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1. A 30 minute pose from #lifedrawing. #sketch #pencil #drawing

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2. Part of a 10 minute pose from #lifedrawing. It was a challenge...

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3. A page of 5 minute warm up #sketches from #lifedrawing. #sketch...

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4. A close up of from the 30 minute pose at #lifedrawing. #sketch...

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5. Close up of my made up Hanley’s Absinthe Label....

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6. I in advertently drew a label for Hanley’s Absinthe,...

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7. Random robot #sketch to get my Monday started right! #santacruz...

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8. A 10 minute #sketch from the life drawing session last night.

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9. Anton Pieck (update)

via Lines and Colors :: a blog about drawing, painting, illustration, comics, concept art and other visual arts http://ift.tt/2eTUFHg

Anton Pieck illustrations
Anton Pieck was Dutch illustrator, printmaker and gallery artist active in the early to mid 20th century. I first wrote about him on Lines and Colors in 2010; since then new online sources for his images have come to light — in particular, a dedicated Anton Pieck website.

The site is in Dutch, but you can find his work easily under the menus at top for “Zijn werk“.

Pieck worked in an illustration style more in keeping with the “Golden Age” illustrators who preceded him, giving his work a nostalgic visual charm. I particularly enjoy his handling of architectural elements and natural forms like bare winter trees.

For more, see my previous post on Anton Pieck.

[Via One1more2time3’s Weblog]


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10. Gonzo Sketching with the Great Ted Michalowski

via Illustration Concentration http://ift.tt/2eX91sL

14468242_10154147444014234_2242321415096126844_oYou have seen Ted Michalowski’s art on TV. He’s done courtroom reporting for ABC, CBS, CNN, all the major networks. He is an energetic part of the Scranton, PA art scene. When I say he is a ringmaster, it is not a metaphor, he has worked with the circus. His is a 4-time winner of the Electric City ‘s Best Visual Artist award. Once a month Ted takes over the New York’s Society of Illustrators to host their Sketch Night. He arranged recent the Gonzo Sketch night that celebrated the current Ralph Steadman exhibition. Steadman invented the visuals for Hunter S. Thompson’s stories in Rolling Stone that define Gonzo Journalism.


Ted recreated the Gonzo experience for 20 Kutztown illustration students. He brought the perfect Gonzo model, Ariel Krupnik. Ariel wore a coonskin cap, a feather vest, and what appeared to be an American flag kilt. A dead frog hung from his neck. Ariel leapt onto the conference table in the Society’s library and struck a pose. Ted’s bluetooth speakers blasted Elvis Presley’s  Viva Las Vegas!


My 3-minute study.

Elvis screamed “Bright light city gonna’ set my soul on fire…” and Ted screamed over Elvis, “One more minute! New pose! Switch hands!” It was magic.


Ted Michalowski sketch of Ariel Krupnik

I first met my friend Ted at the Society of Illustrators. We sat at the same table at an ‘Educators who Illustrate’ conference. There was some gloomy chatter at the table about the state of education and illustration.  A fellow prof was moaning how teaching ruined his illustration career. It happens. Not every career choice is win-win. Ted and I make a conscious effort to keep our conversations posi, shorthand for positive. Whenever anyone, myself included, complains about a lackluster student, we refuse to let the conversation end until we consider an amazing student.


Sketch by Jess Paley

One of my amazing students said Ted’s Gonzo drawing lesson was the highlight of her illustration life.


At one point Ted instructed the students to draw with their opposite hands. Then he had students pair up and two people drew on a single page with their opposite hands. I asked Ted where he had learned this mind-boggling technique. He told me it was brand new. He invented it that very moment with the Kutztown students. GONZO!


photo by Kathy Sue Traylor

You too can draw alongside Ted at the Society of Illustrators. ($20 entry or $15 for students and seniors.) There is a rotating roster of great artists hosting the weekly Tuesday night event. There is often live music and  always live models. Ted is there once a month. Check the Society of Illustrator’s sketch night schedule. Stay Posi.


Gonzo Sketch by Meredith Shriner

Some photos courtesy Ted Michalowski, Thanks. Thanks also to the wonderful staff at the Society of Illustrators, and to Prof. Ann Lemon for organizing the field trip.

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11. Eye Candy for Today: Jean-Etienne Liotard’s Chocolate Girl

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via ILLUSTRATION ART http://ift.tt/2eYqajd

"To live is to war with trolls."    -- Ibsen

Congressman George A. Dondero (Republican from Michigan) was convinced that art is a communist plot.   In his impassioned 1949 speech to Congress he explained how art undermines the morals of America:  
As I have previously stated, art is considered a weapon of communism.... It is a weapon in the hands of a soldier in the revolution against our form of government.... The evidence of evil design is everywhere....  The question is, what have we, the plain American people, done to deserve this sore affliction that has been visited upon us so direly; who has brought down this curse upon us; who has let into our homeland this horde of germ-carrying art vermin?...
 (From the Congressional Record, First Session, 81st Congress, Tuesday, 16 August 1949.)

Dondero spent a lot of time carefully analyzing how each school of modern art contributes to the destruction of America:
1.  Cubism aims to destroy by designed disorder.
2.  Futurism aims to destroy by the machine myth
3.  Dadaism aims to destroy by ridicule.
4.  Expressionism aims to destroy by aping the primitive and insane.
5.  Abstractionism aims to destroy by the creation of brainstorms.
6.  Surrealism aims to destroy by denial of reason.  
Dondero and his fellow patriots were particularly agitated about immigrant artists (or "germ carrying art vermin") coming into the United States:  "Legér and Duchamp are now in the United States to aid in the destruction of our standards and traditions.  The former has been a contributor to the Communist cause in America; the latter is now fancied by the neurotics as a surrealist...." 

Other Congressmen on the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1951 were similarly concerned about immigrant art vermin, such as artist Arthur Szyk.  Szyk had escaped from Hitler in 1939 and came to the United States, where he became a relentless propagandist against the Nazis.

His cartoons infuriated Hitler, who put a price on Szyk's head. Eleanor Roosevelt welcomed him as a "one man army."   Szyk adored his adopted land and did many drawings and paintings praising its freedom:

However, after the war ended certain Congressmen became suspicious that anti-fascist immigrants might also harbor Communist sympathies.  They launched an investigation of Szyk in April 1951. Although Szyk denied any affiliation with communism, the old and frail artist died of a heart attack four months into his investigation, on September 13, 1951.

It's ironic that while Congressman Dondero was fulminating about threats to the country from modern art, the CIA was secretly subsidizing abstract expressionism as part of the cold war against the Soviet Union.   Spies on the front lines were spending substantial sums weaponizing modern art by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko as part of a culture war, while Dondero and his fellow patriots were defusing the CIA's work.  

Stalin, sounding very much like Congressman Dondero, was equally paranoid about the impact of modern art, which he called "ideological sabotage against our country and especially against our youth...." Stalin complained that
attempts are being made against socialist realism in art and literature.... In these so-called abstract paintings there is no real face of those people, whom people would like to imitate in the fight for their peoples’ happiness, for communism and for the path on which they want progress. This portrayal is substituted by the abstract mysticism clouding the issue of socialist struggle against capitalism.

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13. Salt and Pepper

via Muddy Colors http://ift.tt/2ez97nD

-Jesper Ejsing

In my studio, I am known for having the terrible tendency to abandon perfectly good drawings and start all over on an image that has nothing wrong with it. If it sounds stupid; well, it is. And it also results in frustration and late deadlines and all kinds of trouble…but artistically it has made me better.

I often sketch very, very loosely in the thumb stage. I look for shapes and rhythm and simplicity. When the pose of a figure an all that is settled I start actually drawing the details and the design of the figures and this is the point where I usually go astray.

First version. 
I actually fully painted this version before starting allover. This is a really good example of an illustration being the first idea drawn out with no analysing or reevaluation what could be better or clearer. Just the first angle and line that comes to mind.

Second version with the sketch pushed with better angles and foreshortening.

Final version

Here is what I look for: I want a figure first of all to be believable. That means the pose has got to be natural and the gesture true to the mood. I think gesture and facial expressions are the key to a good character pose.  If the pose, gesture and expression look right, it sells the believability of a vampire demon wizard with a troglodyte familiar better. If you know what I mean. The design comes later, fitting the dude or dudess with equipment and so on…

After all is sketched I go through the tedious process of transferring it to a board or paper where I draw in the background from my thumb sketch. This is usually the first time I see the full image as it look before I will have to wip out the paint and start adding brushstrokes, so this is also the first time where I actally start thinking about the final painting and how it will look. Up until now I have deliberately tried to trick my brain by deviding the task up into small easy digestable bites. Having all of the elemnts of theprocess in the head at the same time makes it very confussing. But the down site is that I do not get to evaluate the full image rightly until now. And this is always this stage where I abandon my image and start all over.

First thumbnail

This is also the point where I have had the image approved by an artdirector, so having to redo everything is not as easy as pie. I have to stay very close to the approved sketch or make life difficult for everyone ( I prefer to make life difficult to only me and my closest friends and family. Everyone in my nearest presence is affected since my mood is heavily influenced by the abyss of utter failure where I now try to hold the balance and walk the edge )

Second version

I transferred it to the board and when i was about to ink it i noticed that she was not seen from the same angle as the elephant. I redrew the figure directly on the board from a new thumb pose sketch. It turned out to be one of my best magic illustrations.

Final drawing on board
Most of the times the thing that went wrong was me starting to design to early on a figure where the gesture or pose or expression was not dead right. I go on to polish a turd rather than looking and evaluating the sketch. If I haved moved forward to fast and missed the cut feeling check to the foundation of the figure and told myself: “this is good enough, Jesper. Do that crazy armor you had in mind now. The face will fall into place later”, it never does.

IF I go to this stage with a wrong drawing I get that hard voice in my head that says “ you can do better than this. You should have done better than this. This is mediocre…but if that’s okay with you?”

Now here comes the worst part: I do an average of 60 illustrations a year if I also take vacations.  The average living span of a man in my region of the world is 78 and a half year. Lets say my last 6 months is kind of slow, and lets for good measure say I do the full menu. I am 43 now. It leaves me with 35 yeas of painting dragons. It totals at 2100 paintings to go, before I go. So when my mind asks me is mediocre okay with you? I answer, “No the number 2099 is gonna be the best I can be, I only have 2098 left…you see where this self torture is going? None of these are happy thoughts. They give me an unnessesary pressur einmy everyday life. But the times where I have let a mediocre painting go trhoug and I sit there looking at the final thinking I should have pulled myself together and repainted it when I had the thought, I feel ashamed and not proud of that drawing and worst of all not proud of the whole process. I have reached the conclusion I would rather start all over and do something that makes me happy rather than sitting back with the feeling of having wasted mine and the clienst time.

Lets go to the positive part of this. Nuff said about dying now.

What I have learned or gain from this immense self criticism is always to push my drawings for more. I will do anything I can to make sure that I have tried everything possible to make it feel right, and if it doesn’t, I take a new piece of paper and do another one, and another one and so on, until my cut feeling say “hell yeah”. I look for twist and angles in every hand gesture, I try to exsaturade a pose beyond the first idea and even if it looks good, I test if it could look different if I bend it or turn it or mirrior it and so on. I push it, and push it and then I push it just for the sake of pushing it. I have a mirror in front of my desk where I hold up my pencils to see them in reverse to spot if something is amiss.

This thumb was approved but when I was about to sketch it up on board I went back to the sketching stage and pushed the pose some more. 

This is pretty accurately describing my drawing and sketching process. I wish I was better at drawing, I think it would help me through many problems, but I am as good as I am. I wish I was one of those artists that thinks of the image a lot before they draw and then like a kind of printer draws out what they had in mind; well I am not. I wish a lot of things, but bottom line is I am a “Pusher-Man”, I make up for my lack of talent by pushing what I have to the brink. I think it has taught me a lot to do this. It has made me more critical about my own stuff and has helped me to evolve in each and every painting. I know it has kept me from stalling out art-wize and it has helped me to be proud of what I do…I will trade that for almost every struggle on the road .

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14. Brad Bird Quotes About Animation

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(Link to see the video on Vimeo)
Film Editor Kees van Dijkhuizen Jr. put together this respectful tribute to director Brad Bird (Incredibles, Ratatouille, Iron Giant) by combining his quotes with clips from films that illustrate his ideas. Via Cartoon Brew


Here are some more Brad Bird quotes (Via AZ Quotes and IMDB):

"We make films that we ourselves would want to see and then hope that other people would want to see it. If you try to analyze audiences or think there's some sophisticated recipe for success, then I think you are doomed. You're making it too complicated."

"I think all movies are an illusion, whether they are live action or animation. And I think the best special effect that people don't pay enough attention to is caring about the characters who are going through the set pieces. If you can be invested in the characters that you are putting in danger, then you can amp up the pressure, and it really means something because people are rooting for them to survive. Characters are the special effect."

"When caricaturist, Al Hirschfeld, did a drawing of a celebrity, it often looked more like the person than the person did. That's our goal in animation."

"I think there's a tendency [among some animators] to wink at the audience so much that you feel that you're above the world that you're presenting—like the filmmaker doesn't really believe in the world that he's putting on screen. And there's a safety in that, because if you try to make the audience feel something besides comedy, like if you try to make them feel moved, you risk looking really silly if it doesn't work."

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15. Bazaar Chase

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Just finished an interior for Shadowrun! I had so much fun designing the monocycle :D

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16. The Big 5 Publishers

via Muddy Colors http://ift.tt/2dHwHSH

The "Big Five" is an industry nickname for the 5 large companies that own just about every publishing imprint in the United States. It used to be "The Big Six", but Random House and Penguin recently merged creating 'Penguin Random House'. So, even though as an illustrator you may aspire to someday work for Tor Books, you are technically working for MacMillan Publishing.

Not coincidentally, every one of the Big Five book publishers are based in New York City.

Recently, writer and data scientist, Ali Almossawi, compiled a chart of all the Publishers, and every one of their subsidiaries.

This chart is a wonderful opportunity for artists wanting to promote their work in the book market. Just think, nearly every one of these imprints has an Art Director with a need to hire a professional artist.

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Some celestial studies.

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18. Charles-François Daubigny

via Lines and Colors :: a blog about drawing, painting, illustration, comics, concept art and other visual arts http://ift.tt/2f2CbEM

Contrary to the notion you might get from some sources, French Impressionism did not spring full-blown from the brushes of Monet, Renoir, Sisley and Bazille the moment they met in Charles Gleyre’s atelier in the 1860’s.

Not only did the fully realized style we know as Impressionism take time to develop among the artists themselves, the fundamentals on which it is based can be traced back through a logical progression from preceding artists and movements.

Chief among them were the painters of the Barbizon School, French painters who were inspired by the true-to-nature location painting of John Constable in the early 19th century, the Realism of Gustave Courbet and the direct observation and rendering of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, and who came to Barbizon and the neighboring Forest of Fontainebleau to paint in the 1820s.

You can see in the work of all of these painters, as well as in the paintings of Manet, Boudin and others, the elements that would make up the techniques of Impressionism — painting from nature, the pursuit of the effects of light, the short, separate painterly, brush marks, wet on wet paint application and the direct approach to painting, rather than the careful layers of glazing favored by academic painting of the time.

A new exhibition organized by the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati, the National Galleries of Scotland and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam attempts to bring one Barbizon painter forward in particular as a progenitor of Impressionism.

Daubigny, Monet, Van Gogh: Impressions of Landscape is an exhibition currently at the Van Gogh museum — after a run at the other two — that focuses on the influence of French painter Charles-François Daubigny on Monet and the other Impressionists, as well as on Post-Impressionists like Van Gogh.

There is a nice article on The Culture Trip that describes the exhibition and gives some background on the painters and their relationships.

Daubigny (pronounced “doh-bee-nee”) trained at the French Academy and initially painted in the formal style favored by that influential institution, using location sketches for reference to compose idealized studio works. In the early 1840s he moved to Barbizon in the French countryside and began to paint directly from nature.

I’m not certain how the influences moved between Daubigny and the other Barbizon painters like Théodore Rousseau and Jean-François Millet, but I know that Daubigny became an influential member of the circle, even though he was younger than most of the other painters there.

Following paths blazed by role models and mentors like Constable, Corot and Courbet, the painters in Barbizon took landscape painting a long way from the formalism of the Academy to the fresh, lively, painted-from-nature works that would so influence the Impressionists.

The Daubigny painting above, top (with detail) was painted in 1857, a year before the earliest known painting by Monet (which was much more traditional in approach than his later Impressionist work).

Daubigny met Monet in London in the mid-1860s, and they painted together in the Netherlands. Monet even started painting from a boat, a practice that Daubigny had initiated during his time in Barbizon.

The exhibition, and the book that accompanies it, Inspiring Impressionism: Daubigny, Monet, Van Gogh, go on to explore further Daubigny’s influence on the development of Impressionism, and on the course of landscape painting in general.

In the meanwhile, I’ve gathered some links and resources to explore Daubigny’s work.

Writer Émile Zola, in his comments on Daubigny’s paintings on display at the Paris World’s Fair in 1878, wrote: “Look at any landscape by Daubigny: it is the very soul of nature that speaks to you.”


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19. I enjoy the simple clean lines on this #sketch. #inktober2016

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20. I don’t know what these two are getting on about....

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21. I’m randomly giving away a print of my upcoming “The...

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22. Loosely based on some folks I saw today. #inktober2016 #sketch

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23. Working on top lighting. #sketch #pencil

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24. Working on under lighting. #pencil #sketch #sketchbook

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25. Follow @studiobowesart on Instagram to win a free print of the...

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