Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Welcome new blog readers

I have received quite a few messages from people who are new to this blog. If you found your way here because you just received a copy of one of my books as a holiday gift, welcome!

GurneyJourney is a daily blog that covers a variety of art-related topics: color, light, sketching, visual perception, portrait painting—and the making of my fantasy book Dinotopia. There's also a bit of art history, focusing on realists from the 19th century and the golden age of illustration.

The art instruction books grew directly from the blog posts, and from the comments that follow after them. To learn about a specific topic or artist, try the search box in the upper left.

If you have a specific question or something you'd like to add to the discussion, the best place to do that is in a comment string after a related post. I do read comments on older posts, and if I don't get around to answering your question, most likely one of other blog followers will.

As an introduction to the blog, you might be interested in one of the following series:

Color and Light
Part 1: Wrapping the Spectrum
Part 2: Primaries and Secondaries
Part 3: Complements, Afterimages, and Chroma
Part 4: Problems with the Traditional Wheel
Part 5: The Munsell System
Part 6: Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow

Why I wrote Imaginative Realism

"Origins of Dinotopia" series on GurneyJourney:
Part 1: Childhood Dreams
Part 2: College Obsessions 
Part 3: Lost Empires
Part 4:  Dinosaurs
Part 5: Treetown
Part 6: The Illustrated Book
Part 7: Utopias 
Part 8: Building a World 
Part 9: Words and Pictures 
Part 10: Canyon Worlds 
Part 11: Putting it Together
Part 12: Book Launch

Dinotopian Fire Engine

Popular Videos
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Gamut Masking
Painting Snyder Swamp
Other ways to access GurneyJourney
You can sign up to receive the blog posts by email, or join my public Facebook page.

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Order signed books from
Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter on Amazon


Aaron said...

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas, and thanks for the reposting of the color and light articles. I make it a habit of checking your blog at least a few times a week (everyday if I can, but sometimes things just get busy), but I tend to steer all of my friends who are artists to your sight, and I am sure they will be wanting to check out the color and light posts.

Tom Hart said...

As a devoted "Gurney Journier" I'd like to piggy-back on James's welcome to new readers. Congratulations on discovering this treasure trove. You'll soon be amazed at the wealth of information here, not to mention James's encyclopedic knowledge - which is dwarfed only by the generosity with which he shares it.

James: Is that search box new? I hadn't realized its presence before seeing this post. That's great, and a wonderful addition.

Jason Carter said...


I have been enjoying you blog for some time now but would like to say thanks for all the wonderful and insightful content you provide.

You have helped to reawaken my creative side and I could not be more thankful!

Any chance you could do a post on sealing finished paintings? (or point me to your post if you have already done one). I have recently taken up acrylic painting and am struggling to find good information on how to seal a completed painting.

Thanks, and have a happy holiday and new year!

Lester Yocum said...

What a treasure of great info, consolidated. Thank you! Merry Christmas and a prosperous, safe, and healthy artistic new year.

Anonymous said...

You said last spring after learning of the passing of Thomas Kinkade that you'd "share some thoughts about his life and art in a future post."

According to an Aug. article in Forbes: "During his life, Thomas Kinkade painted bucolic scenes of cozy cottages, gardens, streams, villages and rural churches. The story of what has transpired since his death in April at the age of 54, from an accidental overdose of alcohol and Valium, is far less idyllic."

Then last week, according to the San Jose Mercury News: "After months of name-calling and finger-pointing, lawyers for Nanette Kinkade and Amy Pinto announced Wednesday they have reached a secret settlement. And despite Pinto's vow months ago to clear her name and explain how she was no gold-digger but rather Kinkade's soul mate, she has accepted a deal in return for her silence.

Kinkade's reputation as the "Painter of Light," with his popular images of candlelit country cottages and Christian symbolism, cratered in the aftermath of his death, both by the revelations that he was a regular fixture at local bars and that his marriage of 28 years had recently imploded."

Now that you've had time to process his death, and the tawdry lawsuit has been settled, could you share some of your thoughts on realism, commercialism, narcissism, greed, and the burden of fame and fortune?


Keith Parker said...

Perhaps the answer you are looking for are already somewhere on the blog "anonymous". I for one know that Mr.Gurney has shared several details about Mr. Kinkaid. Amount the details I recal they not only roomed together in college, but Thomas helped James get a job working as a background artist on the movie Fire and Ice. There may be more information in over posts that I might have missed or simply forgotten. I seriously don't think he epuls be divulging much of Mr. Kinkaid's personal affairs to the general public. This blog is about art and science, not gossiping.

James Gurney said...

William, thanks for sending people to the blog and for visiting it.

Tom, I appreciate all your frequent and insightful comments.

Jason, I'm not an expert on the chemistry of sealing acrylic paintings. I have used aerosol varnishes for oils, but I'm not sure what would be best for acrylics.

Anonymous, Keith has got it right. I first met Thomas Kinkade in 1976, when we were both undergraduates at UC Berkeley. I knew him best before he became the Painter of Light, when we worked as fellow artists side by side on the movie "Fire and Ice" and we coauthored the book "The Artist's Guide to Sketching" in the early '80s. I was always on good terms with Tom after that period, but we were both busy and didn't stay in very close touch. I was sad that Tom died so young. I have no knowledge of the details of his private life in his last few years other than what's been published.

Roberto said...

Jimi G- [… and we coauthored the book "The Artist's Guide to Sketching" in the early '80s.]
That book is THE BEST!! You did a GREAT job on that. I’ve read way too many books on drawing, but yours is hands-down the best! I highly recommend it, (along with your others, of coarse.)
"The Artist's Guide to Sketching" its unfortunately out of print, but look for it on-line.

Oh and thanx for reposting your past topics, my favorite is the upside-down ambidextrous portrait sketch, or maybe the unicycle plein-air class, I can’t decide.
Thanx for the Journey…-RQ

Irene said...

As an 'old' blog reader I'd like to thank you for all the interesting posts of the past year. I never comment but always enjoy reading here and following the links to art sites you post. Thank you, and I wish you and all readers of this blog a happy 2013.

Kate said...

Tom - as an old visitor that has been and gone away and come back again, you have hit the nails on the head. James - thanks for posting those links. Much appreciated. I shall have some lovely New Year's reading now.

Anonymous said...

JG writes: "Anonymous, Keith has got it right."

Got it right, except misspelling Kincaid's name, and a whole bunch of other errors, including mistaking the gist of my question. I wasn't asking for "gossip," or the lurid details of Kinkade's "sad" demise. I was wondering about the common trajectories of their careers, to art world stardom, and extreme wealth.

The beginnings of these common trajectories is far deeper than what's reflected in JG's facile answer. Of interest to me, is what separates the end of these trajectories, and where Kinkade might have gone wrong.

Of course it's true this is not the right forum, that this blog is about technique, not substance. Even asking such question would be like knocking on the door of a Kinkade cottage, or asking a friendly dinosaur lizard.