Thursday, May 28, 2009

Perspiration: Master Studies

There are many exercises that will help you to improve your skills as an artist. One of the oldest and most time honored is Master Studies. I used to do these very regularly, of course as my knowledge of art has increased so has my desire to do original images. Many of these where very helpful, but reflect the limits to my tastes and education at that phase in my development.

In doing master studies I encourage my students not to just ask themselves what decisions an artist made, but what went into the decisions? What was the artist's goal, and how did they go about meeting it? If you cannot understand why you feel a certain way about a piece of art, and comprehend how an artist draws out that feeling, how can you hope to create a piece of true emotion.

"In suggesting the works of masters, I do not mean that pictures like their pictures should be made, or that motives like their motives should be repeated. But I point rather to the principles of developed judgment, power of essay, power of intense feeling, intense respect.
Rembrandt's beggars are wonders of life. He did not pass them on to us saying simply, 'They are vulgar fellows.'"
Robert Henri