6 Great Art Blogs For Those Addicted To Learning

6 Art Blogs for Those Addicted to Learning

I’m addicted to learning. I grew up in a household where education is extremely important and success was achieved by studying and working hard at whatever you desire. This mentality has stuck with me all of my life. So, in my journey to become a good artist, I have to find resources, and art blogs for learning.

So, what do I look for in a art blog? Several things:

  1. Excellent artwork.
  2. Interesting ideas that I can adapt with using my current methods.
  3. The personality of the person and their writing style.
  4. Blogs that post on a regular basis.
  5. Blog postings that don’t take long to read.

There is so much information out there.  Art blogs that post once or twice a week are my favorites. It’s kind of like waiting for the next release of your favorite novel… you just want to see what happens next!

1) The Art Order (http://theartorder.com/)

This blog, run by Jon Schindehette, is an extremely popular blog among fantasy and sci-fi artists. He runs a monthly contest that features superb work by aspiring artists and judged by several well-known Art Directors in this genre. This is a great place to get your work noticed by other well-known artists. Also, he posts regularly about how to approach art directors, improve your level of work, creating a portfolio, etc. This last week, he posted a fantastic article about whether you are good enough to work for companies. For me, since I’m going more for the direct and gallery approach, a lot of what we says still apply. Am I good enough for a gallery? How should I create a portfolio to show a gallery?

2) James Gurney (http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/)

James Gurney, the creator of Dinotopia, is an amazing draftsmen, oil painter, plein-air painter and all-around unique individual. He has an absolute love of learning. His blog doesn’t just talk about art. He talks about anything related to art: how the eyes see color, how to create maquettes, how the eyes track around a painting, etc.


3) Stapleton Kearn (http://stapletonkearns.blogspot.com/)

Stapleton is a traditional oil painter who creates a lot of scenes of New England. I found Stapleton’s blog from a post in Gurney’s blog. Like Gurney’s blog, Stapleton’s site is HUGE. There are thousands of postings talking about how the older artists did their work, how to solve a lot of issues when painting outside in oils, etc. It is well worth going back to the beginning of Stapleton’s blog and start reading.

4) Lori McNee (https://www.finearttips.com/)

I don’t remember how I found Lori’s blog. She is another amazing artist with the ability to take mundane topics (marketing and branding) and make it interesting. Although she does a lot of oil paintings with birds and vases, I find that the way she handles landscapes to be truly stunning. Her blog has a lot of information about successful marketing of your art work and using the current methods of social media/branding to get your work out there. In addition to the marketing side, Lori talks quite a bit about her studio setup and how she goes about doing her work. I love that part. I love how to see how other artists approach issues and their solutions to overcome problems.

5) Chris Oatley (http://chrisoatley.com/)

Chris used to be a character designer for Disney Toon Studios before he went to create his own art academy (I took his Painting Drama 1 class and learned a lot). A lot of Chris’ postings are related to the new working artist and people who are trying to get into the industry. Since I have no interest in the animation industry, it doesn’t seem like this would be my thing. However, like everything else, the posts are generic. For example, he does a great job talking about how the over-rendering of a painting tends to become more important than the painting itself (This was a note for those who tend to think that detail is everything… which it is not. You need just enough detail to tell the story and not any more).

6) Muddy Colors (http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/)

Another blog about fantasy and sci-fi art. There are a number of great art directors/ book illustrators/fine artists that write stories for this blog. Topics range from how to talk to art directors (or gallery owners) to how to take pictures of your paintings to how to create thumbnails and compose the proper mood for your painting. It’s a great all-around blog that helps artists at all levels.

6 Great Art Blogs For Those Addicted To Learning

Dougie Hoppes

I can spend more time reading blogs, but, in reality, more time should be spent painting and drawing, not reading. Knowledge is great, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t spend the time at the easel to apply that knowledge.

Guest author/artist: Doug Hoppes  is a Vermont artist, who loves learning and painting the local landscapes. You can find him on Facebook too!


Thank you Dougie for the great guest post, and for including me in your list of art blogs to follow! It has been exciting watching you grow as a painter. And…thank you for continued friendship and support on my FineArtTips Facebook page. ~Lori

You can find more great tips on Fine Art Tips Facebook Fan Page, on Twitter, Google Plus and on PinterestBe sure and check out and my fine art prints and notecards on Fine Art America. Check out my website,  LoriMcNee.com.  ~Lori


  1. Alison (Ali) Bayer-Orszak May 1, 2014 at 9:41 am

    A number of years ago I was thrilled to read that Harvard Medical School* had a new learning process- visits to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and “proof” that learning to look – really look- at art, could improve a physician’s ability to diagnose illness. Yeah- combining science and art to better health for all
    I have shared the story to encourage science focused students to appreciate their art labelled classes as well. Will now be sharing these links too-
    Alison in Toronto – http:// mytutoringspace.wordpress.com

    • Lori McNee May 1, 2014 at 10:44 am

      I love seeing art and science coming together. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the post. 🙂

    • Doug Hoppes May 2, 2014 at 5:01 am

      I find that science and art is really closely related. There is beauty in each. For me (I have a degree in physics), a lot of the beauty resides in the patterns that are seen.

      • Lori McNee May 5, 2014 at 3:13 pm

        Aha, a degree in physics…that explains a lot! Thanks for chiming in on your awesome guest post Dougie.

  2. Neal May 1, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Hello, definitely bookmarking these. Wanted to point out that James Gurney’s link instead goes to Stapleton’s.

    • Lori McNee May 5, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      Thanks for letting me know… I will fix that!

    • Lori McNee May 5, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Fixed! I don’t know how that happened…thanks again for letting me know. 🙂

  3. kathryn May 1, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    HA! You are the only one I know on this list…will check out the others!!!

    • Doug Hoppes May 2, 2014 at 4:59 am

      Hi Kathryn! Most of the other’s are from science-fiction/fantasy postings. One of the things that I learned is that, most people think that, to learn fine art you only should read fine art posts. The reality is that you can learn something from anyone. Also, you never really know what people do.

      For example, James Gurney, who wrote Dinotopia, is an amazing artist. His blog has a ton of useful information and he’s got a fantastic book about colors. A lot of the dinosaur stamps that you see in the post office are his. Also, he does work for National Geographic, movies, he’s an avid plein-air painter and gives talks at a lot of plein-air conventions, etc.

      Another Science-Fiction/Fantasy artist that I love is Greg Manchess. He does a lot of work for movies, portraits, science-fiction/fantasy, etc. He designed and painted the Captain Morgan label pirate and he’s also did work for National Geographic and a whole host of historical magazines.

      • Lori McNee May 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm

        Dougie, thanks for the added information. I look forward to sharing you next guest post!

  4. Nela Dunato May 2, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I thought “hey, this guy follows a lot of the same blogs I do” and then realized hey, it’s Doug 😀 Hi, fellow OA student! 🙂

    • Lori McNee May 5, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      Thanks for letting us know Nela! 🙂

  5. Lucy Chen May 2, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Artist Daniel Gerhartz doesn’t blog often, but when he does, he shares valuable lessons in his “technical insights” series. The last two were about what he learned from a Sargent painting. I think we can learn a lot: http://danielgerhartz.wordpress.com/

    • Lori McNee May 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      Thanks for sharing this info about Daniel. I met him last month in Monterey at the Plein Air Convention. His demo looked effortless!

    • Stacye July 15, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      That was gorgeous! Thanks for sharing it, Lucy. His insights matched the integrity of Sargent’s work!

      • Lori McNee July 20, 2014 at 2:50 pm

        Hello Stacye, thanks for stopping by this blog and commenting 🙂

  6. Tom Mandeville May 6, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Where can I find blogs with a leaning toward transparent water color painting? I have done both water color and oil paintings, and like both. Now that I am retired, I am anxious to get back to painting. Would you recommend continuing to do both or to stick to one or the other?
    Thanks, Tom

  7. Lucy Chen May 12, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Oh, you did! I wish I can go to the US and meet you all! I LOVE YOU!

    I just purchased his “The Beginning of Autumn” tutorial, and it’s a 5 or 6 hours demo. I just finished watching part 1, which is over 3 hours, and I’ve learned so much – eps. seeing the subtle change in color temperature and etc. I am very inspired to paint outdoors more, so I can see and paint our beautiful world!

  8. Stacye July 15, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    I once had a physician for a student in my Figure Drawing class. I was surprised at how detail oriented he was, but not at all observational. Se spent a long time on the details, without looking much at the subject. An unusual combination.

    • Lori McNee July 20, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Interestingly, I have met many surgeons and other physicians who have artistic talents. Thanks for sharing…

Comments are closed.