Old Masters Academy

Artist in the Studio

Whistler’s Oil Painting Technique

Whistler’s Oil Painting Technique

Whistler’s Oil Painting Technique Whistler’s approach to portraiture in his late maturity was described by one of his sitters, Arthur J. Eddy, who posed for the artist in 1894: “He worked with great rapidity and long hours, but he used his colours thin and covered the canvas with innumerable coats of paint. The colours increased in depth and intensity as the work progressed. At first the entire figure was painted in greyish-brown tones, with very little flesh colour, the whole blending perfectly with the greyish-brown of the prepared canvas; then the entire background would be intensified a little; then the figure made a little stronger; then the background, and so on from day to day and week to week, and…

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Realist Artist in the Studio

Realist Artist in the Studio

Sir John Everett Millais was an English painter and illustrator and one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Millais’ Christ In The House Of His Parents was highly controversial because of its realistic portrayal of a working class Holy Family labouring in a messy carpentry workshop. All early works were painted with great attention to detail, often concentrating on the beauty and complexity of the natural world. In paintings such as Ophelia Millais created dense and elaborate pictorial surfaces based on the integration of naturalistic elements. This approach has been described as a kind of “pictorial eco-system”. This style was promoted by the critic John Ruskin, who had defended the Pre-Raphaelites against their critics. Millais’ friendship with Ruskin introduced him to Ruskin’s wife Effie. Soon after they met she modelled for…

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Palettes of Famous Artists.  The Anders Zorn Palette

Palettes of Famous Artists. The Anders Zorn Palette

Palettes of Famous Artists. Zorn Palette Swedish painter Anders Zorn (1860-1920)  has long been associated with a limited palette of four colors. Rosemary Hoffman, in the book Northern Light: Nordic Art at the Turn of the Century wrote, “Zorn was noted for executing paintings using a sober color scale limited to white, ochre, vermilion, and ivory black.” Hans Henrik Brummer, writing in the 1986 catalog on Zorn, said “basically his register was limited to black, white, earth yellows and vermilion; other pigments could be used if local accents were needed.” Several art teachers, such as Jeff Watts, use the “Zorn palette” (sometimes substituting cadmium red light for vermilion) as a teaching tool because it provides students with a finite range of color choices with a…

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Fine Artist Studio. Rembrandt’s Studio

Fine Artist Studio. Rembrandt’s Studio

        The former residence of Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn has been restored to its former glory; the way it was when Rembrandt lived here in the 17th century. Everything’s there: his studio, his living quarters and his art. You’ll most definitely be surprised by his curiosity cabinet.     When Rembrandt filed bankruptcy in 1656 an inventory was made and his valuable possessions were sold. Thankfully the list with Rembrandt’s inventory was saved and that’s how you can get a representative glimpse on Rembrandt’s life today.       Besides the rooms of the house, the Rembrandt House Museum shows:  Paintings by Rembrandt’s contemporaries, his pupils and his teacher ‘Pieter Lastman’.          …

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Palettes of Famous Artists. Art materials.

Palettes of Famous Artists. Art materials.

    Palettes of Famous Artists.   Gauguin believed in: “Pure colour! Everything must be sacrificed to it.” Yet, overall, his tones were muted, and quite close together.     Marion-Boddy Evans draws our attention to a portable palette found in his painting studio after he died, from which it would appear Gauguin didn’t lay out his colours in any particular order. Nor does he seem to have ever cleaned his palette, instead mixing fresh colours on top of dried-up paint.     Join the Club to view this Video Lesson »

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Palettes of Famous Painters

Palettes of Famous Painters

    Palettes of Famous Painters   Of Gustave Moreau, the art critic Charles Blanc, whose writings (still essential reading) and triangle based colour-system are considered the most influential texts on colour theory, wrote in Le Temps, 1881: “One would have to coin a word for the occasion if one wished to characterise the talent of Gustave Moreau, the word colourism for example, which would well convey all that is excessive, superb and prodigious in his love for colour.     … It is as if one were in the presence of an illuminator who had been a jeweller before becoming a painter and who, having yielded to the intoxication of colour, had ground rubies, sapphires, emeralds, topazes, opals, pearls…

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Palettes of Famous Painters

Palettes of Famous Painters

    Palettes of Famous Painters   Some artists follow Whistler, who believed the management of the palette to be the basis of good painting; others stick to Isaac Newton’s theory of colour.       Some artists mix every gradation of colour they will need for a painting before they start, others as they need them. “My freshly arranged palette, brilliant with contrasting colors, is enough to fire my enthusiasm,” noted Delacroix in his Journal in 1850. The French artist was meticulous in his arrangement of colours, and when unwell, would take his palette to bed and spend the entire day just mixing new shades.   Join the Club to view this Video Lesson »

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Palettes of Famous Painters: The Degas palette

    Palettes of Famous Painters: The Degas palette     The Degas palette above is from earlier in his career, when he was still using the earthy tones common to the Dutch tradition. It lightened considerably in later years as his subject matter altered.     Although there are a number of prescribed ways in which to lay out oil paint – light to dark; as per the colour wheel; basic palettes of three colours and white – all artists begin by lining up pigments at the top of the palette and use the remainder of its space for mixing.     Join the Club to view this Video Lesson »

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Artist in his Studio: a French impressionist painter

  Artist in his Studio This is a view of Claude Monet standing in his first studio amidst his favorite canvases. The light of the afternoon is almost palpable. This room located in his main house at Giverny was turned into his sitting-room after 1890. The picture was made in springtime according to the tulips behind Monet. The photo reveals how much the painter loved flowers. There were at least six vases in his studio on this day!   When Monet became successful, he built a new house in the corner of his garden, where he moved his studio. He had now a well lit large room to work in and to store his paintings. The former studio became a place where…

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A self-taught genius – French Naive or Primitive painter.

A self-taught genius – French Naive or Primitive painter.

  A French Naive or Primitive painter. Henri Rousseau was also known as Le Douanier (the customs officer), a humorous description of his occupation as a tax collector. Ridiculed during his life, he came to be recognized as a self-taught genius whose works are of high artistic quality.     Henri Rousseau was born in Laval, France into the family of a tinsmith. He attended Laval High School as a day student and then as a boarder. He was mediocre in some subjects at the high school but won prizes for drawing and music. He worked for a lawyer and studied law, but “attempted a small perjury and sought refuge in the army,” serving for four years, starting in 1863. With his father’s death, Rousseau moved…

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