September 18, 2015

Study, study, study

5x7 pastel on paper

It has become acutely obvious to me that in this profession of fine art, one never, ever, quits learning. Even though most of us are born with the ability to see, it is only through multitudes of studies that an artist truly learns the skill of seeing what is needed in the field of fine arts.

5x7 oil on panel

So, how does one study? It is likely you would get a different answer for every artist who is asked this question. My answer is that there is no substitute for time spent at the easel; whether it be en plein aire (outdoors) or in the studio, practice is the essence of learning to see and applying that in a uniquely artistic manner. I often use small 5x7 panels so I can capture the energy and color of the moment. Also, I'm not as cautious with a smaller panel as I am with a larger one which can lead to a lot more freedom to explore.

5x7 oil on panel

When teaching, I am often asked how one is to develop his/her style. Style, in my opinion, is not developed, it is revealed. It is revealed through hours upon hours of painting. And, not all artists have a single style.

5x7 oil on panel

One of the ways I get time at the easel (whether inside or out) is to paint small studies that I may then use to develop larger or more complex paintings. When out in the field (en plein aire) I will often use these studies to capture true colors; colors the camera can't "see." It is a pleasure to have these small pieces to turn to for color accuracy.

These small studies can often be found for a song on my eBay and/or Daily Paint Works accounts.

So, off I, study, study!

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