Friday, September 15, 2017

Tweet by Bill Sienkiewicz on Twitter

Bill Sienkiewicz (@sinKEVitch)
R.I.P. Harry Dean Stanton. #HarryDeanStanton .A Quintessential Character. And Performer (Portrait done in honor of his birthday last year) pic.twitter.com/xkb3oSdSI2

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Tweet by Haggard Hawks on Twitter

Haggard Hawks (@HaggardHawks)
Coined by the humorist Roger Price in 1953, a DROODLE is a simple sketch with an explanatory title—like "Four Elephants Examine An Orange". pic.twitter.com/n0fVAXLVgl

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Friday, September 8, 2017

How We Bridge the Real and the Ideal: Frederick Douglass on Art as a Tool of Constructive Self-Criticism and a Force of Cultural Progress



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How We Bridge the Real and the Ideal: Frederick Douglass on Art as a Tool of Constructive Self-Criticism and a Force of Cultural Progress
// Brain Pickings

"The process by which man is able to posit his own subjective nature outside of himself … is at [the] bottom of all effort and the germinating principles of all reform and all progress."


How We Bridge the Real and the Ideal: Frederick Douglass on Art as a Tool of Constructive Self-Criticism and a Force of Cultural Progress

"True art, when it happens to us, challenges the 'I' that we are," Jeanette Winterson wrote in her arresting meditation on how art transforms us. That transformation is one of the most powerful personal experiences a human being can have, but it is also one of the most powerful motive forces of progress for humanity as a whole. In art, we depict our ideals and, in depicting them, we challenge ourselves to face the gap between aspiration and actuality, which in turn challenges us to stretch ourselves and close that gap. "All great art contains at its center contemplation, a dynamic contemplation," young Susan Sontag wrote in her diary, and the object of that contemplation, directly or obliquely, is precisely that discomfiting disconnect between the ideal and the real that drives us to strive for reform. Art, argued the Pulitzer-winning poet Robert Penn Warren, "is the process by which, in imagining itself and the relation of individuals to one another and to it, a society comes to understand itself, and by understanding, discover its possibilities of growth."

A century earlier, the pioneering social reformer and writer Frederick Douglass (c. February 1818–February 20, 1895) made the most exquisite and enduring case for this function of art in an essay titled "Pictures and Progress," penned in the mid-1860s and found in the indispensable The Portable Frederick Douglass (public library).

Frederick Douglass

Douglass writes:

To the eye and spirit, pictures are just what poetry and music are to the ear and heart.

[…]

Man is the only picture-making animal in the world. He alone of all the inhabitants of earth has the capacity and passion for pictures.

Reason is exalted and called Godlike, and sometimes accorded the highest place among human faculties; but grand and wonderful as is this attribute of our species, still more grand and wonderful are the resources and achievements of that power out of which come our pictures and other creations of art.

This faculty of the imagination, Douglass argues, isn't merely the source of aesthetic stimulation but the inner hand outstretched toward our highest ideals — the one which gives us, to borrow Susan Sontag's penetrating phrase, "the model of self-transcendence." He writes:

Art is a special revelation of the higher powers of the human soul. There is in the contemplation of it an unconscious comparison constantly going on in the mind, of the pure forms of beauty and excellence, which are without to those which are within, and native to the human heart. It is a process of soul-awakening self-revelation, a species of new birth, for a new life springs up in the soul with every newly discovered agency, by which the soul is brought into a more intimate knowledge of its own Divine powers and perfections, and is lifted to a higher level of wisdom, goodness, and joy.

Art by William Blake for a rare 1808 edition of Milton's Paradise Lost

This power of the critical imagination, Douglass argues, becomes our mightiest means of bridging the real and the ideal, which is at the heart of all progress:

The process by which man is able to posit his own subjective nature outside of himself, giving it form, color, space, and all the attributes of distinct personality, so that it becomes the subject of distinct observation and contemplation, is at [the] bottom of all effort and the germinating principles of all reform and all progress… It is the picture of life contrasted with the fact of life, the ideal contrasted with the real, which makes criticism possible. Where there is no criticism there is no progress, for the want of progress is not felt where such want is not made visible by criticism. It is by looking upon this picture and upon that which enables us to point out the defects of the one and the perfections of the other.

Poets, prophets, and reformers are all picture-makers — and this ability is the secret of their power and of their achievements. They see what ought to be by the reflection of what is, and endeavor to remove the contradiction.

But, writing with an eye to photography as a new technology of picture-making, Douglass adds an admonition that applies to every new technology that ever was and ever will be:

This picture-making faculty is flung out into the world like all others, capable of being harnessed to the car of truth or error: It is a vast power to whatever cause it is coupled. For the habit we adopt, the master we obey, in making our subjective nature objective, giving it form, color, space, action and utterance, is the one important thing to ourselves and our surroundings. It will either lift us to the highest heaven or sink us to the lowest depths, for good and evil know no limits.

Art, he cautions, should harness beauty but must always be governed by truth above all else:

Truth is the soul of art, as of all things else.

[…]

With the clear perception of things as they are, must stand the faithful rendering of things as they seem. The dead fact is nothing without the living expression.

Complement this portion of The Portable Frederick Douglass, a timelessly rewarding read in its totality, with James Baldwin on the artist's role in society's progress, Alfred Kazin on the power of the critical imagination, and Walt Whitman on how art bolsters democracy.


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70sscifiart: Concept art by Moebius, for Jodorowsky’s Dune



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Planning Stages



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Planning Stages
// Gurney Journey

Here are three stages in planning Dinosaur Boulevard for Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time

The first one is a grisaille study in oil, about 3 x 6 inches. I wanted to organize the values of the scene— a very light sky, a pale row of buildings, and then deep darks unifying the foreground elements.


The purpose of the second study is to work out the perspective and overlapping.

For any scene this complex, it's a big help to break down the planning stages into several discrete stages, with the goal of solving a different problem with each sketch.


The original painting is on its way to Athens, where it will be on exhibit as part of the big science fiction exhibit that was most recently in London (link to video overview).
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The painting appears in the book Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
Signed from my website store and Also available from Amazon



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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Tweet by #WOMENSART on Twitter

#WOMENSART (@womensart1)
Portraits made from a single thread wrapped around nails, by Kumi Yamashita, New York City–based Japanese artist #womensart pic.twitter.com/kgJWARD8aU

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

T.S. Sullivant in Color



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T.S. Sullivant in Color
// Deja View



A gorgeous Sullivant illustration from around 1905. His black and white work was mostly published in Life magazine, some in Judge magazine. But occasionally a color Sullivant cartoon such as this one would appear in newspaper print.
As always, there is charm, inventive caricature and...genius.

Here is the link to my first post on Sullivant, more than six years ago:
http://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/2011/06/t-s-sullivant.html


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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What Lies Beneath



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What Lies Beneath
// Muddy Colors

By Justin and Annie Stegg Gerard


This weekend Annie will be doing an oil painting demo on how she adds color glazes over an underpainting. So for today's post I thought I would show a few peaks at her process as well as some of her thoughts on colorizing an underpainting. 



So why bother with an underpainting?  Painting an underpainting takes a lot longer than getting right into the full painting and so it can feel like an overly laborious and redundant step.  But while it does tend to take longer, it offers the advantage of allowing you to concentrate on value and color independently of one another, so you can devote their full attention to each in turn.

Underpaintings also allow the artist to take advantage of one of the curious properties of oil painting: That each layer glazed onto the surface adds greater depth and translucency to the surface of the image.  This has the affect of making things like skin, look like, well, skin. Making this a wonderful;y useful technique for portraiture.



It can be intimidating to add color once you've finished an underpainting. You have to take a pristine monochrome that could almost be a framed finished painting on its own, and now you have to deface it with bold strokes of color.  It can initially be very intimidating.

Thankfully in oil you can simply start splashing color on, and if it looks wrong, you can wipe it out, without affecting your underpainting. This means that you can be very bold with initial choices.











For her underpaintings, Annie uses Raw Umber and Titanium White, with very little medium. (It's important to use very little medium in the underpainting, otherwise the image may not be fat over lean and the later layers may not be stable).  Before moving on to color Annie will allow the painting surface to become completely touch dry.  






For those of you who will be attending DragonCon in Atlanta this Labor Day weekend, Annie's demonstration is Saturday, September 2. It will be at 1PM in Grand Hall D of the Hyatt. 
Here is a preview of the painting she will be working on: 









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Sunday, August 27, 2017

hideback: Albert Gleizes (French, 1881-1953) Cubist Views of...



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hideback: Albert Gleizes (French, 1881-1953) Cubist Views of...
// The Curve in the Line





hideback:

Albert Gleizes (French, 1881-1953)

Cubist Views of Brooklyn Bridge, 1915-1917


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Friday, August 25, 2017

hideback:Illustrations by Gösta Adrian-Nilsson (“GAN”) (Swedish,...



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hideback:Illustrations by Gösta Adrian-Nilsson ("GAN") (Swedish,...
// The Curve in the Line









hideback:

Illustrations by Gösta Adrian-Nilsson ("GAN") (Swedish, 1884 - 1965)


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Arkhipov's Washer-Women



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Arkhipov's Washer-Women
// Gurney Journey

Abram Arkhipov (Russian, 1862-1930) did two versions of his famous paintings of washer-women. 


His first version of 1899 came after a tireless search through different wash houses, where he observed the characteristic movements and the quality of light streaming through the window.

Then, at a wash-house in the Smolensk market in Moscow, he noticed an old woman sitting off to the side, her head resting in her hand, and her right arm resting on her knee. 



The second picture brings the figures closer and lights them more prominently. He was moved by the spirit of hopelessness and exhaustion, which gave the painting a social message as well as an aesthetic one. 
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From Story Sketch to Final Frame



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From Story Sketch to Final Frame
// Deja View




It's always interesting to compare a story sketch to the way the final film frame turned out.
If you take story man Bill Peet's work, you'll find out that layout and animation poses are extremely close to what need up on the screen. That's because Peet gave a lot of thought in his sketches regarding character personality, scene continuity and overall staging.
Because of this the animators loved working from his story drawings, the scenes were practically half done.
The scene above was animated by Frank Thomas.

Next up is John Lounsbery with his beautiful animation of Madame Mim as a rhino and Merlin as a crab.





Eric Larson animated Mim as a dragon. Here she finds out that she cought a virus named Merlin.




Other story artists were often less thoughtful when it came to posing the characters or good staging in general. I have copies of some of the storyboards for the animated sections of Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Here the animators had their hands full in translating the story sketches into quality images for the final animation.



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Don't forget the second step



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Don't forget the second step
// Seth Godin's Blog on marketing, tribes and respect

The first step is learning how to do it. Finding and obtaining the insight and the tools and the techniques you need. Understanding how it works.

But step two is easily overlooked. Step two is turning it into a habit. Committing to the practice. Showing up and doing it again and again until you're good at it, and until it's part of who you are and what you do.

Most education, most hardware stores, most technology purchases, most doctor visits, most textbooks are about the first step. What a shame that we don't invest just a little more to turn the work into a habit.

       

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Raphael’s Drawings at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford



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Raphael's Drawings at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
// Black Gate

23. Two Apostles (c) Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

The heads and hands of two apostles, c. 1519–20.
Black chalk with over-pounced underdrawing
with some white heightening.

One of the highlights of my regular stays in Oxford is visiting the Ashmolean Museum. With its fine collections of all periods, especially Medieval Europe and Ancient Egypt, it's a place I and my family keep going back to. It also has excellent special exhibitions. I wrote up last summer's exhibition on Underwater Archaeology for Black Gate, and this year we got to enjoy the treat of studying some little-seen drawings of an Italian Renaissance master.

Raphael: The Drawings brings together 120 rarely seen works by the Italian master, including 50 from the Ashmolean's collection, the largest and most important group of Raphael drawings in the world. They came to the museum in 1845 following a public appeal to acquire them after the dispersal of the collection of the portrait painter Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769–1830), who had amassed an unrivalled collection of Old Master drawings. A further 25 works are on loan from the Albertina Museum in Vienna, which will show the exhibition in autumn 2017. The remaining drawings come from various international collections.

The Three Graces

Study for the Three Graces, c. 1517–18 Red chalk over
some blind stylus. © The Royal Collection Trust,
HM Queen Elizabeth II.

The drawings range in date from Raphael's early career in Umbria through his radically creative years in Florence to the apex of his career in Rome, working on major projects such as the Vatican frescoes.

I must admit that as a non-artist much of the subtlety of this exhibition was lost on me. I could only gape at the detail of the lines and the almost magical effect of some of the techniques he used to create shading and light. One of the things I found interesting was how his drawings often had more detail and more refined techniques than his finished paintings, such as the details of the drapery on the Madonna in the Studies for the Madonna of Francis I (c. 1518).

19. Madonna of Francis I (c) Gallerie degli Uffizi, Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe, Florence

Studies for the Madonna of Francis I, c. 1518 Red chalk
over blind stylus. 
© Gallerie degli Uffizi, Gabinetto
dei Disegni e delle Stampe, Florence.

The_Holy_Family_-_Rafael

The final painting that same year. Much of the work was
possibly done by his workshop assistants and not Raphael
himself. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

15. Putto (c) Teylers Museum, Haarlem

Putto holding the Medici Ring, c. 1513–14 Black chalk with
white heightening, later framing lines in black chalk.
© Teylers Museum, Haarlem.

Raphael used a variety of media including charcoal, earthy chalks, ink, and metalpoint. The exhibition includes a small display of these tools for those of us who can't draw a straight line. I finally found out what gum arabic looks like and what it's used for. It had always been one of those terms I occasionally heard but had never bothered looking up.

Raphael himself realized that his drawings were more than mere preliminary sketches. He knew they had artistic value in their own right and presented them to such prestigious figures such as Duke Alfonso d'Este and Albrecht Dürer. We're lucky he did, and we're lucky the recipients realized the value of these drawings too and preserved them.

Raphael: The Drawings runs to September 3.

11. Mother & child (c) Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

A seated mother embracing her child, c. 1512 Metalpoint with white
heightening on grey prepared paper, selectively indented for transfer

1. Youth (c) Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Portrait of a youth (self-portrait?), c. 1500–1 Black chalk
on white heightening, now largely lost.

Images copyright The Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, unless otherwise noted.


Sean McLachlan is the author of the historical fantasy novel A Fine Likeness, set in Civil War Missouri, and several other titles, including his post-apocalyptic series Toxic World that starts with the novel Radio Hope. His historical fantasy novella The Quintessence of Absence, was published by Black Gate. Find out more about him on his blog and Amazon author's page.


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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

En L'an 2000



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En L'an 2000
// Voyages Extraordinaires

En L'An 2000 (English: In the Year 2000) were a series of cigarette cards produced in France at the turn of 1900. The initial series was released between 1899 and 1901, in conjunction with the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle, when excitement about the advancements of the coming century were accelerating. A second series was produced in 1910. For the most part, the series is a fanciful
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Five Tips to Drawing the Figure



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Five Tips to Drawing the Figure
// Artist's Network

Figure drawings and sketches by Ilya Repin.

Figure drawings and sketches by Ilya Repin. Article contributions from Mark Gottsegen and Bill Tilton

Easy Ways of Making Figure Drawings

When you get comfortable creating figure drawings or sketchings, you watch your whole world change. Every person — waiting in line in front of you, sitting at a table across from you at a cafe, on the bus or passing you on the sidewalk — is a figure waiting to be captured in your sketchbook. To put you at ease and in the rhythm, so you can start to fill up page upon page with sketches, here are five tips you will want to learn about simplifying the shapes of the parts of the body. From there, you'll find every figure much easier to draw.

Hands Off

Use your non-drawing hand as a model to practice creating gesture sketches. You can also use an ordinary mitten as a model to capture the essential mass of the hand. Try drawing the mitten in a number of positions, then divide this mass into four fingers.

Out on a Limb

Practice drawing the basic arm and leg structures by thinking of them as cylinders. Initially, ignore any details that change with your viewing angle. Drawing from life is always the best approach, but if you don't have a model handy, try substituting sections of PVC pipe, straws connected by modeling clay or pipe cleaners.

Sketch by Linda Capello

Sketch by Linda Capello

Body Art

Use the peanut shape to quickly construct a human or animal figure in any position. Then simply refine this basic shape with details. To better capture this shape, try making a model out of foam rubber, clay or another pliable substance. This model can be twisted or bent into any position for drawing.

Happy Feet

To get the basic form and positioning for feet, draw them as a three-dimensional, rectangular form similar to a brick. Practice drawing them in perspective and in a variety of positions.

Get Ahead

Initially, avoid getting enmeshed in the features and other details of the head. Instead, practice representing the head using a ball for the main portion of the skull and a bucket shape for the jaw.

When you find yourself doing this automatically, begin lightly indicating the shape and position of the nose, eyes and ears.

Once these are in place, draw the nose more definitely and add the mouth, relating its size and placement to the bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin.

Next, add the eyes, relating them to the width of the mouth. Finally, sketch the ears, using the eyes and nose to gauge the proper size and position.

The Best Way Forward

Spend 10 minutes sketching people passing by. Then the next time make it 15 minutes. Then 20. Start tacking on the minutes but the consistent rule is don't stop. Fill the page! And then another! Soon the figure drawings will flow, especially if you couple that sketchbook time with all the lessons and fun exercises Brent Eviston teaches you in Figure Drawing Essentials: Getting Started with Gesture & Shape. Get Figure Drawing Essentials now and enjoy!

Show off what you've done by tagging your work #artistsnetwork! We are excited to see what you've been working on in the studio and in the pages of your sketchbook!

Courtney

The post Five Tips to Drawing the Figure appeared first on Artist's Network.


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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Milt's Brom Bones



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Milt's Brom Bones
// Deja View




This is the official clean up model sheet for the character of Brom Bones. He appeared in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow section of the 1949 film The Adventure of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.
Milt Kahl supervised the animation of this character. I call this perfect casting, even though he probably would have preferred to animate Ichabod, a much cartoonier character. Milt had this uncanny capability for combining realism with cartoony elements, in regards to design as well as animation. He just knew instinctively how to apply correct anatomy to a cartoon character.
These clean up drawings on the sheet are based on Milt's rough animation. The clean up artist was Iwao Takamoto.
Next up are a few of Milt's roughs.






Here is a previous post on From Bones:





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