Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Try your hand at painting or drawing.

                Where to begin?  There is a great deal you can teach yourself when learning to draw or paint.  That dialogue between your creative impulse, your eye and your hand is one that only you can establish and nurture.  Without some initial work on your part any teacher you engage will have little to work with other than your raw untested impulse to paint or draw, and you will have no experience by which to judge for yourself whether or not you are successfully using the tools and techniques you are learning.  So if you are interested in drawing or painting start by getting your materials together and get to know them by using them on your own. 

                The library has a nice collection of books to help you become familiar with your materials and try out your own creative impulse. Hammond Lee’s Big Book of Drawing will help you learn a little about how to draw from nature.  If you like to draw figures look at Figure Drawing: The beginner’s guide by Patricia Monahan for hints on techniques and materials that might serve you best for that task.  If you are experimenting with watercolors The North Light Illustrated Book of Watercolor Techniques might be a good place to start.  These titles are just the beginning.  In addition to books on drawing you’ll find books on painting with watercolors, with oils, or with acrylics.  Check them out.

The library has many informative, illustrated books about the creative process and about the lives and works of great artists.  It takes practice to see and understand works of art and it helps to have a friend along for another point of view.  Ask a friend to join you in looking at a book called The Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, and then plan a visit to the museum together.  Developing your own perspective is an important part of learning to see and create. 

Don’t forget to bring along your sketch book. 

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