Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lessons in Figure Painting in Water Color - New Ebook

Here is a new ebook Lessons in Figure Painting in Water Color, published in 1881.

Each lesson consists of a written description of the colors used and their manner and order of application plus two color plates showing the painting in two stages of completion.
This ebook, like the other Cassell Books (A Course of Painting in Neutral Tint, A Course of Sepia Painting, and A Course of Water Colour Painting, By R. P. LEITCH) is a facsimile of an original book which was printed using a method called continuous tone printing.

The effect of the plates is similar to silkscreen printing, but printed with transparent inks. The final product closely approximates the look of an actual water color painting and gives the artist and printer great control over the look and over the finished product.

A Fortnightly Review of Current Literature. 1881 BOSTON, 1881
"The books of which we are now to speak are of novel plan and structure, being intended as guides to children in the art of water-color painting. One is Lessons in Figure Painting , another Flower Painting; their design being to lay before beginners simple instructions in water coloring, with a variety of examples to copy. Each book is, therefore, first, a text-book, short, plain and circumstantial ; and, second, a scrap-book, with pictures inserted on blank pages which the young student is to take as models.

"The lessons in figure painting, which are the more difficult of the two, are from designs by Blanche Mac- Arthur and Jennie Moore, both of whom are medalists of the Royal Academy; and are sixteen in number. Each design is fitted with special and minute directions, which in a measure take the place of a teacher, and which will suffice for any child who has had some practice in the use of the color box. Each subject is presented in two designs, one finished, the other unfinished; thus educating the eye into the separate stages of the work, and enabling it to distinguish between what is fundamental and what is superficial. The flower designs, which compose the second of the two volumes, are by- Edward Hulme, who is perhaps the most noted English flower painter of the day ; are simpler, and of course will demand less of the young student. The usefulness of these books, reinforcing their beauty, is certain to commend them to wide circulation. "

Color Mixing Recipes for Portraits: More than 500 Color Combinations for skin, eyes, lips & hair

Saturday, August 30, 2008

How to Draw Hands, Arms and Figures - Sketches by Harry Carmean

Harry Carmean is an american figurative painter, born in Kansas in 1922 but moved immediately to California. He began making art early, enlisted in the U.S.Army in World War II, then formally studied art at the L'Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, France.

There is a web page devoted to his work at the Sullivan Goss Gallery's
I found these images on
. They are from a drawing class he ran and span a time from the 1950s to the 1990s. I like the strength of his line and especially the studies of hands and arms.

Click here to see these and other items by Harry Carmean for sale on Ebay.

Here's another link, a fan page on the

Links to paintings by Harry Carmean.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Atelier Journey

Great blog by Angie Jones. Featuring her favorite figurative artists and sequential images of her own work in progress. She is an animation artist plus she wrote a book: 
Thinking Animation: Bridging the Gap Between 2D and CG

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Figure Drawing

Two of my own drawings, colored pencil on grey paper.

These and others are also in the ebook Figure Drawings in Color, and as 
a printed book at

Sir Gerald Festus Kelly (1879-1972)

Nude Study from the exhibition "The Art of The Nude" at the Newport Museum and Art Gallery, South Wales.

The painting caused a controversy when it was first purchased in 1947. Known as the "Newport Nude," a local bishop and others objected to its display.

Check out this link: THE NUDE - Case study - Sir Gerald Festus Kelly.

Here is an essay on the exhibition by John Wilson.

Figure Drawings by Hashiguchi Goyo

I found these images on a site by a London dealer in Japanese Prints, Richard Kruml-Ukiyo-e.

They are by the shin hanga artist Hashiguchi Goyo.  He was celebrated as a woodblock printmaker of bijin-ga, or beautiful women.

He prepared to make his prints by making pencil studies, two of which are shown here.

A few more links:

Click here to see items by Hashiguchi Goyo for sale on Ebay.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Figurative Art by Annelie MacKenzie

I like these expressionist drawings a lot.  They have a freedom that I sometimes have in quick sketches but get further away from in my own drawings.  You can see more of her work at her blog, and on Flickr.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

More Drawings by Arthur Momand

A few more pages of drawings by Arthur Momand the creator of Keeping up with the Joneses.

Click here to see these and other items by Arthur "Pop" Momand for sale on Ebay.

Wikipedia link to the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses."

Below are two examples of the strip itself.

Google Book Search copy of the strip as a book.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

How to Paint in Water Color

A Course of Sepia Painting, A Course of Painting in Neutral Tint, and A Course of Water Colour Painting by R. P. Leitch are three interesting books for anyone working in water color.
They each follow a similar format. There is an introduction which specifies the materials to be used followed by 24 individual plates each of which has a description of the method employed.

Sepia Painting and Water Colour Painting both have examples of a first stage water color lay-in followed by a completed watercolor painting.

The plates in each case are continuous tone lithography which is similar to the process modern printers use in silk screen printing because the printer puts down successive layers of color to make the print rather than the half-tone  process of a dot-matrix using red, yellow, blue and black inks used in photolithography.

What the continuous tone process gave
 the artist and the printer was a very specific and managable way to make the plates look exactly like the artist wanted.
  It was a fairly difficult and labor intensive process and probably made for a lot of discarded pages when the plates were off register.

The publisher, Cassell, Peter & Galpin, was obviously good at it, there are a lot of books in 
their catalogue listed in the back of these books and other sources from the time. and Mr. Leitch was also a master of the form.  He was particularly expert at the second book of the series, A Course of Painting in Neutral Tint.  He gets a great deal of atmosphere out of his plates combining the warm sepia inks with the other 
cool blue/grey ink.

R. P. Leitch was a accomplished watercolorist and designer of prints active in the middle of the nineteenth century.  Here is a sampling of his work:

Drawing by R. P. Leitch

Richard Principal Leitch. watercolour heightened with body colour

Other Books of his include:
A DREAMER'S SKETCH BOOK. With 21 Illustrations by Percival Skelton, R. P. Leitch, W. H. J. Boot, and T. R. Pritchett. Engraved by J. D. Cooper.
EASY STUDIES IN WATER-COLOR PAINTING, by R. P. Leitch and J. Callow. Nine sketches from nature in simple tints.  
Sampson Low, Son & Marston, 1869. Monochrome portrait of Gray on title pages and 16 colour plates from drawings by R. Barnes, R.P. Leitch, E.M. Wimperis, and others.
This is an engraving of Victoria, Vancouver by Leitch.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Figure Drawing in Color

Figure Drawings in Color. I revised this ebook and made it available as a printed book at

In it are a selection of colord life drawings by Cedric F. Weaver, a twentieth century Canadian commercial artist.  I like his simple use of black and terra cotta to produce effective drawings.

I included a step by step guide to drawing in  colors that I drew after looking at Mr. Weaver's drawings, and a section of my own drawings that I did after seeing his work.

Two of Mr. Weaver's life drawings.

First stage of the step by step example.

This shows the basic structure of the figure, the alignment of the body, particularly the alignment of the head with the center of gravity, and a basic outline.

The intermediate drawings show the addition of highlights, then shadows, followed by the addition of color and the blending of the colors to produce the final result.

Finished step by step example.

There are other drawings of mine like this in the last section of the book.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Arthur "Pop" Momand - How to Draw Hands and Feet

"Pop" Momand gave the English language the phrase "Keeping up with the Joneses," by using it as the title of the popular comic strip he started in 1916. He started as a sketch artist at the New York World. He drew the strip until 1945, after which he became a portrait painter. For a more complete history see, also Don Markstein's Toonpedia.

All the time he kept up his figure drawing. These are two pages from a sketchbook, one a study of hands, the other of feet. They are on the Ebay Auction site.

The artistic life must have agreed with him, he lived to be a hundred and one.

Some strips from Keeping up with the Joneses.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Jessie Pixley Lacey - Teacher of Figure Drawing

According to a description published on the auction site Federalist Antiques  Jessie Pixley Lacey was a teacher of Figure Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago during the 1920s and 1930s.

She was born in 1865 in Charlotte, Michigan. She studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago then at the Académie Julian, Paris. She showed works in the Paris Salon of 1900, at the Art Institute of Chicago and at the St. Louis Exposition and in New York and Washington.

Childe Hassam, Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger all studied at the Académie Julian which was founded in 1868 by Rudolphe Julian as a private art school. The École des Beaux-Arts did not allow women to enroll but male and females students were allowed to study together at the Académie Julian including drawing and painting from the model.

For more on the training of female students around 1900 see my other post How to Draw the Human Figure - The Figure Drawings of Grace A. Young.

Above is a self portrait from Robert Henry Adams Fine Art.


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