apparently washing dishes — though they’re hardly dressed for the chore. Perhaps they’ve stopped in the middle of a dinner party to ready up some additional dishes for another course?

Note the attention paid to the blue and white Dellftware and other dishes and pottery, hence the painting’s name.

I like the way Jopling has indicated the textures of the womens’ hair and the material of their gowns.

Edgar Payne

Edgar Payne
Edgar Payne

Edgar Alwin Payne was an American painter primarily active in the early 20th century and known best for his paintings of the mountains, canyons, bluffs and buttes of the American west.

He also painted other subjects. I particularly enjoy his compositions involving fishing and sailing boats, painted both in the Boston area and in France.

Payne’s book, Composition of Outdoor Painting (unfortunately out of print, although available at a premium used) is considered a classic.

If you can find a copy, either used or in a library, look for his wonderful series of thumbnail drawings in which he codifies major types of composition (images above, bottom). There is an excerpt and article on Muddy Colors.

Eye Candy for Today: Leonardo metalpoint drawing

tudy of a woman's hands, Leonardo da Vinci, metalpoint drawing
tudy of a woman's hands, Leonardo da Vinci, metalpoint drawing

Study of a woman’s hands, Leonardo da Vinci; black chalk and metalpoint on paper, roughly 8 x 6 inches (21 x 15 cm). Original is in the Royal Collection Trust in the UK; their website has both zoomable and downloadable versions of the image. There is also a version on Wikimedia Commons.

The drawing is actually not of a single pair of hands, but is two drawings of crossed hands, with one hand emphasized in each version.

When the description says “metalpoint”, the most likely actual medium is sliverpoint. Prior to the discovery of graphite, artists would ordinarily draw with charcoal, chalks, ink or metalpoint (for the moment, leaving aside printmaking). Metalpoint, though expensive, was preferred for the most delicate, exacting drawings.

In silverpoint, the artist draws with a thin silver wire, arranged in some kind of holder, on specially prepared paper. Over time, the silver lines oxidize to a warmer and more visible — but still delicate — line.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing some master silverpoint drawings (though not this one), and it’s difficult to convey their subtlety in photographs. The only linework I’ve seen that might be comparable is in etching, whch is done with a needle.