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:
- Excellent artwork.
- Interesting ideas that I can adapt with using my current methods.
- The personality of the person and their writing style.
- Blogs that post on a regular basis.
- 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.
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.
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 Pinterest. Be sure and check out and my fine art prints and notecards on Fine Art America. Check out my website, LoriMcNee.com. ~Lori