Spanish painter Francisco De Goya on “masses of light and dark”

De Goya once stated, “who always talks about line, never about masses.  But where does one see lines in nature?  I see only masses in light and masses in shadow, planes come forward and planes into recession.” Now is the time as it warms up to get out and sketch.  The vastness of the outdoor landscapes can be a stumbling block for many.  But there is hope follow De Goya’s advice an look at the large masses of dark and light shapes.  Squint at the photograph of the Third Flatiron below, notice there are distinct shape areas.  Start with sketching…

Picasso said “Painting is just another way of keeping a dairy”

Put down those  electronics and start a sketchbook to record the visual life around us!  Painting, drawing, sculpting and “life” can all benefit by keeping a sketchbook or two.  Sketchbooks can record the bountiful colors and shapes of life,  if paints are too messy for you try colored pencils (my favorite!) in your sketchbook.       Georgia O’Keeffe stated “Color is one of the things in the world that makes life worth living….”  Observe how the same color looks totally different next to another color.  Colors play off of each other, influencing how we perceive them.  In this time…

Degas and art: “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”

Artist Edgar Degas lived from 1834 to 1917 in France during a time of great artists who were forging new paths in art.  One of his close friends’ was the painter Monet who had his own unique style of painting.  Both took inspiration from each other but kept their individuality.  This is an exciting aspect of the arts so take advantage of exploring past master artists and the artist down the street from you.  The possibilities are endless. Degas was known for his figures that were shown in motion, a “snapshot” of a moment in time. He did lots of…

Sketchbooks for school, for life.

  It’s that time of year when students of all ages go back to the books and classes. Don’t forget to take your sketchbook to help you along.  Sketchbooks can be useful in many areas not just “art”.  They can be used in the sciences to record visual observations, data, and questions about what you are observing.  You can press your botanical samples between the pages.  You can use it as a research tool to compile data, quotes, photos, and sketches all relate to a specific topic.  Used as strictly a drawing platform it helps you see how the details…

Frederic Remington western artist: art-i-facts

  As an artist of western landscapes I look to the land for inspiration and other artists. Frederic Remington (1861-1909) was one of our country’s first western painters.  He said, “I knew the wild riders and the vacant land were about to vanish forever….and the more I considered the subject, the bigger the forever loomed.  Without knowing how to do it, I began to record some facts around me, and the more I looked the more the panorama unfolded.”    Remington was the first artist to show the true gait of the horse in motion!  He recorded the western life of…

Monet “art-i-facts” and art project designed to inspire

Monet’s art was known for his impressions of luscious colors.  As we hit the peak of summer blooms head outside to your local gardens for art inspirations.  A easy way to have that broken brush work look without the complications of paints is to use water soluble oil pastels.  They are easily tucked in a small backpack or shoulder bag.  Bring a collapsible cup, water bottle and brush.   Layout your design using dashes of oil pastel, then using water and a brush do some blending !  Experiment with different color combinations to create the impressions of the garden. Monet said…

Sketching hints for the summer traveler

Grab those pencils and sketchbooks for your next trip! “The vision must be sharper than the pencil” Bob Brandle Here are a few tips: “Seeing vs Observing”  Don’t forget to see the big picture as well as the details ! ” Proportions” How big is “this” compared to “that” ?  You can use your pencil to see sizes. Or get a clear piece of acetate and trace a grid on it with permanent marker. Keep it in your sketchbook.  Pencil in on your page light pencil grid lines like the acetate  Hold it up to see how things you are…