I was recently speaking with one of my many art friends on the phone, and we took a detour into discussing our favorite artist publications. I told my friend I had paired down my previous plethora to only two. Keep in mind, this is just my opinion, and I generally do find something of worth in every publication.
The two publications that I consistently find worthwhile, and which have the best information in the areas of technique, theory and general art, are International Artist and American Artist Workshop. International Artist is a monthly publication, and Workshop is a quarterly. Let’s separate them and discuss their merits. I will start with International Artist.
International Artist is my single favorite publication. No other magazine covers a wider gamut for every type of artist. No matter what your subject, media, or drawing style, you will find something of value in this magazine.
My favorite part of the magazine is the section devoted to the Portrait Society (www.portraitsociety.org). This section provides wonderful insight into technical greats like Jacob Collins, Casey Baugh, John Sanden and other great instructors. You need not be a portraitist to grasp great knowledge from these artists. Great art consists of the same ingredients that we all must use: drawing, tone, color and composition. This magazine routinely features artists that are very well known, and who give great step-by-step demonstrations.
I just grabbed a past issue from April/May 2010 and Morgan Weistling does an extremely detailed step-by-step demo on his process of painting, preliminary sketches, models and more.
International Artist tries to cover every type of media in every issue. But I suggest that you try to grasp something from every editorial. Do yourself a favor, and subscribe to this great publication.
Now, let’s cover my close second favorite. Workshop magazine is marketed for the artist who enjoys attending workshops. Don’t let that mislead you as to the importance of this magazine. Every issue features detailed information on 8-10 nationally recognized artists. Jeremy Lipking, T. Allen Lawson, Richard Schmid, Nelson Shanks and Robert Liberace are routinely reviewed. The little gems of their processes and techniques are everywhere to be gleaned. There is a resurgence in atelier drawing skills and nowhere else is this more aptly demonstrated than in the pages of Workshop magazine. As a plus, you might find the workshop artist that really fits your style and vision.
No publication will take the place of good drawing, honest self-critique, and hard work. But the art mind can be fed with insight from other artists. Give these two publications a try and see if they don’t increase your desire for better and better painting execution.
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