Thursday, January 20, 2011

Best Practices

from Robin Cheers

After a couple of weeks off, I head back to my studio and face my easel and suddenly can't remember how to hold a brush! It takes a few days and a few canvases before I get back into the groove.

If you've been to a workshop you know that we students are always curious to know what colors, what brush, what medium, etc. the instructor uses. As if there is a certain way to do things that will make our work soar.

Unfortunately, there isn't a magic brush and the nature of art is that there isn't a set of practices to guarantee our work will succeed. But I think there are certain things that will set one on the right path. Rather than jumping right in on a large canvas, I should have taken some time to warm up, to do a loose sketch, or value study. To aim a little lower. I also thought I'd try to paint from my monitor rather than printing a photo. The monitor is nice and large, but its a good 6 feet away from me. Even a different choice of music would have helped! I realized too late that the commercial radio was really bothering me.

So by picturing myself working, by picturing what I wanted to do, and by sketching, doing a study, or warming up, I could have had better luck and felt better about my efforts.

Other things to help get yourself in the groove again might be to set up a fresh palette and select the best brushes and have them ready (something I didn't do either and there is nothing worse than trying to make old paint flow). Maybe start simple. If you paint still lifes, paint a single piece of fruit before tackling 10 items in a single painting. Loosen up your arm as well, sketch some large circles and loops to waken those muscles.

So maybe with a couple of deep breaths and remembering my own best practices, I will have more success today.


Kathy Hodge said...

It seems like a lot of artists are trying out the idea of paining from a monitor. I'm still on the fence, as I say in my latest post but I don't think I'm ready to give up my photographs yet...

My Grama's Soul said...

Read/this post..such good ideas you have shared


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