All posts by Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

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Discover the Enduring Appeal of Sketching

Attitude by Patricia Hannaway, 2006, pastel sketch drawing, 21 x 12. Human figure sketching, especially learning how to sketch from a model, is one of the most rewarding ways of practicing art because it can enhance your abilities in ways that are both practical and inspirational. It’s practical in that creating figure sketch drawings develops…

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Art Is Not a One-Way Street

It goes without saying that making art is not a creative process that only goes one way. No matter what cleaned-up biographies or histories I’ve read about great American painters or Old Masters, I know that there is no neat and straightforward path where logic rules when it comes to art. In fact, it seems…

The Balcony Room by Adolph Menzel, oil on canvas, 1845.

I Am Torn Between Two Men

Granted, this story gets a lot less steamy when I tell you that I’m torn between the work of two oil painting artists, Adolph Menzel and Jonas Lie. I’ve studied the work of both of these artists on my own for quite a while, trying to puzzle out why I like each of them. Menzel’s…

Standing Nude Back Study by Sadie Valeri, 18 x 24, white chalk and colored pencil on buff paper.

From the Simple to the Complex

I recently took a life drawing class and showed my sketches to a friend, who’s a super-skilled painter. I was reluctant to share them, but when she looked at my final sketch–in which the model had her hips contrapposto but twisted slightly away from me with one arm across her chest and the other hanging…

Autumn Leaves by Robert Reynolds, watercolor painting.

Your Colors Are a Wonderland

Here’s one of my favorite watercolor blogs by artist and instructor Robert Reynolds on the importance of color and how personal choosing pigments can be. And after you are done, be sure to check out Watercolor Wonderland: The Shirley Trevena Collection (sounds thrilling, no?) for more watercolor painting techniques. Enjoy!   Autumn Leaves by Robert…

Friends of a Feather by Sadie Valeri, 12 x 16, oil on panel, 2010

Yup, My Junk Drawer Taught Me Painting

When it comes to certain creative sensibilities–awareness of color, editing a concept–I trust my judgment. I think I have pretty good instincts–maybe not in the execution of said sensibilities in an oil painting I paint myself, but I know good color combos and narratives when I see them in the oil paintings that comes across…

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It’s High Time for Some Brutal Honesty

Here it is: If you aren’t going to really push it when you make a landscape painting, it is going to be completely forgettable. Having looked at thousands of landscape paintings, and made a few myself, I’ll be honest and tell you that only the best of the best landscape art really sticks out in…

Still Life with Melon and Pears by Luis Melendez, oil on canvas, 18th century.

He Truly Had the Joy of Sight

It’s quite sad that 18th-century painter Luis Melendez died poor and relatively unknown and yet he is now recognized as one, if not the, greatest still life art painter of his day. His style and approach as a still life artist breathed new life into a genre that was already well established, and most importantly…

Aphrodite, Appledore by Childe Hassam, oil on canvas, 1908.

It Gets Complicated When The Clothes Come Off

Human figure painting, particularly painting skin, is the height of artistic prowess for me. I’ll know I’ve made significant strides as a painter when I can recreate the opalescent glowing surface of skin. But I have a strong handicap to overcome. I used to reach for those paint tubes of premixed “skin” color (don’t judge!),…

Street Scene with Barbershop by Edward Hopper, n.d., charcoal on paper, 7-1/4 x 9-1/4 in.

Drawing Lessons from Edward Hopper

Street Scene with Barbershop by Edward Hopper, n.d., charcoal on paper, 7-1/4 x 9-1/4 in. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce C. Loch. All works courtesy of Thurston Royce Gallery of Fine Art, LTD. I don’t think I’d be exaggerating by calling Edward Hopper one of America’s national treasures. His work captured a time and…

Brass Samovar by CW Mundy, oil on linen, 30 x 24, 2007.

Classic, Commercial, and an Art World Constant

You don’t have to think terribly hard to figure out that the painting genre that has all of these characteristics in common is floral painting. It is a practice that has inspired artists to create beautiful, graceful paintings for centuries, but it is so much more than that. Classic: So many artists become artists because…

Taos Mountain, Trail Home by Cordelia Wilson, oil painting, undated, ca. 1915-1920s. Wilson obviously enjoyed the thickness of her paint. For artists who want thinner paints, additives are available.

It’s Not Like Eating Junk Food

When it comes to putting additives into your paints, it just isn’t the same as eating a Twinkie or bag of Doritos. Additives are necessary in some cases, especially for landscape artists who work with varying conditions when painting landscapes. They can open up whole new aspects of your paint if you are willing to…