This daily weblog by Dinotopia creator James Gurney is for illustrators, plein-air painters, sketchers, comic artists, animators, art students, and writers. You'll find practical studio tips, insights into the making of the Dinotopia books, and first-hand reports from art schools and museums.
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You can write me at: James Gurney PO Box 693 Rhinebeck, NY 12572
or by email: gurneyjourney (at) gmail.com Sorry, I can't give personal art advice or portfolio reviews. If you can, it's best to ask art questions in the blog comments.
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Here's a preliminary charcoal drawing and finished image by Dean Cornwell for a war bond poster. At this stage of his career, Cornwell was not using photography for reference, and was doing his planning from models and studies, combined with his imagination. The authority that he brings to the design of the image, right down to the folds of the shirt, really carries over into the final picture.
Edit: Coincidentally, Charley Parker of Lines and Colors posted about the same painting.