Most of you know that I draw, paint, sculpt and teach art.
Do you know that I also do illustrations for books, blogs, presentations, website and wherever illustrations are used? Yes, I do. I have a website dedicated to illustrations and other graphic work and that’s http://thoughtgraphic.com
Have a look at my work there and do let me know if someone needs custom illustrations.
Drawing shapes rather than lines is a good exercise.
So, instead of identifying and drawing lines, see and draw shapes. This exercise increases our ability to see this world in terms of shapes.
Start with biggest shapes, then draw medium sized shapes and at last, small shapes. Seeing in this way helps us simplify a scene for a painting. Relative sizes of various shapes in a painting create more impact than the details in it.
No matter how hard we try we cannot compete with nature when we try painting realistically. So, an artist’s real job is to distil the scene and not paint it as it is.
Drawing shapes with conte crayon
See the video below. It is part of my online course “Exercises to improve your drawing skill”. If you are interested in more such exercises, join the course at 50% discount using this link. These discount coupons are limited and valid only till 20th April 2017.
The current state of the art technology is amazing and it’ll only get better. I am talking about the “Art Technology” here. This technology based digital fine art is a fairly recent phenomenon and it is here to stay.
In the beginning, our ancestors started scribbling shapes on caves walls with stones. Don’t know if these scribblings had any higher purpose or were simply a pass time for a person bored of daily chores.
After stones and cave walls came natural colors on cave walls, paper and ink, canvas and oil colors, watercolors, acrylics and so on. Today if you walk into a modern art supplies store, you’ll be amazed at the variety of products with which you can create art. Tea or coffee art is yet another type of medium for 2D art.
Then came the computer, digital pads, “cintiq”s and iPad Pros and a long list of software apps that allow you to create art. With virtual reality world ever expanding, digital art will have more and more avenues for being displayed.
I personally use apps such as Artrage, Adobe Sketch, Procreate and Adobe Draw to create fine art and illustrations. It is easy to mix multiple digital mediums of painting such oil, acrylic, watercolor, ink, pastel etc to get the effect that we want. Ability to add layers and control their transparency, undo, redo and all conveniences of working digitally are also provided by the apps. Sometimes this ability to do anything is bad for real art. Constraints are necessary for good work.
The tactile experience
The charm of painting with a real brush on real canvas is still unmatched. The tactile experience of art making is still not available in the digital world. With technological advances, this gap will become narrower in future for sure. In all likelihood, this proliferation of digital art will make real and physical art even more precious.
As artists, we have to keep up with new art technology. At the same time, we have to have our feet grounded in the real art that can be touched by hand.
What’s your take on this? I look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments section.
Gamut Masking is an easy way to create coherent color schemes. This selection of a set of colors is done before starting the painting process. It saves the artist from a lot of color confusion later and automatically gives a unified look to the painting.
Gamut masking is similar to a limited palette but there is an additional dimension to it which makes it more efficient.
With a limited palette, you almost always start with primary colors and colors with the highest possible saturation (as they are taken directly from the tube) whereas, in gamut masking, you generally start with lower saturation colors or even with secondary colors instead of primary ones.
Notice that I used the word “generally”. That’s because technically you could start with primary colors with full saturation and still call it a gamut mask, but that’s not taking advantage of the gamut mask method in its true sense.
An example of a painting in different color schemes
See the photo of a painting I did today. Next to it are the images of the same painting shown in different colors. See the change in the mood it creates. High contrast and vibrant colors create a happy and cheerful mood whereas low contrast and low saturation colors produce a cooler and melancholic look.
Example of Gamut masks
Here is an example of how you could use a gamut mask for selecting colors for your painting.
No mask | Mask 1 | Mask 2 | Mask 3
Take a color wheel and overlap some shape on top of that. Only those colors that are inside the shape should be used for painting. Try different shapes to see which colors fall inside it. Changing the size and/or shape of the mask will change the colors you can use. As an exercise, paint the same painting 3 times using different color schemes you chose and see what feelings each painting gives rise to.
Hope this gives you a new way to select colors for your next painting. Use this method and let me know what you learn!