Greetings!  Thank you for your interest in my Illustration services. I am open to a wide variety of projects in traditional and digital media and am fast, reliable & easy to deal with. I will either take on an assignment or I won’t - I only give my best effort or I do nothing at all. I work very fast. I always start with digital media now- the "comp" is the new rough sketch. My digital illustrations are hard to tell from oil paintings in print. I offer oil on canvas and art on Bristol board in mixed media as well. [ Prismacolors, inks, acrylics, pastel, etc.] 


      Basically I offer art in three kinds of media, Digital or computer art starting at $500. U.S. dollars - Traditional media - Prismacolor and Oil originals on Archival Bristol Board and Oils on Canvas. Art on paper starts at $1250.USD Oils on canvas start at $2500. U.S. Dollars.  I always start with a digital version to assure complete customer satisfaction before rendering the art in traditional mediums. Archival quality Poster sized Prints  of your cover art can also be had if you're interested for $99. Art is my only job. I love it.  I work fast and aim to please.

 E-mail me for more information or scroll down.

        Clear communication about project goals, budgets and vision always make a formula for success. I charge from $500.00-$3,500.00 to create custom art in digital media, depending how much money stands to be made from sales, how hard the illustration is and how hard you are to please. Single figures in a nature background for small market sales run on the low side of my scale if the customer is easy to please. I define “easy to please” as happy with an illustration that EXACTLY fits your description and meets the rich detail and quality standards shown on my website. Mistakes are fixed for free, like putting in a girl where a man was requested. I don’t make many mistakes because I double and triple check the notes. Changes to the notes or additions of elements not asked for after work is submitted cost extra.

    Send me a description of what you want and or an outline of essential elements if these prices are agreeable to you. Group pricing is available under certain conditions. My minimum fee for custom digital and Mixed Media creations like those found in my galleries online is five hundred USD providing I can work from what source material I have on hand and no new photo shoots are involved. Photo shoots get real expensive real fast. Complex scenes with lots of figures will cost more.  


OUP CSC        isis coin design    

Illustrations for Books, Magazines, Calendars, Poster Art, Ads, Candles, DVDs, CDs, Statues, Coins, Games & Greeting Card Art.

Here are some examples of commissions that came with very strict instructions for the customer's very specific needs...


Oil paintings on canvas or panel, colored pencil paintings on bristol and digital artwork on disk or printed form are all available.


Featuring a Classic approach to Portraits, Fantasy, Science-fiction, Adventure, Mystery, History, Young Adult Fiction, Religion and Romance...


Three Portraits of the same young lady in pastel and colored pencil on watercolor paper



E-mail me for more information or scroll down.

All  paintings, pictures, & text  (c) 1972-2019 Howard David Johnson All Rights Reserved







I start every commission project with a digital montage like I show on my original art and digital pages. It assures complete customer satisfaction and eliminates surprises. Any important details could be collected in outline or list form to go with your description. I know you'd rather do this than get the art and go "Oh no!" I forgot to say how old he was! and have to pay extra for changes. Of course if  I make a mistake like putting a blond in when you specified a brunette I'll change that free of charge. Additions to the description after the art is done cost extra based on time and difficulty. In the old days ANY revisions were catastrophic, but now adding more sky for titles for example is easy instead of having to start all over. Some changes still require completely re-doing the art.  Examples of originals shown next to the digital preliminaries are at or for more visit


Valkyrie Maiden Painting Norse Mythology                    


Above are Three illustrations of Norse Mythology - examples of digital media, the industry standard in 21st Century  Publishing.


"All Hallows Eve" below shows examples of the same picture rendered in my three favorite media -  side by side.

Mixed Media including digital  

Prismacolor colored pencils on paper 

   Oil Painting on Canvas   



I cannot do exactly what you see in your mind. No one can even in a hundred tries. Often writers see moving pictures in their minds with flying cameras. I CAN do still art & an instant frozen in time that looks like the work on my website and that fits your description EXACTLY. I need a paragraph or two and perhaps a checklist of essential elements. For book covers, I need to know the book size and the exact text that will be on the cover so I can make everything fit right and leave ¼ inch chopping space for your printer so I can make their lives easier. I aim to please.



You will own UNLIMITED USAGE RIGHTS for life plus 70 additional years for your estate. Since this is being created in the US and exported, this illustration would be work-for-hire under U.S. copyright law and I would still own all my usual publishing rights but you will also have unrestricted usage without any need for consultation, permission or additional fees for that one price.  I do not draw up formal contracts on jobs under $2,500. Signed and dated Legal documents will be provided stating your unlimited usage and ownership upon request. A one time fee. I will require no further payments, the art will be yours.


Third- PAYMENT and PROCEDURES for the three kinds of media:

On every project over $500.00 US dollars I require a fifty-percent down payment to start work just like any other contractor. Using e-mail I send the art in 72 dpi JPEG for your consideration as an attachment. Upon us achieving customer satisfaction, revisions complete if necessary... then the balance check is sent. Discount prices of $500.00 and under require payment in full in advance. These digital illustrations rarely take a month. I can render the digital art in traditional media as Prismacolor on Paper (ex: Helen of Troy –3 weeks) or Oil on Canvas ( ex: Athena 60-100 days) for and additional one thousand or Two thousand respectively. These originals will be one-of-a-kind-items.



In Digital media the 300 dpi TIFF professional format high-resolution printing masters are immediately uploaded the same day payment is received for immediate download at  - no passwords no software just one click and blazing speed worldwide and physical originals are shipped FEDEX or facsimile service at my expense. There is a school of thought that seems to think that a caveman’s beating on a hollow log with a stick is automatically superior to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony performed by the world’s finest symphony orchestra because less technology is involved. I do not subscribe to this kind of thinking. Personally I LOVE computers! First of all, there’s the freedom from fear! The undo button is empowering and liberating! More importantly, publishing customers can't afford to pay me for old-fashioned traditional methods like oil on canvas. I can do them, and do them well, but no one but millionaire art collectors can afford to pay even poverty level hourly rates for all that time. The masters often took a year for a single painting. With digital media I can create pieces that look very nice for very nice prices and with blazing speed. The publishing industry is not noted for its patience. In the early days of my art career, mailing traditional media originals was scary at best, but now they can be scanned and shipped without risk. Also in my early days adding canvas space to a work in progress was as impossible as growing a second head... but now it is so easy I usually don't even charge extra to adapt them if its just skies or landscapes! Re-dos and revisions were financially catastrophic! No wonder the starving artist became a stereotype! Before the internet, I struggled to find customers in Austin Texas, now nearly every nation on Earth has visited my website! This was beyond my wildest imaginings as a boy. What an amazing era we live in! I love it!!!

~ Howard David Johnson

You can e-mail for more details at:

Your business, letters and links are always welcome!

Who is Contemporary American Illustrator Howard David Johnson?

Howard David Johnson American Illustrator. 

      Howard David Johnson is a contemporary realistic artist and photographer with a background in the natural sciences and history.  After a lifetime of drawing and painting, David works in a wide variety of mixed media ranging from oil on canvas to digital media.

   David's Traditional Realistic Art was exhibited in the British Museum in London in 1996, ( 3 years before he got his first computer ) as well as numerous American ones since, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. David's realistic illustrations have made appearances in every major bookstore and game shop chain in America as well as magazines and educational texts around the world. 

     Some of his more prestigious clients have included the National Geographic Society, the University of Texas, the University of Cambridge in England, Paramount Studios, Universal Studios, PBS TV, Enslow Educational Publishers, Adobe Photoshop, Auto FX,  Doubleday, the History Book of the Month Club, & J Walter Thompson Advertising, just to name a few.  Working in a variety of media David offers his customers a variety of options and more than three decades of experience. As a realistic illustrator he has not only used the computer but has been involved in the development and marketing of software for Adobe Photoshop. Digital art, Colored pencils, Pastels, Mixed media, & also Oil Paintings can also be commissioned for select projects. 

Digital illustration projects start at $500.USD. and group rates are available. David delivers custom made copyright free illustrations & old fashioned customer service when he does work-for-hire. To publish existing pieces of his realistic art, David sells licenses starting at only $99.USD.

All these pieces of realistic art and the text are legally copyrighted and were registered with the U.S. Library of Congress Office of Copyright by the author, Howard David Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for many academic or non-commercial uses is freely and legally available by simply contacting the author via e-mail or visiting






Dozens of Johnson's 38 x 28 Oil Paintings on linen canvas are currently available for sale. Many digital works can also be rendered in oil on canvas once at that size and can be delivered in as little as 60-90 days

 Every original comes with a signed dated Certificate of Authenticity. 

Write for current availability and pricing:





Scroll Down for more Art, Articles and business services...


e-mail for more details at




Adaptable Illustrations for a variety of uses...

Licenses for all kinds of uses including Book Covers, Illustrations, Calendars, Poster Art, Ads, Candles, Greeting Card Art and more starting at only $99.USD. Fast Delivery! These 20-24 inch tall 300 dpi digital masters are archived in TIFF professional printing format but can be converted to meet your needs. Same day Service! E-mail for more info...


 Click on the image thumbnails below to see larger copies or to order prints...


Fairy Land


Spartan Warriors


Sleeping Beauty


The Archangel Raphael


The Siege of the Alamo


Pixie Dust


Joan of arc


Helen of Troy




Welsh Red Dragon


Elven Fairy Magic


Legendary King Arthur


The Chinese Dragon


Iris goddess of Rainbow


Warrior Queen Boudica


Tiny Dancer


The Lady of Shallot


 Valkyrie Maiden


The Archangel Michael


A Modern Semiramis


Fairies Goblins & Dwarfs


Thor, Odin & Loki


Pandora's Box


The Coming of Brunhilde


The Archangel Gabriel


Daniel in the Lion's Den


Kissed by an Angel


The 300 Spartans


The Adoration of the Magi


The Dragon Slayer


The Defenders of the Faith


The Dragon Níðhöggr


Mab, bringer of Dreams


Faerie Tales


Moon goddess Diana


The Angel & the Unicorn




The Oracle




The Lake of Fire


Krishna & the Serpent


The Fairy Circle


Kriemhilde's Revenge


Poor Cinderella


Queen Cinderella


St George & the Dragon


The Sword of Lancelot


The Protector of the Forest


George Washington


Napoleon Bonaparte


Caesar's Conquests


Helen of Troy's Suitors


Helen and Paris


The Resurrection


A Mermaid


All Hallows Eve


The Flower Fairy


The Queen's Champion


The Angels of Forgiveness


The Age of Chivalry


 Scroll down for details or e-mail now for courteous and speedy service!


Ezekiel's Vision


Angel of Deliverance


Angel of Prophecy


Angelic Escort


Raphael with Caduceus Staff


Odysseus and the Cyclops




Justitia, goddess of Justice


In the wake of Poisedon


Persehone, goddess of Spring


Noah's Ark


The Trojan Horse


All quiet on the Western Front


Bittersweet Reunion


The War Machines


The Hydra & the Golden Fleece

Demeter, goddess of the Harvest

Mermaid Sunset


The Mermaid & the Sailors



Baba Yaga

Robin Hood

Siegfried & Brunhilde

Sir Gawain

Education of Morgan Le Fay

The Magic Sword Excalibur

St. Michael bless our home

The Lady of the Lake

Blonde Savage

Duel of the Amazons

Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt

The Dryad

Aphrodite, goddess of Love

Prometheus Bound

Ares, god of war

Apollo and Daphne

Cronus and Rhea


Hercules and the Lernean Hydra




Hurt Feelings


Midnight Fairy


Tinker Bell


The Red Fairy


Aphrodite's Child

The Court of Hades

The Salvation of the Argo


Athene, goddess of Wisdom

Battle of the Damned

The Conquest of Space

Jungle Tales

The Master of Evolution

Raven of Atlantis

King Arthur & Sir Lancelot

El Cid



Uther & the Dragon's Breath

 Scroll down for more or e-mail now for courteous and speedy service!

Licensing existing art is a very inexpensive way to get a striking cover, starting at only $99.USD... Modifying existing work to fit a cover's need for Extra Space... My images can be easily modified to be used as book covers and accommodate analog printing cutoffs by adding more edge space along the sides and extra room at the top for lettering at no extra charge. It's quick and easy with today's powerful digital media!

Angels of Reassurance


The Familiar


The Lady Kriemhilde


Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra


The Messenger


The Virgin and the Unicorn


Zeus, King of the Olympians


Medusa the Gorgon


Jason and the Argonauts


Hera, Queen of the Olympians


The Battle of Midway


1st Marines Assault on Peleliu Beach


Spartan King Leonidas


D plus Six: American Paratroopers in Normandy


The Welcoming Committee


The Ascension

Little Red Riding Hood


Little Daylight

The Quarrel between Titania and Oberon


Egyptian Queen Cleopatra




The Sorceress Medea




Fairy Queen Medb,  of the Sidhee




Macaria, the Daughter of Hades



Amazon Warriors


Theseus & the Minotaur


The Dragon's Breath


The Summoner


The Tiger Girl


The Golden Apples


Michael cutting thru Fear


The Crown of Thorns


The Crucifixion of Christ


The Sprits of the Prophets


The Transfiguration of Christ



The Song of the Harpist


Waiting for Eros

Celtic Queen Boudica and the Morrigu

Psyche in Cupid's Garden

Brigit, the Celtic goddess of Poetry

Raphael with Fruit


Ancient Metropolis


The Dome of the Rock


The Charge of the Light Brigade


The Defense of Reorke's Drift


A Midsummer Nights Dream


The Fall of Jerusalem

Phantom of the Opera

The Sword of Siegfried

The Dragon Dancer

The Dragon Charmer

The Great Green Dragon

Rite of Passage

The Good Ladies of Nature

Gorgeous Quality High Resolution files for All kinds of Commercial uses!

 Scroll down for more or e-mail now for courteous and speedy service!


Mystery, Babylon the Great


Kwan Yin [Guanyin]


Isis, Egyptian Patroness...


The Twilight of the gods


The Sacred Heart of Jesus


Titania, Queen of Fairies



The Faerie Grove Revisited



Faerie Guardians



Athena, Protector of the...


Song-Zi Kwan Yin


Odin and Sleipnir

Thor, the god of Thunder

Surtur, King of the Fire Trolls

Frigg takes oaths from all living creatures

Baldur, the Shining One

Hermodr Before Hel

Fafnir, the Storm Giant

Loki and his Children

Iðunn and the Golden Apples

The Binding of the Fenris Wolf

Didn't SEE what you want? We have HUNDREDS more... Scroll down

  Some of David's more prestigious clients have included the National Geographic Society, the University of Texas, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in England, MGM, Warner Home Video, Paramount Studios, Universal Studios, PBS TV, Enslow Educational Publishers, Adobe Photoshop, Auto FX,  Doubleday, the History Book of the Month Club, & J Walter Thompson Advertising, just to name a few. 


Enter a world of Beauty and Imagination...


The Realistic and Fantastic Art Galleries of Contemporary American Illustrator Howard David Johnson

Click on these Fun Educational Realistic Art Gallery link icons  for Two-fisted Tales of VALOR & Frontline Combat featuring Legendary Warriors of History, Knights and ladies of Arthurian Legend, Celtic, Nordic, Asian and Olympian gods & monsters, unicorns, dragons, fairies... and more!

deutsche mythologie.jpg (14999 bytes) Alamo btn.jpg (17997 bytes) btn celtic&.jpg (15723 bytes) The World's Great Religions Art Gallery.jpg (14460 bytes) Mythic-Women Art Gallery Link.jpg (19893 bytes) Free Fairy Wallpapers link.jpg (17183 bytes) Asian mythology Art Gallery.jpg (13921 bytes)
Angel Art King Arthur Norse Mythology Greek Mythology Legends of History Fantasy Art Celtic Mythology Great Religions  Mythic Women Fairy Paintings Oriental Mythology Russian Mythology
\ Colored pencil portraits Art Gallery II.jpg (12252 bytes) Realistic Art Instruction link.jpg (14563 bytes) Pre- raphaelite Art link.jpg (16219 bytes)
Mermaid Art  History Part Two

Classic Fairy Tales

History of Dragons Pencil Portraits I Studio Photography Colored Pencils II

Art Instruction

Realistic Paintings Pre-Raphaelite Art Legendary Women Warrior Women
_Thumbelina_copy.jpg (3431 bytes) Fairies - Realistic art gallery link.jpg (17733 bytes) Greek Myths Link.jpg (17046 bytes)
The Art of War  Mythic Creatures About Realistic Art Science Fiction Art Beautiful Women Art NuVeau  Fantasy Pin ups Fairy Lore Flower Fairies

Spartan Warriors

 Lost Atlantis   Lady of Shallot (15461 bytes) Digital Realistic Art Gallery Link.jpg (17603 bytes)
Catholic Art  Art of the Bible BOOK of REVELATION Surrealist Art Commercial Art Business Center Style & Technique  Biographical Paintings in Oils ELVES Digital Techniques DINOSAURS

Presenting many NEW illustrations for 2019!

Dinosaur Art Realistic Art Fantastic subject matter Brontosaurus Tyranosaurus Rex

All these pieces of art and the text are legally copyrighted and were registered with the U.S. Library of Congress Office of Copyright by the author, Howard David Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for many academic or non-commercial uses is freely and legally available by simply contacting the author via e-mail or visiting




Art, Philosophy, and Art Philosophy

Personal Opinion Essays on  HISTORY,   MYTH,  MORALITY,  &  ART yesterday and today by the artist.



Style and Technique

"Those who are enamored of practice without science are like a pilot who goes into a ship without rudder or compass and never has any certainty where he is going. Practice should always be based upon a sound knowledge of theory, of which perspective is the guide and gateway, and without it nothing can be done well in any kind of painting."


Howard David Johnson is a contemporary visual artist and photographer with a background in the natural sciences and history. He works in a wide variety of media ranging from traditional oils,  pastels and others to cutting edge digital media. He loves mixing media. This site features examples of his Realistic Art, including illustration, photography, experimentalism, and fine art.


     The various galleries linked to by the icons above show many examples of His Realistic Art, and are grouped by theme rather than media. There are also sample illustrations from his  upcoming books on Celtic Myth and Legend and World Myth & Legend. Since boyhood he has passionately copied the old masters. To create his work, he usually starts with a thematic concept  followed by a rough realistic pencil sketch, then followed by his photography, often traveling to find suitable scenes and locations and then working in his Photography studio with live models from his sketches. He then assembles a variety of elements which are realistic and original. As a boy he dedicated his life to art in 1960. From 1965- 1999 he used xeroxes and tracings to make his preliminary photo montages. This is patterned after  the manner used by Maxfield Parrish and other 19th century notables. Beginning with a tracing, he then draws or paints from these complex original Computer Photo Montages. Many of these are on display on this web and slated for future completion in a variety of realistic traditional art media. As this happens, the finished work is substituted in the exhibit. Recently he shot hundreds of aerial photos of clouds at marvelous angles and perspectives and also looking down on the mighty mountains, rivers, and deserts of the American west while flying from Texas to Oregon and back for dynamic source material for realistic flying scenes in upcoming paintings , drawings, and pictures. 

       His favourite medium for realistic art is colored pencil because of the high speed and low expense, and people began expressing difficulty in telling his colored pencil drawing from photographs in the early 1980's.  In the last 35 plus years he has also mastered Oils, Pastels, Acrylics, Watercolors, Inks, Scratchboard, Gouache, Photography, and the highly controversial digital media ( Art Numérica ) . As a commercial illustrator Johnson has not only used the computer to create art but has been involved in the development of computer imaging software. Working in a realistic style inspired by classic illustrators HDJ is deeply rooted and grounded in the Greco-Roman artistic tradition, Feeling that with realistic art, the human form is the ultimate arena for artistic expression. His lifelong dream came true when his Traditional Realistic Art was exhibited in the British Museum in London England in 1996. His mixed media has also been displayed in numerous other ones since such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Having achieved international acclaim as a traditional visual artist he discovered digital media ( Art Numérica ) in 1999. Because of his passion for realistic art and photography he elected to embrace it and joyfully be a part of this historic era in the visual arts as a 21st century realistic visual artist.

     Since 1972 when he began his career as a scientific illustrator for the University of Texas he has earned his living illustrating all kinds of books, magazines, CD covers, and all sorts of games, greeting cards, calendars, portraits, murals and the like with his contemporary realistic art... HDJ's Realistic Art has appeared in every major bookstore chain and fantasy gaming shop in The United States and has been used in educational texts and magazines all over the world. This site features realistic paintings & pictures for the twenty-first Century including some oil paintings, as well as lots of other exciting media such as colored pencil drawings, pastel paintings, acrylic paintings, gouache paintings, watercolor paintings, and pencil drawings, and also featuring studio,  field, & aerial photography,  digital painting and photo-montage and all these media mixed in an assortment of experimental combinations...Working in a wide variety of media to create his realistic art he offers his customers a host of payment and product options. He delivers the rights to these custom made copyright free illustrations and old fashioned customer service when he does work-for-hire.

       HDJ's creations take their inspiration from the realistic paintings of the old masters. From Romeo and Juliet came West Side Story. Our shared cultural heritage, great works of art, literature, music and drama, cinema, folk tales and fairy tales are all drawn upon again and again by the creators of new works. These works in the public domain are both a catalyst and a wellspring for creativity and innovation. Where would Walt Disney be without the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, or Victor Hugo? Where would Aaron Copeland have been without American folk music? Thomas Nast's Santa Claus without traditional images of Father Christmas? Picasso without African art? Public domain appropriators, one and all. He accepts select commissions to paint custom oil paintings with down payments starting at only one thousand dollars. He grants permission for most educational purposes simply for the asking. To use his existing realistic art works outside the classroom he offers low cost license offers starting around $100.00.

Use the  e-mail links above or below to contact him...


Your letters are welcome: Please direct your mail to the appropriate box...

Thank you for visiting the commercial art page of Howard David Johnson...


Bonus Section:

Personal Opinion Essays on Realistic Art yesterday and today by the artist.

 In addition to his mastery of traditional media, Howard David Johnson now combines drawing, painting, photography, and digital media with more than thirty years of experience in these fields to create his Realistic Art Numérica in 21st century paintings and pictures. Did you know the Greek word "Photography" means "Painting with Light"? Today with the advent of computers it truly lives up to it's name. Due to developments in Art and Technology, a broader definition of painting is needed than that which is found in common usage. Announcing Art Numérica -an exciting merger of traditional visual art and cutting edge technology... a new art form for the twenty- first century... Art Numérica is not limited to realistic art but also offers limitless horizons for everything from cartoons to abstractions. It is the most dramatic development in the visual arts since the Renaissance. In the words of Al Jolson in the movie world's first talking picture" You ain't seen nothin' yet!"


The Rebirth of Realism

Thoughts on realistic art yesterday and today by the artist

Art History has entered a new era with the birth of Art Numérica, or digital art media in the 21st century. Artists never stop exploring with mediums. Artists have been developing techniques, experimenting with different tools since at least twenty- five thousand years ago, when the first artist picked up a charred stick and scratched a picture out on the wall of his cave. You'd think everything would have been tried by now, but it hasn't. Exploring new mediums this very day is just as exciting, just as full of freshness and newness as it ever was.


Photography, Drawing, Painting, Digital Art & 3D STUDIO combined

The creation of Realistic art has been the goal of most artists since the dawn of  civilization. Realistic art was the pride of ancient Greece. The world's greatest museums are full of realistic art. Realistic art WAS art until the advent of the abstract expressionist movement in the twentieth century. The coming of the camera in the nineteenth century changed realistic art forever. Suddenly, realistic art was not the only way to create realism in portraits and historical records. The work of the realistic artist was suddenly made into an expensive luxury. The political power of the realistic artist was broken and they were no longer an indispensable member of society. Hostility to the creators of realistic art goes back to ancient times and the jealousy of advisers to the Pharaohs and others who were not able to spend as much time with their rulers as their portraitists.    Although with the aid of photographs, realistic art achieved levels of excellence undreamed of, the realistic art movement of the late nineteenth century was short.    None of these people earning their living creating realistic art could compete with the speed and low cost of photographic portraiture.  Determined to survive, great realistic artists like Pablo Picasso ingeniously turned inward and began to explore things that could not be photographed in a new school of art, abstract expressionism. The day of the fine art superstars had arrived. It was now largely just a hobby to abstract and realistic artists alike. Illustration, because of advances in printing technology enabled an elite few to earn a living with their realistic art.
 These illustrators working in realistic art media  were condemned and ridiculed in much the same way Europe's great symphonic composers were condemned for working in motion pictures after fleeing the nazis during World War Two. The rift between realistic and abstract art grew wider and wider. The universities and key media usually sided with the abstract camp and derided anyone working in any realistic art media declaring boldly that realistic art was not "real" art. Immortal giants of realistic art such as Maxfield Parrish were mistreated their entire lives. They were accused of selling out for creating beautiful pieces of realistic fine art to earn a living. The attitude that the true artist must suffer and starve and die in poverty became a rule. There were the Abstract art superstars, the professional realistic illustrators, and the hobbyists who, although cut off from gainful employment and social influence still recognized their artistic gifts as a calling rather than a profession.

           Early abstract art  masters proved themselves as realistic artists before delving into realms of the intangible. They had to do this at that time to prove themselves because of the challenges they faced from the establishment for going against the status quo. In the latter part of the 20th century, realistic artists like HDJ were challenged to do abstract art to prove themselves as shown in the example above (Deirdre of the sorrows). Later realistic art training was abandoned in most schools and things like splattering paint in fits of rage  were deemed more than enough. By the end of the 20th century something as destructive and ridiculous as nailing a pack of cigarettes to a shoe was considered fine art but not realistic paintings. Fashions in art have often been as silly as fashions in ladies hats.  As the century drew to a close, many people had had enough. The realistic revolt was at hand. The rebirth of realism was fueled by the advent of the digital era. Now, for the first time in almost two centuries, an artist or illustrator could earn a decent living again with his realistic art. This is historic. Realistic art is not going to go away, especially now that photography has truly merged with traditional realistic visual art. Photography comes from the Greek words meaning "painting with light". Now with the advent of digital media the capability of realistic art has become almost limitless, truly, "painting with light". The merger of all the world's art forms to realize the potential of motion pictures has come now to still realistic art media. This website for example, combines music, prose, poetry, photography and traditional realistic art media to create an experience beyond merely looking at realistic paintings.

         The twenty- first century is already seeing a new renaissance in the arts because of the world wide web. There has never been anything like it. Abstract art, computer art, photographic art, and realistic art are continuing to be separate schools of art but are also blending to create exciting new horizons. Although Digital art does offer completely new horizons to the artist in the 21st century it does not mean the end of our time honored art traditions. Instead, it offers additional ways to keep these traditions and schools of thought  fresh and alive. ~ HDJ



(A Brief essay dealing with attitudes toward Traditional Realistic Paintings, Pastels, Colored Pencils and Art Numérique )

"Painting, in art, the action of laying colour on a surface, or the representation of objects by this means. Considered one of the fine arts"

~Encyclopaedia Britannica. 

"Painting. noun. 1.) The act or employment of laying on colors or paints. 2.) The art of forming figures or objects in colors on canvas or any other surface, or the art of representing to the eye by means of figures and colors any object; the work of an illustrator or painter. 3.) A picture; a likeness or resemblance in shape or colors. 4.) Colors laid on. 5.) Delineation that raises a vivid image in the mind; as in word painting.

~ Webster's Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language

~Dierdre of the Sorrows copy.jpg (49196 bytes)

Pastel, Acrylics, and Colored Pencils combined

     Snobbism in the arts is nothing new. Some people will tell you that oils are the only valid medium for realistic paintings. That Colored Pencil, Digital, and other Realistic Painting and Drawing Media are not valid  for "real" art. Young artists, Don't let them bother you. Their forerunners used to condemn Pastels before they gained acceptance and called them "crayons" when Johann Alexander Thiele (1685-1752) invented them.  Mercilessly disrespectful  art critics of the time could not stop the Experimentalists no matter how viscously they attacked and derided them. "Crayon-painting" as it was called in England was practiced early on by persecuted pioneers in Switzerland and many other nations. What a debt we owe to these master artists who refused to knuckle under to the pressure of those short-sighted critics during those historic and experimental times. It took until 1870 with the founding of the "Societe` Des Pastellistes" in France that respect came  at last to these heroic & immortal visual artists.

        In England the liberation of the Pastellists from slight regard and undeserved disrespect came with the first exhibition of "The Pastel Society" at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1880. Pastel Painters like Mary Cassat and others from America and other nations forever silenced  the snobs with their masterworks and gained recognition at long last for Thiele's invention as a valid art medium. I am persuaded that history will repeat itself.  Like Pastels, I believe these wonderful new colored pencils and even Digital Realistic Art Media will one day receive the recognition they deserve as powerful mediums of artistic expression just as pastel paintings did. What is your definition of art? Have you thought about it?

Mine is: "anything that makes you feel or think."

     Consider dancing... it can be a little skip in the step or rise to the level of the incomparable Russian Ballet. Did you know that just the materials alone for a single oil painting cost up to a thousand dollars these days? Even paying the artist less than minimum wage no one but the super rich can afford them anymore. Something's got to give. Realistic paintings in oil have been highly prized for centuries and the appeal and following of realistic art is undiminished to this day. Oil paintings featuring Abstract Art and Realistic Art are generally the most treasured form of all the visual art media and with good reason. But snobbish art critics  favoring abstract art have declared  that realistic paintings, or illustrations are not art for a century. With so many representationalist  paintings by so many immortal master artists hanging in the Louvre, the Hermitage, and the British Museum and others I think the disrespect for realistic illustrators that dominated the 20th century is academically ridiculous as well as vain and intolerant, insisting theirs is the only valid opinion. What is your definition of Art? I believe almost any form of human expression can be raised to the level of "high art" especially  visual art and Realistic illustration...

~Dierdre of the Sorrows detail.jpg (59016 bytes)

The detail reveals Realistic art and abstract art combined

       By my own definition of art, which is: "anything that makes you feel or think" most abstract paintings are not "real art" to me personally, because abstract paintings usually neither make me feel or think,  usually focusing obsessively on technique and avoiding any coherent content. I usually draw a complete blank mentally and emotionally when I look at them. In 1979 the Houston Metropolitan Museum of Art displayed a triptych of 3 giant   paintings they paid fifty thousand dollars for-  three blank white canvasses entitled "untitled". Then there was "The incredible new artistic Genius "with an I.Q. of 62 ...Congo the chimpanzee with his gala New York art elaborate prank played on the Snobbish American Art critics about a generation ago by research scientists in the field of primatology. Imagine how upset they were when he created one of his "ingenious masterpieces" right before their eyes.

( My Source for this is the Time Life Science Library volume entitled "The Primates". )

      Art education has been almost completely removed from American Schools as a result of generations of this kind of  fabulous nonsense contributing to America's cultural illiteracy crisis. Now, the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and other notables are being removed from school libraries.  After generations of this, most American college graduates today cannot name even one living visual artist, abstract or realistic.

There is no way that mandating more math, requiring more reading, or scheduling more science will replace what we have lost as a culture.    

What is your definition of Art?



Note: Abstract Paintings by Congo the Chimpanzee outsold Warhol and Renoir by over 25,000 dollars in June 2005 at a London art auction. Born in 1954, Congo created more than 400 drawings and paintings between the ages of two and four. He died in 1964 of tuberculosis.

This Art Gallery has been honored by more than 25,000,000 Unique Visitors 

from the Four Corners of the Earth

My Friends from around the world thus far :

England,   Canada,   Scotland,   Wales,   Ireland,   Germany,   France,   Monaco,   Andorra,   Italy,   The Vatican City State,  Greece,  Macedonia,  Cyprus,  Turkey,  Belgium,  Denmark,  The Faroe Islands,  Greenland,  Yugoslavia, Macedonia,  Croatia,  The Czech Republic,  Bosnia,  Herzegovina,  Slovakia,  Slovenia,  Luxembourg,  Latvia,  Estonia, Hungary,  Bulgaria,  Lithuania,  Poland,  Austria,  Romania,  Spain,  The Russian Federation,   Estonia,   Ukraine,   Kazakhstan, Moldova,  Malta,  Iceland,  Finland,  Norway,  Netherlands,  Switzerland,  Liechtenstein,  Sweden,  Portugal,  Albania, Armenia, Georgia,  Slovak Republic,   Azerbaijan,  Belarus,  Kazakhstan,  Gibraltar,  Israel,  Palestinian Territories,   Egypt,   Libya,  Mali, Algeria,  Niger,  Saudi Arabia,  Oman,   The United Arab Emirates,  Kuwait,  Bahrain,  Qatar,  Yemen,  Iraq,  Iran,  Jordan, Syria,   Lebanon,   Morocco,   Ethiopia,   Eritrea,   Liberia,   The Republic of Congo,   Rwanda,   Kenya,  Angola,  Ghana, The Ivory Coast,   Zambia,   Zimbabwe,   Sudan,  Nigeria,  Namibia,  Sudan,  Uganda,   Kenya,  Eritrea,  Tanzania,  Botswana, Malawi,  Senegal,  Djibouti,  Cameroon,  Chad,  Gambia,  Mozambique,  Swaziland,  Lesotho,  South Africa,  Seychelles,   Viet Nam, Japan,  South Korea,  China,  Hong Kong,  Macau,  Mongolia,  Mauritius,  Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia,  Laos,    Myanmar,  Macau,  Malaysia,  Taiwan,  Nuie,  New Zealand,  Fiji,  Cook Islands,  New Caledonia,  Vanuatu,  American Samoa,  Australia,  Micronesia,  Polynesia,  Papua New Guinea,  The Heard and McDonald Islands,  The Philippines, Guam,  Palau,  Cocos Island,  The Kingdom of Tonga,  Malaysia,   Brunei Darussalam,  India,   Pakistan,   Afghanistan, Bhutan,  Bangladesh,  Sri Lanka,  Chagos Islands,  The Republic of Maldives,  Turkmenistan,  Kyrgyzstan,  Uzbekistan, Tajikistan,   Azerbaijan,   Nepal,  Indonesia,  Chile,  Argentina,  Uruguay,  Paraguay,  Brazil,  Peru,   Aruba,  Venezuela,  Bolivia, Suriname,  Guyana,  Aruba,  The Dominican Republic,  Guatemala,  Costa Rica,  Colombia,  Trinidad and Tobago,   Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados,  The Virgin Islands,  Saint Lucia,   The Netherlands Antilles,  Panama,   Northern Mariana Islands,   Saint Vincent & Grenadines,   Grenada, Ecuador,  Belize,   Nicaragua,   El Salvador,   Bermuda,  Cuba,  Jamaica,  Dominica,  Haiti,  Puerto Rico,  Cayman Islands,  The Bahamas,   Honduras,   Mexico,    Madagascar, Central African Republic,   Ethiopia,   Gabon,   San Marino,  Saint Kitts & Nevis Anguilla,  Burkina Faso,   Equatorial Guinea,   Polynesia,  Madagascar,   Mauritania,   Burundi,   and my home, The Great Free State of Idaho (USA)...

If your home is not listed here please e-mail and tell us where you're from...


All kinds of Covers, Illustrations, Calendars, Poster Art, Ads, & Greeting Card Art. Thanks again for visiting the Commercial Art page of Howard David Johnson...

All  these images & text are legally copyrighted & were registered with the U.S. Library of Congress Office of Copyright by the author, Howard David Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for many legal non-commercial uses is freely available by simply contacting the author or visiting