Hi, and welcome!
Hi, and welcome!
If you're looking for a resource to help you improve your painting and drawing, then I hope you'll find something useful here.
What Learning To See is About:
I returned to representational painting in 2005 after a long gap and have been keeping a record of my progress in teaching myself here. Over that time, I've hit difficulties that I think are common to many of us. The strategies I've found to overcome them are all written up here.
Here is some of what I think is the most useful information I have here. Depending on what particular area of painting your looking to improve, some of the posts below might help you.
If you want to get better at judging values and understanding how they work in painting, you might find this series of Munsell value exercises helpful. Based on a series of paintings of cubes and spheres painted the 11 steps of the Munsell neutral value scale, it taught me a tremendous amount about value. Light came into my work after this series of exercises.
The Munsell Value exercises are in six parts:
- Part One: Painting a white, mid grey and black cube in isolation.
- Part Two: Painting all three cubes together, and some approaches to value compression.
- Part Three: More cubes, refining the studies and a real world obect in value only.
- Part Four: Translating the learning from the cubes and sphere studies to real word objects.
- Part Five: Consolidating the learning. Ten cube and sphere studies at each Munsell value from one to ten.
- Part Six: Putting it all together in real world still life value studies.
A lot of what I do here is based on the sight size technique. It's not a silver bullet, but it is extremely useful for eye training. Here's a few posts covering how I've used it, from small still life sketches to self portraits (yes, you can sight-size a self portrait) and finished paintings.
- The Lazy Man's Approach To Sight Size: A description of a sight size fully realised still life painting. Why lazy? I was sitting down.
- Some thoughts on sight size, its advantages and disadvantages.
- Sight size self portrait sketch.
- Sight size on the move - well, on a moving train at least!
If you're interested in Bargue Drawing, you might find these posts interesting. The write up of the 5th plate is an in-depth description of how to set up a Bargue drawing. Bargue drawing will teach you focus, accuracy and an efficient method of breaking down a drawing into manageable steps.
The next step from Bargue drawing is to apply the same methodology, sight size, to three dimensional objects. Although I only have two posts here of my cast drawings, they will show you how to set up and begin a cast drawing. There's enough information here for you to see how sight size works and how you can use it to improve your drawing accuracy. The same approach can be used on any subject.
See the cast drawing section for more.
Working in Series
Working in series is one of the most effective ways to progress and to develop your vision I think. Some time ago I did a series of 100 still life drawings. I'd highly recommend something similar for you if you're not sure where to go next.
A series can throw up so many interesting ideas that you wouldn't have come across otherwise. After a while, you'll start to see elements emerging naturally that define your work. By taking these elements and building on them, you can enhance the individuality, personality and creativity of your work.A series can throw up so many interesting ideas that you wouldn't have come across otherwise. After a while, you'll start to see elements emerging naturally that define your work. By taking these elements and building on them, you can enhance the individuality, personality and creativity of your work.
I hope some of this helps you, and gives you some idea of the kind of things I'm sharing here.
To keep up with more posts as they're published, sign up below. You'll also be among the first to hear about the new effective practice workbooks and courses I'm currently developing, designed to help you develop your work through regular, enjoyable, effective practice.
They will in be in the form of e-books and accompanying video demonstrations, will be very affordable and should be on sale later this year.