Dragons, Dragons, and more Dragons! Welcome friends to the Realistic Draconian Fantasy Art Gallery of Contemporary American Illustrator Howard David Johnson, whose illustrations of Mythology have been published all over the world by distinguished learning institutions and publishers including the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. If You love paintings and pictures of Dragons, You've come to the right place! Click the control key plus the + or - keys to zoom in and out or fit the page match to your monitor's settings.  Click the control key plus the + or - keys to zoom in and out or fit the page match to your monitor's settings or rotate and use your fingers to fit your cell phone screens.

PRESENTS: A GALLERY of 21st CENTURY DRAGON ART 

A Gallery of New Paintings, Drawings and Pictures from World Mythology in traditional oils, Contemporary acrylics and cutting edge digital mixed media in the style of the classic illustrators. Newly Updated for 2014!

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Our Other galleries devoted to Myths and Legends of the Old World:

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 Norse Mythology Greek Mythology Celtic Mythology Women of Mythology Asian Mythology Russian Mythology Classic Fairy Tales Fairy Lore

And now... Dragons, Dragons, and more Dragons!

Dragon ~ 1. A fabulous monster represented as a gigantic reptile having a lion's claws, the tail of a serpent, winged and wingless, and a scaly skin. 2. A large snake or serpent. 3. Old English: Symbolic; that old dragon, Satan, that serpent that is known as the devil. 4. Modern: A fiercely vigilant or intractable woman.  ~The American Heritage Dictionary Living Dragons ~ In recognition of myth more than forty species of tree- dwelling lizards inhabiting Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and the East Indies carry the name Draco, which in Latin means Dragon. These 'flying dragons" glide from one tree to another. The dragon lizard of Kimoto is the largest dragon in existence today.

 

 

The Dragon has played an important part in the myths and religions of mankind since pre-historic times... Although regarded as a sacred guardian by many of the ancient cults the dragon has been more commonly symbolic of the principle of evil.  In the east the dragon is the national symbol of China and was the badge of the imperial family, and as such played a huge part in Chinese art. Chinese and Japanese dragons, although considered powers of the air are wingless. The Dragon Kings are among the deified forces of nature of the Taoist religion... sacred dragons of the oriental mystics...

 

 

The Classical Dragon is a magnificent mythical monster usually represented as a huge crested snake, with great bat wing- like extensions growing from it's back, clawed limbs, or both. Above left is the Red Welsh Dragon of classic folklore. The belief in dragons seems to have risen without even the slightest knowledge of dinosaurs... Dragons were a very real terror even as late as 1564 appearing as part of the fauna known to medieval naturalists in the classic "Historia animalium" of Conrad Gesner.

 

 

In English legend, Uther Pendragon, father of King Arthur had a vision of a dragon that was considered a mighty omen.  Uther began a tradition of using their war like and terrible effigies as standards, carrying them into battle to "strike fear into the hearts of the heathen." They were painted on shields and the Vikings carved Dragons heads onto the prows of their ships.

 

 

Dragons of Ancient Greece ~ The Greeks and Romans saw the dragon primarily as an evil power and gave birth to a plentiful brood of terrors. ( The Hydra, The serpents of the Gorgons, The Kraken, The Chimera and others. ) In general, the evil reputation of the dragon was stronger in Europe and out lived the other...

 

 

 

   

The Red Dragon   


The Welsh Dragon or "the Red Dragon" or "Y Ddraig Goch" in Welsh, is the symbol of Wales and adorns its national flag. This dragon was featured on the legendary battle standards of King Arthur, the heathen Celtic gods and historic chieftains and kings.  In the treasured ancient Mabinogion legends the red dragon fights an invading White Dragon. For centuries their castle walls were demolished nightly by these spirit beings. The legendary fight was said to symbolize the struggle between the Welsh and English and prophesied that after years of tyranny the Welsh would drive the English from their homeland.


   In the search for a special boy to offer as a human sacrifice to rid them of this pestilence, the boy Merlin is found and through strange twists of fate becomes one of the greatest dragon masters of the Celtic legends where his vision of the red dragon is a prophecy of the coming of King Arthur. Arthur's father was known as Uther Pendragon or the “Dragon Chief."

   In factual history Henry VII [or Henry Tudor]  flew a red dragon of Cadwaladr ap Cadwallon on his battle flag, The earliest recorded used of the red dragon as a symbol of Wales is in the 'Historia Brittonum'.

   The red Dragon was first brought to Great Britain during the Roman era and history tells us they first learned of it from the Persians. The Red Dragon or 'draco' symbol was used as a standard by the Roman army but over time it was adopted by the Welsh people as their national flag. It is the oldest extant national flag flying today.

   The great Welsh king, Cadwaladr, carried the dragon standard as a symbol of bravery and fierceness. Welsh princes and warriors continued the tradition. In 1346 during the Battle of Crecy Welsh archers in the English army carried the same standard.

   Henry Tudor, who was descended from Cadwaladr, carried a banner with a Red Dragon into the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. When he became Henry VII he decreed that the red dragon should adorn on Welsh flag. In 1959 Queen Elizabeth II declared that the red dragon on a green and white field should become the official symbol of Wales and thus this time honored legend is still vibrant and alive in the 21st Century.

 

DRAGONSLAYERS

 

 

"Siegfried and Fafnir" [MMIV mixed media]

 

"The Blood of the Dragon" [MMIV mixed media]

 

 

 

 

 

 A Dragon legend from India;"Krishna and Kaliya the Demon Serpent" MMXI [left] In this story Krishna, the ultimate manifestation of the Hindu God-head is exorcising a ferocious malevolent entity in serpent form who had terrorized the villagers, poisoned the waters, and killed all the nearby wildlife - even birds flying by overhead. Dragons were usually seen as a power of evil, and the slaying of a dragon the crowning achievement of heroes. Siegfried, Siegmund, Beowulf, Arthur, Tristram, and even Lancelot the "beau Ideal" of Medieval chivalry were all dragon slayers... but Dragons were also at times conceived as beneficent powers - sharp eyed dwellers of the innermost portions of the Earth, wise to discover it's secrets and utter them in oracles, or powerful to invoke as guardian Genii ( Djinn ).

 

 

 

THE CHINESE DRAGON

Symbol of the Spirit of China

 

 The First dragon appeared to the mythical emperor Fu-hsi, & filled the hole in the sky made by the monster Kung Kung. Its waking, sleeping and breathing determined day & night, season and weather. There are many differences & similarities between the Classical dragon & the Chinese dragon, these include the ability to fly even without wings, shape-shifting abilities,& of course the general benevolent behavior to the populace.
        The Chinese dragon is made up of nine entities. The head of camel, the eyes of a demon, the ears of a cow, the horns of a stag, the neck of a snake, it's belly a clam's, it's claws that of an eagle, while the soles of his feet are that of a tiger, and the 117 scales that cover it's body are that of a carp. The Chinese dragon has four claws as standard, but the Imperial dragon has five, this is to identify it above the lesser classes. Anyone other than the emperor using the 5 claw motif was put to death. The Chinese dragon (Lung) was a divine bringer of rain, necessary for the good of the people. Throughout Chinese history the dragon has been equated with weather. It is said that some of the worst floodings were caused when a mortal has upset a dragon. Chinese dragons of myth could make themselves as large as the universe or as small as a silkworm.

      They rise to the skies in the spring and plunge into the waters in autumn. They could also change color and disappear in a flash.  The dragon was also a symbol of the emperor whose wisdom and divine power assured the well-being of his subjects. Many legends draw connections between the dragon and the emperor. Some emperors claimed to have descended from the dragon.  According to legend the Dragon had nine sons, and each had a strong personality. There is no general agreement as to what the Dragon's sons are called. However, to most people, they are: 1.Haoxian A reckless and adventurous dragon whose image can be found decorating the eaves of palaces. 2.Yazi Valiant and bellicose; his image is seen on sword-hilts and knife hilts. 3.Chiwen Chiwen likes to gaze into the distance and his appearance is often carved on pinnacles. 4.Baxia Baxia is a good swimmer and his image decorates many bridge piers and archways. 5.Pulao Pulao is fond of roaring and his figure is carved on bells. 6.Bixi Bixi is an excellent pack-animal whose image appears on panniers. 7.Qiuniu Qiuniu loves music and his figure is a common decoration on the bridge of stringed musical instruments. 8.Suanmi Suanmi is fond of smoke and fire; his likeness can be seen on the legs of incense-burners. 9.Jiaotu Jiaotu is as tight-lipped as a mussel or a snail. His image is carved on doors. Nine Dragon Wall A very popular tourist site in Beijing is this Nine-Dragon Wall in BaiHai Park. After hundreds of years, the colours of the ceramic tiles are just as brilliant. The wall was built in 1756. It is 21m long, about 15m high and i.2m thick. It is faced with 424 7-colour ceramic tiles. At the centre of the wall, there is a giant dragon, flanged by four dragons on each side. In addition to these nine large dragons, the wall is covered from edge to edge with many smaller dragons. In all, there are 635 dragons. The Ancient Chinese Dragon occupies a very important position in The mythology of China. It shows up in arts, literature, poetry, architecture, songs, and many aspects of the Chinese conscience. The origin of Chinese dragons is unknown, but certainly pre-dates any written history.

Dragons of China ~ 

    

GOOD and EVIL DRAGONS

  The Great Dragon slayer of Nordic myth, Siegfried, slayed the dragon, Fafnir as a young man,  and seized the Ring of the Neiebelung. A bath in the dragon's blood made him impervious to injury everywhere save one small spot where a leaf clung to his back. He accidentally tasted Fafnir's blood which gave him the power to understand the forest birds.

 

 

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The Dragon myths of the east took new forms in the west in the legends of the victories of St. Michael and St. George...   The Dragon is a guardian of hoards, a greedy withholder of good things from men; Wiley and keen witted rulers of cavernous underworlds...

 

"The Dragon Níðhöggr" (nēd'hœg-arr) is the second illustration based on the prose and poetic Edda of Norse mythology, compiled and written in the 13th century from surviving traditional sources by Snorri Sturluson.  Here the serpent is shown in an icy subterranean cavern roaring in defiance before returning to gnawing at the root of the world tree, named Yggdrasill.  In Norse myth, Nidhoggr or"the tearer of corpses" is a gigantic and monstrous serpent-like creature that gnaws continually and persistently at the deepest root of the World Tree, threatening to destroy it. The serpent is always bickering with the eagle that resides near the highest part of the tree. Nidhoggr lies on Nastrond in Miflhiem and eats corpses to sustain itself. It is not the only serpent whose mission it is to destroy the World Tree; the other dragons include Grafvolluth, Graback, Goin and Moin.

   Yggdrasill (Old Norse: Ig-ID-rass-il). The immense world tree is at the very center and heart of Norse cosmology; and surrounding the tree are nine worlds. The gigantic ash tree is extremely sacred. The gods go to Yggdrasil daily to hold court. The branches of Yggdrasil reach up into the heavens, and the tree is fed by three roots that extend far away; one to the well Urðarbrunnr, one to the spring Hvergelmir, and another to the well Mímisbrunnr. Many creatures live within Yggdrasil, including the wyrm (dragon) Níðhöggr, Odin's mystical eagle, and the stags Duraþrór, Dáinn, Dvalinn, and Duneyrr .

"The Dragon Níðhöggr" MMXI

   

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Surrealism is a literary and artistic movement launched in 1924 by the French poet Andre' Breton proclaiming the radical transformation of all existing social, scientific, and philosophical values through the total liberation of the subconscious. This next piece of Dragon Art certainly qualifies as surrealism in my mind...

 

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In the sacred Hebrew texts the Serpent or Dragon was the source of sin and death, a conception which was adopted by the New Testament and so passed into Christianity... in this illustration we see the devil, "that old serpent", the most beautiful of God's angels being cast in the lake of Fire. (From Revelation 20) by the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. I think the ugly portrayals of him are inaccurate, he comes as a beautiful angel of Light, deceiving and seducing whom he will...

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Christianity, of course confused the benevolent and malevolent serpent deities of the ancient cults in a common condemnation. The very "wisdom of the serpent" made him suspect; "the devil" said St. Augustine is a lion and a dragon; a lion because of his rage and a dragon because of his wiles.

 

If you would like to know the meaning of this last picture, click on Symbolist Art below... If you would like to learn more about Japanese and Chinese Dragons or see close-ups - visit Asian Mythology...

 

 

 

 

Enter a world of Imagination...

Howard David Johnson is a visual artist and photographer with a background in the natural sciences and history who works in a variety of media and with themes inspired by classic illustrators.

                                            

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King Arthur

Greek Mythology

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Art Numérique

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All  Dragon art, paintings, pictures, & also the text are legally copyrighted & were registered with the U.S. Library of Congress Office of Copyright in 2014 by the author, Howard David Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for legal use is available for many applications by simply contacting the author...

 

 

 

Who is American Illustrator Howard David Johnson?

 

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. After a lifetime of drawing and painting, Howard David Johnson'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. His illustrations have appeared in every major bookstore and gameshop chain in America as well as magazines and educational texts around the world.

   Some of his more prestigious clients have included the University of Texas, the Book of the Month Club, Paramount Studios, PBS TV, Adobe Photoshop Auto FX, and J Walter Thompson Advertising. Licenses to print his existing work are available at surprisingly affordable prices. Oil Paintings, Colored pencils, Pastels, Mixed media, and Digital art can also be commissioned for select projects - Click on commission new art below... Working in a variety of traditional and cutting edge digital media he offers his customers a variety of options and more than thirty years of experience.

*****

As a commercial illustrator HDJ has not only used the computer but has been involved in the development of imaging software. He delivers the rights to these custom made copyright free illustrations and old fashioned customer service when he does work-for-hire. On his existing works license offers start as low as $100.00

                                            

info@howarddavidjohnson.com

Your  business, letters, & links are always welcome.

*****

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

"Those who are enamoured 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 was 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 lately the highly controversial digital media, which has become the new favorite . 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 for Adobe Photoshop. 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 Numérique ) 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.

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     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. He loves to paint custom oil paintings and accepts commissions with down payments starting at one thousand dollars. On his existing works his low cost license offers start at only 100 dollars.

 

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 Numérique 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!"

Essay One: "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 Numérica )

"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

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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 viciously 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...

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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. There is no precedent for this kind of sale.

 

Essay Two : The Rebirth of Realism

More thoughts on realistic art yesterday and today by the artist

Art History has entered a new era with the birth of Art Numérique, 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.

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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

*****

 

This Art Gallery has been honored by more than 25,000,000 Unique Visitors 

from the Four Corners of the Earth

My Friends from around the world thus far :

England,   Canada,   Scotland,   Wales,   Ireland,   Germany,   France,   Monaco,   Andorra,   Italy,   The Vatican City State,  Greece,  Macedonia,  Cyprus,  Turkey,  Belgium,  Denmark,  The Faroe Islands,  Greenland,  Yugoslavia, Macedonia,  Croatia,  The Czech Republic,  Bosnia,  Herzegovina,  Slovakia,  Slovenia,  Luxembourg,  Latvia,  Estonia, Hungary,  Bulgaria,  Lithuania,  Poland,  Austria,  Romania,  Spain,  The Russian Federation,   Ukraine,   Kazakhstan, Moldova,  Malta,  Iceland,  Finland,  Norway,  Netherlands,  Switzerland,  Liechtenstein,  Sweden,  Portugal,  Albania, Armenia, Georgia,  Azerbaijan,  Belarus,  Kazakhstan,  Gibraltar,  Israel,  Palestinian Territories,   Egypt,   Libya,  Mali, Algeria,  Niger,  Saudi Arabia,  Oman,  The United Arab Emirates,  Kuwait,  Bahrain,  Qatar,  Yemen,  Iraq,  Iran,  Jordan, Syria,   Lebanon,   Morocco,   Ethiopia,   Eritrea,   Liberia,   The Republic of Congo,   Rwanda,   Kenya,  Angola,  Ghana, The Ivory Coast,   Zambia,   Zimbabwe,   Sudan,  Nigeria,  Namibia,  Uganda,   Kenya,  Eritrea,  Tanzania,  Botswana, Malawi,  Senegal,  Djibouti,  Cameroon,  Chad,  Gambia,  Mozambique,  Swaziland,  Lesotho,  South Africa,  Seychelles,   Viet Nam, Japan,  South Korea,  China,  Hong Kong,  Macau,  Mongolia,  Mauritius,  Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia,  Laos,   Myanmar,  Macau,  Malaysia,  Taiwan,  Nuie,  New Zealand,  Fiji,  Cook Islands,  New Caledonia,  Vanuatu,  American Samoa,  Australia,  Micronesia,  Polynesia,  Papua New Guinea,  The Heard and McDonald Islands,  The Philippines, Guam, Palau,  Cocos Island,  The Kingdom of Tonga,  Malaysia,   Brunei Darussalem,  India,   Pakistan,   Afghanistan, Bhutan,  Bangladesh,  Sri Lanka,  Chagos Islands,  The Republic of Maldives,  Turkmenistan,  Kyrgyzstan,  Uzbekistan, Tadjikistan,   Nepal,  Indonesia,  Chile,  Argentina,  Uruguay,  Paraguay,  Brazil,  Peru,   Aruba,  Venezuela,  Bolivia, Suriname,  Guyana,  Aruba,  The Dominican Republic,  Guatemala,  Costa Rica,  Colombia,  Trinidad and Tobago,   Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados,  The Virgin Islands,  Saint Lucia,   The Netherlands Antilles,  Panama,  Saint Vincent & Grenadines, Grenada, Ecuador,  Belize,   Nicaragua,   El Salvador,   Bermuda,  Cuba,  Jamaica,  Dominica,  Haiti,  Puerto Rico,  Cayman Islands,   Anguilla,    The Bahamas,   Honduras,   Mexico,    Madagascar, Central African Republic,   Gabon,   San Marino,  Saint Kitts & Nevis Anguilla,   Azerbaidjan,   Burkina Faso,   Equatorial Guinea,   Mauritania,   Burundi,   and my home, The Great Free State of Texas (USA)...

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info@howarddavidjohnson.com

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FREE ART LESSONS  

& PAID PERSONAL INSTRUCTION

HDJ has four pages of free art lesson previews. Click on The Bride for links to them. After you have seen them, if you would like to still learn more of HDJ's design motifs and further details of his art techniques personal instruction is available for $199.00 U.S. dollars ( $20.00 per lesson ) for one of his in depth ten lesson correspondence courses in college level beginning, intermediate, or advanced drawing, painting, photography, or $1,000 for the digital media course.

Click on The Bride of Frankenstein for more...

( These lessons are jam packed with unpublished huge - easy to study 11x17 images by the artist)

The_Bride_of_Frankenstien.jpg (44412 bytes)

NEW REPRINTS!   LICENSES    CUSTOM BOOK COVERS    ORIGINAL ART    ART INSTRUCTION   ART BOOKS

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Your  business, letters, & links are always welcome.

*****

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Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky ( 1840- 1893) - "Swan Lake"

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