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Showing posts from March, 2012
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This is a background painting from Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron (2001). Sometimes I really miss this kind of work.
Below are closeups to show you the kind of overlapping paint textures I'm using.












This last one is the color key. These are all painted in acrylics on Crescent 100 illustration board.
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Location sketch for How to Train Your Dragon.
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FRANKLIN McMAHON 1921-2012

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Franklin McMahon, the last of the great illustrator-reporters, died last week at age 90.

McMahon worked in a bygone era when newspapers and news magazines relied on artists to add class and grace to the reportage of current events.  For 50 years, McMahon went everywhere and witnessed everything on behalf of news publications such as The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Look, Life, Time and Sports Illustrated.

His career as a reporter began in 1955, when McMahon covered the infamous Emmett Till murder trial for Life Magazine.


He went on to cover the key events of the Civil Rights movement, the space program and numerous political campaigns.  Unlike a camera, McMahon prioritized the essential elements of his images and conveyed his impressions, adding an important dimension.




McMahon recalled that he was hired by publications that were "confronted with mountains of material and a need to transcend the usual dreary recitation of facts and figures."  His role was to "heigh…

Sketching From Life! 10 week course begins April 2

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My 10 week sketching from life course is coming soon! It will be held each Monday night from 7 to 10 pm starting on April 2.
For this class we'll study the head, figure, drapery, costume, animals and still life as well as a weekend field trip to study landscape painting. Charcoal, watercolor and gouache will be demonstrated though students will be welcome to use the medium of their choice. Join us!
To enroll call (877) MY-LAAFA (695-2232), their website is laafa.org

ONE LOVELY DRAWING, part 40

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Artists who can't draw have become emboldened by the excuse that traditional drawing skills are less relevant today.  The focus of art has shifted, we are told, from visual appearance to intellectual concept, making the technical skills of yesterday obsolete. 

I've had fun making unkind remarks about this fashion trend, not only because I find the drawing so bad but because the "concepts" that supposedly justify this trade off frequently turn out to be mewling platitudes.  Any artist who claims, "I'm so smart I don't have to draw well" better have more convincing evidence than the pop psychology that pervades so much of today's drawing. 

But every once in a while, some artist gets it right.  They shed the straightjacket of representational drawing while still preserving the important elements: a sensitive, meaningful line, a deep appreciation for form, a strong sense for design and composition.  And they use their freedom from realism to infuse …
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These are concept illustrations I did for the short: Puss in Boots and the Tres Diablos.
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Location Studies Now Available for Sale

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I usually reserve sketches like these for my Landsketch blog but I've received quite a few inquiries asking if any such sketches are available for sale. It's true that I don't want to break up sketchbooks but I do have several pages of location studies on good quality illustration board like the one shown above. It hurts a little to let these go but they spend most of their time tucked in a portfolio at home so I'm pleased to offer the remaining ones for sale on my "Original Paintings for Sale" page.
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