All posts by Courtney Jordan

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.   

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…

Vase of Chrysanthemumsby Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1890.

It’s Time to Find Your Unique Approach

Arums II by Tamara de Lempicka, 1931. I’ve grown to appreciate floral paintings. Of course, flowers are nice to look at, and I recognize the technical skill needed to paint them, but I wasn’t always certain of the appeal of the subject matter. The question of how an artist approaches a bouquet of roses or…

In this painting, Gambrel Barn, artist Camille Przewodek's colorist leanings are clear in the broad swaths of pigment she uses to create form. The overall effect is subtle and atmospheric.

5 Tips From Top Artists

Top Artists Share Painting Tips In this painting, Gambrel Barn, artist Camille Przewodek’s colorist leanings are clear in the broad swaths of pigment she uses to create form. The overall effect is subtle and atmospheric. If I have a single regret about attending a workshop weekend or painting event it is that I can’t be…


Sharpen Your Ability to Judge Color Tone and Value

Girl in Limited Palette by Ignat Ignatov, oil, 12 1/2 x 12. In a past post featuring artist-instructor Kerry Dunn, we explored some of the opportunities and challenges that an extensive color palette offers. On the flipside, Bulgarian-born painter Ignat Ignatov understands how an artist can benefit from the use of a limited palette for…

Académie d’homme by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, ca. 1800, black chalk heightened with white, 23 5⁄8 x 18 1⁄8.

More Than Skin Deep: Our Free eBook on How to Draw a Human Body

Knowledge of anatomy is essential for artists who want their figures to appear realistic and natural. But we are not surgeons or medical professionals! Artists are not, and should not be, slaves to anatomical correctness. Académie d’homme by Pierre-Paul Prud’hon, ca. 1800, black chalk heightened with white, 23 5⁄8 x 18 1⁄8. You have to…


Skies Don’t Have Brushstrokes In Them

Watercolor artist Thomas Schaller achieves convincing and dynamic effects in his skies (Salisbury Cathedral, watercolor painting). I know it is a bias, but sometimes I can’t help thinking that painting skies belongs to a particular realm of watercolor painting. The medium just seems best suited to give the jaw-dropping visual effects that often appear in…

Laocoön and His Sons

The Italians Got It Right

The composition of the Laocoön was thought to be the height of disegno during the Renaissance. It is complexly arranged, full of emotional power, and sculpted with incredible skill. For Renaissance Italians, great art was primarily about disegno, or drawing—but not just the process of drafting in itself. Disegno encompassed the intellectual aspect of an…

Sunset Mooring, Nova Scotia,by William H. Hays, 2004, oil painting, 38 x 28.

Your Best Landscape Painting Experience

Sunset Mooring, Nova Scotia, by William H. Hays, 2004, oil painting, 38 x 28. With summer almost over, I’ve been spending as much time as possible outdoors, going to concerts and plays, walking from place to place when I do my errands, and just finding every excuse for an outdoor excursion. Landscape painting is another…

Backlit Still Life 1 by Ken Goldman, acrylic on canvas, 18 x 14.

I Must Be Doing Something Wrong

That was my first thought when I started to explore acrylic painting. The paints would dry so fast and it drove me crazy because I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. Looking back, I realize how many acrylic painting techniques I still had to learn. But I don’t regret trying acrylic paints on…

Woman with Striped Bag by John Evans, 30 x 15, oil on canvas.

Struggle, Overpaint, Layer, Sand, Soul-Search

When you can do something well, it can be difficult to set it aside or modify that skill for the good of your art. John Evans is an American artist who admits to battling the tendency to overwork his oil paintings, sliding between depiction and evocation in a sometimes very frustrating cycle. Light Early by…


How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Painting from Photographs

I’ve spent way too much time in murky classrooms looking at slides, slides, and more slides. I’m convinced that the entire academic field of art history would grind to a halt without projectors, carousels, and slides. But what is weird about looking at so many images is that I find myself thinking that I know…