“Pop Painting,” published by Watson-Guptill, is an essential guide for artists and anyone interested in contemporary art. The art world can seem like a murky and mysterious place depending upon where you look. However, some things about art are pretty straightforward: successful art requires a focus on theme coupled with a dedication to craft. I know this as an artist and art lover. As a working artist, I juggle a number of tasks. And, at those times when I could use some inspiration, I’m always pleased to find great art books from Watson-Guptill that demystify and enlighten.
Camilla d’Errico is a professional artist who follows a certain routine and way of seeing the world. She presents a highly engaging collection of work that falls within the category of Pop Surrealism. This is an art movement that, in a nutshell, takes various elements in pop culture and places them in a dream-like environment. The results can be quite stunning. In her new 248-page full color book, “Pop Painting,” d’Errico shares with the reader her views and her methods. She takes an honest step-by-step approach providing real examples with real solutions.
In the world of art and art-making, there are many things that remain constant and always will be: art training still involves life drawing, perspective, and actual hands-on work. As we bring in other disciplines, we still respect, and need, traditional methods. In the last twenty years, right alongside digital art, we have seen an explosion in interest in art-making stemming from the basic sources of drawing and painting. This had led to the comics medium being acknowledged as an art form in its own right. And this is something that Watson-Guptill has whole-heartedly embraced with books specifically on all aspects of comics from drawing to writing. So, it is no surprise to see this latest book, “Pop Painting,” with its unique focus on Pop Surrealism. It will be of interest to anyone, from the generalist to the specific fan. For more details, visit our friends at Watson-Guptill right here.
You may know Mark Crilley from his manga series, “Miki Falls,” or his series with Dark Horse Comics, “Brody’s Ghost.” Or you may know him as the internet viral sensation. Crilley’s drawing demonstration videos have received well over two hundred million views on YouTube. You’ve probably seen them. The challenge is to create hyperrealistic versions of common objects that look just like the real thing—something humans have been trying to do for thousands of years. The French call it “trompe l’oeil.” And now the secrets behind creating this art have been collected in one book so you can see for yourself what it takes to do your own hyperreal drawings.
The Realism Challenge is easy in a lot of ways. Just follow the step-by-step instruction, and you’ll be amazed at the results you can achieve. Even if you don’t fancy yourself an artist, getting to see the process is fascinating. But chances are that, once you become familiar, you’ll want to try your hand at it too.
We hear a lot about the hyperreal world we live in. The realistic work of Mark Crilley is perfectly in step with a zeitgeist that revels in intense, vivid, and urgent reality. That said, realistic art is as timeless as the pursuit of realism.
“The Realism Challenge: Drawing and Painting Secrets from a Modern Master of Hyperrealism” is published by Watson-Guptill, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It is a 160-page trade paperback, with 200 illustrations, priced at $19.99 (Can $23.99). You can find it at Amazon right here.
Here’s a new painting I did entitled, “Spring Lift.” First day of spring is this Friday, March 20! This painting incorporates thoughts of Seattle in the spring and the Macefield Home, a symbol of resistance.
For our Seattle readers, be sure to stop by and check out the boldly ironic paintings of one of Seattle’s favorite sons, Jeremy Eaton. He regularly graces the pages of our favorite alternative weekly, The Stranger. Jeremy Eaton is a published cartoonist, illustrator and painter living in Seattle. For his paintings he utilizes discarded plywood he finds in the shipyards of the city, applying acrylic paint in bold splashes of color and overlapping strokes of black in order to replicate the pulp printing of the comic books and magazines of his youth, often sublimating this with wider cultural themes and commentary. Be sure to visit Jeremy right here.
This week we will consider NBM ComicsLit’s collection of comics with a Louvre-inspired theme. We begin with the book that kicked it all off back in 2007, Nicolas De Crécy’s refreshingly cool look at art, “Glacial Period.” It was such a wonderfully odd duck of a book that the paperback promptly sold out and had been hard to find until now. Just released, “Glacial Period” finds a new home in a bigger hardcover edition. This little gem spurred The Louvre museum to become involved in a co-edition of a series of graphic novels, each a vision by a different artist of the great museum.
A really good documentary is price-less and that’s what you have with ROBERT WILLIAMS MR. BITCHIN’. This is it folks, the outsider is looking in and he likes being invited to the party. Way ahead of his time, Mr. Robert Williams is now getting the props he so richly deserves. This new documentary has been hailed by world-renowned artist Ed Ruscha as “The best movie about an artist I’ve ever seen.” If you’re at Comic-Con this weekend, hey people, this is one of the reasons you’re there, to see this doc!
ROBERT WILLIAMS MR. BITCHIN’ will be screening this Saturday, at 4 pm, at Marriott Hall 2 (details below). And it will be screening in LA on July 30.
•And don’t miss – Robert Williams signing daily (Thursday 7/18 – Sunday 7/21) during Comic Con at 1:00pm in the Gentle Giant booth #3513
Frenchy is an artist who does a lot of his work out and about, like at major sporting events. He was featured on the CBS pre-game coverage for Super Bowl XLVII: Ravens vs. 49ers.
Frenchy was documented as he worked on numerous canvases: laying out his compositions, blocking in color, all the way to the last splatters of paint.
He’s a vigorous artist with a bright personality. It’s great to see him in action. What’s even better, is to see the variety of work he does. His paintings are compelling, drawing you into their energy and humanity.
And here are some more Frenchy paintings from Super Bowl 2013.
Here is a close-up view of the pumpkin pie in a recent painting I did.
I love pumpkin pie and I’m always on the look out for the best version I can find. So far, I’ve kept my search down to various eateries I come across. I’m not sure if I’m up for making one from scratch. The basic recipe seems easy enough. Most involve buying the pumpkin pie filling already made. And there would be the challenge, to make your own filling. Anyway, if you’re in Seattle, and especially if you live in Ballard or are a regular at the Hi-Life restaurant, see if you can find my painting currently on display.
Check out this wonderful painting, by Rachel Maxi, paying tribute to Seattle’s own Dick’s Drive-In and evoking Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks.” It is a recently commissioned oil on canvas, 26″ x 40″. For more of Maxi’s work, visit her here. If Maxi hasn’t made prints of the painting above, she should. It has everything an inspiring and iconic image should have. It makes you wonder who commissioned the work. I think it would make for excellent cover art for crime fiction, maybe some delicious noir mystery set in Seattle.