Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lesson 4 of "Learn Art in a Year"

Drawing from Observation

"To observe is to look at something....Attention keeps the mind constantly on the task. Lack of a serious drawback for an artist. It causes mistake leads to another."

"Intelligence enables us to direct, understand and develop any task of observation." (Oh, no. There's intelligence involved.) 

"Never confuse observation with imitation. Observing is not copying. If you only use your eyes and hand, you are not observing, you are copying. We only observe well when we are employing all our sensitivity and all our intellect."

Then , to paraphrase (or "paralist")

to Copy
- get the details down

to Observe: study the subject,  then raise a thousand questions.
- analyze
- reflect
- understand
- register

Put visual memory to the test! Observe, THINK, then render.

from Learn Art in One Year by Robert Girard, Avenel Books, NY, 1965 and 1968.

This is the reference photo of the painting I'm working on this week. So far, the proportions are ok, but the color is off.* Not warm enough. Might a warm glaze (with some orange) over the whole face help? I might try that. However, it's the background--the landscape--that's giving me the real trouble. 
Landscapes are SO HARD.

*Note: I've noticed with my own work that proportion and value are so much more important than actual color, in rendering portraits. Is this true in general?

1 comment:

  1. I think the subject is entirely in cool colors. Only the background lanscape has any warmth in it.