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Medium Well Done: 8 Crayons, oil pastels, and more
Professional painters have long used brushes to apply paint for their finished work, but many used hand-held sticks of pigment only when sketching in preparation. Charcoal was widely used at first, with metal wire in silverpoint an alternative. In the sixteenth century, large deposits of graphite were discovered in... Read more
Medium Well Done: 5 Watercolour and gouache
Watercolour is the most inappropriately-named of the popular painting media. Oil paint uses drying oils as its binder, egg tempera uses the yolk of eggs, and glue tempera various types of glue. Water is, of course, not the binder in watercolour, but the diluent, used to turn blocks of... Read more
Favourite Paintings 10: Paul Signac, Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde (La Bonne-Mère), Marseille, 1905-6
A luminous painting of the port of Marseille in dawn light, looking up towards the ‘Good Mother’ church, marks the height of both Neo-Impressionism and Fauvism. Painter Paul Victor Jules Signac Painting Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde (La Bonne-Mère), Marseille Year 1905-6 Media oil on canvas Dimensions 88.9 x 116.2 cm (35 x... Read more
Favourite Paintings 1-11: Overview
1: Jan van Eyck (c 1385 – c 9 July 1441) The Madonna of Chancellor Rolin (‘The Rolin Madonna’) Jan van Eyck, The Madonna of Chancellor Rolin (c 1435) oil on panel, 66 x 62 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris (WikiArt). As the Masters in the South got to... Read more
Making space: 2 Size, distance, position
Considering our list of the most important cues to depth, I now move on to the second and third: occlusion/overlay/interposition/superposition, resulting in depth order (previous article here) relative size, including foreshortening effects height in the picture plane texture and detail gradient shading and shadow aerial perspective, including reduction in... Read more
Beyond the French Impressionists: 7 Belgium, Théo van Rysselberghe
Théophile (Théo) van Rysselberghe (1862-1926) Born in Ghent, Belgium, he showed early aptitude for painting, and initially studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, before moving to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels in 1879. Realism to 1886 His early paintings were realist, in rather... Read more
Book Review: Georges Seurat The Art of Vision, Michelle Foa
“Georges Seurat: The Art of Vision” Michelle Foa Yale UP, 2 June 2015 Hardback, 21.3 x 26.2 cm (8.4 x 10.3 in), 235 pp., £45.00/$65.00 ISBN 978 0 300 20835 1 Not available for Kindle nor in the iTunes Store. As the originator of Neo-Impressionism and its Divisionist or... Read more
Landscape Visions: 8 Just as it is, Piazza San Marco, Venice
The great majority of landscape paintings try to depict the motif which the artist can see, with a fairly direct form of artistic vision. It is very hard to gain insight into how direct that vision is. Comparison with photographs is often unhelpful, as what the camera captures is... Read more
Book Review: Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art, Patrick Noon and Christopher Riopelle
“Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art” Patrick Noon and Christopher Riopelle Yale UP for The National Gallery and Minneapolis Institute of Art, October 2015 Hardback, 28.7 x 23.8 cm (11.3 x 9.3 in), 272 pp., £35.00/$60.00 ISBN 978 1 857 095 75 3 Not available for Kindle or... Read more
Visible brushstrokes: 3. after 1865, and some puzzles
I here conclude my quest for an unofficial history of visible brushstrokes in paintings, in reaching Monet, other Impressionists, and Post-Impressionism. Last time I was surprised to find quite a painterly style in the late eighteenth century works of Francesco Guardi, saw abundant free brushstrokes in the sketches and... Read more