Friday, June 25, 2010
MASS, VALUE, COLOR, TEMPERATURE--NOT LINES!
The real determinate in drawing skill is taste--not drawing from life. If you know how something SHOULD look in its painted form--then you will draw or paint it WITH THE POSSIBILITIES THAT PAINT OFFERS--according to your personal artistic vision. How do you learn how something should look in its painted form?--stare at great paintings for two thousand hours, then love the creation, then cover three football fields worth of canvas--bingo--YOU HAVE IT! Staring at others solutions may even be a hinderance--I just love doing it since I am so limited--I just try to knock off others who have gone before.
All of this academic stuff about drawing is a bunch of horse dung--except for those who own these academies that discourage creativity. Over emphasis on drawing is designed to distance humans from artistic expression--drawing or rendering is the enemy. Lines, or marks as I prefer to call them, are only temporary designations that indicate where masses should be initially laid in. The bringing together of colorful masses in the correct value and temperature is the ticket--lines separate masses artificially and prevent the merging of shape, value, and color--avoid over rendering and develop your personal sense of how something can be expressed in paint using your imaginaton--maybe paint from your dreams and memories like the Nabis. They are perceived by some critics as the greatest colorists--their approach was unrestricted by the academics of their time.
You may choose to render the hell out of everything, but don't tell me that you have to draw well before you can paint well--if you have a sense of how something looks to you--then you will put the shapes, values, color and mass in the right place--but this takes conviction and a fearlessness that is rare indeed--Dan McCaw is the only one out there I know of who practices this approach.
If the value, color and shape of the mass are on target--then a general placement of them will suffice--it is value and color that give the painting the snap and the authority not accurate rendering--always leave room for the viewer's imagination to wander--don't insult the viewer by giving too much information--by rendering every detail to death.
The logic of value and color in a painting equals the EFFECT OF LIGHT. Painting value and light with distinction and taste will make you rich and famous--I promise. Only two or three every half century achieve this-- so have fun! All of nature provides a point of departure for painting light--LIGHT EXPRESSED BY COLOR AND VALUE --this is what I am chasing in my own work and what I try to teach when given the opportunity. See ya down the road--Don