There are artists.
There are teachers.
There are art teachers.
And then there is James Gurney.
I have no doubt that all of my readers know who James is, but if not you can read his full bio here.
James, through his blog, books and appearances, is one of those artists who thrives on giving their knowledge to others. Since 2007 he has authored almost 2500 posts on his blog, most of which are instructional and all in good humor. Back in 2009 he was kind enough to write the introduction for my reprint of E. G. Lutz’s Drawing Made Easy.
Recently, he wrote the introduction to Dover’s reprint of Solomon J. Solomon’s The Practice of Oil Painting and Drawing. Solomon’s book, like Harold Speed’s books, needs to be read by every aspiring representational painter.
Since their release, his books, Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist and Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter have consistently been on Amazon’s top ten list in the painting category. There is a very good reason for that.
We’ve never met, although I imagine that one day I’ll be out for a walk somewhere and come upon him, hard at work, creating one of his amazing plein air paintings.
I look forward to that day.
Darren R. Rousar studied privately with Richard Lack and attended Atelier LeSueur, both in Minnesota, as well as Studio Cecil-Graves in Florence, Italy. He was the assistant director and an instructor at Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, after which he became vice president of The Minnesota River School of Fine Art in Burnsville. He has been a professional artist for more than 20 years, focusing mainly on Christian themes. Darren is currently an art teacher, technology coordinator/coach at Providence Academy in Plymouth, MN. He is the author of three books, Cast Drawing Using the Sight-Size Approach and Cast Painting Using the Sight-Size Approach and Memory Drawing: Perceptual Training and Recall as well as the producer of a companion DVD, Sight-Size and the Art of Seeing. Through his company, Velatura Press, he republished an expanded edition of E.G. Lutz's 1921 book, Drawing Made Easy and edited a combined reprint of Asher B. Durand's 1855 Letters on Landscape Painting with Birge Harrison's 1910 Landscape Painting.
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Needables from Amazon
Begin here and here if this is new to you. This week’s exercise, like the last, is based upon a plate from Adolphe Yvon’s drawing course. You will notice that in this plate Yvon shows us a more volumetric way of perceiving and drawing the head. He still prefers to flatten the main curves, but [...]
Velazquez, Las Meninas, detail of self portrait (1656). The paintings in this post are, or have been said to be, self portraits. Above is a detail from his 1656 painting, Las Meninas. Below is a detail from The Surrender of Breda, 20 years earlier. Velazquez, Surrender of Breda, detail (1635). Are they the same person? [...]
Begin here and here if this is new to you. There are many ways to learn to draw, just as there are many ways to draw. The same can be said for learning to see. For the next month we are going to look at memory drawing through different ways of perceiving. These posts will [...]
Gilbert Stuart, Self Portrait, 1778 Gilbert Stuart was one of America’s great portrait painters. This self portrait was done while Stuart was in England, studying with another American ex-patriot painter, Benjamin West. Gilbert Stuart, Self Portrait (detail) In June of 1816, Matthew Jouett (an infantry Captain during the War of 1812) journeyed from his home [...]
This is our last week using abstract shapes. Although I know that they were difficult, I hope that you can see the benefit. If you can’t, don’t fret, eventually you will. I have not added helpers (plumb line or dots) on this image but, if you believe that you’ve failed after your first attempt, go [...]
On the right is Titian’s Adam and Eve (The Fall of Man), from 1550. On the left is Rubens’ copy, done when he was in Madrid between 1628/29. Awhile back I posted, Old Masters Copying Older Masters. This post is a continuation of that one. One of the fascinating aspects of visiting the Prado in [...]
Begin here and here if this is new to you. This is our third week of abstract shape exercises. If you have not attempted week sixteen and seventeen’s exercises, see here first and then follow those directions for week seventeen as well as this week. You’ll notice that I have added plumb and reference points [...]
Memory Drawing: Perceptual Training and Recall is now viewable through Amazon’s Look Inside the Book feature. See here. Amazon UK and EU availability should be coming soon. I’m not sure just yet about AU. I want to publicly thank three people who had a big impact on this project: Linda Crank (see here and here) [...]
Begin here if this is new to you. This is our second week of abstract shape exercises. If you have not attempted week sixteen’s exercise, see here first and then follow those directions for this week. If you have done last week’s exercise, and had difficulty, be sure to add a few reference points to [...]
Books and DVD
Memory Drawing teaches you how to visually perceive and accurately recall those perceptions.
Sight-Size is a way of seeing and comparing nature to your artwork from a given distance. The books and DVD shown below explain it in detail.
Children and young adults can learn constructive drawing through Velatura Press' reprint of E.G. Lutz's 1921 classic, Drawing Made Easy.
Studio Rousar Blog Archives