Teaching Drawing and Painting Skills

Drawing and painting are comprised of skills that can be taught, and anyone willing to work hard can learn to do both well. I concentrate on teaching the principles behind excellent drawing, color and painting, instead of idiosyncratic methodologies so commonly taught.

My students learn to draw well, analyze the colors needed to paint any subject and to mix colors with complete accuracy, freeing them to concentrate on theme, composition, and design. My lessons teach mastery of materials, procedures and all of the requisite skills necessary to enable my students to paint at their best, and achieve to their own goals and vision.

There are two major obstacles to learning to paint well, and by that I mean having the mastery over skills and materials to enable the artist to paint whatever they want in the way they want, and get the results they want in every painting or drawing they do.

The first obstacle, and the most important one is drawing. The majority of work I see suffers from undeveloped drawing skills, and that has to be fixed before a student can understand color.

Knowing how to draw is critical for three reasons:

1. In order to depict a subject truthfully one has to be able to see, and understand, the nature of it. Velvet has characteristics that differ from cotton. Its folds, value shifts and hue shifts are what identifies it to the viewer. Roses are very different from peonies, irises, or any other flower. If the artist cannot see what forms make a rose unique then she cannot articulate them to the viewer.

2. Drawing heightens the artist’s sensitivity to shifts in value — the way an object’s form precedes into the light and recedes into the dark.

3. Drawing enables the artist to distinguish the contours of the subject and describe the way forms relate to each other.

The only way to develop the ability and sensitivity to describe forms well is through drawing, and there is no limit to the level these skills can be taken. And the skills can be taught to any person willing to work hard and practice. They don’t come easily, or quickly.

Once a student has developed adequate visual sensitivity and skill to distinguish and describe the forms they see they can begin to develop an understanding of color. There are so many disabling myths about color that it is no surprise that artists believe it is a mystery that cannot be learned.

It’s sad to watch artists struggle to get the right colors in their work. They buy every tube of paint they think might be right, when about 20 paints will allow for painting every color an artist will need.

Or they become convinced that the key to fixing what is wrong with their color is the Secret Medium Of The Olde Masters.

All art materials manufacturers feed on this, and make most of their money on artists who think the answer lies in a tube of King’s Blue or french linseed oil. The solution is not in the medium used or the hundreds of paints purchased.

There is a method that lets an artist know what colors are needed — for any painting of any subject — and guarantees a color match within 99% accuracy. It is simple and straightforward, and eliminates the mumbo-jumbo surrounding color.

Drawing is difficult and complex, unless one has practiced and mastered its components. Color is easily nine times more difficult, since it has three major factors to drawing’s one. Those factors are:

A. Hue.
B. Value
C. Chroma

If an artist intends to show and sell work, whether in a gallery or directly, then the first requirement is great work. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss working together.