Saturday, October 21, 2017

Learning from the Famous Artists Course

The Norman Rockwell Museum produced this new video about the Famous Artists Course (Link to video)


The clips include color video of some of the faculty of 1950s American illustrators, along with Walt Reed, who was one of the faculty helpers, and Elwood Smith and Howard Cruz, who took the course.

Norman Rockwell in his Stockbridge, Massachusetts,
studio surrounded by his many studies for Art Critic. Bill Scovill 1955
Their exhibit "Learning from the Masters" will be on view through November 19.
You can still get secondhand copies of the Famous Artists Course.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Flagg Draws a Model

In this 1934 video, James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960) draws a female model while talking about the importance of perceiving the skull underneath. (Link to YouTube).


In the video he lays down a few preliminary structural lines, and then at 2:04, the video makes a jump to a nearly finished drawing. Flagg dramatically signs the drawing, turns to the camera, and as he puffs on a cigarette, he says: "If you're searching for a beauty, and you want her to last, pick yourself a good skull."



Flagg was a star illustrator from 1900 through World War I (for which he designed the famous 'I Want You' poster) and on beyond WWII. He was known for his lightning portrait sketches, but he also had a reputation for being cantankerous.


His model is Ilse Hoffmann, whom he describes as the 'wood-nymph or elfin' type, but not the 'classic' type:
"Flagg had a long-term relationship with another one of his models, Ilse Hoffmann, the daughter of Hans Heinrich Lammers. His biographer has argued: 'Half Flagg's age, Ilse was a complex and unhappy woman. Enraptured with her beauty, Flagg felt perpetually compelled to paint her, in spite of her being a poor model because she hated to pose. He was dazzled by her physical grace, her humor and intelligence, by her good taste and her coquettish manner.' He described her as the great love of his life and was devastated when she committed suicide in 1945." Source
Flagg, Portrait of Ilse Hoffman
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Read More
Online: Bio of Flagg at Spartacus Educational
More about the love life of Flagg
Book: James Montgomery Flagg
Video by British Pathé
Thanks, Sascha Karschner

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Biopunk Truck

I painted this image for Thomas Easton’s science-fiction story “Down on the Truck Farm” (1990). 


In this biopunk future, living vehicles are genetically engineered out of the organic parts of animals:
"The genimal's legs were mounted high, above the wheels, their joints reversed; as they ran, they pushed against the tires, spun the wheels on their bony hubs, and propelled the vehicle down the grassy greenways that had replaced paved roads early in the Biological Revolutions."
To paint the setting of giant marigolds and pumpkin plants, I set up my easel outside in the garden.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Few Tips for Accuracy


A few days ago I visited the old mill town of Greenwich, New York and painted this streetscape.


In the video (link to YouTube), I share some tips for getting accuracy using the traditional pencil-measure method.
Gouache tutorial
How to Make a Sketch Easel
My videos are also available as DVDs at Kunaki
Music by Kevin MacLeod 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Decadent Dollhouses

Carrie Becker is a photographer and a sculptor of miniatures who produces exquisitely detailed interior scenes. 


In "Barbie Trashes Her Dreamhouse," she presents rooms of a hoarder's home stuffed to the gills with clutter.


After completing a masters program in sculpture, Becker traveled through rural Kansas, exploring and photographing the interiors of abandoned houses.


She used this inspiration as she outfitted each tiny room, implying the backstory to her imagined alternate reality.


After the viral success of her Barbie-themed project, she worked on a theme called "Lilliputian Entropy," showing European-style rooms fallen into disrepair. 
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Monday, October 16, 2017

Video Portrait of C.F. Payne


American illustrator and teacher C.F. Payne is the feature of a new hour-long documentary called "C.F. Payne: An American Illustrator."


Payne is known for his award-winning Time covers, MAD magazine caricatures, and children's book illustrations, which he has produced over a span of nearly four decades. "It's not a race. It's a marathon. You just keep working."

His whimsical and affectionate portraits of celebrities and sports stars usually start with sketchy drawings. Many of his editorial assignments have to be completed under extremely short deadlines. 


In the documentary he talks about the pressures of a freelance lifestyle, and we also get the benefit of hearing the perspective of his wife and two sons. 


One of the themes that runs through the documentary is Payne's love of baseball. He paints a giant cutout of legendary player and commentator Joe Nuxhall to decorate the stadium of the The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields


The film lets us see over his shoulder as he produces some of his multi-media paintings. But this isn't a technique video, and we don't really get the details of his materials or working process, nor does he explain his specific approach to caricature. 

However, if you buy the bundled version, you get a couple of demo videos along with the main feature. In those demos, C.F. Payne goes in detail about his process. 


 C.F. Payne: An American Illustrator is a portrait of a regular, hard-working guy, a good video to share with a young person who might be contemplating a career as an illustrator.

Payne is committed to drawing every day and always improving his ability. "I drew all the time as a young person," he says. "I love making art. It's the place I love to be."


Teaser for "C.F. Payne: An American Illustrator" from Tony Moorman on Vimeo.
Facebook page for the film
C.F. Payne: An American Illustrator is available on Vimeo for $4.99