Sunday, March 20, 2016

Study Art That You Love

In addition to reading about art, which obviously includes studying images, keeping image files of other artists work that you admire is a valuable learning tool.  There are many ways to do this and I will share my approach.

I am on Facebook and though I do follow friends and family, my main purpose is to follow artists.  I never wanted to join a social network until an artist friend suggested it.  Over a several year period I was able to either become friends with or follow many wonderful painters.  Every morning I look forward to seeing all the beautiful things they have posted.

Of course I don't save everything I see, but when I see something that is similar to a subject I have painted or plan to,  is a particular genre I wish to try, or excites me in its overall statement, I save it to my photo album labelled "Other Artists' Work".  This folder contains files by genre.  Below is a screen shot of part of this album.  All you can see are the index images, but each file may have as many as two hundred.

To save an image on FB, first click on the post to go from the newsfeed to the full screen post.  I have an Apple with a track pad so I click and drag the image into Photos and then assign it to the correct file.  On a PC you would right click and choose "save to photos".

By now some of you are saying "I am not on FB and don't want to be".  Understandable.  You can look up artists you admire and find images on their websites and on Google.  I have found that galleries often do not allow me to save images from their websites.  You can find art by genre on Pinterest.  If you follow art blogs you can get images that way.  You will want to arrange your images in a way that suits your specific needs.  I lump all of my animal images into one file, but if you are a serious cow painter you would want a cow file, and so on.

Now what?  Sometimes I just look through my files for inspiration.  If I am having difficulties with a painting I am working on I look for successful paintings with similar subject matter and try to see how the artist made it work.  It is surprising how often I find an image that is so similar to a reference photo I am planning to use.  Here is an example-

This is a pond scene that I pass regularly.  I have yet to try to paint it, but see how another artist handled a very similar scene.

Unfortunately I saved this image early on before I realized that I needed to note the artist and what made me want to save it.  So if you painted this please let me know!  I just love this piece.

If you don't already have art image files give it a try.  Don't get overwhelmed.  Just saving one image a day quickly adds up.

Happy painting and thanks for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment