Thursday, June 25, 2015

June 25, Sunny Rug

I came across this photo of Gus on our lawn on the rug I use at art fairs inside my tent, and I love the colors and contrasts.

SO I used this photo as an example last night for my painting class, in how to use transfer paper to get your basic drawing on your panel, and we had an incredible discussion about the validity of tracing to get proportions correct, and whether it was necessary to tell people that you had traced the drawing or not...  because I feel like it should be mentioned that the drawing wasn't free-hand, but at the same time, if the artist has had a lot of drawing experience and clearly has the talent to DO the drawing then it isn't as necessary.

My dilemma comes in when I find myself impressed with someone's drawing skills, thinking how much better they are than me, and then it is revealed that the individual had transferred all the images from photos, maybe even not their own photos. (Which is another entire discussion!)  I believe drawing from observation is required first to learn to see as an artist.  The eye must be able to discern line from space, form from shape, value ranges and contrast.  To me, tracing the photo to make a painting is like learning to write by only tracing the letter shapes and then going right to the keyboard;  there is no connection between eye and hand and heart, which is needed to create deep writing or seeing.  The work must be done first.  So yes, using transfer paper to transfer an image is fine when detail is required or speed is necessary, but I do believe if an artist ONLY uses transfers to get the image down, then they aren't developing the visual acuity of an actual visual artist.

And then, of course, you have conceptual artists and performance artists and others that don't use visual arts, but I do still strongly believe that feeling confident in your seeing through observational drawing will bring confidence in seeing what remains unseen.

8x8 acrylic on black gessoed panel, $130 click HERE to purchase!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said, Kat! I agree completely. And that's a beautiful painting of Gus!--Katherine Schaefer