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Showing posts from January, 2012

ONE LOVELY DRAWING, part 39

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Howard Pyle illustrated more than 125 books. 

Of those books, he wrote 24 himself. 

Of those 24 books, one-- Pepper and Salt-- contained 90 of his illustrations.

Of those 90 illustrations, one was this small pen and ink headpiece of a girl with 17 geese:


The first thing you notice about these 17 geese is that Pyle treated each one differently, with its own angle or stance or personality.  Each has its own dignity: 




There are no stray lines to suggest geese in the background that Pyle didn't feel like drawing completely.  No Photoshop.  No photocopiers.

Charles Dickens wrote:
I should never have made my success in life if I had been shy of taking pains, or if I had not bestowed upon the least thing I have ever undertaken exactly the same attention and care that I have bestowed upon the greatest.

Color Workshop February 11!

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The use of color is critically important for the working artist, well designed color can make your work powerfully compelling and will reach your audience at an emotional level that moves them. That will be our topic of study for this year's Color Workshop on Saturday, February 11, 12-8pm. So whether you're a landscape painter, figurative or entertainment artist, if you're in the LA area I'd love to see you there.


To enroll contact the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art at 877 695 2232. Online at www.laafa.org.

Here's what we'll cover:
The fundamentals of color theory for painters (traditional and digital).
The emotional impact of color and lighting to create mood and environment.Principles for organizing the complexities of color into pleasing harmonies.Strategies for solving color problems quickly and effectively.Color exploration exercises.Painting from a costumed model in a theatrical, colored light environment.

BEFORE BOB PEAK WENT HOLLYWOOD

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Illustrator Bob Peak was probably best known for his movie posters.  As far as I am concerned, that's unfortunate. 


Peak has been described as "The Father of the Modern Hollywood Movie Poster."  He created over 100 movie posters, including significant posters for blockbusters such as Apocalypse Now, Superman and the Star Trek movies.

Personally I find much of his movie work artistically disappointing.  Opinions will differ of course, but to me these posters often seemed formulaic and uninspired.  Worst of all, Peak-- or his Hollywood clients-- became enamored with a "diamond diffraction" gimmick which I find totally cheesy.



I thought about this recently when I visited the archives of the legendary Famous Artists School and came upon a lovely, neglected collection of drawings that Peak used for teaching in the early years, before he went Hollywood.  I think these simple drawings have more enduring value than Peak's movie posters:



These drawings have originality…
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Charcoal and nupastel on Canson heavyweight charcoal paper.
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HOWARD PYLE'S WEEKLY DRAWING SESSIONS

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Howard Pyle, the father of modern illustration and one of America's most important painters, died just over a century ago.  To commemorate the anniversary of his death, the Delaware Art Museum mounted a splendid centennial exhibition reminding us of Pyle's contribution.  (You can find information on the show here and here.)

Eight years before he died, Pyle asked his art students to sketch their own concept of "The End."  The Delaware show includes a selection of those drawings:
In 1903, Howard Pyle and his students gathered for weekly drawing sessions, in which Pyle assigned a subject for everyone to sketch. On the evening of March 25, 1903... sixteen members of the class created sketches of "The End."Sitting around that room was a charmed circle of young talent.  Pyle had received nearly 100 applications for every opening in his school that year.  Students such as N.C. WyethFrank Schoonover, Stanley Arthurs, William Aylward, and Harry Everett Townsend we…
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This is a painting I did for Puss in Boots to find the look of the hotel atrium location.
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These are lighting roughs I did as a quick demo for my painting class. Gouache and prismacolor.
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