We spend crazy amounts of time preparing blog posts and training videos for our Master Oil Painting community because we want everything we do to be helpful. We love what we do and hope we can be a blessing to you in growing your skills and careers as artists.

But as most of you probably already know, this isn’t the only place you can find awesome art training and inspiration. The art world is full of giving people who are willing to share what they’ve learned. I wanted to take a minute to share of few of my personal favorite art related blogs and websites from across the internet.

Instead of writing a bunch of unnecessary commentaries, I’ll just give a brief intro and an excerpt that you can use to find their sites. After all, they do a better job of describing what their blogs are about than I could.

Some of the sites are free and some charge a yearly or monthly fee. I’ll give you a heads up if you can expect to pay to enjoy their material.

My Favorite Art Blogs

Gurney Journey

Cost: Free

One of the most prolific, generous and talented artists today is James Gurney. I’ve been following his blog posts for years and own most of his videos and books.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent blog post:

Controlling Light and Depth in Landscape

“What makes me want to paint this scene is the way the light and atmosphere work together to create depth. Here’s what I’m thinking as I paint it.

Farm in Harlem Valley, oil, 12 x 16 by James Gurney
Farm in Harlem Valley, oil, 12 x 16 by James Gurney

The cloudy sky has a low ceiling. The tops of some of the hills are lost in fog. Also the far horizon is enveloped by the low clouds, so the warm colors in the farthest fields are greyed down before they disappear.

The fields are illuminated in the lower left foreground. Then as you go back across the perspective of the plowed field, you travel through the shadow area and back into…”


RedDotBlog

Cost: Free

This incredibly useful blog is thanks to Jason Horejs and Xanadu Gallery.

It’s been about ten years I think since I had lunch with Jason. He and Barney Davey were a huge help to orient my thinking during the 2008 art market meltdown.

Jason owns Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona and does more than any other that I’ve seen to help artists learn to promote and sell their artwork. He is genuine and upfront and a fantastic resource for any artist who hopes to make a living from their craft.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent blog post:

What Kind of Artwork Sells Best?

RedDotBlog from Xanadu Gallery

“I’m often asked what kind of artwork sells best – traditional or contemporary, paintings or sculpture, large or small works? On its face, this is a pretty easy question to answer – all I have to do is look over my sales records to see which media and subjects have been selling the best.

We’re constantly looking at this kind of information in the gallery to get a sense of where our sales are coming from. I’m hesitant to share this information, however, because I’m not certain how helpful it is for artists who…”


Underpaintings by Matthew Innis

Cost: $24/year

I started reading his blog back about 2008 I think. When it got to the point he could no longer afford to keep it going without some help and needed to charge a subscription fee I readily signed on. $24 a year is a pittance for the excellent information he gives back.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent blog post:

Harry Anderson’s Technique

Harry Anderson at the Easel
Harry Anderson at the Easel

“It’s enough to do the work. Why talk about it?” – Harry Anderson

“Harry Anderson wasn’t someone who seemed to have shared much about his painting techniques. Even when he was interviewed for American Artist magazine in 1956, he was somewhat reserved with his answers.

This was not a matter of Anderson being secretive or protective of his methods, however. In fact, Anderson was a firm believer that, “No man can make his way in art alone. He must have help on the way.”2

Perhaps it was a matter of his midwest upbringing, his Scandinavian background, or just his strong religious beliefs, but Anderson was a man who looked upon his talents and gifts with humility. Though he loved what he did and felt he had a purpose in creating his art, he still appears to have approached his easel with a workaday…”


Stapleton Kearns

Cost: Free

I started following Stapleton’s blog several years ago and have loved his candid advice and a great sense of humor. He’s an “artist’s artist” who’s been in the business for a long time and has a plethora of experience to share with the art community.


Here’s an excerpt from a recent blog post:

Color Vibration

Image from Color Vibration blog by Stapleton Kearns
Image from Color Vibration blog by Stapleton Kearns

“Well, here I am again, I haven’t written a post in a long time. But I am announcing this years dreaded Snowcamp and I will append that to the end of this post. I have been traveling and painting (as always), I did a show at the Guild of Boston Artists with T.M. Nicholas and David Curtis and also have been serving on the board of that institution.

I am renovating my old house here in New Hampshire, losing my hair, and writing a book, so I have been very busy even if I am not writing the blog. My old friend James suggested I write about this post about vibrating color so here we go…”

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ARC (Art Renewal Center)

Cost: Free

ARC is one of the leading organizations defending representational realist work. Their blog is a fantastic resource for finding talks, conferences, articles, and shows – anything supporting and teaching the rise of bringing back the traditional mastery of art.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent blog post:

Gezien van de Riet TRAC Speech

“ARC Associate Living Master™ Gezien Van De Riet recently posted in her blog the last section of her speech at TRAC 2018 titled “Imitation and Imagination”.

Winter, oil on canvas, 1890, 50x80in by Ivan Shishkin
Winter, oil on canvas, 1890, 50x80in by Ivan Shishkin (source)

Her lecture on naturalistic realism fights the notion that there is no imagination and creativity in works that feature a large degree of imitation from nature…”


Sunday Coffee with Eric Rhoads

Cost: Free

Eric Rhoads sends out an email each Sunday that is a joy to read. Of course, as you know, I wait until Monday to read it so that I can enjoy the Sabbath.

Eric has become an excellent story teller and artist with words.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent blog post:

12 Questions That Will Change Your Life Forever

“As I’m snuggled in with a blanket draped over my lap, the chill outside prevents my normal porch visit. Instead, the sun gleams in and the ornaments of the Christmas tree sparkle with light, while a perfectly focused shadow of the tree is projected on the side wall by the sun’s powerful rays.

Like a wedding that is planned all year and over with a quick “I do,” Christmas is over. It seems as though we spend weeks, and sometimes months, in anticipation and preparation, then packages are ripped rapidly open and Christmas too is over, and we’re moments away from the hope of a new year.

Looking Backward

With the beginning of a fresh 12-month cycle, we evaluate the last cycle and ask ourselves what worked, what failed, and what needs to change. We set new resolutions — but we later forget them, and we repeat…”


Oil Painters of America Blog

Cost: Free

In the early 90’s I was taking a workshop in Ted Goerschner’s home. He said he and some others (especially Shirl Smithson) were working on organizing a group to support representational painting.

The OPA has become a dynamic force for encouraging excellence in realist art.

I love their blog because it is a mix of thoughts, techniques, ideas and directions from many of the top artists in the world.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent blog post:

Some Thoughts About Using Photography

“This year I was asked what my thoughts are about painting from photographs and if this is a practice I use.

There is much I can write about, and I will start with……. Yes, I paint from photographs.

But the painting does not look like the photograph,  yet, there is no painting without the photograph. So what’s happening?

Emerald Falls” by Albert Handell  Oils – 22″ x 28
Emerald Falls” by Albert Handell Oils – 22″ x 28

I think the photographs touch something inside of me,  which awakens and inspires me…

Usually, when painting from a photo or my monitor, it is in the studio and…”


David Austin Roses

Cost: Free (to read)

Since flowers are a favorite subject, and I love to paint from life as often as possible, I look for sites that will teach me how to take care of the flowers we plant.

We have ordered many of our roses in the past, including our front yard rose hedge, from David Austin.

They don’t write a blog, but they have a lot of excellent articles on their site for taking care of roses.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent blog post:

When to Plant Roses

Bare root roses should be planted when the daytime temperatures are between 40-60F. Aside from times of extreme weather, potted roses can be planted at any time during the year. The extreme weather conditions that we advise against planting in are when the ground is frozen, water-logged or during a drought. 


Your Favorites?

There have been many others I’ve enjoyed over the years but didn’t share them here because the artists quit updating (like Dan Gerhartz Technical Insights Blog).

I like blogs that make me think, that teach me something new or change the way I see the world and my potential as an artist.

Blogs that reveal the behind-the-scenes lives of artists are fun. I also love blogs that simply showcase new paintings as they are created. Facebook might be have replaced blogs for that though.

What are some of your favorite blogs for art and artists? What do you hope to find or learn in the blog posts you read and study?