Showing posts from April, 2013


I do enjoy the challenge of quicksketch drawing. Hopefully the face reads passably here because the goal was to do the entire profile with 1 stroke only. It's done by varying the pressure on the flat side of a compressed charcoal stick.


Skeptics have long questioned whether Bernini's great sculpture, The Ecstasy of St. Teresa, is about a purely religious experience:

Bernini's sculpture was commissioned by the Catholic church for the Cornaro Chapel in Rome.  Regardless of Bernini's motives, it certainly attracted the crowds.  For centuries, devout housewives  sat in the church thinking, "I'll have what she's having."

350 years after Bernini, Popes and kings no longer buy art.  They have been replaced by a new commercial class of patrons, fueled by the birth of capitalism and the ascendancy of the modern corporation.  But some things never change.  Whether church or refrigerator manufacturer, they still commission artists to sell their products with promises of ecstasy.

The great illustrator John Gannam had a gift for portraying women ecstatic over a gift of new blankets or sheets

Gannam's series of watercolors for Pacific Sheets was legendary.


Albert Dorne's illustrations lacked Gan…

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Here is a drawing with attitude:

This working drawing by Adolph Menzel (1815 - 1905) is an astonishing ballet of hand and eye.  Look at the speed and clarity with which he captures the most telling details of a military coat:

These long, sweeping lines show Menzel's confidence:

But mostly I like Menzel's attitude toward this drawing.  Rather than place it on a shelf to be admired, he marks it up with notes as if he were a master carpenter plying his trade.  The notes are part of the artistry of the sketch:

Contrast Menzel's empty coat with this far more famous empty robe series by pop artist Jim Dine:

Dine's "fine art" pictures of empty robes are treated with reverence and sell at auction for over $100,000.  But I have no doubt that Menzel's working sketch is the superior work of art.

Self taught version of my online class special sale!

If you've been interested in my online entertainment design class but haven't been able to get into the sold out sessions or if you're on a tight budget you'll be glad to know that the self study version is available at $100 off the regular price until April 26th, 2013 @ 3:00am.  Don't miss out!

If you'd like to study portrait drawing with me in self taught format, that's available too! click here for the portrait drawing class.


The great T.S. Sullivant (1854–1926) was hilarious from any angle.

For most artists it would be a challenge to draw a recognizable head from this odd angle:

Sullivant goes much further, fearlessly distorting the head with a comical hodge podge of bizarre shapes.  Yet, it is still persuasive.

And look at the liberties Sullivant takes with this sleeping pig, or the unorthodox perspective on the chicken's butt in the air:

In this next drawing, Sullivant doesn't need to show a face; he gives us all the information we need with that wild beard and stooped posture:

Here, we see an elephant who has inadvertently hurt the feelings of the giraffe:

This could be my very favorite drawing of a crying giraffe:

And here we see Sullivant's wicked cave boys tormenting some poor dinosaur:

We can see from the original how Sullivant shaped the dinosaur as he went along, scratching out some of the lines of the head to achieve the structure he wanted:

A stumbling, upside down dinosaur, mid-air and …

Location Design