Barnstone Blog

The Pendulum Has Swung With a Vengeance (Newsletter Sept-Nov 1985)

The Pendulum Has Swung With a Vengeance (Newsletter Sept-Nov 1985)

Cover of American Artist Magazine July 1985 The Barnstone Studios were mentioned in Robin Longman’s editorial essay, “A Serious Look at Art Education”, in the July, 1985 issue of The American Artist magazine. It is gratifying to have one’s views considered along with those of nationally important educators who are associated with undertakings such as The Getty […]

The Elusive Perrier Bottle and other Drawing One Conundrums

The Elusive Perrier Bottle and other Drawing One Conundrums

This article is for the video students who are participating in the Barnstone Studios drawing exercises. Some of the bottles can be hard to find, especially the small Perrier bottle which set the standard for small bottles. It’s design…its internal geometry…all of the other bottles stood in awe of it’s elegance. But alas, the Perrier bottle is so elusive, that it […]

Figure-Ground Relationship being used in Paintings

Figure-Ground Relationship being used in Paintings

The master painters are an excellent source of inspiration and technique. One of the most important techniques we can learn from them is called Figure-Ground Relationship (a gestalt psychology principle). This is a technique that can help clearly define the subject by use of contrast. It’s also known for creating illusions, but for today we’ll just focus on some great examples containing a light […]

Gamut Being Used by Bouguereau in “The Wave”

Gamut Being Used by Bouguereau in “The Wave”

Today we are going to take a look at this excellent painting called “The Wave” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. We’ll see how he uses the root 5 grid to inspire the model’s pose which is full of rhythm. Just by looking at the painting we can “feel” that something masterful is going on in the background. What is it though? Why does it appeal to us […]

Temporary Expedients (Newsletter 1983 April-June)

Temporary Expedients (Newsletter 1983 April-June)

Over the years my name has become linked with two methods which have become central to my approach to instruction: The Fletcher system of palette control and the Golden Section. Fletcher offers the painter an intelligently organized method of color mixing based on the principles of color theory. The Golden Section is an ancient method which establishes harmonious relationships within […]

The Failure of Art Education in America (Newsletter 1984 Sept-Nov)

The Failure of Art Education in America (Newsletter 1984 Sept-Nov)

“He called himself a carpenter; he was, in fact, a cabinetmaker. Mr. Griffith discarded lumber he regarded as inferior. He would cut a board, and test it, and take off a little more with his plane, and finally, he would fit the board precisely. He cut every mortise as if he were a jeweler cutting […]

The Consequences of Taking a Stand (Newsletter 1983 Sept-Nov)

The Consequences of Taking a Stand (Newsletter 1983 Sept-Nov)

When the Studios were first established, my purpose was to create a study program which would stress the value of sound instruction in classical drawing. The tradition of classical drawing has been the mainstay of great painters, sculptors, architects, designers, photographers, and craftsmen. To draw with understanding and authority is to be prepared to think visually. No other discipline can provide that ability as directly. Drawing is one […]

The New Realism (Newsletter 1982 (Feb-April)

The New Realism (Newsletter 1982 (Feb-April)

Western man’s fascination with appearances dates from the time of the Greeks. In the latter half of the fifth century B.C., the painter Apollodorus, who is credited with the invention of the use of tone to depict forms as volumes, initiated the quest which has informed all illusionistic efforts in western painting. Plato condemned the work of Apollodorus as illusion and deception, a […]

Be an Original Artist

Be an Original Artist

There’s a saying out there “Everything has been done before.” I don’t know, perhaps that phrase was invented to promote the acceptance of mediocre art. Sure, some things may be inspired by others, but you can always add your own creative twist to it. “Listen to the advice of others, but follow only what you understand and can unite in […]

Pablo Picasso Using the Golden Section

Pablo Picasso Using the Golden Section

Pablo Picasso is well known for his unique and crazy paintings of twisted faces, lopsided eyes, fat cartoonish fingers, and psychotic bulls, but hardly anyone knows of his masterful use of the golden section. Today we take a look at one of his largest, most famous, and dramatic pieces he ever created…”Guernica.” We’ll see how Picasso applied dynamic symmetry to his painting to help organize his masterpiece. There […]