Saturday, April 22, 2017

Mark English at the Marriott Lounge

I'm in Kansas City for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live. The artists are all hanging out in the lounge eating tacos and sipping beer. 


It's fun talking shop with some of the legends of the business, such as Mark English (born 1933), who helped define the world of contemporary illustration that I entered when I started out. 

Mark is still painting, mainly for galleries now. He says he still has his gouache paints, but he's using house paint lately. And he's not the only one. If you're painting large and you want a very opaque paint that's not expensive, house paint has wonderful working properties. And you can get any colors you want. 

Marriott Lounge, gouache, 5 x 8 inches
What attracted me to this scene was the cool light coming from the lighted panels behind the bar, contrasted with the warm light bouncing up off the floor. 
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My bestselling video tutorial is Gouache in the Wild
Take a tour of my sketchbooks on my new app Metro North—three versions to suit your device:

Friday, April 21, 2017

Weird limited palette


I love weird limited palettes. This one is purple, cad yellow deep, raw sienna, and white. (Link to FB vid) From the Metro North app.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bakery Case



Painting the bakery case at a little deli.
(Link to video)
This is another page from my new Living Sketchbook app, "Metro North" Pick up for yourself.

Three versions to suit your device:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Four Professions Portrayed

Portraits of the professions of florist, writer, musician, and barber, where the faces are composed of the tools of their trades. 
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In the style of Arcimboldo (Wikipedia link)

Chicks, Hens, and Eggs


For this sketching adventure, we start out in the barn, where the young chicks are in the incubator box.


A year later those same chicks have grown up into laying hens.




The pen I'm using for the written notes is a Noodler's Ahab fountain pen with Higgins sepia ink. The Ahab is an excellent low-cost refillable fountain with a flexible nib. 

This is just one page from my new Living Sketchbook app, "Metro North" Pick up for yourself. Three versions to suit your device:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Controlling White Values in a Still Life



Many subjects have a range of whites, none of them pure white.

In this diner still life, there's the white paper placemat in shadow, the placemat in light, and the white "PEPSI" lettering painted on the near side of the glass.


And then there are white highlights. The highlights are lighter than the values of the placemat, but even still they aren't pure white.

Highlights are specular reflections of the various light sources. As a consequence, they take on the relative color of the source: cool for the highlights of the window light, and warm for the highlights of the artificial indoor light. That's why I mixed a little yellow into and a little blue into my lightest specular highlights.

Controlling the white values in a painting means keeping even your brightest highlights a little down from pure white, and always comparing one white against another. Mixing accurate values is one of the features in which gouache excels.

This is just one page from my new Living Sketchbook app, "Metro North" Pick up for yourself. Three versions to suit your device:

(Link to video on Facebook)