Sunday, May 15, 2011

Men Painting Manly Things Part 1

Posted by: Dave

I have noticed a recent slip in the overall manliness of subject matter in the classical realist movement.  Most contemporary artists are defaulting too quickly to the age old cute kid in a garden for some reason, or the token, “hi, I’m a naked girl holding a flower who went hiking in the woods and forgot to wear clothes”, or the stereotypical nude woman in bed at 12 in the afternoon.  Come to think of it, if my wife was in bed at that time, I would tell her to get the heck out of bed and get to work; there are bills to pay.  It is time to bring some manliness back into art, and this posting is a tribute to just that.

What is manlier than hunting whales with sharp sticks, as seen in this piece by artist Scott Waddell?

 I truly enjoy the moment he chose to capture in this scene and the three unique reactions of the people to the events unfolding before them.  Too often, academic works lack any sense of action and often seem posed, but this piece has a great sense of movement. 

I will say that Scott is a big influence for me in my own pursuit of subject matter.  He is a graduate of the Water Street Atelier and an instructor at the Grand Central Academy.  He most recently put out an instructional video for download on painting the portrait.  For more information on Scott and his work, visit his website and blog at

Man fighting mastodon by Frank Frazetta, need I say more.

Frank Frazetta is to illustration what Arnold Schwarzenegger is to actions movies.  He is most widely known for his Conan cover illustrations, but has truly defined the genre of fantasy art.  I would highly recommend his film  “Frazetta; Painting with Fire.” 
This piece by Brandon Bird is the clear winner for all of manlykind’s history; T-rex fighting a whale that is fighting a giant squid.   

Brandon is an illustrator and artist by trade.  From 2004 to 2006 he was an Artist-in-Residence at Cornell, and currently resides in LA. For more information on Brandon, visit his site at

(I would like to also give an extra special thanks to Brandon and Scott for being part of this posting)