helpyoudraw: Crystals Progress Tutorial by Pikishi
// Art and Reference point
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Starting this month Verizon FiOS customers can get upload speeds every bit as fast as their download speeds. Since that means faster, easier sharing of high-res illustrations, designs, and photos, FiOS is sponsoring a series of posts on Colossal to help us commission and share these super hi-res animated GIFs from some of the most amazing artists we could find.
Digital artist Dave Whyte (previously) continues to amaze us with his impressive mathematical gifs that bounce, swirl, and twist around the web as quickly as he posts them online. The Dublin-based PhD student is currently studying the physics of foam and tells us his first geometric gifs riffed on computational modules he was exploring while in undergrad. As interest in the work grows Whyte is focusing more on his artistic side, pushing the boundaries of these small animations created with the Processing programming language. He's now able to fully envision each animation before coding it, making tweaks to color, timing, and measurements along the way. The artist publishes new images almost daily on his Tumblr, Bees & Bombs.
This demonstration is from "Familiar Sights That Never Were" by BJ Foreman in the July/August issue of The Artist's Magazine.
"Autumnal Tonalities" By George Shipperley
I base my landscapes upon years of observation of the natural world, but the particular scenes I depict come from my imagination. For the painting that would be Pathway, I saw in my mind a dense forest with a path going straight through.
1. Draw horizon line: Generally, when I paint a landscape, I establish a basis for the composition by first determining the horizon line. I did this in a dark color, ultramarine blue, and then added lines indicating a path.
2. Mass shapes: Still using ultramarine blue, I began massing in the shapes. I used the same color for the sky, tree, and ground masses so I could establish an overall tonality.
3. Add darks: I increased the darkness and density of the tree and ground masses, adding black to the ultramarine blue. This created a contrast with the sky and added depth to the trees. Many artists in other media avoid using black, but I find it very useful with oil pastels.
4. Blend with medium: Here you can see that the linear markings in the sky, trees, and ground have begun to disappear because I rubbed those areas with a Scott paper shop towel moistened with Winsor & Newton Liquin Light Gel medium. This blending of the marks introduced more tonalities.
5. Add trunks; subtract darks: I added the trunks and branches, which I thought of as directional compositional elements rather than as trees. I was working with an arrangement of negative and positive spaces as I established the more important, solid tree trunks. Besides drawing in the trees, I also rubbed out some of the dark mass with medium to give the appearance of light coming through the trees. In the image you see me blending the sky color and softening the edges of the trunks and branches with a shop towel. I also added some gray tones to the path.
6. Begin foliage; harmonize colors: I then introduced the ochres and yellows, making this a fall scene. At this stage I was setting the overall pattern of foliage, taking the fall colors all the way to the ground, which established how much foliage I'd add and where I'd place it. This step also helped me determine where I would put the highlights and other tonal variations. Notice that I still let quite a bit of the blue sky show through. At this stage I also began adding browns to the trunks to make them more harmonious with the foliage.
7. Add values: Applying stroke after stroke, I increased the sense of depth with additional color values—two or three different shades of the ochres and golds and yellows. At this point, much of the sky had disappeared, although I was careful not to cover all the blue; we see the sky through the trees, no matter how dense they are. I also began the tree shadows.
8. Harmonize colors; soften edges: I continued to work with the foliage. I also made the ground color and trunks more harmonious with the colors of the forest and then blended the edges of the shadows, thus finishing Pathway (oil pastel, 20×23).
In the midst of his 30-plus-year career in industrial sales, George Shipperley and his wife, Lois, opened the Henrich Art Gallery and Custom Frame Shop in Aurora, Illinois, which they ran successfully for 34 years before closing the operation in 2011. Shipperley wasn't able to focus on his own art until he retired from sales in 1994. He's taken classes at the Art Institute of Chicago and studied under Ruth Van Sickle Ford and Marianne Grunwald-Scoggin. He's the first artist to have been awarded signature membership in the Oil Pastel Society; he is an award-winner in The Artist's Magazine's 2011 Annual Art Competition and 2014 Over 60 Art Competition. He's also a 2014 inductee into Illinois's Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame. Edgewood Orchard Galleries (Fish Creek, Wisconsin), Maggie Black gallery (Galena, Illinois), Proud Fox Gallery (Geneva, Illinois), and Artisan Gallery (Paoli, Wisconsin) represent his work. He also teaches classes and workshops. For more information, go to www.georgeshipperley.com, and be sure to order your copy of the July/August issue of The Artist's Magazine.
Jean Lurçat (French, 1892 – 1966)
The Fabulous Bestiary, 1948
Only 164 copies of this book of calligrams were published in 1948. Poems by Patrice de La Tour du Pin.
Robert Stewart Sherriffs (Scottish, 1906-60)
The Life and Death of Tamburlaine the Great by Christopher Marlowe, 1930
Do artists have different brains than the rest of us? Or do our brains change when we do art regularly?
A study published last week in the journal NeuroImage confirms that artists do indeed have different brains -- and regular art practice can permanently change our brain structures.
Researchers took extremely detailed pictures of 21 artists' and 23 non-artists' brains and found key differences in a region associated with fine motor control and memory. The study was small, but the results were statistically significant and confirmed other research on the brains of artists.
"This region is involved in a range of functions but potentially in things that could be linked to creativity," Dr. Rebecca Chamberlain, chief researcher on the project, told BBC's Inside Science program. "Like visual imagery, being able to manipulate visual images in your brain, combine them and deconstruct them."
Scientists are just beginning to study the significance of our unique brain signatures. The now infamous robbery of Albert Einstein's brain revealed that his genius was mirrored in an "extraordinary" brain: an extra thick corpus callosum, a huge prefrontal cortex, and a high ratio of glial cells. All good things if you want to conceptualize space, problem solve, and come up with innovative answers. Albert Einstein was also an artist; he was known to play violin when he couldn't figure out a problem.
In case the stress-relief effect of arts didn't get you to pick up a paint brush or knitting needles, perhaps you'll be inspired with the knowledge that we can physically alter the structure of our brains with regular and long-term art practice.
How are you changing your brain today?
Payload by Paul Pope from Giant THB 1 V.2; "…a THB short, occuring alongside the events of the larger THB storyline."
View of Benevento, Edmund Kanoldt
A beautifully complete, but still economical, graphite drawing by the 19th century German landscape artist. I love the way he has handled the tone and textural variation in the distance, middle ground and foreground — particularly his gestural definition of the trees.
New York based artist Richard Haas works at a nexus of painting and architecture. He is best known for his large scale murals, many of which use a trompe l'oeil approach that actually changes the perception of the building itself, rather than simply using it as a canvas.
He also does the latter, however, presenting views of architectural subjects from different times, or just freely imagined, on the sides of buildings from a different architectural context.
His mural at 23rd and Chestnut here in Philadelphia (images above, second from top) not only plays with illusionary space, but pays homage to two of the city's great artists by incorporating images of Alexander Milne Calder's monumental sculpture of city founder William Penn and Thomas Eakins' famous painting Max Schmitt in a Single Scull. You can view it on Google Maps Street View. (See my posts on Calder's grandson, Alexander Calder, and Thomas Eakins.)
Haas also does interior murals, both trompe l'oeil and of other subjects. In addition, he does paintings in oil and acrylic on canvas, carrying into them his fascination with urban and architectural subjects (images above, bottom four).