Tips for Improving Your Paintings

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the series SAIC Class Notes
Drawing by Rembrandt van Rijn "Reclining Lion" pen and paint brush ca. 1650
Drawing by Rembrandt van Rijn “Reclining Lion” pen and paint brush ca. 1650
Class notes from art camp classes with George Liebert and Dan Gustin, Oxbow, MI, summer 1991.

Make a list of verbs and adjectives about your own work.

When struggling with a work, isolate parts of it and do lots of sketches to come up with a better composition.

What are your personal, specific goals?

Colors: similar vs. somber vs. stronger.

Realism vs. abstraction – both successful, maybe in combination. (one of my teachers, Dan Guston, and a visiting artist got into a discussion about a painting I did of a girl in the landscape – she was wearing a bandana on her head, which I painted as a flat triangle on top of her more realistically rendered figure).

Consider the excitement of surfaces vs. complex images. Patterns on a blanket, individual parts developed, keep to whole color – add pink, red, clear blue, zingier color.

Keep exciting in earlier stages.

Develop through a series of big changes to work out issues.

Series of patterns; sincerity, passion.

Beware of making shadows that are a hole to hell (too dark) – a gap in thinking color rather than value.

Take inventory – look at beautiful drawings in museum.

A strange mix of sacred and profane.

Baroque art: look at Poussin, Rubens‘ sketches, Rembrandt, make drawings about what interests you — movement, etc.

Overlap some things.

Check a variety of approaches; work on a sense of design.

Look at Eric Fischl – palette in a realistic landscape.

Series Navigation<< Class Notes: Some Artists to Look AtClass Notes on Color >>

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