Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Top Ten Art Web Resources

Today is a doing things day, rather than a creating day, so thought it wold be appropriate to write about my favourite art-related web pages. In no particular order -

Google Art Project the only fault I have with this is that every painting in every gallery in the world is not available in close-up. I'm sure it is just a matter of time. Meanwhile, the range is spectacular. There are enough details for most paintings to be copied at home - although not as good as setting up an easel in front of an actual masterpiece, most of us don't have the time, energy, confidence or permission to do that so this is an alternative. (note to self - hurry up and start doing this!)

Facebook Yup, there is plenty to not like about facebook, but it does let artists talk to each other, share ideas and info as well as pictures easily and quickly. Without Facebook, there would have been no 28 Drawings Later and I wouldn't have met lots of lovely people, nor been encouraged to start a sketchbook, nor be writing this now.

Making A Mark is the most useful art blog in Britain. She writes about exhibitions (especially London based ones), warns about open competitions coming up, gives advice on various aspects of being a working artist, runs painting recognition competitions (which I've won! twice!) and pretty much anything else you can think of. Always with grace and politeness. I haven't come across an equivalent for the States (or indeed any other country) - do they exist?

Underpaintings Blog may be the closest but is much more focused on representational art. I have first come across many interesting artists here and like below the comments can be illuminating.

Gurney Journey - this page has a stronger bent towards illustration. Both books are an offshoot of the blog (and if you haven't read them, you should) but I actually often find the discussions more interesting than the blog itself.

Daniel Maidman doesn't try and cover anything in particular. Instead, he writes about what he is thinking about art. The starting point can be an exhibition, a conversation, a single drawing, a process, an idea, whatever. Then he thinks about it. Then thinks more. And maybe has a go at producing something using the thoughts. Then thinks again. Then writes about it. Then people argue with him in the comments, and he thinks about it again. So, useful if you want to think about what you are doing and why.

Flickr was a place I got a lot of useful feedback back when I was starting to paint. I use it less these days but that is probably a loss. Going though people's favourites can turn up all sorts of things and keep the imagination fired up - something we all need on occasions. Julia Kay's Portrait Party is a particularly good use of the format - you post some photographs of yourself, and other people draw you. Very simple, but very community forming. Also a potentially terrific way to practice.

Urban Sketchers are another web based group with a very strong presence on flickr and a great but simple idea - see the world, one drawing at a time. Yes please.

Lastly, I should probably mention blogger itself, as so many of my favourites use it. However, other formats have their place, such as wordpress for Museworthy , a delightful blog from a New York based artist's model.

So that is ten, more or less. I have almost certainly forgotten someone, and maybe next year the list will be different - what are your recommendations? Who did I miss? Please leave a comment below and share the knowledge.

EDIT - who I missed was Painting Perceptions which I have only found fairly recently and am still working my way through. The host has a good eye, picking beautiful paintings and talented painters to feature and his interviews with these artists are fascinating. Much recommended for realist painters.


  1. Jane, thank you so much! I'm honored to be mentioned among such great company.


  2. Thanks, Claudia - I always enjoy opening up your posts, as I never quite know what you'll show us!

  3. Wait, did I not write a thank you? Dammit! I meant to thank you - I loved the bit about me, I loved making your list, and I am gleefully linking this post in the post I'm working on right now.

  4. The thanks over on facebook was mighty fine . . . but if there is gleefulness going on then that's even better :)