Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ten Suggested New Year's Resolutions for Art Students

I've not started back teaching yet, but thought I would give readers or art students ten suggestions for New Year's Resolutions. 
It's only January 5th so it's not too late. After Jan 10th, resolutions are called "goals". My rule. But goals are just as good as resolutions!

  1.  Paint looser. (This one is for me. I'm a lifelong student too!)
  2. Paint standing up if you can so that you can walk away and look at your painting every few minutes. Do this to know when you "have it right".  As I was painting this week I realize that I walk continuously. This is the thing that my students need to do more. If I could get them to do that they would know when to stop painting the life out of much of their work. It needs to be seen a few feet away to judge how it really looks. 
  3. Paint more AND use more paint.
  4. Draw more.  
  5. Do more value studies in paint and pencil or marker to understand perspective and form and mass. 
  6. Find an art book that you like and just study the paintings in good light. Study closely and then squint and study them to see the values. Get a magnifying glass to look at smaller paintings as well as glance at them to see the first impression. That is the thumbnail and actually what a buyer sees as they glance at a wall of paintings as they come into a gallery. 
  7. Read an art book and underline important things. Then read it again. Examples of good art books are both of Kevin McPherson's books and Tom Browning's books. Also Edgar Payne's book on compositions. 
  8. Find a class or painting group to join.
  9. Invest in the best brushes and canvas you can afford. If oils I like Robert Simmons signet brushes and Trekell brushes. Always use professional artist's grade paints too.
  10. Visit large art museums and study the master paintings closely. Read good art blogs. Know good art. It will make you more critical of your own art and educate you about the amount of pant you need to use on your paintings.

Last year one of my goals was to start bright- and tone it down later. So here is one of my 2011 paintings that I really enjoyed doing. It was 48x36 and sold at Caron|Prince Gallery in Tupelo:

What are your own goals this year? Set some.
What helped you this year? Let me know!

Happy Painting and Happy New Year!

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