Thursday, June 14, 2007

Discipline - a Means of Overcoming Inhibitions

The greatest threat to a young mind is the lack of discipline.. How often have I seen students spending 5% of their time staring at the model and 95 % drawing a preconceived stereotyped figure on the paper. That can be frustrating to the student and the instructor.

So, I have a few tips for discipline and warming up.

Contour drawing
is a continuous line drawing which is designed to improve eye and hand coordination. First select an object to draw, or have a friend model for you. In a pure contour drawing, one is not allowed to look at the image of the model that they are rendering on paper or canvas. As the eye slowly travels across the paper, the pencil or marker, etc. is traveling at the same pace and in the same direction. You can not pick up the marker or pencil until the drawing is completed. Your eyes and your drawing implement will be traveling at the pace of a snail!!! Do you see how this involves discipline?

Modified Contour drawing is the same as number one, only one is allowed to glance at their drawing surface from time to time. However, you can not pick the pencil or marker until the drawing is completed.
An excellent warm up exercise is drawing or painting with the opposite hand. I had this experience when my right hand was rendered almost useless by a dislocated shoulder. Man, does this involves discipline. The positive results of this is; a spontaneous fresh approach and the determination never to give up!!!

So, happy drawing and painting!!!
Lee J. Nixon is an artist that teaches. He would be happy for you to visit his website and enjoy his impressionist paintings.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Creative Imagination

A good explanation for Art is found in Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, which says that art is "the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects."

What about creative imagination? Skill and imagination abound in the natural world. One can easily become inspired by using their powers of perception and observing the natural world. Take time and observe the exquisite patterns on the bark of various trees, or the intricate patterns found on sea-shells as you walk along the beach, to pine needles, the blossoms of flowers and the elaborate designs of insects and many other natural elements all around us!

Textural surfaces which form a natural pattern, plays a major role in the aesthetic appeal of a painting, and can be a valuable tool for the imaginative mind. Recently, I experimented with crushed gravel found in the driveway and utilized it for actual texture. It can be seen and touched in "SCENIC VIEW ALONGSIDE A GRAVEL ROAD."

I often cover the entire canvas with rice paper. A gloss on matte medium is first applied to the selected area, then I apply the rice paper. The next step involves applying more medium onto the rice paper. You can maneuver the rice paper with a palette knife or crimple it before placing it onto the canvas. Allow it to dry, then experiment by applying thin washes of color that bleeds into all the crevices and nooks. I enjoyed using this technique in "RUNNING RAPIDS NEAR NATURAL BRIDGE." Now your imagination can run wild!!!

Yes, skill and creative imagination abound in the natural world. Why not use such beauty as an inspiration for your paintings!
Please revisit my blog for forthcoming information on Sweet Inspirations!!!!

Just remember; Nixon the name, Art is the game, ask me again, and I will tell you the same!