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Creator of "Dinotopia"! This daily weblog by James Gurney is for illustrators, comic artists, plein-air painters, sketchers, animators, art students, and writers.
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1. Street scene with a cool underpainting

Warm air from the south has arrived in the Hudson Valley. The last remnants of winter have nearly vanished, except for one small pile of snow at the end of my neighbor's driveway. 

I'm thinking about fire devouring ice when I start this street scene. How can I convey that feeling?

I open my sketchbook to a page that is pre-painted with blue tones. The blue color is casein: titanium white mixed with cerulean blue. I allow it to dry for a couple of days so the paint surface is closed. The blue will serve nicely as a complementary base for a picture in browns and oranges.

Here's what the surface looks like when I start. I sketch in the lines with a reddish-brown water-soluble colored pencil.

Now I dive in with gouache. I could have used casein or acrylic—anything opaque. Starting with the sky, I apply warm colors with a flat brush. I cover the surface, careful to leave some blue areas showing through, especially on that windshield. I want that car to be the focal point.

I don't hesitate to cover up the lines of the underdrawing. I can find everything again with the brush.

I add more reddish-brown darks on the car and the awning at left. I try to keep any extreme darks from intersecting the sky. I want achieve the feeling that the skylight is flaring across nearby forms and devouring them, as if the sticks and branches are tossed into the furnace.

Ralph Waldo Emerson writes about "the fire, vital, consecrating, celestial, which burns until it shall dissolve all things into the waves and surges of an ocean of light."

Here's a detail about as wide the "shift" key on your computer. Those highlights on the car were blinding. 

See, I'm squinting! You can scroll back up to see the final painting.

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2. Pictures that Tell Stories

Gabriel von Max, Monkeys as Critics

Blog reader Sean Oswald asks: "I was exploring some narrative artworks, and I wanted to ask if you would point me towards some resources that would help me learn about narrative art making. I want to know more about story and how it has been used in visual art to communicate ideas. I would also like to learn more about the pictorial mechanics of telling stories and the science behind it."

Sean, I think this is an important question. I wish there was more written about this, and I think it's a fertile field for study. Most of what's been written about the topic by art historians so far has been dismissive and short-sighted, usually by people who don't really create storytelling pictures.

You asked about pictorial mechanics. The best practical resources I've found are these three books:
Famous Artists Course (Get the editions from the 1950s)
Creative Illustration by Andrew Loomis
....and of course it's something I talk about in my own book, Imaginative Realism

To understand the science behind how we look at storytelling pictures, I would love to see a researcher combine eyetracking data with fMRI brain scans in real time to see what's going on in the brain as a person begins to decipher a picture. Do the mirror neurons fire when you see a picture of a person doing a certain action? Can you actually see the brain engage on different levels as the visual processing moves from lower to higher levels?

Thomas Cole Voyage of Life: (Childhood, Youth, Manhood, Old Age), 1842
Here are a few thoughts on the topic. There are some famous series of paintings such as Thomas Cole's "Voyage of Life" that tell stories with a beginning, middle, and end, almost like a painted graphic novel. The Catholic church has told many Bible stories sequentially in stained glass windows and altarpieces.

Norman Rockwell, Breaking Home Ties
But let's consider single-image story-paintings, and let's begin with semantics. People often call them "illustrations." But I don't like I don't really like that term because it's misleading. Some paintings don't illustrate a text—they can stand entirely on their own, just as a play or a movie would do. In that sense, Rockwell's Post covers aren't illustrations, even though they're some of the finest examples of storytelling pictures.

As I mentioned in a post called "Detective Storytelling," I also have difficulty with the term "narrative art" because a true narrative requires the presentation of a series of events, revealed in sequence (First A, then B, then C). In a single picture, unlike a graphic novel or an animated film, all the events are telescoped into a single moment. Previous moments or events are implied by clues, and the subsequent moment can only be suggested. We might better describe this kind of art as a “detective storytelling.” It demands effort from the viewer to find all the clues, and care from the artist to make sure not to clutter the scene with extraneous detail.
‘A Special Pleader’ by Charles Burton Barber
Several books have been written about Victorian Narrative Painting. It's a big subject with a lot of wonderful examples. For example, in this painting by Barber, the dog's characterization shows its conflict of loyalties, and the picture hints at the tantrum the girl threw before she was punished.

Rockwell, Pyle, and N.C. Wyeth talk a lot about the importance of eliminating unnecessary detail, and of choosing the supreme moment to illustrate. Of the three, only Rockwell sat down to write a book about the topic. There are extensive student notes of Pyle's teaching. But they're mostly unpublished, so I'll try to share more on the blog. Also, don't miss the blog by Ian Schoenherr on Howard Pyle. Wyeth's thinking is best revealed in his letters, collected in The Letters of N. C. Wyeth
Ivan Shishkin Wind Fallen Trees, 1888
As a final thought, I believe it's possible for a painting to tell a story without human figures at all, as long as the painting implies a series of events that preceded the moment depicted. Shishkin's forest paintings often describe the story of the forest by presenting evidence of past storms and woodcutters.

Previous Posts:
Detective Storytelling and Before the Judge (Analyzing two academic paintings).

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3. Morot's device for capturing motion

Aimé-Nicolas Morot (1850-1913), provoked a lot of discussion at the Salon in 1886 with his painting of a cavalry charge, because it changed how people thought about galloping horses. 

Aimé-Nicolas Morot: Charge of the Cuirassiers at Rezonville
According to a contemporary observer, "The old-fashioned rendering of this movement, which always depicted steeds with all their four legs fully extended, was, for the first time in an important picture, absolutely swept away and superseded. In it the horses are shown in almost every possible phase of the gallop, and some of the positions came rather as a shock."

Even before Eadweard Muybridge developed his methods for photographing animals in motion, Morot was beginning to suspect that the traditional "hobby horse" pose didn't really happen at any phase of real galloping action. The problem is that the unaided human eye can't with any certainty isolate individual poses from such rapid action.

Aimé-Nicolas Morot (1850-1913)
But Morot was determined. Day after day he would bring his sketchbook to the cavalry training ground at the Champ de Mars, "and there, with a special instrument of his own construction, spend many hours closely studying the movements and action of the horses as they dashed by. The instrument referred to was simply a small wooden box with a quickly closing shutter which he could release at will, through which he would closely follow the motion of a galloping squadron and then, suddenly letting go of the shutter, endeavour to retain and reconstruct the image last impressed upon his vision." 

You can do the same thing even without this device by watching an action closely and snapping your eyes shut. With practice and training, your short term memory can seize on these brief afterimages to reconstruct extreme fast action. 

Wikipedia on Aimé-Nicolas Morot 
Previously on GurneyJourney:

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4. Easel-Mounted Diffuser

Getting the best light on your artwork while sketching outdoors makes a huge difference for seeing color. Ideally you want soft, diffused white sunlight at a level close to the brightness of the scene itself. The worst thing is cast shadows or dappled light across the painting. 

Controlling the light on your work can be difficult on a bright sunny day, which is why I came up with this easel-mounted diffuser. Unlike a white umbrella, this setup won't blow over in heavy wind. The diffuser affects the light only where you need it.

The white diffusing panel is made using a recycled Pendaflex frame. These rectangular aluminum supports were used for hanging file folders. Over the frame I stretched white rip-stop nylon and sewed a seam around the edge. The angle of the diffuser is completely adjustable and the whole thing is removable, held in by a wood bracket at the top of the easel.

Here's what it looks like on the side away from me. That bracket is a piece of plywood which is split so that it tightens against the aluminum bar. The wood bracket is held on with a Southco adjustable hinge, so that the whole bracket can fold down out of the way.

My homemade easel system can work for either sitting or standing height, because it mounts on a camera tripod. Here we were last week painting the old carriage house at the Wilderstein mansion here in the Hudson Valley. I'm painting contre-jour (facing the light), so the diffuser brings nice white light to my work surface.

And here's the painting I did. I was conscious of lightening and cooling the top edge of the building silhouette to make the sky feel bright and blue without actually painting the sky blue. It's an effect I've noticed from photography and I wanted to try it out on an observational painting.

I documented the whole thing on video, and I'll be releasing that segment as part of an upcoming DVD/download on plein-air watercolor.

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5. Can three artists work simultaneously on one picture?

This Australian street scene was painted on one giant piece of paper by three master watercolorists: Joseph Zbukvic, Alvaro Castagnet, and Herman Pekel, who call themselves "The Three Caballeros."

Fortunately the fun was captured on 24 minutes of mesmerizing video. (Direct link to video) They switch back and forth between big and little brushes, spritzers, and scrapers. They constantly trade places, with one guy diving into a wet area that another guy started. Their uproarious good humor and utter fearlessness is an inspiration to any painter.

Zbukvic, Mastering Atmosphere & Mood in Watercolor
Castagnet, Watercolor Painting with Passion!
Video: My Vision in Watercolour DVD
Another great YouTube video showing J. Zbukvic painting a rainy street scene.

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6. Visualizing sound waves

Scientists have devised a way to visualize the propagation of sound waves, using a technique called Schlieren Flow Visualization combined with slo-mo video. (Direct link to video)

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7. Plein-Air Architecture in Two-Day Sessions

This painting of the Grand Canal in Venice by Richard Parkes Bonington (1801-1828) looks immensely detailed and at first it looks like it would have taken a long time to paint. 

But he used a time-saving method that works really well for both plein-air and studio paintings of architecture.

The trick is to paint the large areas of the building fronts in opaque paint with big bristle brushes. Then let that dry completely. This might take 24 hours or several days, depending on whether there's a drying agent in the paint, such as Liquin or a drop of cobalt drier.

On the second day's session, you can go back over those big areas with a smaller brush to subdivide the building fronts. A straightedge can help you find the vanishing points and keep the horizontals in perspective and the verticals true. Note that underneath the vertical strokes of the big windows above, he lightly marked the spacing of the windows in burnt sienna before actually painting them.

Not all of the strokes are dark. You can also pick out some light accents, such as the light stones and the insides of the windows catching light on the brown building at left.

Here's another Venetian painting by Bonington. This one is on millboard, 14 x 18 inches, and was painted on location in 1826. It uses a similar technique—and it's also similar to the technique used by the master of Venetian architecture, Canaletto. You can read more about this image and about Bonington at the website of the Kimbell Art Museum, which owns this painting.

If you're painting on location in oil, these two-day paintings take some planning, and you have to be staying somewhere for a while. You can start several paintings one morning, then put them aside and go back to that spot a day or two later to finish them up. But if you're painting in gouache, acrylic, or casein, you can use this method all in one sitting. The mantra is "Large shapes first, small shapes last."

The first painting is from the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut.
Richard Parkes Bonington on Wikipedia

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8. Moon reflections on the calm sea

Peder Krøyer, Summer evening on Skagen's beach, 1899
In this painting by Peder Krøyer, moonlight is reflected on the calm sea. The highlights extend vertically downward. They skip some areas altogether, but become a bright streak where the water is calm, horizontal strokes where the water is roughened by wind. They form an S-shaped squiggle on one wavetop.

The highlight turns to the side when it climbs the inclined surface of the wet sandy beach. The same thing would happen if you held a mirror at that angle.

In Sir Montagu Pollock's 1903 classic book Light and Water: A Study of Reflexion and Colour in River, Lake, and Sea, he explains how the varied wavelets act like mirrors pointing slightly toward or away from the viewer, thus stretching the moon's reflection downward.

He lays out the following general rule: "In the rippled water the combined effect of all the images of the luminous point P, formed by the reflexions in countless wavelets, is a vertical line of light."

Pollock makes another observation about the sun or moon's reflection on calm water:
"The width of this streak of light also depends largely upon the height of the sun or moon above the horizon. As the sun mounts in the sky it gets wider and vaguer."
Thanks, Tim Adkins for the Kroyer photo!
Download Pollock's book for free on Archive.org
More about water, light, and reflections in my book: Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter

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9. Portrait Palimpsest

When I'm working in a watercolor sketchbook, I don't get too worried if a sketch doesn't work out, because I can always start a new picture on top of the failed one.

This sketch of the draft horse Turk was painted over a restaurant portrait that got off to a wrong start. Beneath the horse, you can see the ghostlike yellowish shape of a man's head at center, with blue color around it. When I got home I just wet the whole surface of the paper and scrubbed out the details.

The next day I was visiting the farm, and I liked the way Turk looked in his stall. So I painted him over the portrait palimpsest. In the bargain I got a light effect that might not have occurred to me otherwise.

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10. Optical Illusion

Optical illusion: The gray surface facing upward is the same as the white surface facing downward. Cover up the area between them to compare them.

More at Mighty Optical Illusions

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11. Recreating a Painting in 3D

Zsolt Ekho Farkas created this 3D interpretation of a painting by Hungarian painter
Benczúr Gyula (1844-1920).

The painting depicts the recapture of the Buda Palace in 1686 from Ottoman army. It took a month for Mr. Farkas to model all 32 figures, plus another five weeks to digitally paint and prepare the masks and layers. With the smoke and music, the moving-camera parallax, and the focus pulls, the scene jumps right off the canvas.

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12. "This isn't how it looks."

When Lawrence Alma Tadema painted bathers in a pool, he chose to ignore the way refraction distorts the figures below the water, and painted the water surface like a semi-transparent veil.

Lawrence Alma Tadema A Favorite Custom, 1909
This must have looked right to him and his collectors, but it looks wrong to us, accustomed as we are to fast action photography of water.

We often assume that all we have to do is look at nature to see it as it truly is, but in fact our perception of reality is even now bound by our culture. Given that our visual culture includes such things as movies that we can stop-frame, YouTube videos, selfies, and paintings of all sorts, our idea of what looks right keeps evolving, shaped by all these artistic forces.

Here's another example. Anders Zorn's virtuoso watercolors of harbor views strike our modern eyes as extremely realistic. But according to Zorn's early biographer, "It is said that when these watercolors were first exhibited in Stockholm they aroused the anger of the older connoisseurs and called forth the usual phrase—'This isn't how it looks.'"

“When these worthies went down to the stream that runs glitteringly and playfully just outside the Academy of Art and really used their eyes in an unprejudiced way, they saw and admitted that young Zorn was right. It was a blow to the old formula for reproducing the motion of water. Zorn often had in his time the power of remolding people's way of looking, of exemplifying Wilde's paradox that 'life imitates art,' that is if art is the fresh product of a conception realized by the eye of genius.”

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13. James Valenti in Madama Butterfly

Last night we were at the opera again, this time to see tenor James Valenti in the Met's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly.

I started this sketch before the show, referencing a variety of googled images, and then finished it in my opera seat. James Valenti is really fun to draw, with wonderfully chiseled planes.

Jeanette and I were invited backstage afterward, and we shared the glow of success with James and the Valenti family. That's his dad, Joe on the left.

We rode into New York with our friend Christopher Radko, left, known for his Christmas ornaments and is now launching a line of organic wild lavender products.
James Valenti will be in three more Madama Butterfly performances: April 9, 12, and 15.
Thanks, Paul!

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14. Scene in an airport

I didn't mean to be a busybody, but there was no way I could have avoided overhearing this guy's side of the conversation. He was shouting it to the entire airport café.

What he said was a paragon of corporate vagueness and evasion: "I know you and your team have a different view of the assets and the marketplace, and at the end of the day we're all going to sharpen our pencils and evaluate the outcomes to see how they match the projected scenarios. Let me be candid with you..."

Previously on GJ:

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15. Augustus O. Lamplough

Augustus Osborne Lamplough (1877-1930) was a British painter known for his evocative watercolors of north Africa.

His paintings of Egypt, Morocco, and Algeria are frequently set at dusk or moonlight. He's a good artist to reference for color and light ideas if you're painting desert scenes. 

In this painting of the Sphinx, note how the sky gradates lighter on the left side of the picture, closer to the moon. The overall key is fairly light, and the colors aren't too saturated.  

In this remarkable evocation of dusk lighting, note the soft edges around the horizon. He's probably using gouache for those clouds. This kind of painting takes a lot of brush mileage and a light touch.

This is called the "Temple of Kom Ombo," and is 13 x 20 inches. The shadow colors here are influenced by primarily by the warm light bouncing up from the ground, but he has dropped a few cool touches into the wet shadow color on the columns to suggest the cool light coming from the sky. He keeps the sky and sand areas very flat, and he doesn't let the shadows get too dark.

In this quick study, a lot is just suggested. As with the previous example, the foreground is just a flat color, with the real color interest in the reflected lights bouncing into the shadows.

He achieves mood by means of restraint and understatement, and he achieves scale by setting up contrasts between large flat areas and small judicious accents. 

The sunset light infuses the forms by warming the silhouette colors as they near the sun. The colors get cooler as they get farther from the sun.

Many of the effects that I've described rarely appear in photo references. Photos tend to have black shadows, saturated colors, and an overabundance of detail. Lamplough's appealing evocations arise from direct observation, and that's why on-location sketching is so important.
Lamplough on Atheneum
If you like Lamplough, you might also like Walter Tyndale and David Roberts.
Thanks to blog reader David Webb for the recommendation.

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16. European comics and illustration auction this Saturday

Albert Uderzo, "Asterix" 16 x 18 inches, Est. 150,000 - 170,000 €
Christie's will be hosting a big auction of comics and illustration this Saturday, April 5 in Paris. The sale will include fine examples by many well known artists such as Jean Giraud, Enki Bilal, Hergé, and Albert Uderzo.

Jean-Pierre Gibrat, "Le Vol du Corbeau" 26x16 in. Est. 35,000-40,000 €
This will be the first auction of comics that Christie’s has done, and it has been arranged with the help of gallery owner Daniel Maghen with the help of Olivier Soille.

Régis Loisel, watercolor, 9.5 x 12.6 in. Est 16,000-18,000 €
There are approximately 370 works in the show, and the entire sale is expected to realize about €3 million.

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17. Wonderfully Strange Video: "Beats Antique"

In this stop motion music video, a wooly creature with crab claws peers into a gear-driven viewscope. Another creature brings a box of skeleton keys. Each key unlocks old black and white videos.

Through their seashell eyes, they see chimps playing violins, human riding monocycles, and A-bomb explosions. The film has the effect of making our own world seem as alien as theirs.

(Direct link to video)

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18. Uffizi to Auction Its Collection

Last week the Delaware Art Museum announced that it will be forced to sell off up to 30 million dollars of its Golden Age Illustration and Pre-Raphaelite collection to help repay its crushing construction debts.

In another sign of a tightening economy, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence has announced that in June, Sothebys will auction its entire collection of pre-20th century works in order to escape mounting insurance and conservation costs.

"We will be sorry to see the artwork leave us, but it will all find good homes," said museum director Carlo Bugiardo, "It is vitally important for us to re-imagine the museum for the 21st century."

The exhibition space— designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560— will complete its architectural modernization by 2017 in a project called "Nuovi Uffizi." The overhaul will require the removal of all ornament, marble, and other "dead weight of the past." Sr. Bugiardo plans to open the new space with an installation of two miles of red muslin cloth by artist Giuseppe Finto.

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19. Blashfield and Tradition

Edwin H. Blashfield, Spring Scattering Stars

Mural painter Edwin Howland Blashfield (1848-1936) defined tradition this way:

"Tradition is the tribute which the genuine artist pays to the wisdom of the finer souls in the art of all ages.” 

Blashfield studied at the Pennsylvania Academy, MIT, and in Paris with Bonnat. Read more in his classic book Mural painting in America.

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20. Sketching Bohème

Last night we saw Puccini's La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera. We had the privilege of sitting in the front row, with an unobstructed view into the orchestra pit. I sketched bass clarinetist James Ognibene mainly during the scene changes and intermission.

During the show itself there was so much to look at in Zeffirelli's magnificent staging that I couldn't tear my eyes away from the sets, with the cast of 240 extras, plus a donkey and a horse, in the streets of Paris during Act 2. Plus it was too dark on my sketchbook page to see much of what I was doing. 
But during Act 3 there was enough spill light from the stage to jot down quick silhouettes of Mimi, as performed by Romanian soprano Anita Hartig. 

The portrait of the cellist at the lower right was sketched in extremely dim light, so that I couldn't make out any details. I could only state basic planes of light and shadow, using water-soluble colored pencils and two water brushes, one filled with water, and the other with fountain pen ink.

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21. Noble's Backgrounds in "What's Opera, Doc?"

One of the greatest classic short cartoons is "What's Opera, Doc?" a 1957 Warner Brothers Merrie Melodie directed by Chuck Jones.

The story features Elmer Fudd as the demi-god Siegfried chasing Bugs Bunny and singing "Kill the Wabbit!" In less than seven minutes, they manage to satirize Wagner, expressionist cinema, ballet, and Fantasia, all at once.

Maurice Nobel did the layouts and backgrounds, and they add immense scale, color, and drama to the piece.

Noble said: "Starting rough and not getting specific too early will allow you to keep your design ideas flexible…The more ideas and work you have, the more design possibilities you will have to choose from."

"I suggest putting all your research materials away once you start designing and never refer to them again. This may prove difficult at first. But I’ve found that if you are tied too closely to your reference, your designs will tend to look stiff. You will miss out on many fun design opportunities."
Quotes from Cartoon Brew
All images ©Warner Bros.

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22. Controlled Watercolor Portrait

Here's an example of a well controlled watercolor portrait from 1874 by Nikolai Yaroshenko. The portrait shows his friend and fellow artist Ivan Kramskoi.

A watercolor like this would begin with a careful pencil line outline drawing on fairly smooth paper or board. You can see the untouched pencil drawing of the leg in the lower part of the picture. Following that would be light, neutral washes of watercolor, such as what you see on the hand and on the flipped-back pages of Kramskoi's book. 

He tested one of his green mixtures on the right side of the picture. It's not a bad idea to have a test-swatch section of the sketch where you can fool around with the brush and try things out.

Once the big areas are lightly covered, and still using a big brush, Kramskoi adds smaller shapes to define the folds of the sleeve, varying the colors as he goes. The pencil drawing probably didn't define these folds in much detail, so he's finding them with the brush.

Yaroshenko probably spent three quarters of his time on the face, and I would guess this study took about two to three hours in all. To get the very controlled soft transitions, he might have painted some passages where he lightly wet the surface and dropped in colors a little at a time. 

He might have lifted out areas that got too dark. Lifting out means wetting already painted surfaces and dabbing out some of the pigment with a brush, sponge or rag. 

But you have to watch out with these techniques, because applications of water over painted passages can easily mess them up. It's like dancing on eggshells.

I can't tell from this repro whether he used any gouache, but I would guess probably not. The white stripes in the tie and the shirt seem to be white areas in the paper left untouched.

In the '70s when I was becoming an artist, everyone wanted to paint watercolor "bold and free." But from my perspective, boldness and freedom alone don't have much value without the grounding of deliberate consideration and careful observation. 

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23. Kramskoy paints Yaroshenko

Left: Nikolai Yaroshenko by Ivan Kramskoy. Right: Kramskoy by Yaroshenko
After the last post about the watercolor portrait of Kramskoy by Yaroshenko, I suspected that Kramskoy must have been painting Yaroshenko in return. The giveaway was the pad of paper in his lap.

And sure enough, I found the other painting: Yaroshenko by Kramskoy (left). The two artists spent the summer of 1874 together in Kramskoy's country house near Siversky Station. (Link for more info)

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24. Archaeological dig reveals life and death in 14th century London

When the disease known as the Black Death or the Great Pestilence arrived in London in the mid- 1300s, it wiped out more than half of the population. As a result of excavation for a high speed rail project, archaeologists have recently discovered a mass grave of people that died of the plague. Using modern forensic techniques, they're able to learn more about what life was really like in the Middle Ages:

" Many of the skeletons appear to suffer signs of malnutrition and 16% had rickets.
• There is a high rate of back damage and strain indicating heavy manual labour.
• The later skeletons from the 1400s had a high rate of upper body injury consistent with being involved in violent altercations.
• 40% grew up outside London, possibly as far north as Scotland - showing that 14th Century London attracted people from across Britain just as it does today."
Read more on the BBC: Black Death Skeletons Unearthed by Crossrail Project
Image from Den of Geek

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25. How to Clean Out a Brush

Good brush care can extend the life of an oil painting brush tenfold, and save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.

In this two minute video, William Whitaker demonstrates how he cleans out an oil-painting brush.

1. Dip brush in odorless mineral spirits and wipe out solids in shop towel.
2. Wash out the brush in soap and water.
3. Using another brush, work up a lather of brush-washing soap in the palm of your hand.
4. Grasp the tips of the bristles and wiggle the lather into the bristles and work it into the area where the bristles meet the ferrule.
5. Add brush conditioner to restore the oils into the bristles, as soap and mineral spirits alone will dry out the brush.
6. Gently point the brush before putting it away.

There's a variety of brush cleaning soaps available. Some of the formulations have soap and conditioner together. If I've forgotten one that you like, let me know in the comments, and I'll add it in:
Da Vinci Brush Cleaning Soap

Trekell Coconut Oil Soap for watercolor

Don't miss the video of Bob Ross "beating the devil" out of his brush, where he whacks the odorless thinner out the brush on his easel, covering the studio with paint. "That's where you take out your hostilities and frustrations," he says. (Thanks, Daniel)

The Whitaker video is one of dozens of selected artist demo videos recently curated by the Art Renewal Center.

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