Showing posts from November, 2015

Books for your Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Krampus/Festivus List

-By Arnie Fenner

Sox and underwear as holiday gifts? Forget it! I'd rather have a book—and I bet you would, too. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for your wish list to Santa, just in case you missed them.

The third volume in the White Cloud Worlds series showcasing New Zealand artists is as electrifying

as the first two. Paul Tobin has put together a collection of visionary art (accompanied by creator statements) that is unforgettable. This might be a little hard to come by, especially since it was Kickstarter-funded, so I'd suggest visiting the WCW website quickly to ask about availability. 

Trying to describe Bill Carman's Imagery from the Bird's Home is an exercise in futility. Eccentric, energetic, thoughtful, often funny, and slyly subversive, Bill's art is always engaging. I'd love to sit in on one of his classes at Boise State just to watch the reactions of his students. Simply put, he's never boring…and neither is this collection, which mea…

Inspiration not Embarrassment

-By Lauren Panepinto

Happy Thanksgiving, for those of you who celebrate, and for all of us: Remember you don't need (and shouldn't wait for) a holiday to list all the things you're grateful for.

One thing we should all look back and be thankful for is: Ourselves. For the work we have put into our art, for the practice, for the blood and sweat and tears and pencil shavings and eraser dust inhaled directly into our lungs. For the eyestrain and frustration. I think as artists we all focus on what we haven't done yet, or have yet to achieve. I think that's an important attitude to keep us going and improving - but every once in a while let's look back and celebrate what we have accomplished. It's also helpful to remember that just like we look upwards to artists who have mastery above ours for inspiration - we are also inspirational to someone struggling behind us on the same ladder.

And now there's a great tumblr, started by Kelley McMorris, called Anyone Can…

Small Habits Lead to Big Changes

-By Howard Lyon

Is there a habit that you want to develop?  Start small and tie your efforts to something else you already do each day.  

Developing your artistic skills (or any skill) can be daunting and frustrating.  It takes time to approach competence and then the chase for mastery is often a lifelong pursuit.  It requires perseverance and patience.  I have been teaching a workshop in my studio, and have also opened up my studio on Wednesday nights for a 3 hour portrait session.  I tell my students that come to the class to be patient with themselves, forgiving of stumbles and to celebrate their victories, small and large.

Becoming better at something usually isn't all that complicated.  At the end of the day the most important factor is focused and consistent time put in.  It often takes a change of habit, or developing a new habit so that you don't have to decide to work, it just happens because you have made it part of your routine.

Something that I have been wanting to do …

Happy Thanksgiving!

From everyone at Muddy Colors, we're thankful to have you as a reader.

Perfect Passage

Greg Manchess

Continuing my study of exquisitely painted portions of favorite paintings, here’s another group of perfect passages by brilliant painters. My comments come from the heavily biased approach of a working painter.

In the piece above by Paul Lehr, the soft edges of the main eye are given great transparent depth by the contrast between the primary and secondary reflections.

The edge of the palm against the lighter white flesh of the breast is so close to the same value, yet just  enough of a shift to give the hand weight. That sharp line is the focal point of the piece, by Jeffrey Catherine Jones.

The bounce light floods the bottom of this ship with bright value, but is still dark enough to read as mass against the clouds of the planet. The bottom edge is everything. John Harris.

In Frazetta’s work the detail gets all the credit from most viewers. But here, Conan’s back is applied with such wonderful, free strokes, it captures for me what is the best part of his work.

This fantasti…

Sculpting Demos by Philippe Faraut

Here are two wonderful sculpting demos by Phillippe Faraut. Philippe constructs his sculptures in a very anatomical manner, progressing from the inside out, using large geometric shapes. I find this additive process makes it particularly apropos to a visual artist, as it gives a deeper understanding of the underlying forms of the figure.

Other Side of the Mirror at Gallery Nucleus

By Justin Gerard

The Gallery Nucleus show for the Other Side of the Mirror is up now through November 29th.  The show features oil paintings, drawings and inks from the story.  If you are in the area give it a look!

To see some of Annie's painting process for her figurative work please check out these videos:

Lilith Part I

Lilith Part 2

Also! If you are in the market for some Christmas gifts, Annie and I are running a small sale for prints on our site! The prints are guaranteed to warm the heart of even the meanest scrooge on your list. (Unless he specifically asked for widescreen television. In which case we cannot guarantee it will warm his heart. In fact he will probably be upset, but the prints are otherwise fully guaranteed to warm hearts!)

Podcast: Wonder Woman '77 Special #2

Episode #2 Five months later, the Diana Prince Wonder Woman podcast returns for a second installment! We'll discuss that, including plans to rev up the show's production in 2016. Diabolu Frank spends most of the episode dressing down The Cheetah, then moves on to the brief return of the 1970s Wonder Woman television series' digital-first comic book adaptation, as well as addressing your lengthy, lovely letters.

Episode Art Tumblr

#Cheetah from #WonderWoman on WHO'S WHO UPDATE '87 PODCAST!— Firestorm Fan (@FirestormFan) August 3, 2015 We don't have a Magic Sphere, so if you want to communicate with us about the podcast... Tweet host Diabolu Frank directly, or commune with @rolledspine as a group.Email DiaboluIf the main Diana Prince as the New Wonder Woman blog isn't your thing, try the umbrella Rolled Spine Podcasts.Look for us on iTunes, ShoutEngine or Internet Archive

Limited Edition Book: Dean Cornwell

-By Dan dos Santos

The Illustrated Press, the publisher responsible for 'Illustration' Magazine and the stellar 'Golden Age' book I mentioned here, are publishing a new Limited Edition book on Dean Cornwell.

There is already a book on Dean Cornwell's art called 'Dean Cornwell : Dean of Illustrators'. And although just about every illustrator I know already owns this book, it is unfortunately quite old. Originally published in 1978, most of the book is in black and white, and what is in color isn't reproduced very well.

This new book is looking like it may be the Dean Cornwell book we've all been waiting for. It will showcase over 260 works of art, all in full color, and most reproduced from the original paintings. If this book is anything like the other books the publisher offers, it should be a no-nonsense look at the artist's body of work, consisting of full page art and very little text.

Now for the bad news...

This hardcover book is limited to 10…

Color Mixing

-By Ron Lemen

Hello again and hope you are all doing well.  My last entry 2 weeks ago I had mentioned that I would post some tips I learned about palette organization and use and some color theory information I learned with Sebastian Capella in this entry.  I had to build the information in these worksheets.  I can organize my thoughts easier when it comes to lots of different points and factoids if I build a worksheet of this sort.  This would have taken me way to long to organize as a blog entry.  If the files are too low-rez to read I have links to high rez versions in a dropbox folder.

The below examples are using the palette system above and doing small color studies pushing the chroma potential in the paintings.  The colors are not made up, they are observed from what color changes are noted in the images.  These are both high rez files that I worked from, and although any image we work from will not be perfect, these have quite a lot of extra color information in them that was ca…



Greg Ruth

I struggle with the cold hard fact that at the end of all things, I am a black and white guy. I  love it. It's  never once led me to believe there is some limit to it, nor even the hint that there ever will be. The ability to wow in black and white is for me far more impressive than to engender the same response with color much in the same way that a rocket ship built by NASA isn't necessarily as impressive as an Apollo Booster built by some guy named Rupert in his garage workshop. It's the limitations of black and white that are it's most essential strengths. This is not to say there's anything at all wrong with color, and that there is no citation where either approach is perfect 100% of the time. These things are situational. I do in fact do color work all the time. comics, book covers, children's picture books... But if given the choice in a perfect world, I'd probably prefer black and white. Simply put, I think and see more tonally than I d…