Showing posts from February, 2016

Artist of the Month: Jan Van Eyck

-By William O'Connor

It is often astounding to imagine that with today's contemporary technology the average person views more images in a single day that a person living 500 years ago would see in a lifetime. Photos, videos, signs, posters, and advertising are ubiquitous in our everyday lives. The ability to make images before the modern age would have seemed like magic. To a person living in a fundamentally spiritual age it could be a life defining experience. Gothic Europe was a perfect storm of deep spirituality and the technology to create images of extreme beauty. Perhaps one of the greatest masters of this pivotal moment in art history was Jan Van Eyck.(1390-1441)

For nearly one thousand years art had been the province of the clergy and craftsmen working for the church. Architecture, manuscript illumination, stained glass and sculptures were produced as acts of piety and faith by the clerical class, and workshops hired by the church. For this reason we know very little ab…

Painting Progression: Lady of Mermaid Inn

-By Vanessa Lemen

Since my posts on Muddy Colors and happen to fall on the same day this month, I thought I'd post a bit about my painting and show some progression images. (thanks to Dan Dos Santos for the suggestion!) This painting is oil on board, 5x7”, and is titled Lady of Mermaid Inn.

I had recently read a bit about haunted pubs and inns in the UK, and came across the ghosts of Mermaid Inn in Rye, and this painting came soon after. She appeared earlier in some marks on the surface, and I was inspired to continue with some new abstract marks in the atmosphere, as if she appears to be emerging from the atmosphere, just as a ghost might appear... Below is a bit about how the image came about...

The painting was initially started a while back, and it was one I've had hanging around my studio. I tend to work that way a lot. I have many abstract starts around me in my studio, and different images tend to form in the surrounding paintings in a way much li…

WORKING ART: You and Them

-By Greg Ruth

Of the many things that go into being, working, and making a living as an artist in this new world, (and it seems like its a whole new world just about each passing day, I know), is interacting with your audience. Never before has this been such a crucial and wholly involved part of our lives as it is today. Like the old patronage system of old where a select few artists chosen by the aristocracy enjoyed a career under their financial generosity, or the high end private gallery and intellectual social scene that replaced it, we are now in the early days of the internet age as it shapes how we see interact with art. That affords us the artists, a great deal more we have to do to make our way in the world, but it also gives us a level of autonomy and agency, free of gallery owner dictates, that makes it especially exciting. But also with this new tool of ours comes a great deal of responsibility. So kicking off a multi-part series on some gathered advice and I thought I&#…

The Wave

I was browsing my emails a few days ago, trying to catch up with my backlog, and stumbled upon this link to an interesting article regarding Chinese Art students applying for a school in China:

Just last month I was approached by a Chinese company looking to have me participate in a lecture and discussion on entry policies of the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City, and American art schools in general.  This would be broadcast to multiple locations in China through an online forum with live translation and questions and answers afterward.  As I am not on the admissions board at SVA, I could not truthfully provide details regarding their policies, thus politely declined last month.  Seeing this article this weekend struck home the potential wave of interest directed at our creative culture here in the States and Europe…

Living Posers

-By Jesper Ejsing

Lately I have been thinking about what makes a good character figure portrait. I have been painting a lot of concept art figures this last year, and have been more or less conscious about what makes a good one. More conscious now, that I think about it retrospectively and less conscious when I drew them. I think, when I look at the ones that work best, the red line is that they all have personality and clear gesture. But they also have a naturalness to the pose and a slightly little gesture or everyday pose, that makes them more believable. The whole hero pose, striking a sword in the air, legs wide and solid, looking mean into the camera is sort of worn out now. At least for me. Searching for that little awkward pose or face expression that makes a character alive is so much more rewarding, but also harder to pull off.

I think searching for these small details adds a whole lot of mood and personality to the figure. I hop ethat if I continue to search and make up these…

How to Repair a Damaged Painting

-By Dan dos Santos

Just last night, I was putting the finishes touches on the underdrawing for my next painting commission. As I stepped away from my table to inspect my work, I accidentally tipped my portable drawing board over, knocking it, along with my painting, and a glass of water, onto the hard floor below. The whole thing came crashing down in a mess of water and broken glass. I cringed not knowing what I was going to find beneath when I lifted my drawing board off the floor.

Luckily, the damage to my painting surface was minimal... just a few gouges here and there where the glass impaled the surface. (My real fear was that I had bent the surface in half, a MUCH more difficult repair.)

Weirdly, this has happened to me enough that I didn't freak out. Fixing a gouge like this is a relatively simple process and I've done it more times than I can count.

I figured this would be a nice opportunity to share with you how to repair scrapes and gouges in a painting surface. This met…

Free Figure Model Resource

-By Arnie Fenner

Back in 2014 I did a post about a free resource for nude models on YouTube. Since there are always new visitors to MC and blogger doesn't make searching the archives particularly easy, I thought it would be helpful to remind everyone of these invaluable videos.

If you don't have access to live models or figure drawing classes (or the funds to hire or attend either) the Croquis Cafe: The Artist Model Resource is a lifesaver. At this point there are several hundred videos with new additions posted fairly regularly. Poses are held from 1 to 5 minutes, you can freeze frames for as long as you might need, and the various videos feature men and women of all ethnicities and body types.

These videos are not the least bit salacious—but obviously are "not safe for work" or intended for the easily offended or for kids. Or for immature mooks looking for a cheap thrill. Using models (nude and clothed), of course, is an important part of being an artist; anatomy is a…

5 More Artists

-By Howard Lyon

I have done a couple posts highlights artists that might not be well known (and a couple in there that definitely are) and I thought it time to do another. I will start off with a fairly contemporary portrait artist that is very new to me...

David Jagger - 1891 - 1958

Jagger was a British artist who painted many high level politicians, royalty and celebrity.  There is a great photo of him painting Vivian Leigh.

I think the thing that stands out when looking through some of his paintings (hard to find good images) is the composition.  Simple, but strong.

I love the composition of the piece below.  The red of the feather and gloves are the perfect accents of the black silhouette against the beige curtain.  What a gorgeous portrait.

Lots of drama and beautiful emotion in this portrait.  I am not sure if the woman is hopeful or mourning, but I is impactful.  I love her hand too.  It reminds me of Bronzino's hands.  Great composition too.

Edouard Louis Dubufe - 1819 - 1883

I i…