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Francisco Goya

Francisco Goya

(1746 - 1828)
Born: Fuentendos, Spain
Style: Romanticism
Famous Works:
  • The Colossus (1808-12)
  • The Third of May 1808 (Execution of the Defenders of Madrid) (1814)
  • Saturn Devouring His Son (1821-23)
Francisco Goya is considered to be one of the great painters of the Romantic period. In addition to his technical skill, Goya possessed the unique ability to simultaneously document and comment on the world around him. Goya was exposed to art as a student of Spanish painter Francisco Bayeu, a future court painter. Goya's reputation grew, and he was asked to paint many portraits of the Spanish elite despite his practice of not idealizing the fine costumes, instead painting the forms before him without bias. His royal portrait, The Family of Charles IV, reveals his lack of trepidation in portraying the queen's less than picture perfect appearance. The portrait is modern in its sensibilities, painted with a candor uncommon for its time. Goya's ability to depict subjects honestly became a hallmark of his work, a skill that would prove even more valuable when he found himself chronicling the darker side of history. In his haunting work, The Third of May 1818, Goya tells the story of the occupation of Spain by Napoleon's troops, and the savagery that occurred in Madrid. We see a firing squad attacking a group of men at close range; some are already dead, some wounded. In the center of the composition stands a man in glowing white, begging for his life, seemingly powerless against the will of his captors. Goya, while not depicting a religious subject, achieved an historical portrait with as much emotion and clarity. The dark themes of war and psychological turmoil would persist in Goya's work until his death in 1828. He was admired by many artists, including Eugène Delacroix.
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I've been using Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph Technical Pens since 1969. My aunt bought me my first set when I was 12 and I have used them daily ever since. I love the fact that I can mix my ink colors to match my watercolor or my wardrobe and use "Pelikan Drawing Ink A" almost exclusively. Though the inks made by Koh-I-Noor and Winsor Newton are satisfactory. If you are a beginner, I would NOT recommend purchasing anything smaller than an 0 (0.35 mm). Even as a professional I find cleaning a 4x0 to be a challenge. I work most often with a 2x0, and find them to produce the smoothest flow, if kept clean.
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I really like these pencils. I accidentally found a technique that really exemplified the "magic" in them. Rolling the pencil to preserve the point and coloring in a circular motion really brings out the random beauty of the colors in coloring a small petaled flower like a zinnia. I have colored an entire picture with one pencil and gotten raves about it. The biggest drawback I am experiencing is the lack of tutorials to help people understand how to use them. I have seen critiques where the artist did not have a clue how to use them. I have also seen a Russian tutorial that shows a lot of blending techniques that really show some extraordinary effects. I am currently exploring their use for backgrounds. I like the pencils and find them a challenge to explore the "magic."
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