Friday, November 24, 2017

Victorian Dolls in Real Life

Photo: Derren Brown
These two people dressed as Victorian dolls and walked the streets of London, unsettling people wherever they went. More photos

Thursday, November 23, 2017

N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrim Mural "Turkey Hunt"
N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945) painted a set of murals about the spirit of New England for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. He said the paintings were an expression of his own life and heritage. "All creative expression, be it in painting, writing, or music, if it pretends to appeal warmly and eloquently, must spring from the artist's own factual and emotional experience."
Children's book with Wyeth's Pilgrim murals: N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims
Quote from the classic biography: N.C. Wyeth - The collected paintings, illustrations and murals by Douglas Jr Allen

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Living Sketchbook Updated for iPhone X

We've updated the Living Sketchbook™apps to work with the iPhone X.

The apps let you scroll through the pages of my sketchbooks and experience making-of videos and audio clips recorded at the scene.

Iain McCaig, concept artist for Star Wars, Jungle Book, and Avengers, says: "The 'Living Sketchbook' app takes a classic Gurney Sketchbook and adds audio, video, and written notes on the inspiration, palettes, and thinking behind the art. It's as if you were a friendly ghost watching the creation of every page.”

Volume 1 "Boyhood Home" is available for iOS on Apple phones and tablets at the App Store

and for Android devices at Google Play

Volume 2 "Metro North" is available in three versions to suit your device:
• App for Apple iOS phones and tablets from the App Store
• App for Android devices from Google Play
• For laptop and desktop computers, or people with old phones or tablets, a "PDF+ Edition" including all the art plus all the audio and video in HD.

Erik Tiemens of says ''James Gurney's Living Sketchbook celebrates the mobility and charm of gouache, casein, colored pencil, and pen and ink in sketchbook form."
Review of the app by Teoh
For those of you who have it already, please give it a review— and if you're wondering when the next Living Sketchbook will come out, well, I'm planning to work with my developer put together a couple of new ones by early 2018. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Think Outside the Box

Whenever I hear a self-help cliché, like "Get our ducks in a row," I can't help thinking of the metaphor literally.

When someone says we should "think outside the box," I imagine what Mrs. Basher would do. (Link to video)

If you watch closely, you may glimpse a few frames like this, where the motion blur gives a different spice to the action.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Milton Caniff's Advice on Inking with a Brush

Milton Caniff (1907-1988), the cartoonist behind Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon, was also an instructor for the Famous Artists Cartoon Course

He noted that the brush had become a very popular tool for drawing in the 1940s and '50s in magazine gag panel cartooning.

Here are some of his tips:

1. When dipping your brush in the ink, always press it gently against the inside edge of the bottle neck to remove excess ink.

2. Before touching your brush to the paper try it first on a paper palette (a strip of paper thumbtacked to the top or side of your drawing board).

3. Never let ink dry on the brush.

4. Always wash it by rubbing the brush lightly and gently on a cake of soap, then rinse it in clear water when you are ready to put the brush away.
You can still get the original instructional binders: Famous Artists Cartoon Course (3 Volume Set)
And there are also reprints of The Complete Terry and the Pirates
Modern brush pen that takes cartridges and is very portable: Pentel brush pen

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Akeley's Fight with a Leopard

When artists and scientists produced the dioramas for the American Museum of Natural History, they went to Africa in search of suitable animals. But sometimes the encounters didn't go as planned.

In Ethiopia, taxidermist Carl Akeley was hunting warthog and ostrich when he took an ill-advised shot toward a noise that he heard in the bush.

Unexpectedly he had injured a leopard, which pursued him and later attacked him. He knew that once engaged in a fight, a wounded leopard would never give up, and it would be a fight to the death.
"A leopard, unlike a lion, is vindictive. A wounded leopard will fight to a finish practically every time, no matter how many chances it has to escape. Once aroused, its determination is fixed on fight, and if a leopard ever gets hold, it claws and bites until its victim is in shreds. All this was in my mind, and I began looking about for the best way out of it, for I had no desire to try conclusions with a possibly wounded leopard when it was so late in the day that I could not see the sights of my rifle.”
Read the rest online at Mental Floss: The Time Carl Akeley Killed a Leopard with his Bare Hands.
From Akeley's book In Brightest Africa