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Artists Magazine

Artists Magazine October 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.
artist and engineer

With a span of 1,595 feet, it’s not hard to understand the importance of design behind a structure like the Brooklyn Bridge—the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its opening in 1883. The stakes aren’t quite so high for an artist interested in building a solid composition for a painting. Still, Robert Henri’s point—that each part of a well-planned composition adds to the strength of a painting’s overall design—is well taken. “Making lines run into each other is not composition,” Henri says. “There must be motive for the connection.” I rather like his bridge metaphor and the idea of artist as engineer. The goal in a bridge design is to move people from one side of an expanse to the other. Likewise, a painter is also…

5 min.
on the road from mandalay

Mandalay ... the name alone evokes faraway, exotic lands, as expressed in Rudyard Kipling’s 1890 poem, Mandalay, which inspired Frank Sinatra’s 1958 hit On the Road to Mandalay: “Come you back to Mandalay, Where the old Flotilla lay: Can’t you ‘ear their paddles chunkin’ from Rangoon to Mandalay?” Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar (also referred to by its British colonial name, “Burma”). Both city and country remain an exotic world apart. Myanmar is one of the few places on the planet that has not been overwhelmed by the tides of global homogenization. Its largest city, Yangon (British colonial Rangoon) is one of the few historic Asian capitals to retain its colonial urban fabric—albeit faded and crumbling. It provides a picture of what Singapore, Bangkok and Penang must have been…

5 min.
adventures in assemblage

there was a time when I thought art was simply about putting paint on canvas or like surfaces. Art schools taught little more than that, and all the great masters were painters. Who was I to argue? I got my start in painting with watercolor, quite enjoyed it and even began to show some proficiency. I dabbled with oils briefly, but I’m not the most patient sort, and they seemed to take forever to dry. Then I discovered acrylics, which combined the best of both worlds. I was hooked. There was another revelation to come when I stumbled upon matte medium. I like to call it “goop” because, well, it’s goopy. Matte medium comes in liquid form, but once it settles, it’s unequaled as a fixative. That changed everything for me.…

2 min.
we asked...

What’s an art book that’s on your reading list this year? “Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art (2018) by Mary Gabriel.” JIMMY WRIGHT ARTIST AND PRESIDENT, PASTELSOCIETY OF AMERICA “Sam Francis: The Artist’s Materials (2019), by Debra Burchette-Lere and Aneta Zebala. I had the pleasure of helping the authors identify art material brands from photos taken in Sam Francis’ studio several decades ago. It was a challenge to decipher the manufacturers and media he used from the tubes and jars of paint.” MICHAEL SKALKA CHAIRMAN, ASTM D01.57, ARTISTS’ MATERIALS STANDARDS “The first volume of The Lives of Lucian Freud, (2019). Intriguingly, in the U.S., this volume is called ‘The Restless Years, 1922–1968,’ while in the U.K., it’s…

1 min.

In the early 15th century, European artists started incorporating linseed oil when working in the egg tempera painting medium. Eventually, two techniques with these media were developed. In one, oil was applied as a separate layer over an egg tempera rendering; in the other, called tempera grassa, painters created an egg-oil emulsion that they used throughout the painting process. A typical egg-oil emulsion is a mixture of egg yolk, oil and water (1:1:1). I like to use the oil-over-tempera technique when I want to build up layers without waiting for the initial layer to dry. Tempera paint dries to the touch immediately, even more quickly than watercolor. To make egg tempera, separate an egg yolk from the white. Place the yolk in a bowl and puncture it with a fork. Then remove…

1 min.
tuscan pitchers in oil over egg tempera

1 I used soft vine charcoal to draw the composition on a gessoed board. I chose an impermanent drawing medium so that the marks would be absorbed into the paint instead of remaining visible, which can happen when tempera dries. 2 I mixed powdered raw umber pigment into the egg medium, then blocked in the shadows and tabletop. I painted the background with a mixture of yellow ochre and titanium white pigment. I used soft nylon brushes throughout to avoid disturbing the dry paint layers. 3 I began painting the light on the pitchers. To do this, I added more pigments to my palette: burnt sienna, caput mortuum (a purplish earth color), raw umber, azure blue hue and Mars black. 4 To complete the egg tempera layer, I mixed Venetian red, yellow ochre…