Monday, May 16, 2016

Art Skills I Lack That I Want To Learn

This is a list of art skills that I felt I lacked in January 2016. I hoped that taking Drawing I at the community college would help me with some or all of these. I learned that some of these are the focus on entire classes done in year three and four of a traditional bachelor's degree in art. I was unaware of the formal structure or arrangement of topics and how they are traditionally spread over a four year degree. I have no clue what is done in a master's degree program. I assume at this point it's a matter of depth and degree and specialization. Anyway...

1. Transferring color to black and white: this is a major problem for me. This is why I love color photography but hate B&W. I cannot translate the color in front of me to B&W so I have a hard time figuring out if a color scene will be equally appealing in B&W. This was a problem when I took Photography I back in college when I was 18. I got an Incomplete in the class as I was afraid of the first time doing a critique which was the final project so I had an A going into the final and then got an I. But I digress...

2. Value: I cannot see value and knew nothing of the value scale. When I see a clump of trees and branches and sky and grass and clouds, I have no clue how to see and assign value so I can render the scene in grayscale, black and white.

3. Color blending: I have no clue how to blend colors from basic paint. I know nothing of the color wheel except very basic ideas such as complimentary colors and which are primary and secondary. I don't understand which are warm and which are cool.

4. I don't know a single thing about oil painting nor do I have any desire to do it. I know some of it is toxic and there are fumes and I don't want to be made sick by my art materials. I am unsure if I can do this in my home safely.

5. I own acrylic paints but don't use them for real painting. I don't know why acrylic is looked down upon in the art world. I don't know the pros and cons of acrylic or how it compares to oil.

6. Watercolor Painting: I love the look of watercolor and want to learn how to do it. I had written extensively about a lof of reading and a little trying I did by myself. My challenge is this: I didn't understand the paint enough to know how to mix color and match color. I don't know how to make non-muddy looking paint. I learned that you have to work fast and with confidence but I don't know how to do either. I don't know the brush and the medium enough to work with it boldly. When they say to build color up I don't even understand how to layer and get it right. I did not like waiting in between drying times before adding more layers. I prefer to work nonstop until I am tired or the thing is complete. I do not own a proper easel.

7. I don't know how to use graphite pencils properly. I don't know the differences in the types and when to use each.

8. I know nothing about charcoal.

9. I have no clue what conte is.

10. I don't really know what type of paper to use with which medium and why. What is the difference between sketching paper and drawing paper? Should ink drawing be on a different paper than graphite?

11. I love the look of chalk pastel paintings but am concerned with storage, how to store them so they do not rub off. Also it seems messy and I am not sure I want that mess made in my house. Are their airborne particles that I could breathe in and make me sick? I don't want to be made sick.

12. When I see a painting up close it does not look like what I see from far back. How does an artist make an image that is pleasing to the eye from far back but when up close applying the paint it looks a mess and incomplete? How do they know how to apply the paint so it looks great and appealing from a viewer's distance? This is a great mystery to me.

13. I want to be able to at least crudely draw a face so it looks decent, and a human body and hands. This I cannot do at present.

14. I want to be able to draw and paint in perspective instead of wonky looking buildings and weird alignments. I know nothing about perspective.

15. When drawing or painting I want to know how to paint with proper scale, depth and perspective, how to draw the close thing so it look closes and the farther away thing so it is perceived as being in the distance.

16. I don't understan the idea of starting with painting dark and then working up to light. I can't pick apart when I see in real life to translate to layers and values and working like that. When working light to dark I don't understand how the paint looks on top of the other layers and how to achieve the final color I want. I assume this takes practice but I am afraid to even start messing with paint.

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