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Artists Magazine

Artists Magazine May 2020

Readers learn painting and drawing firsthand from other artists through written instruction and reproduction, guiding them step-by-step through the creative process. The magazine shows readers a wide variety of creative options, teaching the fundamentals of art making, presenting techniques in different painting and drawing media.

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10 Edities

in deze editie

1 min.
try something new

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”—VINCENT VAN GOGH In the planning stages for this issue, we knew we’d be focusing on the art of still life, and you’ll definitely find that inspiration here—as in the transcendent beauty of a rose from the brush of modern master Richard Schmid (page 40), or in the less-expected loveliness of a packaged Hostess cupcake as depicted by Canadian artist Anselmo Swan (page 50), as well as many other examples. On further reflection, however, I became aware that there’s a bigger, broader theme at work in this issue, and that’s the importance of taking risks. Artist Carolyn Marshall Wright (page 58), for instance, chose to switch up media after years of working in watercolor, and the change injected new life…

3 min.
a master of feathers and fur

early in the 1500s, Antwerp was the leading industrial and financial port in Western Europe. Breweries, textile factories, sugar refineries and the diamond trade thrived. So did the city’s art, with Antwerp at the center of the Flemish Renaissance. International bankruptcy and war ended Antwerp’s prosperity in the second half of the 16th century, however, and many of its residents took their money and fled to Amsterdam. Flanders’ loss heralded the Dutch Golden Age. Yet Antwerp retained a prominent position in the arts well into the 17th century on the strength of Flemish painters Rubens, van Dyck and Jordaens. The vitality of Rubens’ art and workshop alone was astonishing. In the midst of the city’s decline, Antwerp was central to the Baroque movement. Integral to this creative environment was Frans Snyders (Flemish,…

3 min.
barging through burgundy

much is made in today’s fast-paced world of the desire to reduce speed. As plein air artists, our choice to carefully record with our hands and eyes in lieu of (or in addition to) snapping a picture is a strong vote for slowing down. The good news is that, even in the jet age, it’s possible to spend six days traveling fewer than 30 miles on a restored cargo barge, or peniche, on one of France’s most historic and picturesque canals. It’s a journey that could be made in less than an hour by car. The Canal du Nivernais, deep in the wine region of Burgundy, connects the medium-sized cathedral town of Auxerre with the decidedly smaller town of Clamecy, and a journey along this segment is possible in either direction…

1 min.
sketching method 1: watercolor

Even when traveling on a slow-moving barge, one must work quickly to create watercolor sketches. Before starting my four-sketch series, I’d already taped off four panels on a cold-pressed mounted board and had the paint mixed and ready to go. As the vessel glided past the magnificent farmland turning to fall colors, there was no time to wait for the watercolors to dry; I either let them run together or strategically deployed dry, white areas between colors.…

1 min.
sketching method 2: graphite and watercolor

Sometimes I made visual notes by devoting a sketchbook page to small thumbnail sketches laid out quickly in pencil and then painted equally fast, either with the scene before me or right after it slid from view. The two sketches on the left show the narrowness of the locks—often just wide enough to let a barge slide in with mere inches to spare. Between locks, the canal is wide enough to permit two barges to pass, as seen in the sketch above. I later developed that sketch into a separate finished watercolor (see Cruising on the Vermenton Canal, page 8).…

1 min.
sketching method 3: graphite

My canal travels ended at the city of Auxerre. Walking through the town in late afternoon, a view of the Auxerre Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Étienne d’Auxerre), built in 1215–1233, caught my eye. The transept, bathed in golden light with a backdrop of dramatic dark clouds, rose at the end of a narrow, inclined lane. Spending no more than five minutes, I captured the composition and light values with a soft Derwent Graphic pencil (see Cathedral sketch, above). I also took a reference photo of the Gothic tracery in the window and portal for a subsequent studio painting (see Cathédral Saint-Étienne, Auxerre, at right). For the studio painting, I laid successive washes to arrive at the simplicity and chromatic density required to convey the drama of the lighting. The initial wash, done with…