Tag Archives: art process

oil painting of eye of golden scaled dragon with spines by christine mitzukI had a great conversation with another artist about the different ways we think about the same picture construction tools or methods. He thinks in terms of carving form out of space. I currently think in terms of building up form from the flat surface. They seem to be the same tools, just viewed from different mindsets. Or maybe they really are different but share a similar intent.

Here are some of the things we touched on. I've grouped the terms by their general use/goal.

  • line, shape, contour
  • soft edge, hard edge
  • value, tone, light, dark
  • color, temperature, intensity, dullness
  • placement, composition
  • perspective,┬ásize,┬áscale, overlap
  • volume, form
  • structure

My thought is that it would be great to be conscious of which tool and which mindset I might use at various stages of a project, so maybe checking in with the process at various points would help in achieving that. I think keeping in mind what my aim is for a picture could help in choosing how I phrase my thinking: will I be sculpting the form out of the flat surface, or assembling tonal puzzle pieces and then build upon that, or something else? Or maybe that will interrupt the "flow". We shall see.

I'm interested in how other folks think about picture making. Would you like to share your thoughts?

Sure, I get paid to teach. That helps keep me in art supplies. But I also get something else out of it.

I learn.

digital painting of the astrological sign Libra by christine mitzuk to be used in Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar

When I prepare materials or talk with a student, I have to think about what I know. I need to break it down into steps so I can communicate the process to draw a face, or a figure, create an illustration, or paint with oils or watercolor. Sometimes a step is so integrated into my process, it has become automatic. I have to reach back in memory and think about how I learned it. Why I do it.

One way of describing something doesn't always work with everyone, so I try to find different ways to talk about the same idea. One person might grasp a concept better through analogy. Another might be easier to communicate with through specific steps, or an "if-then" process flow.

I also see gaps clearer in my own learning. This is great because I enjoy researching the various art components and filling those gaps.

If you're looking for fun learning opportunities, my next teaching/learning opportunity starts next week. I'll be doing a week long illustration workshop at The Atelier. There are some spaces available. You can sign up by contacting The Atelier.

Art on!