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Art Articles

Ilya Glazunov – The Mystery of the Twentieth Century

Ilya Glazunov – The Mystery of the Twentieth Century

Article by Vladimir London, Drawing Academy tutor

Born 10 June 1930 in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, Ilya Glazunov was raised in a family that cherished Russian history. Unfortunately, his was one of the families trapped in the city during the Nazi siege of 1942, leaving him an orphan. His uncle helped him escape to Greblo, in Novgorod, where he managed to survive until the siege was lifted in 1944.

Although the war left permanent scars upon the young man, he overcame them and entered art school, graduating to the Ilya Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture in 1951.

As Glazunov developed as an artist, he further embraced his Russian roots. In particular, he found profound inspiration in Russia’s religious traditions, the persecution of which Stalin eased during the war. The comfort found in monasteries and Christian iconography translated into…

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Ivan Aivazovsky – the painter of the sea

Ivan Aivazovsky – the painter of the sea

Article by Vladimir London, Drawing Academy tutor

Ivan AivazovskyIvan Aivazovsky (Ива́н Айвазо́вский), born July 17, 1817 in Feodosia, Crimea. Most famous for his seascapes, he started life the son of a poor Armenian merchant. His artistic talents were recognized early in life when he became apprentice to a local architect, Jacob Koch. He soon moved to Simferopol to attend the local gymnasium, and eventually attended the prestigious Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. Aivazovsky excelled at the Academy, winning medals and honing his craft under the French marine painter Philippe Tanneur…

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Arkhip Kuindzhi

Arkhip Kuindzhi

Article by Vladimir London, Drawing Academy tutor

Arkhip Kuindzhi was born in Mariupol, Ukraine, on 15 January. Sources give different years, but it was around 1842. In fact, the details of his life are sparing, save for the account offered in the diary of his beloved wife, Vera Ketcherdzhi. His parents died when he was 6, leaving him to move in with another family member and herd geese to make a living. He received minimal education, spending most of his time drawing instead.

At age 10, Kuindzhi left school and found employment at a nearby church construction site and then a servant. He continued to draw, impressing a friend of his employer who encouraged him to study under the seascape portraitist Ivan Aivazovsky. Kuidzhi travelled to Feodosia and worked for Aivazovsky, but was largely ignored by the greater artist. It was only another…

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Artworks by Andrei Dareev

Artworks by Andrei Dareev

Andrei was born in 1978 in Semipalatinsk, Russia.

Graduated from Novoaltajsk Art School.

Graduated from The Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (landscape workshop by Afonin AP).

Member of the Russian Artists Union.

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WHAT IS DRAWING? An absolute must have skill.

WHAT IS DRAWING? An absolute must have skill.

Article by Ronnie Rayner Larter

Drawing is the expression of form on a plane surface, and although colour can have very expressive qualities, I personally feel a well-executed drawing in charcoal or graphite can have more expressive qualities than a rainbow of pigments.

If you stop and think for a moment, you will find many of the old masters’ drawings used very little colour in their studies and they were often more highly charged emotionally than their paintings. Why? Because of the expressive use of line and shading…

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Aleksei Savrasov – Russian landscape painter

Aleksei Savrasov – Russian landscape painter

Article by Vladimir London, Drawing Academy tutor

Born 12 May 1830 in Moscow, Aleksei Savrasov demonstrated artistic skills early; indeed, he sold his earliest landscape paintings at age twelve! Although his father wanted him to follow in his footsteps and become a merchant, Savrasov entered the Moscow School of Painting and Sculpture in 1844, focusing on landscapes. His father was so opposed to art school that Savrasov quit after only a few weeks, but was encouraged to return by his instructors in 1848. Studying under Rabus, he became the most distinguished landscape student at the academy. After he caught the notice of a notable patron of the arts, Likhachev, he received a scholarship to study in Odessa, where he further developed his landscape technique. The paintings made around this time earned him a certificate of appreciation from the art school,…

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COPYING: Should it be Part of the Learning Process?

COPYING: Should it be Part of the Learning Process?

Article by Ronnie Rayner Larter

There seems to be a debate about whether or not it’s good to copy when drawing. Some say no, others say yes. Did you know they used to do that in the old school of art where new students were made to copy from drawings and prints of their masters. In fact, they would spend the first year constantly copying from prints, or from the ‘flat’ as they called it, which was taught as being good practice…

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DRAWING SKILLS CAN BE LEARNT: Just like any other skill

DRAWING SKILLS CAN BE LEARNT: Just like any other skill

Article by Ronnie Rayner Larter

If you are one of those people who lacks confidence at drawing, or convince yourself that you cannot draw; you are creating your own barrier to learning. Because you believe you have no talent whatsoever, you never take the steps to learn. Let me tell you something; you can learn to draw just as you can learn any other skill. Don’t knock yourself down. Decide right now that you will learn and then put in the effort to achieve your goal. All it takes is to learn HOW to draw and then practice the how’s…

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‘I cannot draw a straight line’, they say

‘I cannot draw a straight line’, they say

Article by Ronnie Rayner Larter

How many times have you heard someone say ‘I cannot draw a straight line to save my life’? Perhaps you have said the same thing yourself. Well, take note, drawing a good straight line is difficult, even for some of the most experienced artists, let alone a beginner.

In art, drawing a perfectly straight line is neither necessary nor desirable. It has no expressive qualities, therefore has no artistic merit; it looks un-natural and contrived….

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FROM FINGERS TO PENCILS: A Brief History of the Drawing Tool

FROM FINGERS TO PENCILS: A Brief History of the Drawing Tool

Article by Ronnie Rayner Larter

Most drawing tools artists use today originate from ancient writing tools. Over 4000 years ago for example, man used a bronze or bone tool to scratch into clay tablets. 1000 years later the Egyptians used thin reed brushes or reed pens on papyrus scrolls. Later still, the Romans used a metal stylus for writing into thin sheets of wax and after 600AD, in Europe, the quill pen was invented…

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