Sharing knowledge and my original work

Art

Cats Draw Me Into The Cat World

Cats draw me into their world because I love watching them. You join their world unlike a dog that joins yours. I am more of dog person for now.

People like me find them so fascinating it wouldn’t take much for me to want one or two, but I wouldn’t get much work done. That’s because I would be watching my cats.

My dog and bird are enough to take care of at the moment. I love all animals and I like being around them. They are my muse. Everything about them I find beautiful and fascinating.

Cats become my subject matter and the center of interest  a lot. There are so many different kinds of cats painting and drawing them from time to time is a pleasure. Most of them are domestic cats. Some are from the neighborhood, some are wild or they live on a farm. It doesn’t matter to me I love them all .

Here are some of my drawings of cats.

PERSIAN PEWTER

Cats keep their focus on moving objects.

.

CHOCOLATE POINT SIAMESE

Chocolate Point Siamese is a beautify cat.

 

King of Cats The Lion

King of Cats The Lion

 

Bob Cat

Bob Cat resting his head on a log with his eyes fixed on something.

 

The fastest cat

The fastest Cat The Jaguar

 

British Short Hair

British Short Hair

 

 

American Short Hair

American Short Hair a cat on the prowl.

 

Kittens

Kittens

 

Scottish Fold Blue Cream

Scottish Fold Blue Cream

 

New Born Kitten

New Born Kitten

 

Mix Breed

Minks is a mix breed

 

Cats 1

Cats 1

Drawing these creatures is fun and I just love painting them. The great colors of their fur is an added treat. I am all about the textures that are brought out by color and patterns that shift caused by genetics.

The distinguishing mark that show off different breeds are as fascinating to me as the character traits of the species. There is no mistake between a Tiger and a Lion or a Tabby and a Persian. Painting them is a welcome challenge for me.

 

Cats 2

Cats 2

 

 

Persian

Persian

 

Garden Cat

Garden Cat

 

LEPOARD

LEPOARD

Working on each piece brings me a greater understanding of these wonderful creatures. Watching the way they move through their environment plays a big part on how they are seen or not seen. Some move around your back yard out in the open while Tiger and Leopards can go through the jungle without being seen.

It is hard to keep your eyes off of them when they are in plain sight. I love capturing them in my work and sharing the way I see them.

 

 

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Learning Disorders/ 7 Ways Artist Cope

Learning disorders effect my art. I have ADHD and dyslexia. I transpose letters, shapes, line, reading, writing, numbers and my brain doesn’t let me slow down so art is a welcome gift because it is my greatest learning tool.

Learning the same way as the majority of students wasn’t working for me. I am a very visual learner and I learn quickly. I identify color and shape with everything so you can image how pleased I am when all things come together to create a finished peace of art.

Most artist with dyslexia are very visual they see color, tone, textures and details very clearly they can communicate through their art. Everything we observe is vivid and dimensional, so we can see how we want to recreate it before we put pen to paper or brush to canvas.

ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a neurobehavioral disorder which makes it hard to control inattention and hyperactivity with hard to control impulse. Artist with this disability like me find pleasure in drawing and find that painting with water based paints work the best.

Pencil drawing is just part of learning when your an artist.

ADHD artist love to draw and it the first aid in learning your craft.

These disabilities are a blessing once you learn to embraces the possibilities. Low self esteem is the biggest handicap I dealt with growing up. Learning about art is the one place I felt that I good about myself.

How do artist cope with learning disorders while they work?

  1. We don’t see it as a disability because our imagination is so active we don’t take time to dwell.
  2. Learning new ways to put our creativity to work is just part of the experience.
  3. Artist do sculpture, draw and paint. Others become part of the TV and movie industry.
  4. Living as a visual person means your left brain works over time, so the creative process is always turned on.
  5. Live in a world wear color, shape and texture beg to be noticed and we are willing to share our vision with everyone in our art.
  6. Because we have a heighten level of observation we know when something is off. Our sense of balance between light and dark is found through out our work.
  7. Most of our work is highly emotional and shares something personal a peak into our personality.

Those of us that have learning disabilities will try all types of mediums and in doing so we find the process that supports a style that is unique to us. The subject matter is always a large part in how we work. My need to create my vision is what drives me to cope with any disability I have. My imagination and energy is what brings each piece of art to life.

As a young child myself esteem took many hits but as I got better at developing my craft nothing could replace the power I feel when I’m learning something new or creating my art. Look at your learning disability from all side and figure out how you can turn it around to work for you instead of letting it effect yourself esteem at any age.

Visual learning is not a disablility.

My brain left or right adapts to learning what it needs to create a beautiful work of art

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Art Communicates Around The World

Art is recreating what we see. It has been around since the beginning, it is one way we communicated with each other around the world. Reproducing our visions is what artist do.

As an artist I see the ugly, depressed, fun and beautiful everywhere. Animals have always been an inspiration to me. I have so much joy bringing what I see to you in different mediums like drawing, painting, photograph or sculpture.

I love walking into homes and businesses to see what’s hanging on their walls. Pictures and sculpture that pulls an your heart strings, brings joy to the beholder and art that we fall deeply in love with are found there. We are so glad we have the privilege of owning original works.

My subject matter never runs out its every where. Every pet that I see has so much personality but, nun more than my own. Every animals character set them a part from being a wild or domestic animals. They all are so inspirational I just love to capture what I feel brings out the best in their personality.

Grace is an inspiration for me. She is just so funny. Life is so hard when your a dog in a loving home. Especially mine.

   My current Muse

Photo Dalmatian sleeping

My girl grace sleeping with her tongue hanging out.

 

 

I have been working on this piece of art for a short time and you can see how my dog looks at me every time I wake her while she is lying on my bed with me. I love when she lays exactly where she is not suppose to be or hides in the grass. She is an art form, a model ready to be captured by an artist and I am truly grateful she is mine.

 

Each piece of art is unique.

Create depth with light and shadow.

 

 

Grace coming is into view as details emerge.

Pencil build as the drawing becomes more detailed.

 

Unfolding art.

The drawing as it unfolds.

   

Grace's eyes pencil drawing

Art can capture your heart.

 

Detailed drawing in pencil Grace

Drawing with pencil is just one way to bring your vision to life.

 

Finished art work title Sleepy Girl

Sleepy Girl

I think it turned out pretty good and now the work isn’t finished until it is framed ready to sell. Every piece of art I do is an original.  I will be doing more drawings of Grace, she is an inspiration. I wish you could meet her she keeps us laughing. She got her name because graceful she is not. We have been waiting for her to acquire some for 8 years. Ha! Not going to happen.

We have had four dogs and she is the most comical. She is like a cow walking through the room everything bounces she can fall on air and tumble just walking across the room. She is pushy, you know when she want her way. Our other Dalmatians were calm, carefree and they moved so graceful it was beautiful. We miss them.

 

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Market Art On Line

Artist can sell their work by taking advantage of every opportunity available. How we market art work is just as important as doing it. A company spends time and money advertising their products and our art is our product.

Using the inter-net to market art is show your work to millions of people just by posting it on the web. We spend hours and hours on our work waiting to be discovered. I have been doing this a very long time. Do you know how to market art work to the masses? Your art work? Most fine artist would rather create the art work and let the marketing to someone else. That would be just fine if you can get the attention of the Galleries that you want your work to be show cased in and be paid for it.

Here are some marketing tips that take you from the studio to the inter-net. Just as I have done. I love to paint and draw just as much as the next artist. I do not have prints of my work so it is only sold to customers that want what others don’t have, one of a kind pieces just like me.

I want you to understand that I am an optimistic person and I love people. I have done show after show exposing my work and myself to hundred’s of thousand’s of people. Now that I have discovered how many people can see my work on the internet, I market art here. I have worked very hard to learn as much as I can. I want to share it with you. These tools that I use to get exposure may help you get to the next level in showing your work.

Tools to market art on line

  1. Networking is the process of putting yourself in the position to get more eyes on your work. You are the creator and the sales person. People are open to the people they feel a connection with and these will lead to more sales.
  2. Social Media is a place where people get to know you and see what you do. They will share the things they like and share it with their friends.
  3. Online Galleries are a place you can send customers to view and buy your work.
  4. A Website is taking your marketing to a high level. From your website you can share your expertise and show case your work as you create it.
  5. Link it all together is showing your post to all forms of social media to gain the most exposure.
  6. Contest are a great way to add eyes to your products (art work.)
  7. Run ads and split test them to see what your customers likes.

These tools are not new yet it takes time to set them up and work them everyday. You will find that 99% of the people that see your work are just looking. They may like it and share it with others yet never become a customer. That’s okay the 1% that does buy your product is because they truly love your work enough to add it to their collection.

Never miss a chance to market art it is your product.

Market art like this on-line

Market art like this on-line Grace In The Grass

 

Now you can go the tradition route join the associations enter the juried shows which is great but your work is only being seen by a select group of people. Just thinking about how to market art is your job brcause it is your work so just do it.

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Getting Back To Art Is Hard

When life throws you a curb it can be hard for some of us to bounce back into our creative selves and create art. I have been hit with a few curbs and it has stop me from moving forward in a creative way. Call it grief or shock, it doesn’t matter I am find it hard to move on creatively.

I can go on helping others and the everyday routine of life. I just find its hard to pick it up when it comes to drawing and painting for now. I find that I would rather be alone with my thoughts than draw them out on paper. Art is the last thing on your mind.

I’m blocked and for the first time I can’t seem to find away around it. I have tried different things, none of them worked. I think I need to step back and evaluate my priorities. What holds the most value for me right now? What can I express it in my art?

Inspiration is easy because it is in the beauty all around me. That is where I have to start. I’m ready to get on with this already. Opening my eyes to the love and beauty around me is my way back to doing the art I love.

For all that I have loved and lost I will miss you, your souls surround me with love yet I can’t feel it. I look for you in every smile I see, every flower I smell and all the laughter I hear. I will keep myself in your memories until we meet again. My friends I feel you around me, pushing me to start a new piece of work. I will start doing art work now.

I see beauty everywhere it is my gift to share that beauty with you through my art. To show and record a moment in time that will bring joy to the eye of the beholder. I have set a date to teach again this summer and to schedule studio time where I will work and bring wonderful pieces to life.

Ready or not here I go!

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I Am Inspired By

I am inspired by animals, insects, plants, trees and water. Well I guess just being alive is an inspiration. I just don’t know how not to be inspired, I have always lived my life this way.

My inspiration is all around me. I love color, the way light and shadow can changes the same space at different times of the day. Taking a colorful object drawing it in pencil to bring out the contrast of the gray scale from light to dark.

This example of just one of an object that inspired me to take immediate action. The other day my neighbor stops me during my walk to show me something interesting. It was a two foot hornets’ nest. What a great opportunity. I was so glad I had my phone with me. I took a lot of pictures. As I took the pictures I considered the different eye levels so I could capture every vantage point.

Being aware of how the light played on the nest I wanted pictures to reference for the art I would create.  I was so inspired I knew I would get home a start drawing right away.

As I walk home with my dog Grace. I was already putting together some compositions in my head on the best way I could represent this amazing subject. I knew that it would take me some time to execute a painting, so I decided to do some drawing when I got home.

I am so inspired by the shape and the size of the massive nest. I decided to draw it before I paint it.

Sketch it out

I am inspired!

 

Light and Shadows defined

Starting to define light and shadow.

 

Are you inpired!

Filling in the form with shape of texture.

 

Inspired yet?

Filling in the form with pattern in each section defines the object.

 

Inspired buy light and shadow

Continue with defining light, shadow and pattern.

 

Inspired to it paint.

The balance between light and shadow brings the details to life.

 

Inspired to and color

The next step is to clean this up mat it, frame it and add it to the Gallery

 

As you can see from my quick drawing the picture area is full of interest without adding the colors of the nest. I was inspired by shape, texture, light and shadow. This drawing has inspired me to do another from a different eye level.

 

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Balance Composition Tips

Composition is all about balance. In order to create a great piece of art there must be a balance between the positive and negative to be appealing to the eye. You want the main focal point or center of interest to draw you into the work and leaving you with any emotional response no matter what chaos is happening in the art work.

Artist take their time placing each element making sure they have a balance between the positive and negative space. Artist take the placement of the center of interest just as important as the subject matter.

Tip 1 Placing the main element where it has the greatest effect is going to draw your eye to the center of interest. Once you have figured the picture area is the perimeter (size and shape) you will take great care in placing the elements.

Example:

Example A

Example A

composition 1composition 5

As you can see the center of interest is a word. Changing the size and position of the word we can still keeping the balance inside the perimeter.composition 4

When your work is in balance you will feel it and so will your viewers. Whether you are using font or objects you need a good composition. Realizing the negative space inside the picture area (perimeter) is one way we draw the viewer’s attention to the main focus (center of interest).   Tip2:

You don’t always need a solid object to be the main focal point. The examples above are obvious I wanted you to see the negative space inside the picture area (perimeter). Here is an example of color and how it can draw your eye to the focal point.

color and composition

We try very hard as artist to get our vision across to our viewers, it is the composition that will take it to the next level. Placing the elements to support the center of interest is key to watching a piece come to life. Try different focal points and find the one that represents your vision. The placement inside the picture area (perimeter) of all the elements are there to support the center of interest and can be done from many points of view. Work with the size and the shapes and create a well balance piece of art in the foundation the artist strives for. It can make or break the vision you are trying to convey. The possibilities are endless, so have some fun. I truly believe that composition is the most important part of the piece. It is the beginning and the end of the pieces you will be remember for. Striving for the viewer to be left with a sense of balance as they view your work.

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Teaching And Art

As I get ready to embark on another year of creativity. I can’t wait to start a new project. Teaching and art is what I  do. I enjoy teaching I just don’t do enough of it.

Every day is a blessing and I am truly grateful. I found that putting out content on a teaching blog is not as fulfilling or easy as I thought it would be. I need the inter action teacher to student.

So I have decided that the best thing I can do is to go back to that one on one experience that I find in the classroom. I do this through our public library.

I do private teaching as well. The things I love to do above anything else is painting, drawing and sculpture. They say if you do the thing you love you will never feel like you’re working. Okay that for me is creating beautiful works of art.

I have to say that I still believe I have given you may readers a great foundation. Composition is the key to any great work of art. I believe if you have a great foundation you can build anything.

Over the next few weeks I will be adding more work to my gallery and incorporating a shopping cart. It’s time for me to take what I’ve learned to push my site to a higher level. This will take me some time do to the fact that I am going to do what I really love and one finger typing in my option sucks.

Finding ways to keep motivated are not hard when you’re doing what you love. For me there’re subjects all around me. I am inspired by life, shadows that form shapes, light that defines, space that creates perspective and colors that dance across the world bring it alive.

I have always been driven to express myself though teaching and art. Showing off my gift as an artist is opening up to you. I want you to see as a viewer how I see the subjects I paint and draw to capture a moment that has trigger an emotional response in me. Sharing this is bringing you into that space. Teaching is showing you how I build that space.

Emotion is the root of all humans it can be found in this space. It is an invitation for most artist to start a conversation or maybe provoke feelings of joy, sadness or excitement. Teaching is showing the student how to bring themselves into their work.

Artist do what works best for them and go from there.

bwxx

 

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The Last Step To A Great Composition

Ready to complete this composition. We have constructed a great foundation for our vision by practicing different picture areas, line and depth. Now put some personality into the illusion. The final thing to conceder is value.

Value is the overall mood of the illusion. It is set by the darkness and lightness of the artist vision. Some artist consider this the most important part of creating a great composition. We call overall value or the key.

Low key is pictures that are overall dark in value and leave you with a feeling of sadness uneasiness and despair.

High key is picture that are overall light in value and leave you with a feeling of happiness, safety and lively.

The value of your picture should be consistent with in the picture area. Your composition is strongest with the overall key the same. We are creating a believable illusion, trying to direct the viewer’s eye to the focal point. Taking time to think about the value of the finished work. We do this by placing the gray and dark tones in areas that will support the key.

A rainy day can be drawn or painted to support a high key by making the sky bright with limited dark clouds and maybe a rainbow that formed from the sunlight direction. This leaves most of us the feeling that we are coming out of the stormy weather. A low key rainy day can be drawn or painted with grayer and darker clouds with no bright area leaving us with the feeling of despair.

A bull fight can set in a high key showing the excitement of the fight with a wide range of contrasting values from the lightest to the darkest. A low key drawing or painting of the same fight can be done with a somber tone by controlling the contrast between tones.

So as we explore the value or key of the picture area there are a few things to think of. Using different tones of equal value are too closely related and will leave your picture with no center of interests. Using in-between values of gray or color we are creating contrast between tones. This will set your center of interest away from the background and even thought your other elements may stand out they are less important.

Here are some things to consider when planning the picture area. The basic value patterns simply come down to this light against dark, dark against light, dark and *halftone against light and light against dark halftone.

Sometimes there is a clear choice with patterns that are clear and sharp. The challenge comes in when you want to create an overall value that is well balanced and leaves your viewer with a satisfied feeling.

You need to solve the pattern between the relationship between the elements and the key. You want all to support the center of interest. Trying out different value sketches to see what makes the most sense. This clears up the confusion and supports a believable illusion.

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Elements of Composition In Action

The artist that tackle action as the focal point must take a careful and sensitive placement of all the elements in the picture area. Composition is drawing a clear, sharp and simple foreground and background with the subjects in the middle ground.

Come up with a composition that is subtle is the goal. In this example there are lovers in the park sitting at a picnic table. Keeping the four elements of composition in mind as you build your vision on paper.

The over-all picture areas composition is filled with the shape of the main characters to include the two people and the picnic table. How do you utilize the picture area with a form containing the main subjects? Can you have the two people stand out in the form? The answer is yes but the placement is critical because the line they form will be subtle.

The two-dimensional pattern you are drawing is important. The challenge is to create depth inside the form. You can create a strong feeling of depth. Making the figures and the action stand out by setting them at the far end of the picnic table will lead your eye in this composition. The perspective comes alive with a dark table, carry your eyes back in the space to the figures creating the action.

Now think about how the invisible line in this composition and how it effects the picture the area. The contrast between the invisible circular lines and the obvious straight lines of the table along with the landscape will draw your attention to the center of interest. Pay attention to the relationship of the figures. They create the top of the form.

Their heads are facing each other and they are holding hands creating the circular line. This invisible circular line stands out against the straight lines. The vertical lines converge to the vanishing point just beyond the figures heads. The horizon runs three quarters of the picture area just about eye level of the two figures. All hard lines lead to the center of interest.

The foundation is in place. The value of the key is what sets the tone or mood of this drawing. The contrast between dark and light, between the background and the figures heads will draw your eye to their faces. All the other dark and light areas are not in strong contrast blending in value with the foreground and background. The composition is strong because all elements come together to sends you to the center of interest. The subtle choices made by the artist to use a middle key directly affect where your eye travels in the picture area.

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The Four Keys Of Composition

The four keys of composition set the overall value of the picture area is based on a scale from the darkest to the lightest. The picture areas is where we set the mood.

When you first see a finished piece of art what draws you to it. Can you pinpoint four elements that trigger an emotional response. Our brains drawing all these elements at once tell our subconscious that we either love it or hate it.

One of the reasons great art stands the test of time is because, the artists creating it has tapped into what the viewers wanted and liked at the time. This leaves us some of the best glimpses into that era of history. We study these four keys and apply them developing our own style.

The Four Keys

  • A high key value is bright and the overall tones are light. The artist may paint with light bright pastels colors to elevate your mood when you view it.
  • The middle key value has no extremes of light or dark and shows a balance of the two building a feeling of being content as you view it.
  • The full value has the whole range from white to black and will leave you with a feeling of the dramatic.
  • The Low key is the very dark, all tones are in the darkest range from black to white. Leaves you with a feeling of despair or sadness.

Here is an exercise you can try to help understand the keys a little better.

Make a Gray Scale using you pencils from hard to soft. On a strip of paper draw a long rectangle vertically, long and skinny. Now at the top of the rectangle leave an inch white the next inch use your 6H pencil, than in the next inch use your 5H, 4H, 3H, 2H ,H, HB, B, 2B and so on until you go completely dark with your 6B pencils.

This is scale that you will want to set or recognize value. It will show you the overall value of the picture area. The shades between white and 6B is divided into four sections the lightest is the high key and middle key is in the middle of the scale. The full is moving back and forth between the white to black or 6B and that leaves the last key, the range is in the darkest or lower range of your scale.

When you are setting the  fourth key or mood (overall tone) of the picture area remember to stay in the same key from start to finish.

When using paint it is the same you are just using color. You can make, print from your computer or purchase a color wheel. This will show you the colors in the key you want to stick to when painting. You can also get them at a paint stores, sometimes for free.

As you mind observes the gray scale and the color wheel it will train itself to see everything in these 4 keys of composition and file it until it becomes second nature.

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Thinking Your Picture Through

Artist have a picture in their head and the task ahead of them is to share their vision. People can appreciate when it is a finished piece of art. We work at getting things the way we want by learning and applying what we know.

We learn that taking a thought and put it down on paper has to have interest and provoke an emotional response from others. We can just draw what we see or we can take what we know and arrange something we feel that will be interesting and believable.

What element do you want the viewer to see in your picture? There can be different was of presenting your main subject to the viewer. That’s were a few rough drawings come into the mix. Take the element and try different angles and sizes, have fun with it.

A great exercise is to take four elements. Like a dog, a ball, a section of grass and bush. Now draw the basic forms, see how many different ways you can arrange them in a frame on your paper. By doing this you can decide how much of the background you what to show, what eye level your want to show and show how the other objects in the frame support the main element. Each time you do this exercise pick a different main element. This helps train your brain to see other points of view. Depending on which main element you use in the picture area, your focus will change everything each time you draw it. Creating many views and these rough drawing will give you more choices for your final picture.

Asks yourself these questions about your vision.

What is the largest form or object in your vision?

What is it your main element in your picture area?

What do you think will create the most interest picture?

Where do you put the foreground, middle ground and background?

Once you have four or five drawings. Just pick the arrangement you like the best.

There are four fundamentals you need to remember about composition. Picture area, the elements inside the frame.  The depth, creating a three-dimensional illusion inside the frame. Line is important because it is the outline of the shape of the elements and also the invisible line the other elements follow the same direction to support the main element. The value the last on the list and has two parts is the lights and darks in the area of the main element and the overall mood of the picture.

Every time you do rough drawings keep these in mind after a while it will become second nature.

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Understanding Composition On Many Levels

As an artist you are creating a convincing illusion for the viewer we do this with composition. We build up from the foundation to our finished picture area. We use different levels of all the properties of composition.

Overlapping is one of these levels you need to think about inside your picture area. Organizing the elements in your picture. Most of us do pictures that have more than one object or subject in them. They are different sizes and shapes.

When we overlap it lets us organize the different size and shapes to create interest and a unified arrangement. Deciding on what to overlap is important because it will decides what is more prominent in the frame.

How do we decide how much of the vision we have in mind is represented in the picture. Cropping is where we place the border around our vision. We can use the border to frame different views of the same elements. This can overlap, cut out or show parts of objects or subjects creating interest and direction for the viewer.

Common sense must be applied in your picture area, just as in real life. We can see and feel a sense of balance and proportion all around us. So in order for us to create a convincing picture. There are some common sense approaches we use in making this happen.

It makes no sense:

To have elements all crowded on one side or the other. It give us a sense of falling out of the picture area.

To have everything at the top making it top heavy leaving a lot of blank space.

To have everything at the bottom making it bottom heavy leaving most of the area unused.

To have everything competing to be the center of attention. With no center of attention the viewer doesn’t have a direction causing them to lose interest not having a place for the eye to rest.

To have shapes that overlap and appear to merge when you can have a clear understanding of space and shape just buy changing the angle your view sees.

To over crowd the picture area with objects that are too large for it.

Get the most out of the picture area. You’re creating an illusion of balance while still telling a story. So you are making a conscious choice where you’re leading the viewer’s eye.

Things to remember about common sense rules are:

  • Don’t divide the picture in have by crowding everything to one side or the other. Use the whole picture area.
  • Don’t line things up its boring. Create more interest by overlapping or varying the positions of the elements inside the picture area.
  • Don’t crowd the bottom. Use the whole picture area.
  • Don’t center everything. Vary the placement of the objects in the picture frame.
  • Don’t leave a hole. Use the space in the picture area. Leaving a hole becomes the center of interest.
  • Don’t just let objects touch they may appear to be resting on each other. Overlapping the objects create a sense of order and balance.

Understanding common sense in the picture area is just a part of the foundations that will become second nature the more you practice it when creating the center of interest.

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Composition Starts Here

You are learning how to make a picture by applying the fundamentals of composition. You will learn how to combine subjects and or objects to form a whole drawing. The picture area is where all the action takes place.

The Picture Area is the first of four basics you need to understand in creating composition. What is the picture area on my paper and how can I define it? If you have ever taken a photograph with a camera you have worked with a picture area. The area inside the frame is the picture area. It is the flat surface that we draw or paint inside the picture frame.

I doesn’t matter if it is a camera or a piece of paper, you are in control of the picture area. Artist train their brains to observe life. It is like looking through a viewfinder of a camera storing information in their brain until they need it. They use a piece of paper or canvas to record their thoughts.

To use the picture area effectively you must decide where you place the subjects or objects and what size they will be. Depending on how much detail you want the viewer to see on may determine the size you chose. The larger the image, the more detail. Just as a cameras zoom lens bring things closer in your view finder it also shows you more details.

You have a choice where you place the objects, by doing rough drawings to find the image that reflects what you have in mind for your picture area. Take one object draw it different sizes and in different places on your paper. Do as many as you want until you have the best representation of your vision.

When you have more than one object the main focus or center of interest determines what size the objects around it will be. When there is only one subject or object it is the center of interest. When we add objects to the picture area we need to establish a direction that the eye will follow.

This is where size is most relevant. One thing to remember is that just as size dominates in real life it also dominates inside your picture area. When you draw an object or subject in the foreground you are establishing its dominance over smaller ones. Drawing objects on the same eye level and size will give them equal value. Whenever possible when using objects try to pick different sizes to create more interest.

The possibilities are endless. The size we make things and where we place them is what will dominate the picture area. Choosing how you represent the items in picture must be done carefully depending on the effect you want to achieve and how you want to represent the objects or subjects inside the frame.

The exercise that will give you a better understanding of this is to draw rough drawings. First use one object or subject vary the size and change the placement inside the picture area. Next add another element and do the same. Keep adding more elements until you’re comfortable with the picture you want to create. You can group them, change the sizes add interest and make choices that have a purpose.

Focus on the vision you have for the elements you chosen. After a while you will be able to look any subjects or objects and arrange a size and placement in your mind giving you a clear path to the illusion you want to create. Every time you record your thought do it with a sense of purpose.

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Composition Is Building Your Vision On Paper

Composition is creating a well thought out vision on paper or on canvas. It starts with the artist seeing something that inspires them to record it so others can enjoy it too . Artist  combine form and space to create a whole picture.

Artist arrange the elements to create a perfect harmonious picture. We are creating a visual arrangement. Our main purpose is to create an illusion by the placement, size and value of each object. Paying attention to how it relates to the space and what importance we give each.

A well composed picture will give the viewer a sense of order or beauty. The viewer may not realize how or why, they know that are satisfied with the results.

As artist we plan out every aspect of the composition. We are telling a story. What is the basic idea? What is the mood we are trying to communicate? We draw the subjects or objects that support and clarify our idea and throw out things that may confuse or distract from it.

You may start your picture with the main subject larger and bolder than the other objects. Placing it in a position of importance. You may even decide to draw it bolder, larger or clearer than it is in real life. Drawing less important objects lighter, smaller or fading away in to the back ground. Just by adjusting the position or size of the objects he can have the viewer linger and find the most meaningful part of the picture.

The artist is creating a focal point or center of interest by directly or indirectly by leading the viewer’s eye to where he wants it to go. He will also use light and shadow to draw your eye to the point of interest.

The artist takes into account where to use a horizontal or vertical picture. He may just want to dramatize the objects or subjects in their natural form. For instance drawing giraffes in a vertical picture will emphasize the height of the subjects.

These are the basic principles in developing a well composed picture. Practicing these principles will help you portray a clear, sharper expression of your idea.

Composition is taking your idea to the highest level by exploring and focusing on what is the most important element of the story you’re trying to tell in a picture. Taking the less important elements and arranging them to support the focal point.

A director creates a movie around a person, place, or thing.  You are the director of the picture you’re creating on a piece of paper or canvas.

 

 

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Position Is What Matters

Everything looks different depending on the position of the objects in your drawing and your eye level. So when you get ready to draw you must decide on the viewpoint you want to project in your drawing.

Every form you draw will change its appearance as you change your eye level or viewpoints. Our eye-level is seeing the base of the forms on the same level. A hilltop view is when you can see the front surface that the forms are resting on and the space between them. This view is the same as if you were standing on a hilltop looking down. A bird’s eye view is when you can see the surface the forms are resting on and the tops of the forms. Always remember as your view changes so does the appearance of the form.

As you change your view point you are seeing the difference between the form and how it changes its appearance in its space. This is the basic principles of perspective.

The further an object or part of an object is from your eye the smaller it appears. There are no exceptions to this rule. The height, weight and thickness of each form decreases in proportion and so does the space between.

They all seem to decrease in an obvious direction a definite level or height. This is known as the horizon. A natural horizon is where the sky and the ground meet but it is not the true horizon. Your true horizon is your own eye level. It can change depending on your height. It is always what is directly out in front of your eyes without moving your head up or down.

Looking down a street, a rug or a hallway notice the parallel lines of the forms gets smaller and smaller the further away they are from you and  they seem to connect. If you draw a straight line on either side of the object and converge these lines the will meet in the middle this is called the * vanishing point.

These lines are easier to see in a street, a pool or a freshly plowed field. You have to train your brain to see the converging line no matter the size of the form. Start by imaging invisible lines off the edges of all objects around you.

Your drawing may only have one vanishing point which will guide you to keep the diminishing objects in correct perspective. This one vanishing point located anywhere on your drawing depending on your eye level. Objects close to you will all ways seem larger and the ones further away will seem smaller even if they are the same actual size form.

This exercise is to help train your brain to observe how the objects it relates to the space it occupies.

Take three or four of the same object and the same size, place them down a table or a hallway. Now draw them, but first find the vanishing point buy drawing the horizon line lightly on your paper. Now draw the form of the object closest to you. Draw a straight light lines off the edge of the object to the horizon will give you its perspective. Where these lines meet is your vanishing point. Every one of the objects in this drawing will get smaller the closer it is drawn to the vanishing point. If the object is in front of your vanishing point you can draw a light line off the form to the horizon. This will show you the perspective of the same object and how it relates to the space and surface area.

Then you can have two point perspective, it is when you have more than one vanishing points on one horizon line. There are two sets of parallel which appear to converge to its own vanishing point. This will show off angles when we are drawing a view of a corner. The vanishing points may or may not be on your paper. Drawing buildings, boxes and interiors on an angle will have parallel lines converging to the left and right vanishing points.

*Vanishing point 1.) A point of disappearance, cessation, or extinction: His patience had reached the vanishing point. 2.) In the study of perspective in art) that point toward which receding parallel lines appear to converge.

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Keep It In Perspective

It is important that your drawings are in perspective. Are you convincing to the viewer? Do this by controlling the *proportions of the objects your drawing. We know that object closer to use are larger than the ones that are further away from use.

When you are building a drawing remember to have your forms in *proportion before you set in the details. Sometimes things just may not seem right, trust your instinct and check all the proportions most of the time that’s the problem. Every object should relate to the space it occupies and to each other

You would never draw a horses legs longer than they actually were or draw an apple larger than a pineapple unless your view point supports it. If I were an ant looking up at a horse the legs would appear to be very long and if the apple is on the table and the pineapple across the room on the counter it would appear to be larger.

Okay so this is what you want to do, first draw the largest mass (shape or form) than the next largest and so on until you can see they are all in proportion to each other. Than the details will start falling in place easily.

*Proportion is a balance of each object in its space and how it relates to all the objects it shares in the perimeter of the drawing. The more you draw the easier it will be for your brain to see the correct proportions. You can draw simple objects set up as a still life or go outside and draw a tree line, barn or pile of rocks. It really does help to draw anything, because every drawing you do will improve your observation of real life.

Drawing in depth is creating a three-dimensional illusion it is only believable if the proportion are correctly represented.

 

*Proportion 1.) Comparative relation between things or magnitudes as to size, quantity, number, etc.; ratio. 2.) Proper relation between things or parts: to have tastes way out of proportion to one’s financial means. 3.) Relative size or extent. 4.) Proportions, dimensions or size: a rock of gigantic proportions.    5.) A portion or part in its relation to the whole: A large proportion of the debt remains.

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Drawing Form

Drawing form is not as hard as you would think. All of us follow the same procedure. We start with the largest objects shape first and smaller next and so on. We don’t add the details until all the form are in place. So let’s get started.

The first step is to pick your point of view, draw an outline or silhouette of the largest form or shape. After you have identified the correct proportion draw the next object’s form (shape). At this stage we are only drawing the forms of each object or subject. You are just the forms you see. Does its outer line form a sphere, triangle, square or cylinder? Is there one or more than one form in the subject or object you are drawing? Making sure you study these objects. Identify what form or forms do you see?

Every object falls into one of the basic form or a combination of forms. Draw each form all the way through to make sure you have the correct space between each object. This part of your drawing must be correct so you can create an illusion of real life from the start.

Draw through form (2)

Drawing each form through

Next be sure that all your forms have the same light source and start forming the shadows. This will strengthen the forms illusion of three- dimensional. Finally start adding the details. Working on your drawing from here should be easier since you have everything in proportion and in the correct perspective.

Form with shadow

As you can see from the illustration above the forms have one light source and it comes from the upper right of the forms setting the shadows to the left and on other objects.

Identifying form becomes second nature as you study and apply these shapes to objects and subjects around you.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

See how many forms you can identify in my drawing. The outline of the dog that is the biggest. How many forms make up his body? Head? Legs?

You can do this exercise with all the objects you see.  If you started a file you can look at those picture to see what forms lie within each.

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What Artist Focus Their Attention AS They Draw

You’re an artist and you have the ability to look past what the average person sees. The world opens up to as you open your eyes every morning, as light blankets the room you imagination comes alive. You see pictures in the shadows reflections on glass and mirrors and when you close your eyes your mind takes over.

You have the ability to focus on what is important and lock it into your memory. Observation is an artist most valuable tool. We focus our attention on Shapes and how they are formed. Light and how it cast itself on and object bringing out the colors guiding us to the shadows that form a visual memories that we can access at will. We see emotion, character, joy and sorrow.

Observation is the ability to mentally record emotions big, small, extraordinary and common place. You have many ways your mind catches details that are missed by an untrained mind.

It takes practice and discipline for years to develop into a style that is recognizable. Improving your observation skills start when you decide to train you eye to record and your brain to store the emotional story you want to create.

As your brain becomes more aware you will be able to select the right subject to draw or paint. Composition will become second nature and the application of materials will follow without a thought.

Noting replaces drawing or painting from life and nature. How to develop your skills in this area. Start by doing sketches taking notes on how the light effects the subject you are sketching. Take notes on the character of the people around you and notice the emotions they use by tapping into your empathy (*empathy- the imaginative ascribing to an object. As a natural object or work of art, feelings or attitudes present in oneself: By means of empathy, a great painting becomes a mirror of the self.).  Looking out your window, take mental notes. Watch the seasons change, the time of day and weather effects the light, color and emotions you are feeling during your observation.

By spending an hour every day or every other you will develop your mind’s eye. Discipline yourself to practice drawing and training your hands to tell a story in a drawing. Fill your mind with important details that you find will portray what you want the viewer to see.

Now that we live in the age of technology it is easier to record your subject matter with a digital camera. This is a great asset to record your visional surroundings, vacations and people that you can use later to trigger your memories and emotions you had when taking the picture.

 

* resources  http://dictionary.com/   Famous Artist Course

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I Know Your Paper Is Flat

Artist have a great challenge ahead they are drawing on paper. Drawing a form which is three-dimensional on a two-dimensional or flat surface and you are creating an illusion of a mass or solid form on paper.

Most start out drawing their objects or subjects to flat. When they have more than one object they have a tendency to run one object into the next. Leaving their picture with no clear indication of where the spaces are between them.

When you see an object you must see it as if it has a clear box around it. Than you will see how it relates to the space on your paper. This is really important when you have more than one objects or subjects in your picture.

With that in mind you are creating an illusion of reality. Which object is in front, to the side, are they staggered or on top of each other. Does your picture allow the space for each object in every direction?

Take the four basic forms and arrange them on a table with one light source. Now take an empty picture frame and hold it up in front of the way you want to draw it. Look carefully at each form, take mental notes on where it is and how it affects the objects around it.

Three-dimensional form exist in space. So when you do this exercise move the frame from side to side, closer and further way and you can see that even though some times the form is outside the frame inside the frame you still have the illusion that it is there. This exercise is to help train your brain to see form in space so you can create the feeling of space.

Stand in front of a window look out the window as if it was a piece of paper. You can see how each thing you see has its own space. Now look at how they relates to each other. If the Glass was your picture you could look into the drawing not just at it. You are creating the sense of depth and space.

Remember that space stretches in all direction and every form must exist in it. Here are some terms you may or may not know.

Foreground – 1.)  The ground or parts situated, or represented as situated, in the front; the portion of a scene nearest to the viewer (opposed to background ). 2.)  A prominent or important position; forefront.

Background Fine Arts. a.) the part of a painted or carved surface against which represented objects and forms are perceived or depicted: a portrait against a purple background. b.) the part of an image represented as being at maximum distance from the frontal plane.

Perspective1.) A technique of depicting volumes and spatial relationships on a flat surface. Compare aerial perspective, linear perspective. 2.) A picture employing this technique, especially one in which it is prominent: an architect’s perspective of a house. 3.) A visible scene, especially one extending to a distance; vista: a perspective on the main axis of an estate. 4.) The state of existing in space before the eye: The elevations look all right, but the building’s composition is a failure in perspective. 5.) The state of one’s ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship: You have to live here a few years to see local conditions in perspective.

Okay so know that you have these tools you can start to see form in its relationship to space. When you create your drawing keep in mind the space and perspective of what you are drawing. Light and shade emphasize the solidity of the construction of your drawing.

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Form Is Shape and Structure

Everything from a seed to a tree has form. Everything that exists has form. Form is something you see and feel.

Form has three dimensions, height, weight and depth. If you go to pick up an object you instinctively know your hand must go around it. So when you are drawing an object or subject you are creating an illusion of a real form. You are creating real life on a visual level.

Your paper or board is a two-dimensional surface. It has four sides up, down, left, right. You create a new dimension on the surface, depth. When you draw an object you are drawing a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional surface. You are showing the depth of the object or subject on a surface that has no depth at all.

Okay so now you understand the difference between the two. How do you get started? By creating the feeling of depth with perspective line, light and shadow. Every form cast a shadow when light hits it. So to show the form we draw shading and texture.

When you draw the form it must exist in the space, so be sure to have enough room on your paper. Before you draw the surface appearance you must have a good drawing of the shapes of the objects in your drawing. The basic forms is the first step in creating depth.

Sphere, Cylinder, cube and cone are the four basic shapes. These shapes can be modified and combined to draw anything you can imagine.

Start by looking for these shape in everyday objects. Look at the form so you can become more aware of the height, width and depth of the form. Take an apple it has the basic shape of the sphere, that’s where you start.

I suggest you find these forms and draw them without detail, just draw the form as a solid object showing how we use light and shadow to fill in the form.

20140206_141921-1

The basic forms of everything

Knowing these shapes will help you with the principles of basic form of drawing and is the foundation of art. When you shift your thinking from the obvious to seeing the form first, you are thinking like an artist. Keep in mind that the details build as you feel the mass of forms as you draw them.

The basic form can be modified to fit the desired shape. A cylinder can be tapered or curved, a sphere can look more like an egg and a cone can be made into a mountain.

A convincing drawing of the form is knowing the depth of the objects or subject you are drawing. As you study the three-dimensional form take note of everything you see, the light, shadow and structure of the object. Don’t worry so much about the outline it has no depth.

Artist draw from the inside out. We construct each object or subject to create a three dimensional effect. The shape is the largest part of your drawing. Combining the basic shapes are in so many things we see in everyday life. Take an automobile it has a cubes with rounded corners, circles and cylinders for wheels. Legs become modified cylinders and a head becomes a series of modified spheres, triangles and cylinders. Every shape we draw has multiple forms put together to represent the shape of the object or subject we draw.

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Artist and Research

The artist builds confidence by research and mastering the tools he or she uses to create their work. They all so build it by knowing their subject. That’s when research comes to play.

The more you know about the subject the better you will represent it in your work. As artist we are observing and recording with our minds. To be able to hold or investigate the real thing is always best, so you can feel the mass, the surface and how the light cascades across it to create shadows. We will use books, photos and sketches to find out as much as we can about our subject.

Now you can find how to books and videos that are available in book stores, art material stores and on line. These record the fundamentals and give another artist point of view and I think it’s great.

When I draw a subject like a monkey for example, I will research monkeys in their environment. I will take notes and do sketches, take pictures of monkeys by visiting the zoos close by.

My notes record what time of day it is and how the light source effects the light and shadow of my subject. I try to capture the emotional inter action I see and how it makes me feel at the time. Then I may hit the books I want to see how my subject moves and how the movement of light over the subject effects the outcome of my finished drawing.

The camera is a great ways to capture many actions, poses and attitudes. I can record detail and expressions which would be hard to remember.

Some artist don’t want to use a photographs at all except to capture technical details. These artist only work directly from life. You don’t want to rely too much on photography. Always design and plan your picture ahead of time. Sketching in the positions or actions of your subject and creating an emotional response from your viewer is the key to a great drawing. By knowing what you want to portray you must be ready to reject anything in the photo that doesn’t support your drawing.

The photograph is not intended to be the art, you create the art and use the camera as a tool to gain insight, capture details and help you in your creative process.

Research folders are created by an artist on the subjects they want to incorporate in their art. These files include landscapes, furniture, animals, people, food and anything the artist wishes to help in the authentication of the finished art work.

Most of us try but it is almost impossible to commit everything we see from memory. Research helps us to train our minds and eyes to sift through and recognize the nonessentials that should be left out. The research helps to avoid the embarrassing inaccuracies and mistakes in drawing it. We want to draw with confidence and accuracy.

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Think With Your Pencil

Think With Your Pencil

The artist builds confidence by research and mastering the tools he or she uses to create their work. They all so build it by knowing their subject. That’s when research comes to play.

Thinking out loud with your hands comes easily for some seasoned artist. As a beginner you may want to start with a well thought out plan. This is a rough drawing. You can draw out your thoughts as fast as your brain processes them.

A rough drawing is where you really get to use your eraser. Test out as many roughs as you want you’re not worried about mistakes or lines left on this paper because it is not meant to be the finished drawing.

Your first thought should be about what is most important in the picture you’re creating. Every element you draw will support this. Some artist start with the outside shapes of the objects, animals or people they are drawing. The rough drawing is filled with shapes, light and shadow. It will develop more detail as the artist thinks more about what he wants to portray in his finished drawing.

Other artist start with guide lined, shapes and the back ground to draw your eye to the main focus of their drawing. This is a favorite of artist who what the action that has, will be, or is taking place. The finished drawing is filled with detail that are more precise.

A rough drawing is where you check the* position,* proportion, *perspective and* textures. The position of the objects in your drawing. Does the perspective support the proportion of what you’re drawing? What textures stand out and how are you going to represent them?

A rough drawing is where you plan out and tell a story with your pencil recording all the options you can think of. Until you come up with what you want others to see and experience.

*Perspective– a technique of depicting volumes and spatial relationships on a flat surface. Compare aerial perspective, linear perspective.

* Proportion – comparative relation between things or magnitudes as to size, quantity, number, etc.; ratio.

* Position – condition with reference to place; location; situation.

* Textures- Fine Arts. A. the characteristic visual and tactile quality of the surface of a work of art resulting from the way in which the materials are used. B. the imitation of the tactile quality of represented objects.

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Drawing Paper

Where do I start, there are different ways you can buy paper. It comes in sheets, rolls, books and on pads. Whether you are drawing with pastels, inks or my favorite pencils there is the perfect paper choice out there for you.

Paper like pencils come in many colors, sizes and range, they go from a very smooth surface to a rough surface. The surface of the paper is described by the “tooth”. You want one that is rough enough to take pencil. The rougher the tooth the softer the pencil. The glossier or smoother papers are great for inks, prints and even paints.

Papers are designed for to suit every artist need. The thickest which is illustration board and the thinnest witch is tracing paper. Choose a paper that is suitable for your needs based on fiber, weight, and surface texture or finish.

Papers:

Visualizing papers are papers you can see through they include

Tracing paper (you can see through)

Layout paper (thicker and whiter)

Bond (used for typing and printers)

Opaque papers you cannot see through they are thicker and include

Ledger a durable, bendable paper used for writing.

Bristol board (comes in many thicknesses called piles which range from1 through 5 with one, two, and three, used for pencil drawing)

Illustration board (the thickest is drawing paper mounted on card board)

The thickness is the ply of the paper, one ply, and the thinnest and slightly heavier than bond. There are many surfaces from very smooth to very rough.

They range from very soft such as newsprint to very hard such as high quality Bristol board. You can erase easily on a harder surface. The one thing to remember is that no matter what type of paper you choose is fine as long as it is acid free.

Sketch books and pads are great to carry along to do a study or quick drawing. The paper is much lighter and not intended for a finished drawing.

Drawing paper and pads have a heavier weight and range in a cool bright white to a warm cream color. They allow you to erase and rework areas of your drawing so you end up with a beautiful finished drawing. Drawing paper that I use have a smooth service and is suitable for most dry media as well as pen and ink.

There are so many papers you can choose from just like the pencils and erasers we use. Finding what works best for you is part of your signature as an artist. These tools are part of your style and they will help Identify you as an accomplished artist.

 

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