Showing posts with label work in progress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label work in progress. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Talent vs Learning? Artistic Talent is so Overrated

What's on my easel?  I'm currently working on these two projects.  The swan is about 2/3 done, but will be put aside for a bit as I'm working on a special commission.  The guitar is a very special commission and this photo shows what's not yet a complete first pass.  There will be many layers to be added, as well as detail work on this 7-string baby, so it'll be a couple of weeks at least.  I don't think I'll show more progress shots.  I'm not sure yet.  

Sooooo, talent or learned skills?

I get so many comments about having talent.  Why, I just had a message in my inbox this morning asking me when did I realize I had such talent.  After the initial first two seconds of feeling flattered, I replied to the person that I think talent is overrated.

That's right.  Overrated.

While for most artists there is an initial degree of talent that starts us on our artistic path, for the most part it's all about learning and work.

No amount of talent will have save your skin if you don't learn the basics, basics on colour, light, shadows, paints, mediums, materials, etc . . .  There is a heck of a lot to learn, and to practice.

No matter the amount of talent, it's learning that practicing that will hone that talent and skill.  Skills do not come naturally.  Maybe a bit at first, but skill comes from a lot of practice.  Years of practice.  And don't kid yourself, the learning and practicing never ends.  Show me an artist who stops learning, and I'll show you an artist in stagnation going nowhere fast.

I have seen so many artists with so called "talent" reach a dead end in their art because they thought their talent was all they needed.  These artists never progressed.

I have also seen artists who were convinced they could never create a nice painting because they didn't have an ounce of talent.  These artists went on to become fabulous artists able to paint a level of realism that you would think took a lifetime to develop, in just a few short years.  Why? Because they had DESIRE.  They had the desire to learn and practice.  They soaked up any precious bit of wisdom and information and relentlessly practiced at honing their newly learned skills.

So, I know many who aren't artists get tired of hearing how it's not about talent, but that's the sobering reality.  Talent will only get you so far.  It's way overrated.  But that's great news.  This means that if you have the desire, yes, you too can be a really great artist and it's never too late to learn.

It's time to stop glorifying talent so much and start recognizing great artists for what they really are, people who dogged determination who didn't give up, people who had a passionate desire, people who showed up and learned, and kept learning.  People who still keep learning.  That's what makes great artists, not talent. Talent almost seems like a myth when you really think about it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Apple No. 4 Daily Painting

Apple No. 4 (unframed)
5 x 7 Oil
Carole Rodrigue ©2014

My painting for today is a simple apple on a napkin.  I also added a photo of it framed just to show how it looks in the frame.  It's a tromp l'oeuil and I love how once framed, it looks as though you could reach in and pull out the apple and napkin.  They seem to float inside the frame.  This is also the same effect I created with "Return to Sender", my package painting which was inspired by Claudio Bravo.  Bravo was the master of paper, fabric, and package paintings.  

I also started my rough sketch in oil for my larger painting which will be exhibited at the end of August.  At this stage, I'm still open to changing some things in the layout and am toying with another idea for something that could be added.  I'll decide by tomorrow.  Tonight, I'm going to start laying colour on the background and the crow.  I can't tell you how excited I am to be painting a crow! Keep stopping by because new work will be coming next week and I will post progress shots of this crow piece.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Silver Apple and Plums Still Life

Silver Apple, Plums, & Cherry
8 x 10 Oil on gessoed board
Carole Rodrigue © 2013

It's been two weeks since my surgery and every day has been better than the last.  I must say that the first several days were rough but healing has been quick.  Despite feeling great, physical activity is still limited to mostly walking and I do still tire out quickly.  Heavy lifting is still out of the question too. Because of taking the time necessary to recover, let me just say that I've been really, really bored.  So, what's a person to do when this bored?  Paint.  An hour here, a couple of hours there, and then you have a painting.

This piece was a delight to paint.  Yes, there's an apple in this one too.  These are also the first plums I've ever painted and at first finding the right colour mix was tricky, but I quickly got the right shade. I used a combo of cobalt blue, alizarin, and burnt sienna.  Some areas had black mixed in, or white, depending.  By playing around with the first three colours I was able to get the exact colours for these plums.  While not all plums are coloured equally, these were darker. Some plums are lighter, requiring perhaps more white and colour tweaking.  It's all up to the eye and painting what you see.  I know that a lot of people learning to paint would like to see a recipe or exact amounts of paint used to create a colour.  There is no magic recipe folks.  By mixing and experimenting you get what you need.  The more you do, the easier it gets to figure out what colours are required in mixing.  A good base of colour knowledge is important, but once you're rolling, experience will give you what you need. 

After completing this, I started on another first -- a peony.  I'm posting a pic of the initial blocking in, or underpainting.  After getting my sketch down on the canvas, I layed down my basic shades and shapes and then will continue to build up layers and details in order to complete the painting.  This underpainting was done in 1.5 hours and there is a lot of work yet to be done. I need to correct shapes, values . . .  The initial blocking in is merely a starting point.  I'll be back shortly with a progress shot, or the completed painting.  In the meantime, have a wonderful week and thanks for dropping in!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Seashells and Eggshells

Hi everyone! Here's a painting I started the other day and have decided to share its progress. In this first shot, I have my drawing laid out in charcoal and started with the background. I'm keeping this background dark, with a mix of black to grey nearer the subject in order to illuminate the objects. 

In this second photo, I have completed the first pass. This is only one layer of paint, the underpainting. There is no detail work at this point and this stage is merely blocking the painting. From this point on, more layers of paint will be added as well as detailing, deeper shadows, and lighting. Before continuing, I had to let the paint set a bit before I could add more layers. Trying to paint wet on wet would make a mess and I would just end up with too much paint and not accomplish much. One key point for anyone to learn if they want to paint realism is to not use too much paint on the brush and to work in thin layers. Too much paint creates a build up that can't effectively be worked or controlled. It's better to have too little paint and keep adding rather than trying to take off paint. 

This photo is a close up detail shot of a completed eggshell. In order to have effective mood and lighting, it's important to assess your values.  An egg is perfect for studying values as you can see the gradation from your darkest dark, mid tones, and lightest point. There are also reflections from light reflecting on surrounding objects to consider. If you look at this egg, you can see reflective light in the back of the egg where it is darkest. There is no light source behind the egg, but there is a seashell that is reflecting light. This is something an artist must train the eye to see. 

Almost everything in life is not straightforward colour, light, and shadows. I have painted green bellies on horses from light being reflected from the grass below. People would say they were seeing a brown horse without realizing there was a whole lot of green.I often tell this story to people when they question me on how I paint such realistic light. It's important to paint what you truly see and not what your brain thinks it sees. An artist must train the eye to see what is really there. 

Next, I'll be working on the seashells. These will take longer since there is more detail work, but I will be back with more photos to show its progress. I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into how I work. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Waiting For Paint To dry

Oh yes, I'm waiting for paint to dry. This is where patience comes in with oils, but well worth the wait. I've been building layers with glazes on the book, but I can't do anything else until this dries. I've also darkened the background a tad. So, what's a girl to do? I'll go paint me a "Little Treasure" in the meantime. . .