This is a sketch of a famous eatery: Philippe's - Home of the French Dipped Sandwich
. It was established in Los Angeles, California, in 1908, and hasn't changed one bit over the years. The food is fantastic and the parking is free.
I have sketched and painted this scene many times and in many different ways: pen and ink; watercolor with pencil; pen with watercolor; I have mounted a version to a hard board panel, done it in mixed media and painted it as a demonstration for the workshops I teach. I really enjoy the image because it has a lot of texture, it is gritty and full of stuff, it has good darks and lights and it has a lot of colorful signage.
This version was completed last week and is my new favorite. This is slightly ironic because I had done it as a demo last year for the Learning and Product Expo here in Pasadena and was unable to complete it during the class time, so I filed it away. It was an acceptable painting at the time and had done a good job of illustrating my teaching lesson but finding it again and looking at it with fresh eyes, I found it lacking. I decided to try to fix it. What did I have to lose right?
I had done it as a pen and ink sketch on Arches hot press watercolor paper. I liked the original line work and the initial wash of color was not so strong as to prevent me from adding more, so I tackled it with fresh eyes and renewed enthusiasm. (I find that easier to do with a painting that has seasoned for awhile; I am not so worried that I am going to ruin it so I am very relaxed and feel free to take more chances.)
I started by redrawing it with my Sanford Uniball Micro pen. (Please note that the pen acts very differently drawing over painted areas.) Looking back at my original reference photo I noticed that I had miss drawn the awning, so I just drew it again, correctly this time, ignoring the painted awning underneath. I also drew in a third vehicle and left it unpainted as well, giving the painting a very casual sketchy feeling. I added some narrative copy along the bottom edge and made a few color notes right on the painting.
As the original was lacking in color and contrast, I enhanced the darks, but I did it with color: the shadows are a mixture of blue, red and burnt umber. I exaggerated the color shifts: look at the phone pole - it is dark at the top and very light at the bottom. I also boosted the colors and white paint in the signage. Finally, I painted a stormy sky and put some loose reflections in the foreground to suggest a rainy afternoon.
What started as an average painting is now something I like very much. I encourage you to dig through some of your earlier mediocre pieces and see if you can improve them.
You can see my entire blog at josephstoddard.com
. Learn more about watercolor from Joseph Stoddard in his book, Expressive Color
Women have made tremendous contributions to the world of art over the centuries, but their names in history are not nearly as well known as those of Monet, Picasso and other famous male artists. The Long Beach Museum of Art in Long Beach, California, has one of the largest collections of works by women in the nation—almost 25 percent of its inventory. The average American museum devotes only six percent of its collection to female artists.
Several prestigious museums across the United States are currently featuring the works of women in their 2010 exhibits, providing wonderful opportunities for the art enthusiast to see both contemporary and historical art created by women.
The Long Beach Museum of Art is ending its 60thanniversary celebration with A Light in the Shadow—Decades of Art by Women. The exhibit will feature 60 works of art by women from the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibit will run through January 2, 2011.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York City ran its first women-artists-only exhibit in 1995 when a female photographer was in charge of an “Artist’s Choice” series. The demographic of the museum has changed dramatically since then. The MoMA is currently running two exhibitions featuring female artists—one, through March 21, 2011, titled Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography and Mind and Matter: Alternative Abstractions, 1940 to Now, which runs through August 16, 2010.
The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, will be exhibiting Women of Chrysler: A 400-Year Celebration of the Arts through July 18, 2010. Admission to this show—featuring paintings, sculptures, photographs, silver works and more—is free.
You can go to the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., anytime to see more than 3,000 works of art by women in its permanent collection. This summer NMWA is featuring several female artists, with works ranging from those of contemporary artists to the engravings of a fifteenth century French woman. The NMWA is the only museum in the world that shows the work of female artists exclusively.
Lee Bontecou. Welded steel, porcelain, wire mesh, canvas, wire, and grommets. 2010 Lee Bontecou. Currently on display at the MoMA.
Over Father’s Day weekend, Pasadena, California, set the Guinness World Record for the Largest Display of Chalk Pavement Art during its 18th annual chalk festival. More than 600 artists worked together to create 179 chalk murals on a background of cement. The street-fair attracted more than 100,000 visitors who looked on as artists made use of 38,000 sticks of pastel chalk.
As someone who only thinks of jumping through a sidewalk with Mary Poppins when chalk art is mentioned, I was intrigued by this event. Is chalk art really that popular and what are people doing with it? After a little online research I was surprised to find so many artists who use chalk as their medium of choice.
One artist in particular grabbed my attention: Julian Beever. He has become famous for his artwork, which appears to jump out of the sidewalk at you, or descend beneath your feet. Photographs taken of people interacting with his work make the drawings appear to be three-dimensional. From one side, his creations look like stretched out drawings, but when viewed from the correct angle—it’s magic. Sidewalks all over the world have served as canvases for Beever’s work.
Julian Beever’s Swimming-Pool in the High Street.
Go to http://users.skynet.be/J.Beever/pave.htm
to see more.
Other street artists use 3-D effects as well. Tracy Lee Stum, who holds the record for the largest street painting by an individual, often does commissioned works for advertisers, events, and other sectors. To see some samples of her work, go to www.tracyleestum.com
Salt Lake City, Utah, also held its annual Chalk Art Festival last weekend, with more than 100 artists and 20,000 visitors. If you want to attend one of these events there will be many more this summer. Check your local listings and remember to bring a camera!
Across the country, the art community is reacting to the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico by rendering clever and sobering images reflecting the state of the Gulf’s environment.
A gallery in the New Orleans Art District aims to aid the Gulf with money raised at its fundraiser from June 17-19. The exhibition will feature the work of 25 Louisiana artists reacting to the spill. The art will remain on display throughout the summer.
High school students in Moorestown, New Jersey, are collecting donations through art as well. They painted a whimsical mobile mural and then covered it with hundreds of oil drop-shaped pieces of paper. They remove one droplet for every dollar donated.
Other art forms are being employed to create awareness as well. Students at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts wrote and performed a play titled “Da’ Spill.” Characters acted out included a pelican, President Barack Obama, a fisherman, and a BP executive.
Many artists are simply venting their frustrations with the spill through the Huffington Post blog, which is currently featuring spill-related art. Some of the art from this site is shown below. Click on the following link to see how other artists are seeing this tragedy.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/13/anti-bp-art-the-best-visu_n_609660.html#s99401
This print by Krista Jurisich will be on display at the New Orleans fundraiser. Photo Courtesy Jonathan Ferrara Gallery.
I remember when I was young I tried to draw a picture of my mom. I remember looking at her and very carefully drawing her head, her hair, her body, and the stool she sat on. To me, at the time, it was a perfect rendition.
My mom still has this drawing. I look at it now and find the crayon drawing laughable because those carefully trained strokes of crayon created another stick figure, complete with several individual hairs depicted by straight lines shooting out of her round stick figure head.
My love of art continued through out high school, where I sat through many drawing and painting lessons in the classroom, receiving art instruction with other beginning artists like myself. We were learning to draw by learning to see and controlling our media.
I would practice my newly learned drawing skills at home in the evenings, carefully replicating colorful album covers from my favorite bands with colored pencils. In college, other artists and I would get together and listen to music while we worked on our drawings and paintings.
Unfortunately, in college I also learned that the only artists who made money were dead ones. After scanning the classified ads, I made the decision to go into commercial art, and quickly adopted digital methods. My love of art did not diminish, but my time creating it did.
The old habit of collecting art materials still remains although I am now grown up and have no free time for drawing and painting. They take up space under the bed and in the garage, but no matter how many times I move, these art materials travel with me. I vow that in my old age, when I am retired and have free time, I will learn how to draw and paint again.
What’s better than free wine and food, live music, and free transportation all while you look at local art? Not much. Some call the First Thursday Art Walk in Laguna Beach, California, one of Orange County’s best-kept secrets. On the first Thursday of every month, from 6p.m. to 9p.m., galleries citywide open their doors to artists and art lovers alike, offering them snacks and drinks as they take in the works of area artists.
Art-walkers can check out more than 30 galleries and museums as they stroll around Laguna Beach, a city known for its affinity for fine art and its beautiful beaches, during this monthly self-guided tour. A free shuttle is available to transport people along the Pacific Coast Highway and down Laguna Canyon Road.
At tonight's art walk, the Festival of Arts will introduce Out-of-the-Blue, the Art-To-Go collection for 2010 at City Hall during a preshow at 5p.m. It asks that spectators wear blue to support the theme. To find out more about First Thursdays Art Walk Laguna Beach, go to http://www.firstthursdaysartwalk.com/
On June 9, the Bravo channel will once again deliver grueling challenges, remarkable prizes—and of course—plenty of drama, as 14 artists compete in a new reality series. Workof Art: The Next Great Artist will follow 14 artists as they compete for a solo show at a renowned museum and a large cash prize.
The artists will test their skills using a variety of mediums to create original pieces of art for each week’s challenge. During a gallery showing at the end of each episode, a panel of art-world judges will critique and appraise each of the entries.
From a lingerie boutique owner who sculpts and prints to a fry cook who takes pictures when he’s not at work, the seven men and seven women featured in the new series range in age, background, and preferred medium. The list of contestants includes a filmmaker with no formal training, a devout Christian from the Midwest, a performance artist who’s been in the Sundance Film Festival, and an art college cum laude graduate. But they all have two things in common: They are accomplished artists, and they want to be Bravo’s next great artist.
Work of Art: The Next Great Artist premiers Wednesday, June 9 at 11/10 central on Bravo. For more information or to watch a preview of the new series, go to http://www.bravotv.com/work-of-art
I have been illustrating professionally for 25 years and have learned many things along the way. The first and foremost tip I have for aspiring artists is to learn the basics.
There are many styles that veer from traditional drawing and illustration, and there is a certain charm in amateurish art. What you may not know, however, is that even the most whimsical, childlike illustrations are drawn by professionals who have first learned the basics. With a good grounding in the basics, an artist starts with a confident understanding of form, perspective, and lighting, and then adds to that her own particular style.
Let’s take one example: the hands. If the artist has proficiency with faces but little understanding of hand structure, which is complex, she will struggle with the hand portion of the painting, thereby interrupting the creative flow. The end result will be inconsistency. Even if the painting is whimsical or primitive, there will be a marked deficit in the hands—an inconsistency that the observer will perceive.
Although complex, learning basic hand structure is worth the effort. It is a matter of breaking the hand up into a series of cylinders for the fingers and a polyhedron (a flattish cube) for the palm. The artist can easily use this technique to sketch the basic form of the hand in any position. This form technique can be applied to any part of the human or animal body.
Perspective is simple to learn and understand, and once the artist has learned the basics, application becomes easy—even intuitive. While creating a pastoral scene with a barn, for instance, the artist proficient in perspective will sketch out the composition with ease. She will be able to “feel” the long grasses swaying, “smell” the fresh air, and “hear” the cows lowing as she sketches, thereby giving life to her creation. If she does not understand basics, she will have to spend her time figuring them out as she sketches. The end result may be good, but it will lack life and passion.
What about lighting? Light/dark contrast in a painting or a drawing can make all the difference. A good understanding of light source and how it plays on a three-dimensional surface will make the vase “jump off” the canvas. In cartooning, particularly in Manga, lighting is important because it creates visual interest and sophistication.
Having a command of the basics ensures that creativity flows freely with no interruptions or snags, a finished piece looks polished, and your art has that extra special something: life, passion, communication. If you desire professional results, free-flowing creativity, and getting “in the groove”—and then remaining there while you paint or draw—don’t shortchange yourself. Learn, or brush up on, the basics. Click here to learn more about Diana Fisher.
112 W. Wilshire Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92832
Dates: December 4-27, 2009
Opening reception: Friday, December 4, 2009, from 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm. This event is free and open to the public.
Mark Mothersbaugh is the frontman of the band DEVO, which is widely known and respected as one of the most important bands to emerge from the ’70s and ’80s. Starting with their debut LP in 1978, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
, the band continued to release nearly 20 albums over the next 20 years. They punctured the mainstream with their c. 1980 hit Whip It. Through their films, videos, costumes, LP covers, stage shows, and printed materials, Mark and DEVO forever altered commonly held preconceptions of how a rock bank should function in popular culture. Mark has scored a number of television shows and films, including Pee Wee’s Playhouse TV show, The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore, Welcome to Collinwood, Rugrats: The Movie
, and Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic
with Steve Zissou.
During his downtime on early worldwide tours, Mark Mothersbaugh began illustrating on postcards to send to his friends and family. He has been creating these cards every day for more than 30 years. It’s an obsessive habit/hobby that still yields anywhere from one to a couple dozen new postcard-sized images per day. For RUGS! RUGS! RUGS!, Mark has transferred images from his Postcard Diaries onto large rugs. Mark has exhibited his artwork in galleries around the United States and the world, most recently with his HOMEFRONT INVASION (2003) and BEAUTIFUL MUTANTS (2004) gallery tours.
Check out Mark Mothersbaugh’s art and music on his website at www.mutatovisual.com
The Color Explosion: Nineteenth Century American Lithography from the Jay T. Last Collectionthrough February 22, 2010
The Huntington, San Marino, California
in the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery
When a young German playwright named Alois Senefelder developed a new printmaking process in the 1790s, little did he know that his discovery would start a communication revolution. Lithography, or flat-surface printing, transformed the exchange of information and the behavior of everyday life for the next century and beyond. This technique brought art, literature, music, and science to the masses; gave rise to product advertising and consumer culture; educated a growing middle class; and turned commercial printing from a craft into an industry. Lithography also colorized a predominantly black-and-white print world.
The Color Explosion presents more than 200 examples of 19th-century American lithography from The Huntington
’s Jay T. Last Collection of Lithographic and Social History. Advertising posters, art prints, calendars, certificates, children’s books, color-plate illustrations, historical views, product labels, sales catalogs, sheet music, toys & games, and trade cards are just some of the artifacts that will be included in this comprehensive exhibition.For more information about this exhibition, click here.