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Gurney Journey

This daily weblog by Dinotopia creator James Gurney is for illustrators, plein-air painters, sketchers, comic artists, animators, art students, and writers. You'll find practical studio tips, insights into the making of the Dinotopia books, and first-hand reports from art schools and museums.

gurneyjourney.blogspot.com

Knitting Hands

Knitting Hands

Jeanette's hands as she makes a sweater with slip-stitch knitting. She's looking at a chart she made from graph paper to get the pattern right. Gouache.

We're heading to Lightbox Expo in Los Angeles, and I'll be doing a book signing at Stuart NG's booth on Friday from 4-5pm. 

Hopper's "Early Sunday Morning"

In my recent painting of a street scene in Ireland, I decided not to include people in the scene. 

Hopper's

The image that occurred to me was Early Sunday Morning by Edward Hopper, painted in 1930. He says that the word "Sunday" was tacked on by someone else. 

With or without the title, the painting gives the feeling of either a quiet morning when people are still asleep or a desolate row of shops stilled by the Great Depression.

Hopper said the scene "was almost a literal translation of Seventh Avenue" in New York, but it wasn't literal at all, as you can see from the photo. 

Hopper's

He rolled up the awnings, cleared away the far buildings, and blurred the signs on the shops. He also originally planned to have a woman looking out of an upper window, but he removed her. 

By holding back on specific details his painting transcends a literal portrait of an actual street and achieves a more universal appeal.

Painting a Night Scene in the Daytime

 You don't have to paint exactly what you see. 


You can paint a night scene in the middle of the day by shifting the colors inside and outside of the structures. In this new YouTube video, I take you to Ireland for some plein-air urban sketching.

Cottage in Cleggan

I paint this cottage near Sellerna Cove, Cleggan, Co. Galway, Connemara, in the fabled west of Ireland.

Cottage in Cleggan

 When the owner notices me painting, she brings in the laundry. Then she invites me into the kitchen, which is lit by just one light bulb.


Lightbox Schedule

For those of you attending Lightbox Expo in Pasadena, CA next week, I'll be there. I'll be doing two scheduled presentations.
Lightbox Schedule

1. Keynote Presentation, IMAGINATIVE REALISM: CLASSICAL HOW-TO
SATURDAY 10/15 10:30AM - 11:30AM ROOM 102
James Gurney
Dream it, plan it, paint it! This lively and entertaining digital slide presentation for all audiences examines the practical methods for translating an imaginative scene into a realistic painting. The topics include research, thumbnail sketches, models posing, maquettes, photo reference, and plein-air studies. I’ll chronicle the creative development that led to the fantasy universe of Dinotopia, the behind-the-scenes work on a scientific rendering of a dinosaur, archaeological reconstructions for National Geographic, and how I painted a giant robot outdoors, on location, in an urban streetscape.
12:10PM

2. Panel Discussion, THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF WORLD BUILDING
SATURDAY 10/15 12:10PM - 1:10PM ROOM 104-105

Dylan Cole, David Levy, Armand Baltazar, Sparth, Sonja Christoph, Renee di Cherri, James Gurney
Knitting HandsHopper's "Early Sunday Morning"Painting a Night Scene in the DaytimeBorder Collie in ActionCottage in ClegganLightbox ScheduleMazda in Gouache

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