'What Is The Blast Rule?'

Jun. 29th, 2017 08:54
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Posted by James Gurney

Detail, Sargent watercolor
Jonathan asks, "What is the BLAST Rule?"

That's a shorthand I try to remember when I'm painting. Those letters stand for five principles of paint technique:

Big brushes.
Large to small.
Accents last.
Soften edges.
Take your time.

Big brushes
Regardless of the medium, I get out the biggest brushes first. As I proceed, I may choose smaller brushes later if I need to, but I always try to use a brush that's a little bigger than I need for a given passage. Flat brushes are especially good for giving you a variety of strokes, from large areas to sharp lines.

Large to small
Typically, some overall light and dark value statement should be made right away, even if it's in a lighter key. It helps to work out the big shapes first. Rough them in, get them right, then subdivide. In watercolor, I often like to put down a big ghost wash early on, covering 90% of the surface, leaving only the brightest highlights.

Accents last
Accents are the eye-catching darkest darks and highest highlights, or the brightest dashes of chroma. They should stand apart from the rest of the system of values. Usually with oil or gouache or casein, they should be added last, saving the final punch for the end. With transparent watercolor, the whites have to be considered from the start.

Soften edges
Edges shouldn't be all soft or all hard. They should have variety. But softness is often a measure of quality and professionalism, and soft edges are harder to achieve in water media. To avoid the “coloring book look” it takes a conscious effort to capture a feeling of melting, merging, blurring, and blending. Softness must be accomplished early in the process. Forms get sharper and more detailed in the later stages.

Take your time
Patience and concentration are a rare commodity in our attention economy. You can be be both a lumberjack and a watchmaker. Paint fast and furious, but allow yourself also to slow way down and really observe. The limits I run up against are my ability and willingness to focus deeply and for long periods. To do that I have to ignore distractions such as wind, changing light, intrusive passersby, and the computer.

Help Us With Our New Site!

Jun. 29th, 2017 06:00
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Posted by Muddy Colors

Hello all! Thanks to the success of our recent Patreon videos and the continued generosity of our readers, we are finally capable of investing some legitimate money into our website, and we want your input!

Very shortly, we will be revamping the Muddy Colors website. We have been tossing around ideas to make it more of an everyday hub for artists of many genres. The goal for the new site is primarily to encourage more interaction. We'd like to open this up to you, our faithful readers, to get your feedback on what you'd like to see from Muddy Colors. You are, after all, the ones who keep this blog meaningful!

Some changes have already been announced and put into place. We're working on a new logo (one of many prospective new logos above) and overall site design. We've also begun offering our past demos for purchase through our site here.

We also have top secret plans for a few more artists to join our ranks as contributors very soon! Trust me... you are going to be impressed!

While we're very excited about the new direction, and we're not just talking about post topics (though those are welcome too!), we want your input on the site itself. Layout! Features! What would you like to see? Live chat? Forums? Portfolios?  Perhaps it would be nice for posts with new comments get bumped to the top to encourage continued discussion?

This is your chance to let us know what could help make Muddy Colors more engaging to you.

So please feel free to drop us a comment with your suggestions. Send us ideas. Send us thumbnails even! Whatever you'd like to share, we'd like to see! Even if it's just a comment stating what you don't like. We looking forward to hearing from you all!

Zur Blauen Stunde

Jun. 28th, 2017 18:02
[syndicated profile] edwardbgordon_feed
The blue hour, the view into the endless wide blue yonder…

5.9 x 5.9 inch / Oil on MDF board / 15cm x 15cm / Öl auf MDF Bord

If you would like to purchase this daily painting, please send your bid by email. Startprice 150 Euro. End of sale June 29th 2017 at 6.00 pm (local time Berlin Germany). Terms of Sale and Right of Withdrawal.

Wenn Sie dieses Tagesbild erwerben möchten, senden Sie bitte Ihr Gebot per email . Mindestpreis 150 Euro. Ende des Verkaufs gegen Höchstgebot am 29. Juni 2017 um 18 Uhr. Beachten Sie bitte die Informationen zu den Verkaufsbedingungen sowie die Widerrufsbelehrung.

© Edward B. Gordon, all rights reserved.

Dead Vehicle Challenge

Jun. 28th, 2017 09:39
[syndicated profile] gurneyjourney_feed

Posted by James Gurney

Old tow truck, watercolor by Jeanette Gurney
We had such an enthusiastic response to our previous painting challenges, such as the Food Truck and the Weed Painting Challenge, that many of you asked for another opportunity.

This time the theme is Dead Vehicles.

Dead trucks in Highland Park, CA
painted in oil when I was an art student. 
You can paint any abandoned car, truck, bus, or motorcycle that's no longer in working condition. No tractors or construction equipment this time.

It could be parked in a garage or a museum, or outdoors behind a repair shop or in a junkyard. It could be damaged from a crash, covered with graffiti or partially dismantled. If it's got flat tires or weeds growing up around it, so much the better. 

On Location

It must be painted on location and it must be a new painting or sketchbook page done for this challenge. It doesn't have to be painted in one sitting; you can return to the spot multiple times if you want.

All physical painting media are acceptable: casein, gouache, acryla-gouache, oil, acrylic or watercolor. There's no limitation on the palette of colors.

Two-hour paintout of an old pickup. Actually, I think this one wouldn't
qualify for this challenge, because the truck still ran.

What to Enter
In addition to a scan of the final painting, your entry must include a photo of your picture on the easel in front of the motif. Your face doesn't have to be in the photo unless you want to.

Multimedia Prize
If you want, you can record a video or audio (1 minute or less) of the owner describing their vehicle, or you can document something that happened while you were painting it. I'll give a special award to the best one.

It's free to enter. You can enter as soon as you finish the piece, but no later than the deadline: Monday, July 31 at midnight New York time. Winners will be announced on the blog on Thursday, August 3. 

Where and How to Enter
Upload the images to this Facebook Event page (This way I don't have to deal with email, and you present your images your way). If you don't have a Facebook account, please ask a friend with an account to help you. Please include in the FB post a sentence or two about your inspiration or design strategy, or a story about the vehicle

If you share our image on Instagram or Twitter, please use the hashtag #deadvehiclechallenge

I'll pick one Grand Prize, five Finalists, and one Multimedia Winner. They will be published on GurneyJourney. All the winners will receive an exclusive "Department of Art" embroidered patch. In addition, all the winners will receive a video (DVD or download) of their choice. Everybody who participates will have their work on the Facebook page, too.
Resources and Links
Facebook Event page on Dead Vehicle Challenge
•If you want to try out casein, I've asked Jack Richeson to put together a basic set called Gurney's Casein 6 Packor Gurney's Casein Explorers Pack (12)
• Own the 72-minute feature "Gouache in the Wild"
• HD MP4 Download at Gumroad $14.95
• or HD MP4 Download at Sellfy (for Paypal customers) $14.95
• DVD at Purchase at Kunaki.com (Region 1 encoded NTSC video) $24.50

Learning Live

Jun. 28th, 2017 00:00
[syndicated profile] muddycolors_feed

Posted by Donato

-By Donato

Next weekend will find me and a host of other artists at the Society of Illustrators in Manhattan for Art Out Loud 10, a live painting demonstration to entertain and educate the 50 odd attendees who can make the trip.  I will humbly be sharing the stage and trying to hold my own with the highly talented Wayne Barlowe and Greg Manchess.

It has been 6 years since I was last at the Society for one of these events, and I am looking forward to connecting to another generation of painters and taking a few glimpses over my shoulder at what Wayne and Greg may have to share!

Looking back at my artistic development, the chance to watch other artists at work has provided me with insights and knowledge which no textbook, how-to-step by step, or even videos have been able to provide.  The subtle choices each artist makes is laid bare, and you as a participant, get to absorb it like a sponge.  All of it.  Even the parts you don't realize you need or thought relevant.

For it is not until later that some minor decision, some little gesture, some handling of a tool or medium which you took in first hand, will come back to you and help inform your own artistic development.  I speak of this for the live drawing and painting 'demos' I have been exposed to have left deep impression on my work - Jerome Witkin and his draftsmanship work with anatomy, Vincent Desiderio and his layering of glazes and precision of paint application in his initial block ins, Darrel Sweet and his gestural flips of the brush.

Tickets are now available for this event.  If you cannot make it, then I recommend that if you do watch 'how-to' videos, seek those where you can see the hand of the artist at work, not just their effects. Take in their full body language and tune into their pacing and pauses.  How much are they observing their references?  Planing a stroke of color? Blending on their palette? Contemplating compositional choices? There is so much to learn in those quiet moments in between the mark making...

Art Out Loud 10
Saturday, July 8
12:00 - 4:00PM

Society of Illustrators
128 E. 63rd Sreet
NY, NY, 10021

Top fantastic illustrators will demonstrate their skills and techniques in an open forum. 
Featuring artists Wayne Barlowe, Donato Giancola & Greg Manchess!

Plus! Have your portfolios reviewed by renowned art directors Irene Gallo (Associate Publisher, Tor.com/ Creative Director, Tor Books) and Lauren Panepinto (Creative Director, Orbit Books/ Yen Press). 15 minutes reviews. Reservations required.
Photos from Art Out Loud 2011.

[syndicated profile] linesandcolors_feed

Posted by Charley Parker

The Scullery Maid, Jean-Simon Chardin
The Scullery Maid, Jean-Simeon Chardin

In the collection of the National Gallery of Art, DC. Use the Zoom or Download links to the right of the image on their page.

18th century French painter Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin was noted for his wonderful still life paintings (that I think magically hold time still in a way comparable to Vermeer), but he also painted a series of domestic interiors.

Some of these are as much still life as they are a room interior or genre piece. A case in point it this beautiful and deceptively simple scene of a maid washing kitchen utensils. For me, the copper pot — radiant with subtle reflected colors — steals the show, but the pottery piece and barrel are not far behind.

The figure, like those of De Hooch, seems more an object in the room than a person with whom we are meant to connect. As such, she is rendered with the same volumetric and textural presence as the other objects, defining space as well as existing in it.

I love the textural application of paint in her face and cap in particular, and in her clothing in general.

The control of edges throughout, as in all of Chardin’s paintings, is remarkable. Look at the softness of the edges of the barrel hoop (images above, second from bottom), and the way the edges of the crock disappear into the floor and background (images above, bottom).


Zeichen am Ufer

Jun. 27th, 2017 18:17
[syndicated profile] edwardbgordon_feed
The tree on the right bank caught my attention, making a sign like a V…

Der Baum am Rechten Ufer fiel mir auf, der das Zeichen eines Vs machte…

5.9 x 5.9 inch / Oil on MDF board / 15cm x 15cm / Öl auf MDF Bord

© Edward B. Gordon, all rights reserved.

New Downloads Available!

Jun. 27th, 2017 06:00
[syndicated profile] muddycolors_feed

Posted by Muddy Colors

This month's download is an "Introduction to Mixed Media, with Dan dos Santos" and is available to download right now!

In this 3 hour demonstration, Dan dos Santos discusses and shows how to implement a wide variety of mediums, including pencil, acrylic, gouache, colored pencil, markers, fluid acrylics, airbrush and oil paints... all in a single painting.

Want this video? There are two ways to get it...

Anybody who is currently a $10+ Muddy Colors Patron, or signs up at the $10 donation level before the end of June, will receive this video free with their donation! You can sign-up for our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/muddycolors

Or, if Patreon isn't really your thing, we get it. You can still purchase this download through our Gumroad store at the regular retail price of $20 right here: http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/p/store.html

Be sure to check out the trailer below to get a taste of what's in store for you:

Detail of Final Painting, "Jean Grey" by Dan dos Santos

Also, new to our Gumroad store is Greg Ruth's recent demo "A Portrait in Pencil". You can find this video, and all of our other instructional videos, in our Muddy Colors Video Shop: http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/p/store.html

Terror of the Seas

Jun. 27th, 2017 07:24
[syndicated profile] gurneyjourney_feed

Posted by James Gurney

Sea Monster study, gouache, 9x12 inches
An experiment in biomechanics spirals out of control, and the leviathan slips out to sea.

Das Leben auf dem Wasser

Jun. 26th, 2017 17:59
[syndicated profile] edwardbgordon_feed
I can not think of anything more relaxing, then to sleep on a boat, while its raining outside. Perfect. Even if I discovered this morning that the boat has at least three places where the water comes through, fortunately from above…

Es gibt wohl nichts entspannenderes als auf einem Boot zu Übernachten, während es draussen regnet. Einfach Perfekt. Da macht das auch nichts, das ich heute morgen entdeckte, das an mindesten drei Stellen meines Bootes Wasser reinkommt, glücklicherweise nur von oben…

5.9 x 5.9 inch / Oil on MDF board / 15cm x 15cm / Öl auf MDF Bord

© Edward B. Gordon, all rights reserved.

W. T. Richards Field Study

Jun. 26th, 2017 10:18
[syndicated profile] gurneyjourney_feed

Posted by James Gurney

 William Trost Richards, field study
36.4 x 51 cm (14 5/16 x 20 1/8 inches), RISD Museum
Here's a field study in watercolor and graphite by William Trost Richards (American 1833-1905) The curators of the Art Museum at Rhode Island School of Design write:

"William Trost Richards’s close studies of nature reveal his belief, based on the writings of critic John Ruskin, that the way to truth was the study of nature in penetrating detail. On display here is Richards’s precision and agility with watercolor and gouache in vertical format—his favorite for such studies. He may have found this meadow on one of his many long walks around his daughter’s farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Before it came to the Museum the drawing suffered from sun exposure, leading to the fading of the sky’s blue pigment, some of which is still visible where it pooled."

I'm impressed with how he sets up two planes of focus: the near weeds and the far trees. While he carefully defines all the smaller textures of the flowers and foliage with a playful variation of colors, he does so within a controlled value gamut.

He keeps to his overall statement of light-foreground over dark-middle-ground over light-sky. The whole design is set up to feature the Joe-Pye weed in the center, where the tonal contrasts are most dramatic.

It would have been easy to get bogged down in other details, and a photograph would have presented a very different set of facts.
[syndicated profile] muddycolors_feed

Posted by Arnie Fenner

-By Arnie Fenner

We're all agreed that the late Ray Harryhausen was a legend in the special effects industry, right? And that his movies—whether The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, 20 Million Miles to Earth, Jason and the Argonauts, or The 7th Voyage of Sinbad—helped influence many of us to become artists of one sort or another? Ok, with that established: if you're traveling this summer there are two exhibits of Ray's work you'll definitely want to see if you get the chance.

If you're in London you can attend "The Art of Ray Harryhausen" at the Tate Britain Museum, which will run June 26 through November 19. Ray's drawings and stop-motion models will be matched with some of his influences, including works by Gustave Doré and John Martin.

The second exhibition is "Ray Harryhausen—Mythical Menagerie" hosted by Science Museum Oklahoma (in Oklahoma City, OK, of course), which will open on Juky 29. This show will include 150 models, bronzes, illustrations, and storyboards from throughout Ray's career. It closes on December 3, so there will be plenty of time to make the trip.

Both shows are made possible by the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation.

And since we're talking about Ray today...how about some clips and interviews?

[syndicated profile] gurneyjourney_feed

Posted by James Gurney

In 1986 I was part of a group of friends called "The Golden Palm Tape Network" who shared art-talk via cassettes. I thought some of these recordings would be fun for you to listen to in the form of a podcast on YouTube. 

Let's start with a fairly typical one called "Academic Chatter," a combination of readings and commentary. (Direct link to podcast on YouTube).

Topics include: 

The nucleus of the G.P Tape Network was a small group who knew each other at the Art Center College of Design. We first met each other at the Golden Palms Apartment in Highland Park, California.

The artists involved included Paul ChadwickBryn BarnardThomas KinkadeRon HarrisRichard Hescox, Tom KiddDavid MattinglyJames Warhola, Brad Teare, and Barry Klugerman. All those people were (or are) brilliant and incisive and funny, and I owe who I am to what I learned from them.

There were hundreds of tapes, most of which were recorded over again with new stuff. But I still have a lot of these. If you enjoy this one, let me know, and I'll share some more.
Jean-Léon Gérôme on Wikipedia


Jun. 25th, 2017 18:17
[syndicated profile] edwardbgordon_feed
Traveling and painting on my boat again.

Ich bin wieder unterwegs und male auf meinem Boot…

5.9 x 5.9 inch / Oil on MDF board / 15cm x 15cm / Öl auf MDF Bord

© Edward B. Gordon, all rights reserved.

In the Park

Jun. 24th, 2017 17:49
[syndicated profile] edwardbgordon_feed
A painted memory from my last visit to England…

5.9 x 5.9 inch / Oil on MDF board / 15cm x 15cm / Öl auf MDF Bord

© Edward B. Gordon, all rights reserved.

George Vicat Cole

Jun. 24th, 2017 13:56
[syndicated profile] linesandcolors_feed

Posted by Charley Parker

George Vicat Cole
Victorian era painter George Vicat Cole was the middle of three generations of painters; his father, George Cole, and his son, Rex Vicat Cole, were both painters of note. His daughter, Mary Blanch Cole, was also an artist, but I’ve been unable to find any information about her online.

George Vicat Cole was noted for his English landscapes, mostly of the countryside in southeastern England, but also occasionally of London and its surrounds.

Some of his paintings with figures can feel a bit artificial, but others are more naturalistic and feel directly observed. There is a particular delight, I think, in the textures of foliage, tree trunks and rocks, and the play of light on distant hills and fields.

I’m uncertain if some of his father’s work may be mixed in with his in some of the online sources, as their styles are similar.


Exhibit of Courtroom Art

Jun. 24th, 2017 09:42
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Posted by James Gurney

Tom Girardi with beating victim Bryan Stow by Bill Robles.
An exhibit in Washington called "Drawing Justice" examines the work of courtroom artists.
"The nearly 100-work exhibit will feature historic sketches such as Howard Brodie’s drawing of Jack Ruby at his sentencing for killing Lee Harvey Oswald; Marilyn Church’s trial drawing of Martha Stewart; Pat Lopez’s capturing of a nervous Ken Lay looking at evidence during the Enron trial; Bill Robles’s drawing of the haunting, dead-eyed Charles Manson on the witness stand; and Joseph Papin’s image of “Son of Sam” murderer David Berkowitz in mental anguish." Read the rest at The Washington Post. 
The exhibition will be at the Library of Congress in Washington through October 28.
Article about the show in Columbia Journalism Review
Related: Sketch artist recreates Sean Spicer briefing after White House camera ban

Inspiration: Piranesi

Jun. 24th, 2017 06:00
[syndicated profile] muddycolors_feed

Posted by Muddy Colors

-By William O'Connor

At the end of the 18th century a revolution was in the air. Not only were the people of France and America beginning to strain against their tyrannical monarchs, this revolution had grown and evolved to consume the sciences, philosophy, religion and of course, the arts. New ideas of astronomy, biology and physics transformed the way that artists perceived the world around them. Discoveries in archeology unearthed long lost ruins and artifacts from the ancient world and with them, new and previously unimagined concepts that would lay the foundation of the Romantic Movement in art.

One of the most imaginative artists from this period is Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778)

Born, trained and working in Italy all his life Piranesi was surrounded and influenced by the unearthly ruins of ancient Rome as they were beginning to be studied academically for the first time.  As is evidenced by his etchings and engravings is the  lack of conservation that had been given to the Ruins.  For a thousand years Rome had been scavenged for stones, and large spaces like the Forum and the Colosseum had been used as sheep pastures.  Piranesi creates intricate landscapes documenting these monuments like a scientist, but also adds a sense of dramatic scale and regal power that seems to live in the ruins despite their neglect.

Late into his career Piranesi began his “Prison” series.  A fantastical journey into completely imagined fantasy dungeon-scapes.  These underworld environments of smoke and winding stairs, gates, and bridges, ropes and wheels always, for me, evoke a wonderful sense of drama and atmosphere.  The tiny figures could be monks or dwarves or orcs moving though the Mines of Moria or any epic Dungeon Crawl.  In the decades and centuries to come Piranesi’s magical labyrinths would inspire artists as diverse as Coleridge’s 1797 poem “Kubla Khan”, M.C. Escher, the Surrealists, and just about every fantasy game designer and artist.

Below is a wonderful lecture about Piranesi's work, particularly his Prison etchings, and both their cultural and artistic significance.

Next time you are designing a dungeon for an adventure, or writing a story, or concepting environments, look to the grandfather of fantasy concept world-building, Piranesi.


Limited Time: 2 for 1!

Jun. 24th, 2017 01:40
[syndicated profile] muddycolors_feed

Posted by Muddy Colors

In case you haven't seen it yet, anyone who signs up (or upgrades) to Muddy Colors $10 video option before the end of the day today, will also receive a copy of Greg Ruth's 'A Portrait in Pencil', in addition to this month's video, totally free.

Hurry up, this offer expires in a matter of hours! You can sign up here: https://www.patreon.com/muddycolors



Jun. 23rd, 2017 18:02
[syndicated profile] edwardbgordon_feed
Roses in front of my studio…

5.9 x 5.9 inch / Oil on MDF board / 15cm x 15cm / Öl auf MDF Bord

© Edward B. Gordon, all rights reserved.

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