Saturday, December 7, 2019

Leonard Squirrell's Scenes of East Anglia

Leonard Squirrell, watercolor over pencil
Leonard Russell Squirrell, R.W.S., R.I., R.E. (1893-1979) was a versatile British artist who captured compositions of the architecture that was disappearing in 20th century.

Leonard Squirrell, watercolor over pencil
According to a recent book on Squirrell, he was known as the 'Grand Old Man of East Anglian Painting', "beloved by many people well outside the boundaries of East Anglia and admired by many more as an outstanding topographical artist. Ranked by many collectors and connoisseurs with John Sell Cotman, Thomas Girtin, Philip Wilson Steer (who taught him) and other famous East Anglian artists." 

Leonard Squirrell, Etching
According to a book on sketching from the 1930s,  Squirrell's pastel work "comes to us as a revelation," because he would do careful lead pencil studies before attempting his pastel drawings on tone paper.
Leonard Squirrell, pastel
"For him these are more than mere sketches, embodying not only the conception but all the study necessary to the production of a completely worked out pastel."

Friday, December 6, 2019

Leonard Campbell Taylor's Compositions

In his painting Women Playing Cards, Leonard Campbell Taylor limits himself to a restricted gamut of, essentially, white, black, and red, with a little blue-green mixed in with the grays.
Women Playing Chess by Leonard Campbell Taylor (British 1874-1969)
Thanks to his skillful value organization, the composition holds together well. The dark tones of the man in the distance blends into the background tones and yet is still readable. The black dress of the woman on the far side of the table also links up with the dark tones around her.

The first picture must have been successful for Taylor, as he echoed the idea in later paintings, and he even quoted the first composition in a print on the wall behind the man.
Discover more works by LCT on the ArtUK website.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Allen Anderson's Pulp Covers

The art of Allen Anderson is featured in a new hardbound book from the Illustrated Press.

Anderson (1908-1995) created dynamic, action-packed covers for the pulp magazines.

He worked for the westerns, "spicy" pulps, comic covers, and science fiction stories.

The book reproduces original art, tearsheets, and reference photos.

The hardcover book is compiled by author David Saunders, an expert in the field, and the book is limited to just 900 copies.

The Art of Allen Anderson available on Amazon
or at the Illustrated Press website.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Artists in the Calais Jungle

What happens if you're a refugee but also a dreamer? This mini documentary takes us inside the life of stateless artists who make time for their calligraphy, painting, or filmmaking. (Link to YouTube)
Thanks, Dan

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Priest Before the Sermon

Here's a priest before the sermon, turned inward in contemplation. 

I used just four tools: black and red-brown water-soluble colored pencils, a water brush filled with black ink, and a water brush filled with clear water.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Krøyer's Studio

This photo of the studio of Peder Krøyer (Danish, 1851-1909) studio shows his famous painting Hip, Hip, Hurrah! Just below that is a parabolic reflecting lantern, and on the floor is his field box.

Wine Bar by Peder Severin Krøyer
Peder Krøyer on Wikipedia

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Morphing Stockholm

Refik Anadol has developed software that can melt one form into another in an ever-evolving flow of dreamlike images. Forms that we think of as stable—such as architecture—rise and fall away like the tides and the flowers.

(Link to YouTube) The system draws on a collection of over 300,000 photographic images. The process uses a generative adversarial network, where one computer network creates images and the other judges whether the result is plausible.
Latent History – a machine dream of a Stockholm that never was (Thanks, K-Blogg)

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Menzel's Paintings on Paper

Adolph Menzel, Senior Privy Councillor Knerk,
portrait study for the painting The Coronation of Wilhelm I in Königsberg, 1863/1865,
watercolour and gouache over a preparatory sketch on vellum paper
Adolph Menzel (1815–1905) is currently featured in a Berlin exhibition about his paintings on paper.

According to the Kupferstichkabinett, the museum that's hosting the show, Menzel "is known as a painter of large works on canvas, and as the creator of countless studies in pencil. But it was first as a painter of works on paper that he began to employ the full palette of his artistic gifts of expression, creating colourful works ranging from experimental portrait studies through to elaborately composed paintings."

Adolph Menzel "Diploma for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Heckmann Factory", 1869
The museum "possesses the largest collection of works on paper by this German artist, comprising more than 6,000 works – is rediscovering Menzel as a painter of works on paper with a major solo exhibition. The show will feature around 100 works in watercolour, pastels and gouache from the museum’s own holdings, along with a number of key loans. Together, they offer the first comprehensive survey of Menzel’s painterly works on paper."

(Link to YouTube)

"The majority of the works shown in the exhibition are standalone works, however there are also a number of preparatory studies for famous paintings."

Friday, November 29, 2019

Seeing the Big Shapes, Painting the Details

It's an overcast October day in Rhinecliff, New York and I want to paint this street scene in gouache.

(Link to YouTube) Even with a straightforward scene like this, I have to remember to think about the big shapes and not get lost in the details, or as they say in the Tao Te Ching, the 10,000 things.

One way to see the simple tones of a scene is to photograph the scene and put a photo of the scene through a Photoshop filter, such as Filter / Artistic / Cutout or the Poster Shine app.

I use the following pigments of watercolor and gouache in tubes:

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Heatmaps Show Where We're Looking

Eyetracking heatmaps appear as red and yellow blobs where viewers spend the most time looking.
Norman Rockwell's Freedom from Want, courtesy Dan Hill
According to Dan Hill, "If there's a face involved, as much as seventy percent or more of all the gaze activity goes to the face(s) present."

Hill notes that in the painting American Gothic by Grant Wood, even the pitchfork and the man's hand don't compete with the faces. 

We use faces to form our impression of people, Hill says. "We're always looking for clues about their social status, their mood and overall personality."

Images from the book "First Blush: People's Intuitive Reactions to Famous Art" by Dan Hill