"Tiny Anne II," 6" x 6", portrait of an old Raggedy Anne doll, done in acrylics on museum quality panel, not for sale.
There is the popular belief that we artists just sit back and the paintings just paint themselves, and I want to assure you that this isn't further from the truth!
Artists work hard, honing how they see the world, practicing with their tools, and throwing out a LOT of art in the process. You don't see it because you aren't in the studio with us, but trust me, it happens. And even when I'm not in the studio, I'm painting in my head. Always mixing colors and rearranging form.
Ok, but I digress - back to Anne.
I repainted her (and cursed profoundly while doing so) probably 6 times yesterday. I knew that my issue was separating color from value, and because my doll was mostly flat, I needed to be paying extra attention to the values NOT the colors. And I also had to be studying color temperatures, because with a flatter form, the only way I was going to get depth of field was through pushing my hots and colds.
Today I started directly with value studies (props to Vianna Szabo, the very same who twisted my arm to work a limited palette (and changed my life all for the better) now has me doing value studies). I lined up a bunch of doll faces, including Raggedy Anne, and worked with only three gray puddles of paint, sketching form using value instead of color for at least an hour (see image at left)
Then, before I could psyche myself out, I hurried and started a new Anne. Right overtop the old one.
And I saw her differently. Completely differently.
Still not perfectly, but I'm working on that. I know it won't come overnite. But I'm not afraid of all the hard work it'll take to get me there!
Have a great weekend,
How Do Artists Learn?
Making art is not inherant - don't buy into that myth. It is something honed over a lifetime. Here are just a few of the ways that artists can improve their skills:
Looking at other art
Talking to other artists
Studying art history
Visiting galleries and museums
Experimenting in their own studio
Stepping out of their comfort zone
Returning to school
Taking a class through an art center
Private or group lessons
Traveling to a workshop
Watching other artists work
Making LOTS of Mistakes (I excel at this one!)