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FREE Art Lessons

We will begin by touching on various aspects of drawing: seeing with the artist’s eye, values, creativity, abstraction, armchair research and where to go from there. The goal is to encourage your artistic abilities. It will be a journey of discovery.

It is time for me to pass on what I have learned from my years as a lifelong painter and illustrator, because I have had a wonderful life doing what I love to do.

I have traveled the circuit as an artist, from traditional through impressionistic, from exploration of imaginative cosmic space to atmospheric-nautical with ink, paint, and pastel. In my late years I now use the computer as my art tool. I wrote, illustrated, and published my first book “Keeping Ahead of Winter” after I was eighty-years-old.

I taught oil painting at the San Mateo County Arts Council and taught drawing in my studio at the Twin Pines Art Center, in Belmont CA., now called 1870 Art Center. My work is in the permanent collection of the Peninsula Museum of Art.

Leonardo Da Vinci wrote, “The feeling is what guides you to reach out for the knowledge.”

You will need:
· A medium size drawing pad (if you are just starting to draw, buy a newsprint paper pad -- it is cheaper and you will be more relaxed)
· Number 2B, 4B and 6B drawing pencils
· A pocket knife
· Ruler
· Kneaded art eraser
· Charcoal or conte crayon optional
· An Emory board or a small piece of sandpaper stapled to a piece of wood to shape the point of your pencil
· A drawing board, or use plywood or Masonite
. Masking tape to hold your paper on the board
· Fixative to protect the drawing from smearing (hair spray will do the trick)

Art materials can be bought at your local art store or online at: Dick Blick http://www.dickblick.com/ or Daniel Smith http://www.danielsmith.com/

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Lesson #4

Your work should balance as a scale. The dark shades are heavier than the light.

Good draftsmanship is a necessary condition for good drawing

Have the light shine over your left shoulder, so that it won’t shine in your eyes or cast a shadow on your work from your hand.

Notice how the eye travels around a picture to the focal point,(the focal point is what draws the viewer into the picture.)

If you have trouble deciding what to draw; it is because you have too many ideas. Draw the fist thing that comes to mind. If you don’t like what you did, don’t dwell on it, go to your next idea and think about what drew you to the scene in the first place.

Date your sketches and keep them so you can watch your progress.

Everyday things may be mundane to you and exciting to your neighbor. A house can mean safety and comfort to one person and revulsion to another. Trust your feelings, it will show in your work.

You see something that has caught your emotion, whether it is the Grand Canyon or a broken flower pot. Think about the first moment you saw it. What was it that caught your attention to make you linger on the scene? Ignore the details, squint your eyes and look at it again. Zero in on the values and you will have an interesting drawing. It doesn’t have to be exact and you can leave things out or add something else.

Be content with whatever image appears. We cannot directly free ourselves from critics. So try to divert them in order to satisfy their needs by assigning them a job.

You can cut a small hole in a piece of cardboard to look through and see the boundaries you want your picture to be.

If you are drawing a landscape and you want to show the size of a tree, put something in the picture that we are familiar with such as people or a car. This will give your drawing the appearance of size and the relative distance of depth as it appears to the eye.

The astronomer brings facts, the artist steps beyond those boundaries and is motivated by emotion and is able to act free from restriction.

You learn to draw by drawing, so keep up the good work.

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