Affordable illustration with 40 years of professional experience: Quality Custom Artwork made to order in a wide variety of media starting at $500.US Dollars and licenses to use my existing art starting at $99. US Dollars with same day service! Our standard licenses are lifetime and have no restrictions or later payments!

                

Quality commissions and Licensing with our fast and efficient 21st century business model! 

                

For your Consideration... The Illustrations of Howard David Johnson

"Some of David's more prestigious clients have included the University of Texas, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in England, The Australian Mint, The National Geographic Society, Paramount Studios, Universal Studios, Warner Bros. Home Video, MGM, PBS TV, The History Channel, Enslow Educational Publishers, Adobe Photoshop, Auto FX, Tree-Free Greeting, Verizon wireless, Apple IPOD, Doubleday, (Random House) Harlequin Top Historical Romances, the History Book of the Month Club as well as appearing in periodical publications like Popular Photography and the Wall Street Journal, just to name a few. Working in a wide variety of media * Oil paintings * Acrylic Paintings * Prismacolor Paintings * Drawings * Chalk & Oil Pastel Paintings * Photography * and Digital Artistry & Mixed Media * 

Here are some examples of commissions that came with very strict instructions for the customer's very specific needs...

                  

All kinds of Book Covers, Illustrations, Calendars, Poster Art, Ads, Candles, DVDs, CDs & Greeting Card Art.

               

Oil paintings on canvas or panel, colored pencil paintings on bristol and digital artwork on disk or printed form are all available.

               

Commercial Art/Illustration Featuring Realistic Paintings, Photo Realistic Drawings and Digital Art

Thank you for your interest in my illustrative services. New commissions are always available and my existing body of illustrations are adaptable for a wide variety of uses... I am open to a wide variety of projects and am easy to deal with. I can work in almost any media and  I  work very fast. My Realistic Commercial Art services are available for a wide variety of assignments at competitive prices.  I usually deliver digital art on by direct download or on CD-Rom Disks ready to take to the printers. these digital masters are in TIFF 300 dpi pc and Mac formatted. Also are 72 dpi JPEG internet formatted images for e-mail and web site. Original oil paintings on canvas and realistic volume drawings on paper are also available.

 

         

"The Siege of the Alamo" An example of pre-existing artwork licensed and adapted for a specific use

 

 

LICENSING CENTER AND PREMIUM POSTER REPRINT LINKS

OUP CSCisis coin design

Hundreds of previously unpublished pictures remain  available along with dozens of second rights licenses

Thumbnail links to larger viewing copies are below as you scroll down...

 

 

 

Adaptable Illustrations

for a wide variety of uses...

Licenses for all kinds of uses including Book Covers, Illustrations, Calendars, Poster Art, Ads, Candles, Greeting Card Art and more starting at ONLY $99.USD.

 Read on for details or e-mail now for courteous and speedy service!

info@howarddavidjohnson.com

Thank you for Visiting... Your  business, letters, & links are always welcome.

Fast Delivery! These 20-24 inch tall 300 dpi digital masters are archived in TIFF professional printing format but can be converted to meet your needs.

 All  these images & text are legally copyrighted & were registered with the U.S. Library of Congress Office of Copyright by the author, Howard David Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for many legal non-commercial uses is freely available by simply contacting the author or visiting www.howarddavidjohnson.com/permission.htm

 

Gorgeous Quality High Resolution files for All kinds of Commercial uses!

 Books Cards Posters Magazines CDs DVDs Videos, Coins, Posters, 1/8 scale Fairy Figurines. 32MM Fantasy Miniatures, and more.

Scroll down for thumbnails of the 200 we offer as limited edition posters hundreds more are in our themed galleries...

Fairy Land

 

Spartan Warriors

 

Sleeping Beauty

 

The Archangel Raphael

 

The Siege of the Alamo

 

Pixie Dust

 

Joan of arc

 

Helen of Troy

 

Beowulf

 

Welsh Red Dragon

 

Elven Fairy Magic

 

Legendary King Arthur

 

The Chinese Dragon

 

Iris goddess of Rainbow

 

Warrior Queen Boudica

 

Tiny Dancer

 

The Lady of Shallot

 

 Valkyrie Maiden

 

The Archangel Michael

 

A Modern Semiramis

 

Fairies Goblins & Dwarfs

 

Thor, Odin & Loki

 

Pandora's Box

 

The Coming of Brunhilde

 

The Archangel Gabriel

 

Daniel in the Lion's Den

 

Kissed by an Angel

 

The 300 Spartans

 

The Adoration of the Magi

 

The Dragon Slayer

 

The Defenders of the Faith

 

The Dragon Níðhöggr

 

Mab, bringer of Dreams

 

Faerie Tales

 

Moon goddess Diana

 

The Angel & the Unicorn

 

Merbabies

 

The Oracle

 

Atalantia

 

The Lake of Fire

 

Krishna & the Serpent

 

The Fairy Circle

 

Kriemhilde's Revenge

 

Poor Cinderella

 

Queen Cinderella

 

St George & the Dragon

 

The Sword of Lancelot

 

The Protector of the Forest

 

George Washington

 

Napoleon Bonaparte

 

Caesar's Conquests

 

Helen of Troy's Suitors

 

Helen and Paris

 

The Resurrection

 

A Mermaid

 

All Hallows Eve

 

The Flower Fairy

 

The Queen's Champion

 

The Angels of Forgiveness

 

The Age of Chivalry

 

 Scroll down for details or e-mail now for courteous and speedy service!

info@howarddavidjohnson.com

  To work out each license on a sliding scale - depending on volume and type of use. Please let me know which images you'd like to use and Where and how you want to use them - you know - posters or book covers or greeting cards or etc and the size of print run and length of term the license will cover. Licenses for publishing are available and exact prices are calculated for each customer depending on specific use and time period. For example, I wouldn't charge a struggling writer self publishing one edition the same as a lifetime license to a major distributor to sell prints. With this information I can quote you a license for use price right away.

Ezekiel's Vision

 

Angel of Deliverance

 

Angel of Prophecy

 

Angelic Escort

 

Raphael with Caduceus Staff

 

Odysseus and the Cyclops

 

Hephaestus

 

Justitia, goddess of Justice

 

In the wake of Poisedon

 

Persehone, goddess of Spring

 

Noah's Ark

 

The Trojan Horse

 

All quiet on the Western Front

 

Bittersweet Reunion

 

The War Machines

 

The Hydra & the Golden Fleece

Demeter, goddess of the Harvest

Mermaid Sunset

Daybreak

The Mermaid & the Sailors

Väinämöinen

Lemminkäinen

Baba Yaga

Robin Hood

Siegfried & Brunhilde

Sir Gawain

Education of Morgan Le Fay

The Magic Sword Excalibur

St. Michael bless our home

The Lady of the Lake

Blonde Savage

Duel of the Amazons

Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt

The Dryad

Aphrodite, goddess of Love

Prometheus Bound

Ares, god of war


Apollo and Daphne

Cronus and Rhea

 

Hercules and the Lernean Hydra

 

Fairies

 

Hurt Feelings

 

Midnight Fairy

 

Tinker Bell

 

The Red Fairy

 

Aphrodite's Child

The Court of Hades

The Salvation of the Argo

Mercury

Athene, goddess of Wisdom

Battle of the Damned

The Conquest of Space

Jungle Tales

The Master of Evolution

Raven of Atlantis

King Arthur & Sir Lancelot

El Cid

Thumbelina

Halith

Uther & the Dragon's Breath

 Scroll down for more or e-mail now for courteous and speedy service!

info@howarddavidjohnson.com

Licensing existing art is a very inexpensive way to get a striking cover, starting at only $99.USD... Modifying existing work to fit a cover's need for Extra Space... My images can be easily modified to be used as book covers and accommodate analog printing cutoffs by adding more edge space along the sides and extra room at the top for lettering at no extra charge. It's quick and easy with today's powerful digital media!

Angels of Reassurance

 

The Familiar

 

The Lady Kriemhilde

 

Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra

 

The Messenger

 

The Virgin and the Unicorn

 

Zeus, King of the Olympians

 

Medusa the Gorgon

 

Jason and the Argonauts

 

Hera, Queen of the Olympians

 

The Battle of Midway

 

1st Marines Assault on Peleliu Beach

 

Spartan King Leonidas

 

D plus Six: American Paratroopers in Normandy

 

The Welcoming Committee

 

The Ascension

Little Red Riding Hood

Kintaro

Little Daylight

The Quarrel between Titania and Oberon

 

Egyptian Queen Cleopatra

 

 

 

The Sorceress Medea

 

 

 

Fairy Queen Medb,  of the Sidhee

 

 

 

Macaria, the Daughter of Hades

 

 

Amazon Warriors

 

Theseus & the Minotaur

 

The Dragon's Breath

 

The Summoner

 

The Tiger Girl

 

The Golden Apples

 

Michael cutting thru Fear

 

The Crown of Thorns

 

The Crucifixion of Christ

 

The Sprits of the Prophets

 

The Transfiguration of Christ

 

 

The Song of the Harpist

 

Waiting for Eros

Celtic Queen Boudica and the Morrigu

Psyche in Cupid's Garden

Brigit, the Celtic goddess of Poetry

Raphael with Fruit

 

Ancient Metropolis

 

The Dome of the Rock

 

The Charge of the Light Brigade

 

The Defense of Reorke's Drift

 

A Midsummer Nights Dream

Hestia/Vesta

The Fall of Jerusalem

Phantom of the Opera

The Sword of Siegfried

 

The Dragon Dancer

 

The Dragon Charmer

 

The Great Green Dragon

 

Rite of Passage

 

The Good Ladies of Nature

Gorgeous Quality High Resolution files for All kinds of Commercial uses!

 Scroll down for more or e-mail now for courteous and speedy service!

info@howarddavidjohnson.com

Mystery, Babylon the Great

 

Kwan Yin [Guanyin]

 

Isis, Egyptian Patroness...

 

The Twilight of the gods

 

The Sacred Heart of Jesus

 

Titania, Queen of Fairies

 

 

The Faerie Grove Revisited

 

 

Faerie Guardians

 

 

Athena, Protector of the...

 

Song-Zi Kwan Yin

 

Odin and Sleipnir

Thor, the god of Thunder

Surtur, King of the Fire Trolls

Frigg takes oaths from all living creatures

Baldur, the Shining One

 

Hermodr Before Hel

 

Fafnir, the Storm Giant

 

Loki and his Children

 

Iðunn and the Golden Apples

 

The Binding of the Fenris Wolf

 

Didn't SEE what you want? We have HUNDREDS more... Scroll down

  Some of David's more prestigious clients have included the National Geographic Society, the University of Texas, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in England, MGM, Warner Home Video, Paramount Studios, Universal Studios, PBS TV, Enslow Educational Publishers, Adobe Photoshop, Auto FX,  Doubleday, the History Book of the Month Club, & J Walter Thompson Advertising, just to name a few. 

 

 INTERNET   ERA   LICENSING  ~ IT'S AS EASY As 1, 2, 3!

        Contact us - choose an image - send paypal - download from yousendit.com 

     When I get details of how you want to use them, I can quickly set a price that's right for our deal. As I said, I wouldn't charge a struggling writer self publishing one small edition the same price as a lifetime license to a major distributor to sell prints.

     Please let me know which images you'd like to use and where and how you want to use them - you know - posters or book covers or greeting cards or etc and things like the size of print run, length of term the license will cover. There is a $99. U.S.D. minimum order. (This is my lowest price - the Educational or non-profit use discount) With this specific info we'll be able to quickly make you up a custom price based upon your specific usage, term, and scale. It’s very quick and simple- 

  Choose an image - send paypal - download from yousendit.com  or the old fashioned way ~ I get a check up front and you get a written signed and dated license and a CD Rom Disk with large high-resolution art shipped to you via U.S.P.S. Priority mail the same day. You need sign nothing but the check and not even that if you send a money order or electronic payment.

E-MAIL FOR COURTEOUS AND  SPEEDY SERVICE !

info@howarddavidjohnson.com

 

 

Custom Commercial Art: Howard David Johnson's realistic illustration services;  He can illustrate nearly anything the mind can conceive - from Legend & Fantasy History or Romance covers. A few thumbnail examples of his commercial art in book and magazine covers, calendars, cards, games, as well as fantasy & historical illustrations are displayed below... they link to galleries rather than single large images... 

 

Enter a world of Beauty and Imagination...

The Realistic Art Galleries of Contemporary American Illustrator Howard David Johnson

 

INDEX of GALLERIES

Click on these Gallery icons below for two-fisted tales of valor & frontline combat featuring legendary warriors of history, Olympian gods & monsters, mythic unicorns, dragons, fairies, & romance...

The World's Great Religions Art Gallery.jpg (14460 bytes)

King Arthur

Greek Mythology

Fantasy Art Religions of the World Angel Art Fairy Paintings

Alamo btn.jpg (17997 bytes)

Greek Myths Link.jpg (17046 bytes) ~symbolist art.jpg (15008 bytes) deutsche mythologie.jpg (14999 bytes) btn celtic&.jpg (15723 bytes)

Legends of History

History Part Two

Spartan Warriors Symbolist Art Norse Mythology Celtic Mythology
Digital Realistic Art Gallery Link.jpg (17603 bytes) Asian mythology Art Gallery.jpg (13921 bytes) Realistic Art Instruction link.jpg (14563 bytes) ~The seven wonders of the ancient world btn.jpg (14813 bytes) Mythic-Women Art Gallery Link.jpg (19893 bytes)

Digital Techniques

Asian Mythology Studio Photography

Art Instruction

The Seven Wonders

Goddess Art
Colored pencil portraits Art Gallery II.jpg (12252 bytes) Realistic Paintings Art Gallery.jpg (14400 bytes)
Surrealist Art About Realistic Art Pencil Portraits I Colored Pencils II Science Fiction Art Realistic Paintings
_Btn.abouthdj.jpg (3569 bytes) _Btn.res.jpg (4044 bytes) _A History of Dragons.jpg (14657 bytes) Pre- raphaelite Art link.jpg (16219 bytes) Free Fairy Wallpapers link.jpg (17183 bytes)
About the Artist Art of  Res Publica Classic Fairy Tales History of Dragons Pre-Raphaelite Art  Art Link Exchange
 Art of the Bible Mermaid Art  The Art of War  Business Center Legendary Women Paintings in Oils

All these pieces of art and the text are legally copyrighted and were registered with the U.S. Library of Congress Office of Copyright by the author, Howard David Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for many academic or non-commercial uses is freely and legally available by simply contacting the author via e-mail or visiting www.howarddavidjohnson.com/permission.htm

Who is Contemporary American Illustrator Howard David Johnson?

A portrait of the artist in his painting studio taken by his son Erich.

 

      Howard David Johnson is a contemporary realistic artist and photographer with a background in the natural sciences and history.  After a lifetime of drawing and painting, David works in a wide variety of mixed media ranging from oil on canvas to digital media.

   David's Traditional Realistic Art was exhibited in the British Museum in London in 1996, ( 3 years before he got his first computer ) as well as numerous American ones since, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. David's realistic illustrations have made appearances in every major bookstore and game shop chain in America as well as magazines and educational texts around the world. 

      Some of David's more prestigious clients have included the University of Texas, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in England, The Australian Mint, The National Geographic Society, Paramount Studios, Universal Studios, PBS TV, The History Channel, Enslow Educational Publishers, Adobe Photoshop, Auto FX, Tree-Free Greeting, Verizon wireless, Apple IPOD, Doubleday (Random House), Harlequin Top Historical Romances, and the History Book of the Month Club, as well as appearing in periodical publications like Popular Photography, and the Wall Street Journal just to name a few.

 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304707604577426072268788062.html

Working in a variety of media David offers his customers a variety of options and more than three decades of experience. As a realistic illustrator he has not only used the computer but has been involved in the development and marketing of software for Adobe Photoshop. Digital art, Colored pencils, Pastels, Mixed media, & also Oil Paintings can also be commissioned for select projects.  Digital illustration projects start at $500.USD. and group rates are available. David delivers custom made copyright free illustrations & old fashioned customer service when he does work-for-hire. To publish existing pieces of his realistic art, David sells licenses starting at only $99.USD.

 

 

All these pieces of realistic art and the text are legally copyrighted and were registered with the U.S. Library of Congress Office of Copyright by the author, Howard David Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for many academic or non-commercial uses is freely and legally available by simply contacting the author via e-mail or visiting www.howarddavidjohnson.com/permission.htm

 

 

ON SALE NOW from BRANDYWINE PRESS!

         

    These beautifully printed 11" x 8.5" 64 page hardcover and trade paperback versions feature 48 full page interior plates in full color starting at only $14.99 USD. Less than the price of a single poster! Featuring Realistic Mythological and Fairy Art created in a style inspired by Classic Illustrators by American Artist & Photographer Howard David Johnson. 

Click on the covers to order the books from Lulu.com

ALSO: Click on the CREDIT CARD logo  below to

VISIT POD PUBLISHING FOR BEAUTIFUL POSTER SIZE REPRINTS 

AND A VARIETY OF PAYMENT OPTIONS, SIZES, PAPERS, AND PRICES

 

Commercial Art/Illustration Featuring Realistic Paintings, Photo Realistic Drawings and Digital Art

Thank You For Visiting The Commercial Art page of Howard David Johnson...

 

 

ALL HALLOWS EVE is a Prismacolor Painting & SLEEPING BEAUTY is an Oil Painting, Howard David Johnson works in a wide variety of combined media * Oil paintings * Acrylic Paintings * Prismacolor Paintings * Drawings * Chalk & Oil Pastel Paintings * Photography * and last but certainly not least: Digital Artistry & Mixed Media * 

 

           

       There is a school of thought that seems to think that a caveman’s beating on a hollow log with a stick is automatically superior to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony performed by the world’s finest symphony orchestra because less technology is involved. I do not subscribe to this kind of thinking. Personally I LOVE computers! First of all, there’s the freedom from fear! The undo button is empowering and liberating! More importantly, publishing customers can't afford to pay me for old-fashioned traditional methods like oil on canvas. I can do them, and do them well, but no one but millionaire art collectors can afford to pay even poverty level hourly rates for all that time. The masters often took a year for a single painting. With digital media I can create pieces that look very nice for very nice prices and with blazing speed. The publishing industry is not noted for its patience. In the early days of my art career, mailing traditional media originals was scary at best, but now they can be scanned and shipped without risk. Also in my early days adding canvas space to a work in progress was as impossible as growing a second head... but now it is so easy I usually don't even charge extra to adapt them if its just skies or landscapes! Re-dos and revisions were financially catastrophic! No wonder the starving artist became a stereotype! Before the internet, I struggled to find customers in Austin Texas, now nearly every nation on Earth has visited my website! This was beyond my wildest imaginings as a boy. What an amazing era we live in! I love it!!!

~ Howard David Johnson

*****

 

Style and Technique

"Those who are enamored of practice without science are like a pilot who goes into a ship without rudder or compass and never has any certainty where he is going. Practice should always be based upon a sound knowledge of theory, of which perspective is the guide and gateway, and without it nothing can be done well in any kind of painting."

 

Howard David Johnson is a contemporary visual artist and photographer with a background in the natural sciences and history. He works in a wide variety of media ranging from traditional oils,  pastels and others to cutting edge digital media. He loves mixing media. This site features examples of his Realistic Art, including illustration, photography, experimentalism, and fine art.

 

     The various galleries linked to by the icons above show many examples of His Realistic Art, and are grouped by theme rather than media. There are also sample illustrations from his  upcoming books on Celtic Myth and Legend and World Myth & Legend. Since boyhood he has passionately copied the old masters. To create his work, he usually starts with a thematic concept  followed by a rough realistic pencil sketch, then followed by his photography, often traveling to find suitable scenes and locations and then working in his Photography studio with live models from his sketches. He then assembles a variety of elements which are realistic and original. As a boy he dedicated his life to art in 1960. From 1965- 1999 he used xeroxes and tracings to make his preliminary photo montages. This is patterned after  the manner used by Maxfield Parrish and other 19th century notables. Beginning with a tracing, he then draws or paints from these complex original Computer Photo Montages. Many of these are on display on this web and slated for future completion in a variety of realistic traditional art media. As this happens, the finished work is substituted in the exhibit. Recently he shot hundreds of aerial photos of clouds at marvelous angles and perspectives and also looking down on the mighty mountains, rivers, and deserts of the American west while flying from Texas to Oregon and back for dynamic source material for realistic flying scenes in upcoming paintings , drawings, and pictures. 

       His favourite medium for realistic art is colored pencil because of the high speed and low expense, and people began expressing difficulty in telling his colored pencil drawing from photographs in the early 1980's.  In the last 35 plus years he has also mastered Oils, Pastels, Acrylics, Watercolors, Inks, Scratchboard, Gouache, Photography, and the highly controversial digital media ( Art Numérica ) . As a commercial illustrator Johnson has not only used the computer to create art but has been involved in the development of computer imaging software. Working in a realistic style inspired by classic illustrators HDJ is deeply rooted and grounded in the Greco-Roman artistic tradition, Feeling that with realistic art, the human form is the ultimate arena for artistic expression. His lifelong dream came true when his Traditional Realistic Art was exhibited in the British Museum in London England in 1996. His mixed media has also been displayed in numerous other ones since such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Having achieved international acclaim as a traditional visual artist he discovered digital media ( Art Numérica ) in 1999. Because of his passion for realistic art and photography he elected to embrace it and joyfully be a part of this historic era in the visual arts as a 21st century realistic visual artist.

     Since 1972 when he began his career as a scientific illustrator for the University of Texas he has earned his living illustrating all kinds of books, magazines, CD covers, and all sorts of games, greeting cards, calendars, portraits, murals and the like with his contemporary realistic art... HDJ's Realistic Art has appeared in every major bookstore chain and fantasy gaming shop in The United States and has been used in educational texts and magazines all over the world. This site features realistic paintings & pictures for the twenty-first Century including some oil paintings, as well as lots of other exciting media such as colored pencil drawings, pastel paintings, acrylic paintings, gouache paintings, watercolor paintings, and pencil drawings, and also featuring studio,  field, & aerial photography,  digital painting and photo-montage and all these media mixed in an assortment of experimental combinations...Working in a wide variety of media to create his realistic art he offers his customers a host of payment and product options. He delivers the rights to these custom made copyright free illustrations and old fashioned customer service when he does work-for-hire.

       HDJ's creations take their inspiration from the realistic paintings of the old masters. From Romeo and Juliet came West Side Story. Our shared cultural heritage, great works of art, literature, music and drama, cinema, folk tales and fairy tales are all drawn upon again and again by the creators of new works. These works in the public domain are both a catalyst and a wellspring for creativity and innovation. Where would Walt Disney be without the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, or Victor Hugo? Where would Aaron Copeland have been without American folk music? Thomas Nast's Santa Claus without traditional images of Father Christmas? Picasso without African art? Public domain appropriators, one and all. He accepts select commissions to paint custom oil paintings with down payments starting at only one thousand dollars. He grants permission for most educational purposes simply for the asking. To use his existing realistic art works outside the classroom he offers low cost license offers starting around $100.00.

Use the  e-mail links above or below to contact him...

 

Bonus Section:

Personal Opinion Essays on Realistic Art yesterday and today by the artist.

 In addition to his mastery of traditional media, Howard David Johnson now combines drawing, painting, photography, and digital media with more than thirty years of experience in these fields to create his Realistic Art Numérica in 21st century paintings and pictures. Did you know the Greek word "Photography" means "Painting with Light"? Today with the advent of computers it truly lives up to it's name. Due to developments in Art and Technology, a broader definition of painting is needed than that which is found in common usage. Announcing Art Numérica -an exciting merger of traditional visual art and cutting edge technology... a new art form for the twenty- first century... Art Numérica is not limited to realistic art but also offers limitless horizons for everything from cartoons to abstractions. It is the most dramatic development in the visual arts since the Renaissance. In the words of Al Jolson in the movie world's first talking picture" You ain't seen nothin' yet!"

 

The Rebirth of Realism

Thoughts on realistic art yesterday and today by the artist

Art History has entered a new era with the birth of Art Numérica, or digital art media in the 21st century. Artists never stop exploring with mediums. Artists have been developing techniques, experimenting with different tools since at least twenty- five thousand years ago, when the first artist picked up a charred stick and scratched a picture out on the wall of his cave. You'd think everything would have been tried by now, but it hasn't. Exploring new mediums this very day is just as exciting, just as full of freshness and newness as it ever was.

Thumbelina 2001.jpg (46180 bytes)     

Photography, Drawing, Painting and Art Numérica combined

The creation of Realistic art has been the goal of most artists since the dawn of  civilization. Realistic art was the pride of ancient Greece. The world's greatest museums are full of realistic art. Realistic art WAS art until the advent of the abstract expressionist movement in the twentieth century. The coming of the camera in the nineteenth century changed realistic art forever. Suddenly, realistic art was not the only way to create realism in portraits and historical records. The work of the realistic artist was suddenly made into an expensive luxury. The political power of the realistic artist was broken and they were no longer an indispensable member of society. Hostility to the creators of realistic art goes back to ancient times and the jealousy of advisers to the Pharaohs and others who were not able to spend as much time with their rulers as their portraitists.    Although with the aid of photographs, realistic art achieved levels of excellence undreamed of, the realistic art movement of the late nineteenth century was short.
     None of these people earning their living creating realistic art could compete with the speed and low cost of photographic portraiture.  Determined to survive, great realistic artists like Pablo Picasso ingeniously turned inward and began to explore things that could not be photographed in a new school of art, abstract expressionism. The day of the fine art superstars had arrived. It was now largely just a hobby to abstract and realistic artists alike. Illustration, because of advances in printing technology enabled an elite few to earn a living with their realistic art. These illustrators working in realistic art media  were condemned and ridiculed in much the same way Europe's great symphonic composers were condemned for working in motion pictures after fleeing the nazis during World War Two. The rift between realistic and abstract art grew wider and wider. The universities and key media usually sided with the abstract camp and derided anyone working in any realistic art media declaring boldly that realistic art was not "real" art. Immortal giants of realistic art such as Maxfield Parrish were mistreated their entire lives. They were accused of selling out for creating beautiful pieces of realistic fine art to earn a living. The attitude that the true artist must suffer and starve and die in poverty became a rule. There were the Abstract art superstars, the professional realistic illustrators, and the hobbyists who, although cut off from gainful employment and social influence still recognized their artistic gifts as a calling rather than a profession.

           Early abstract art  masters proved themselves as realistic artists before delving into realms of the intangible. They had to do this at that time to prove themselves because of the challenges they faced from the establishment for going against the status quo. In the latter part of the 20th century, realistic artists like HDJ were challenged to do abstract art to prove themselves as shown in the example above (Deirdre of the sorrows). Later realistic art training was abandoned in most schools and things like splattering paint in fits of rage  were deemed more than enough. By the end of the 20th century something as destructive and ridiculous as nailing a pack of cigarettes to a shoe was considered fine art but not realistic paintings. Fashions in art have often been as silly as fashions in ladies hats.  As the century drew to a close, many people had had enough. The realistic revolt was at hand. The rebirth of realism was fueled by the advent of the digital era. Now, for the first time in almost two centuries, an artist or illustrator could earn a decent living again with his realistic art. This is historic. Realistic art is not going to go away, especially now that photography has truly merged with traditional realistic visual art. Photography comes from the Greek words meaning "painting with light". Now with the advent of digital media the capability of realistic art has become almost limitless, truly, "painting with light". The merger of all the world's art forms to realize the potential of motion pictures has come now to still realistic art media. This website for example, combines music, prose, poetry, photography and traditional realistic art media to create an experience beyond merely looking at realistic paintings.

         The twenty- first century is already seeing a new renaissance in the arts because of the world wide web. There has never been anything like it. Abstract art, computer art, photographic art, and realistic art are continuing to be separate schools of art but are also blending to create exciting new horizons. Although Digital art does offer completely new horizons to the artist in the 21st century it does not mean the end of our time honored art traditions. Instead, it offers additional ways to keep these traditions and schools of thought  fresh and alive. ~ HDJ

*****

"THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME..."

(A Brief essay dealing with attitudes toward Traditional Realistic Paintings, Pastels, Colored Pencils and Art Numérique )

"Painting, in art, the action of laying colour on a surface, or the representation of objects by this means. Considered one of the fine arts"

~Encyclopaedia Britannica. 

"Painting. noun. 1.) The act or employment of laying on colors or paints. 2.) The art of forming figures or objects in colors on canvas or any other surface, or the art of representing to the eye by means of figures and colors any object; the work of an illustrator or painter. 3.) A picture; a likeness or resemblance in shape or colors. 4.) Colors laid on. 5.) Delineation that raises a vivid image in the mind; as in word painting.

~ Webster's Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language

~Dierdre of the Sorrows copy.jpg (49196 bytes)

Pastel, Acrylics, and Colored Pencils combined

     Snobbism in the arts is nothing new. Some people will tell you that oils are the only valid medium for realistic paintings. That Colored Pencil, Digital, and other Realistic Painting and Drawing Media are not valid  for "real" art. Young artists, Don't let them bother you. Their forerunners used to condemn Pastels before they gained acceptance and called them "crayons" when Johann Alexander Thiele (1685-1752) invented them.  Mercilessly disrespectful  art critics of the time could not stop the Experimentalists no matter how viscously they attacked and derided them. "Crayon-painting" as it was called in England was practiced early on by persecuted pioneers in Switzerland and many other nations. What a debt we owe to these master artists who refused to knuckle under to the pressure of those short-sighted critics during those historic and experimental times. It took until 1870 with the founding of the "Societe` Des Pastellistes" in France that respect came  at last to these heroic & immortal visual artists.

        In England the liberation of the Pastellists from slight regard and undeserved disrespect came with the first exhibition of "The Pastel Society" at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1880. Pastel Painters like Mary Cassat and others from America and other nations forever silenced  the snobs with their masterworks and gained recognition at long last for Thiele's invention as a valid art medium. I am persuaded that history will repeat itself.  Like Pastels, I believe these wonderful new colored pencils and even Digital Realistic Art Media will one day receive the recognition they deserve as powerful mediums of artistic expression just as pastel paintings did. What is your definition of art? Have you thought about it?

Mine is: "anything that makes you feel or think."

     Consider dancing... it can be a little skip in the step or rise to the level of the incomparable Russian Ballet. Did you know that just the materials alone for a single oil painting cost up to a thousand dollars these days? Even paying the artist less than minimum wage no one but the super rich can afford them anymore. Something's got to give. Realistic paintings in oil have been highly prized for centuries and the appeal and following of realistic art is undiminished to this day. Oil paintings featuring Abstract Art and Realistic Art are generally the most treasured form of all the visual art media and with good reason. But snobbish art critics  favoring abstract art have declared  that realistic paintings, or illustrations are not art for a century. With so many representationalist  paintings by so many immortal master artists hanging in the Louvre, the Hermitage, and the British Museum and others I think the disrespect for realistic illustrators that dominated the 20th century is academically ridiculous as well as vain and intolerant, insisting theirs is the only valid opinion. What is your definition of Art? I believe almost any form of human expression can be raised to the level of "high art" especially  visual art and Realistic illustration...

~Dierdre of the Sorrows detail.jpg (59016 bytes)

The detail reveals Realistic art and abstract art combined

       By my own definition of art, which is: "anything that makes you feel or think" most abstract paintings are not "real art" to me personally, because abstract paintings usually neither make me feel or think,  usually focusing obsessively on technique and avoiding any coherent content. I usually draw a complete blank mentally and emotionally when I look at them. In 1979 the Houston Metropolitan Museum of Art displayed a triptych of 3 giant   paintings they paid fifty thousand dollars for-  three blank white canvasses entitled "untitled". Then there was "The incredible new artistic Genius "with an I.Q. of 62 ...Congo the chimpanzee with his gala New York art exhibition...an elaborate prank played on the Snobbish American Art critics about a generation ago by research scientists in the field of primatology. Imagine how upset they were when he created one of his "ingenious masterpieces" right before their eyes.

( My Source for this is the Time Life Science Library volume entitled "The Primates". )

      Art education has been almost completely removed from American Schools as a result of generations of this kind of  fabulous nonsense contributing to America's cultural illiteracy crisis. Now, the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and other notables are being removed from school libraries.  After generations of this, most American college graduates today cannot name even one living visual artist, abstract or realistic.

There is no way that mandating more math, requiring more reading, or scheduling more science will replace what we have lost as a culture.    

What is your definition of Art?

~HDJ

 

Note: Abstract Paintings by Congo the Chimpanzee outsold Warhol and Renoir by over 25,000 dollars in June 2005 at a London art auction. Born in 1954, Congo created more than 400 drawings and paintings between the ages of two and four. He died in 1964 of tuberculosis.

 

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