So, today's blog post will concentrate on a couple of important things I have noticed when doing critique sessions for artists at local art clubs and what I have seen recently on line on art websites.
Beginners to painting ...and sometimes even more experienced painters....often complain of not having enough time to do anything worthwhile. I remember well, when I used to teach a regular weekly class, that I would give everyone a little "homework". One lady never, ever did anything outside of the class, she always maintained that she was FAR too busy...chairlady of the golf club, seeing her grandchildren, lunching with friends...there was always a reason. At the end of a year, she complained that she was making far slower progress than everyone else in the class...looking rather accusingly at me as she said this, the implication being that it was clearly my fault!!! When I pointed out to her that she never, ever, worked outside the classroom, so she did no more than 2 hrs a week, which meant that in a 30-lesson year, she had actually given herself only 60 hours in which to work....while everyone else had managed to find time to practice during the week, so they mostly managed about 10 hours a week = 300 hours in the year!!! What a huge difference, and of course they were making better progress!
Painting is all about experience, and DOING. If you only give yourself permission to work for half an hour every so often, you should not expect to make great progress, and shrugging your shoulders and saying "well, I know it is only rough, and the proportions aren't right, but I had no time to do better, no time to do any more than a quick sketch" just doesn't cut the mustard if what you want to see is development and improvement.
PAINT/DRAW WHAT YOU SEE, NOT WHAT YOU THINK IS THERE.
When kids begin to draw, say, trees, they paint lollipops. A stick, with a big bubble at the top. Interestingly to me, I see adult beginners doing this too! Even when they are sitting in front of a tree...they will paint what they THINK it should look like, rather than what they see. It is possibly because they are rather nervous of looking hard, and attempting to put down the shapes that they can see...it is all rather daunting and difficult....so they resort to an approximation of a tree.