Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Art Tip #119

Set for Success

 I see students struggle because they set themselves up for failure rather than success.  This might seem trivial and/or obvious but here's my advise.
  • Don't bite off more than you can chew.  Many painters pick incredibly complicated subject matter, work from horrible photos, try to create/change a subject without the necessary knowledge or ability.
  • HAVE A PLAN for your painting, do composition & value sketches, determine focal point
  • Don't include the entire value scale in a painting
  • Just because something is in a photo or you see it (when painting from life) doesn't mean that it should be included.  Ask yourself, does it serve a purpose for making the best painting?
  • Palette - spend time getting to know your palette (By now you know I'm a limited palette kinda gal) but no matter the # tubes of paint on your palette, learn how they interact with each other.  
  • Don't use a color just because it's pretty...pretty is overrated.
  • Brushes - once again, get to know what your brushes can do.  Some artists have the worst looking brushes & create masterpieces.  
  • Best tools - buy the best you can afford is trumped by knowing what tools you have & how to use them to their best ability
  • Consistency in paint - I consistently use the same brand of paint, I know what to expect. Not all hues are the same (there can be huge differences of the same hue across brands)
  • Get comfortable with your subject.  Don't just dive right in.  I spend time with my subject & I'm always amazed at what I see after just a few minutes of observation.
  • Painting is not a speed contest.  If you've only got an hour to do a painting, don't try to complete a 16x20.  Perhaps a quick 6x8 study would benefit your understanding for a larger piece.  
  • Don't let your only goal be to complete a painting.  So many students just want to have a finished piece but if you're flying through to just reach the end, then you've undoubtedly lost a lot along the way.  
Composition, value, color, information,shapes, variety & application are pieces of the puzzle.  They come together to form a work of art.  Jumping straight to the easel rarely guarantees a successful painting.