1000 Heads: the book

1000 heads, my illustration book

Inspiring books for the creative type


Painting à la fauviste

This weekend I have participated in a painting event in a small mountain village. Plein air painting isn't my cup of tea, usually, but I enjoyed it just the same. I selected a nice corner of the village, where there is a small lane with stairs climbing up the terraced mountain slope, beyond an opening on the very thick walls.

As you can see, I have used the colours in a very funny and intense way, à la Matisse or Derain. The real colours were more neutral, mostly ochre and earth, with some darks in the shadows and a bit of greenery here and there.

So, even if outdoors landscape painting doesn't appeal much to me lately, it is a very good creative exercise and a challenge if you want to create something which is clearly different from what you see.

This small painting (65x50 centimetres) is an acrylic on canvas. If you want to see a bigger version, just click the image. Comments are welcome, of course.

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Visual Thinking : Sketchbooks exhibition

Sketchbooks hold the essence of an artist’s work and his or her creativity in its purest form. There is a remarkable online exhibition called Visual Thinking - Curator's Choice in the Smithsonian Institute website for Archives of American Art.

Sketchbooks in the Archives of American Art form a vast repository of ideas, perceptions, inspirational imagery, and graphic experiments. As personal records they afford an intimate glimpse of an artist's visual thinking and reveal aspects of their creative process. Sketchbooks are as varied as the artists who keep them. Social realist painter Reginald Marsh cut and bound scraps of paper to fit the size of his coat pocket. Avant-garde advocate John Graham snatched moments in a busy career to doodle in a leatherbound diary. Albert Kahn copied architectural details and patterns for future projects, and Oscar Bluemner kept painting diaries with copious notes on his color theories.

This selection of sketchbooks demonstrates the broad range of material available for research at the Archives of American Art from academic notebooks with anatomical studies to illustrated journals, ranging in date from the 1840s to the 1970s. A must-see, definitely!


Charles Sovek

The artist Charles Sovek has a site which is very rich in content. It is a terrific resource both for novel and expert painters. You find many painting lessons —with a clear emphasis on getting vivid colours on your paintings— and there is also a big number of interesting articles you can read for free, and there is also a selection of interesting books you can purchase.


Stephen Quiller

Quiller Gallery displays a generous sample of the work of Stephen Quiller, a gifted watercolorist. Stephen is most known for his use of color, color theory, and his approach to watermedia painting. Stephen has written many books and produced numerous videos pertaining to these subjects, and has a number of top-quality art materials that he endorses (such as color wheels.)


Trying out new paints

Having recently bought a new supply of acrylic paints, I’ve found myself with a number of colours that I’m not used to. This is a small canvas (90 x 90 cm) I’ve used to test a new brand I was unfamiliar with. Loving intense colours as much as I do, I’ve decided to share it here.
It’s been really fun doing it! Each brand of acrylic paint has its own quirks: different viscosities, different pigment formulation and load, transparency... Most of the colours here are straight from the tube (16 colours), with some minor mixes here and there.


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