Being an artist.

The first mistake is to declare you have no talent! Don’t set your mind and yourself up for failure. With the right teacher you can learn how to draw. You need to start and understand how to draw realistically before you can draw surrealism for example.  Look through my previous post for examples of shapes to start with such as a sphere and then cylinders, squares. I know there are people with different skill levels, but maybe you never were taught basic techniques to start out right. Do not get “Stuck” in using a grid technique. You need to rely on seeing and transferring on your merit. You will not learn proportion, drawing shapes, weighted forms and learning to understand drawing elements.

If you really want to improve your skill level start figure drawing in charcoal. I know that everyone does not have access to a Life drawing class, but most of us have someone who will sit for you for 30 minutes or so. If nobody will sit for you we all have a family member whom sleeps in a chair, draw or sketch grandpa from different angles. One newsprint tablet later you see much improvement. There will be improvement in the way you draw, see objects and form. You ability to transfer from life to paper, still-life will improve. There is No magic pencil, you must practice and press through. My father always said to me, “You only get out life what you put into it”. How true is that? Hard work is hard work, no way around it.

Remember composition. Good composition provides lines taking you through the picture from one point to another. There is movement throughout either with texture, pattern, lines, shapes, balance and lighting.  A composition subject leaves the viewers with emotion and feelings; could be a memory provoked because of your artwork. Your artwork reminds them of an experience from their life therefore making a connection. Subjects that people can relate to; everyday life scenes, children and pets are a common thread.  If your drawing is busy meaning a lot going on you need a resting spot for the eyes. If the paper is completely filled the drawing can become overwhelming to look at for very long and just too frustrating to figure it out.  Be careful how much information you actually need to draw or include in the composition.

A solid title is important especially if you have a subject people need to figure out what exactly you the artist is trying to convey. If someone looking at your artwork does not understand your type of art they are relying on the title for direction. Look through out The Masters and compositions they provide a way out of the drawing either through a window or door in the setting. For a more this century contemporary artist look at Andrew Wyeth and his use of doors and windows in his paintings and drawings. Remember the light source as well. Light will help depict the time of day.

Work on 140 lb. paper or better! Tape a border edge because you do Not draw to the edge of the paper. You need an edge for matting, framing and or presenting.

Drawing skills

Here are a few pictures of Elvis the goat Joan is learning to draw. REMEMBER and I can NOT stress enough that when you are drawing always draw in the direction of the form. The lines you are drawing should go in the direction of the object [ hairs ] are going in. Look at the beginning of this sketch and the direction even in the start of shaping the form.003


Joan sketched this out a few months ago and wasn’t able to get to this until now and she was amazed to see how much she has learned and how her drawing skills have improved. If you need help with your drawing skills then you need lessons with me!

watercolor paper

Much added details added under painting tools in menu!

I wanted to add a thought for thinking…….watercolor is a medium I love to work in and I can use the medium and my skill to paint the level of realism I want to achieve. For awhile now I have been giving myself a hard time that I should change-up my style to use watercolor more expressively or a more watercolor style feel everyone expects watercolor to be. That’s wrong. I have a skill to paint watercolor extremely realistic which took many paintings later to achieve, plus I am happy and satisfied with my results in watercolor.  I have discovered or come to the conclusion I can paint or draw in an expressionistic style in other mediums to satisfy artistic needs. Maybe that’s why I enjoy working on a dollhouse which I have very realistic as well! lol…..startin to see a pattern. My dollhouse does take up one-quarter of my working space studio and I certainly could use the room for more art stuff, BUT……I enjoy working on it even if that time is sparingly these days. My miniature flowers I designs are beautiful to miniature artist. I just need to find a way to make the room work.

It is important to grow as an artist and be exposed to different techniques, styles of course, but you need to be happy with your artwork results which will result in trying new ways to approach different mediums. It is also important to give yourself a break and enjoy creating.  What do you think?