Friday, November 11, 2011

Creating the Illusion of Reality

Ingres, a great French painter, said “How you paint depends on how you draw.”

He was so right! Drawing is the basis of every good painting. However, today artists must close the time required to paint in order to make any headway on profits. Most artists have developed sophisticated means to shorten the gap between conception, implementation, and development. Many use projectors to duplicate quickly their image to the exact size of the canvas, even from original drawings. Some enlarge their image and print it out in tiles on their home computers.

The grid method still remains a popular tool to enlarge and transfer photo images to canvas. Still you can’t ignore the fact that knowing the elements of drawing and being able to use them well enhances any painting. Consider the drawing as the framework upon which all other components hang: composition, center of interest, color, line, form, and shape, both positive and negative.

Knowing how values work and where to shade to create form is vital. Creating a story, a portrait or a scene on canvas requires the knowledge of how to model to create the illusion of reality. If done well, the viewer fills in the missing pieces automatically with his brain.

The finished painting doesn’t have to be a direct copy of the original photo or drawing, and every line and shape doesn’t have to be filled in, only suggested. Creating a masterpiece is a balancing act of knowledge, skill, imagination, and risk. Doing something daring or risky is sometimes the only difference between the mundane and the magical.

Share your time saving ideas here! Carol’s finished paintings are @