How to square up a cartoon

November 27, 2010

Some painters find squaring up their final drawings or cartoons irksome and feel that they would like to go straight on to painting up their final design. I hold no firm ideas about this. If you are confident and have the skill, you might manage to do this without any muddle. But for those who [...]

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How to create a composition

November 26, 2010

If you have the drawings, lay them about you, think about them, choose a central theme and, on a separate sheet of paper, draw out some rectangles, say about 4 in. X 2 in., and fill them with different arrangements. Play about with these arrangements, try this combination and then that. Don’t be afraid to [...]

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Beginning a Picture

November 25, 2010

Because everything must be contained in a rectangle we must allow for a certain compression. However, no matter how much we are forced to change our original idea or drawing, the vitality and force of that idea will be retained when all the changes take on a unity. To make a picture function, each part [...]

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Working with space and perspective

November 24, 2010

Space, actual three-dimensional space, cannot be achieved in any way on a canvas, but by illusion, perspective, tonality and the like you may be deceived into thinking that the picture has depth. Space and the painting of space has occupied various artists from time to time throughout history. Paolo Uccello (1397-1475), an Italian painter, was [...]

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Movement on a Canvas

November 23, 2010

We cannot make our paint move, but by a careful placing of our lines and shapes with the canvas we can make the spectator’s eye move. And because it is so important to achieve movement within a frame we must consider it in the same way as we did the simple placing of our shapes [...]

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A study of Dutch composition

November 22, 2010

For example, look at the painting by Pieter de Hooch, a Dutch painter who lived from 1629 to 1683. This is a charming picture of seventeenth-century Dutch life. De Hooch wanted to convey the peace and domesticity of an ordinary Dutch household; the clothes people wore, the architecture of the house, the utensils that were [...]

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Composing on a Canvas

November 21, 2010

It will be seen from all this that when you look at nature, you will be looking at it with a different eye and from a different point of view. You will be looking at it more selectively. You will be choosing those elements that will be useful and effective on a canvas. And this [...]

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Creating abstractions

November 20, 2010

Nobody can create anything visual like a picture without prior visual experience. You cannot get something from nothing. Something visual must start you off. And it follows that it must come from nature. However imaginative our ideas are, they must have visual expression if we wish to paint them and so it is to nature [...]

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Picture Making continued

November 19, 2010

No, the only way in which to compete with nature is by a careful approach through the terms of your medium, letting your medium dictate the way. Where, then, does this dictating start? Well, in the first place, nature is not confined in her activities to a rectangle as we are. Nature is not static, [...]

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Picture Making

November 18, 2010

Making a picture is rather like making a watch. Before you can put one together, you have to know how to take one apart. You have to know what makes it tick. The same is true with a picture. What is so good about putting one together is that at the same time you are [...]

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