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How to draw a cat: a starting point for long-reaching surprises....

Buy looking at how to draw a cat (I love cats, they are elegant, independent and they give you back a lot), I dived into some art works and lessons which I would have not expected.

You can click on the links to start exploring some of my articles...

Emil Munier Painting
Emil Munier (1840-1890), "Trois Amis" (also known as Favorite Pets), an academic artist, symbolist, pupil of Bouguereau...French culture of the XIX century...with a cat! This painting raised "furore" at the 1885 Salon and was later reproduced in many prints. Very popular indeed. Munier was the Painter of children and of kitten and dogs...French culture was synonym of high-class at that time...

Emil Munier painting with a cat, how to draw a catDetail of "Trois Amis", 1885, by Emil Munier

Leonardo da Vinci cats, learn how to draw a cat from Leonardo!
Leonardo da Vinci drawings- studies of how to draw a cat (and a dragon). The proportions are sometimes at odd with the cats we see today. But I think these are realistic cats of the 15th-16th century that Leonardo saw around him! Our "modern" cats are the result of many man-made inter-breedings which started about 100 years. ago. In any case, Italian culture also include love for cats (ever been to Rome?)...

 

Leonardo da Vinci vitruvian man
Leonardo da Vinci Vitruvian Man.This icon of Italian culture, is an idealistic represenation of the perfect body but it's far from the real natural body proportions...

allegory of the seven liberal arts
Martens De vos, Allegory of the Seven Liberal arts, 1590, Oil on oak panel, 147x200cm, private Collection. Here we can see the "7" arts: Grammatic, Dialectic, Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Music, Geometry, Astrology

allegoria delle arti Strozzi
Bernardo Strozzi, Allegory of Painting, Scuplture and Architecture, Saint Petersburg, Hermitage, 1640 ca., oil on canvas, cm. 152 x 140. The "figurative" arts , that is. This was before the Illuminism time.

Pombeo Batoni allegory of the artsPombeo Batoni, Allegory of the Arts. Here, we have the "5" arts: painting, sculpture, architecture, music and poetry. Painted in 1740, fully Illuminism time. Today we also include engraving, dance, performing arts, decorative arts, cinema and video-art.I couldn't find any modern painting with such an allegory...Anybody volunteers?

Aesthetics,our modern reasoning on what art and beautiful art is, started in the 1700s by lay people who begun to talk about and spontaneously comment the art objects - both past and present - they saw . Philosophers like Vico, Baumgartner, Kant and Hegel discussed deeply on it...

But roughly, Arts were considered detached from the utility in daily life. And Crafts were not arts.

This until the second half of the 19th century when industrialization started to mass produce objects. Objects were previously only made by hand and by craftsmen.

With movements like the "arts and crafts" in the UK (where industrialization was born) and William Morris, the Art Nouveau or Jugend Stil or "secessione", the idea of mass producing objects for dayly use became common.

Then, the idea of beauty, slowly entered the mass-production of objects, notably with the invention of cars and later in ever wider fields. Thanks also to great architects like Le Corbusier, Mies, Gropius and LLoyd Wright. Today, we call these "industrial" artists "designers"

A few years ago, we have started sharing ideas all over the world with the Internet. We live in a society where we decide what is beautiful like in the 1700s.

 

Paul Delaroche, execution of lady Jane Grey, 1834The Execution of Lady Jane Grey - This painting is what art was all about before the Impressionists and Picasso (Delacroix was still not appreciated at all). It's now at the National Gallery in London.
The painter is Paul Delaroche, a now (unjustly) forgotten painter who created a sensation with this work at the Paris Salon of 1834...

 

The first photograph

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce."View from the Window at Le Gras", 25.8 x 29.0 cm. Dated ca1826. Technically, this is a heliograph, and is kept in the original frame in a super controlled environment because of its fragility. Don't adjust your screen it's really like this and even at the site (the Harry Ransom Center) you can barely see anything.

But this is the first documeted photograph. It's in Austin at the University of Texas, USA - the Ransom Center, yes. The picture was taken in Saint-Loup-de-Varennes (Bourgogne, Eastern France). Beethoven was till alive (died the following year in 1827), while Napoleon was buried only 5 years earlier and it was more or less the time of the painting above. Nobody noticed the birth of a new art. Photography took off slowly from the 1840s...

First ever photograph, 1926This is a retouched reproduction of the first photograph above (done in 1956). We can see something now: roofs, great! But what a giant leep for humanity!
His inventor, was a bad draughtsman frustrated with his incapacity to draw and he wanted to solve his problem...
The camera obscura was in reality well known even before photography...Read here or watch this.

thomas le clear photography and painting 1865
Thomas Le Clear, 1865 - Interior with Portraits; MET exhibition, American Stories: painting of Everyday Life, 1765-1915.
The debate around photography and painting was already well alive and strong by the end of the American Civil War. This painting was on commision by the elder brother of the two children...who died prematurely 15 years earlier. A clear message from the artists on the superiority of paintings over photography able to recreate what reality cannot...The photographer is also using a dull background in contrast with the colorfull image of the painting.
But photography, as a new medium, was not only seen negatively by painters and groups such as the Pre-Raphaelite circle was a vibrant mix of painters, photographers, and writers.

 

Photography has affected the visula arts and our way of looking at things much more deeply than we imagine...

However, there are three main problems with using reference photographs:

  1. Values are exagerated
  2. Color is miss-represented (white balance)
  3. Depth of field is not how a human eye sees

    Richard Mckinley

The interaction with the new technology and painting became even larger with the invention of the motion pictures, the film industry that is. Moreover, the appearance of that giant of Art and the biggest catalyst of all arts and gendres which is Picasso, narrative paintings such as the ones above became less and less in favour of more abstract paintings. Narrative was to movies. The film industry and TV has an even larger impact on us today...

richard mckinley palette

 

"It takes a great deal of strong personality to survive the art school training. Hard nuts that the art schools can't crack and devour get through and become artists."

"The idea of taking up art as a calling, a profession, is a mirage. Art enriches life. It makes life worth living. But to make a living at it—that idea is incompatible with making art."

John Sloan, Gist of art

 

 

gray scale

But this website is also (and more simply) how tom draw a catabout how to draw a cat! Or How to paint flames...an invitation for art-minded people to explore new fields and start something totally different.

In the end, photography started BECAUSE of drawing...

A website for creative people to learn to draw and paint. To see maybe unusual things...airbrush kicks, perhaps?...silhouette art?...and Scherenschnitten...?

We want to be speaking not only about art..., Italian culture, French culture, modern times...

...but also share a general awareness of fine

crafts...

...and just fun with art and crafts

Scarabocchi zen..an Italian blog

 

 

...And after seeing how to draw a cat...

 

What do you want to do next..?


learn how to draw and paint ?

 

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  • Then you are in!
  • In case you need a steady income WHILE becoming an artist, the internet can provide you a good source of legitimate, honest income. Read my special blog how not to worry about financial problems.

 

Le Moineau, c.1907
Le Moineau, c.1907 Serigraph
Picasso, Pablo
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