Quotes from Harvey Dunn

(From An Evening In The Classroom)
all images by Harvey Dunn

When values are contrast use subtle color when values are subtle use contrasting color.

The character, position and weight of an object are in the edge

You must make the main thing in your picture appear most important. If anyone tells me my hat is more important than my head –by God I’m taking off my hat.

When you feel like putting something into your picture or do not know what is the matter with it, take something out.

To paint a mass simple and big you must keep out all the lights and darks that do not belong to its general value.

If you want to be clever in your picture don’t let anybody catch you at it. If they catch you you’re not clever.

Dean Cornwell Paintings for ‘The Man of Galilee 12 Scenes from the Life of Christ’

from the book by Bruce Barton 1928

The Baptism of Jesus

The Woman at the Well

Nicodemus Calls at Night

Feeding the Five Thousand

The Man Who Was Rich but Not Wise

The Healing of the Sick

The Good Samaritan

The Prodigal Son

The Washing of His Feet

Weeping Over Jerusalem

Christ Before Pilate

The Crucifixion

Dean Cornwell paintings for City of the Great King

By William Lyon Phelps 1926

City of the Great King and Man of Galilee proved Dean Cornwell’s mastery of color and design
The images of Christ and the Holy Land are a tour de force of iconic western religious imagery. They are the stained glass windows of a church in paint.

The Street of David

There Were Shepherds in the Fields
The Carpenter of Nazareth
The Way of the Cross

A Copper Shop in Jerusalem
The Golden Gate
The Dead Sea and the Living Water

The Sea of Galilee

The Pot-Seller of Bethlehem

A House in Nazareth

The Road to Damascus

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Talent Verses Tenacity

Armand Cabrera

“Every loneliness is a pinnacle.”
Ayn Rand from “The Fountainhead”

I don’t believe in talent. I believe in tenacity. I believe what people often site as “talent” is actually desire and perseverance. I know plenty of people with talent…and they do little or nothing with it. Tenacity is never giving up until you’ve attained your goal. The level you attain is limited only by your work ethic.

While I was working as a production artist, I took a workshop from Thomas Blackshear at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. I was in awe of his ability. He is still, in my opinion one of the best illustrators in the country.

Blackshear asked everyone in class what we wanted to learn that week. Most people wanted to learn how to copy someone else’s technique like Bernie Fuchs, Mark English, David Grove or Drew Struzan. I asked him to show us his process for one of his illustrations.

Blackshear had just finished a painting of a pirate with a cutlass over his shoulder. He said he would bring in his preparatory work. I thought—cool! I’ll see his preliminary drawings and a color comp, too.

The next day we walked into the class and the entire wall of the room was covered with his preliminaries, thumbnail compositions, value patterns, color comps, photo reference, rough sketches and the finished painting. There were probably 20 or 30 unique images for every stage of his painting. Good enough wasn’t good enough for Blackshear. He was at the top of his field and in all probability could have coasted—but he didn’t. It was a great lesson in perseverance and how much hard work separates the best from the mediocre.

In his book, My Adventures as an Illustrator, Norman Rockwell talks about classmates at the Art Students League chiding him for being focused and working so hard. They would say things to him like, If I worked as hard as you, I would be as great as Velasquez. His response was, Why don’t you? — but they never did. In the end, he became one of the greatest illustrators in America.

People say they want something and they declare they are willing to work hard for it. But really, they want something the way a two year old wants it—they want someone to give it to them. People decide they have worked hard enough and then they quit. They are not willing to sacrifice their comfort, a family life or money to achieve the goal ahead of them. They unwittingly (or knowingly) take on too many interests and other commitments that render them incapable of continuing to pursue their dream.

There you have it—Feel free to agree or disagree.

( First two paintings byThomas Blackshear, Copyright Thomas Blackshear)
Last two paintings by Norman Rockwell, Copyright Rockwell Estate)