I was inspired today to paint a small painting of some honey suckle that my mom and I cut and put into a small glass vessel. What inspired me is a bluish reflection that you can see when you look at the glass from a certain angle. For the past few days, I would sit outside and look at the reflection and say, "Man, I should paint that." So today was the day and I pulled the trigger and painted it. This painting was also an experiment to test out some thicker passages of paint and other principles.
I used to paint thickly when I was younger, but got more into a smoother academic finish when I was in college. But recently I've been inspired by the work of Sorolla and Sargent a lot. I also recently read about Sargent in a PDF article that I highly recommend everyone should check out: Advice on Painting From John Singer Sargent. It wisely says in this booklet: The difference between a colored drawing and a painting is the amount of oil paint itself. So when I started today, I put out a large amount of each color that I needed and started painting more thickly.
The other tip from this booklet that I want to share that helped me with this painting is to paint the midtones first and then work in the darks and save the final lights and darks for the end. This is a principle that I've read about before and it really helps to control the values of the painting!
I hope that helped inspire some people! Enjoy your weekend!
I recently re-read this wonderful book that I wanted to share with everyone. It's called the Book of Five Rings, or The Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi. The book was written around 1645 by the famous swordsman and philosopher, Musashi.
I had read it once before when I was in college and was excited to re-read it at this stage in my life. It's really easy to find and the copy I got is illustrated, which is cool, but not necessary. The beauty of this book is that the ideas don't only apply to being a swordsman; the book is really about larger philosophical ideas. I read it from an artistic point of view and learned a ton. Musashi was also interested in all the arts and even did some painting and calligraphy.
The final part of the whole book has the biggest impact on me. It's a list of around 21 precepts translated as "The Path Walked Alone" that Musashi lays out in a bullet point type format. It's a beautiful list and acts as a simple guide to living well.
I encourage everyone to read this book at some point and share it with as many people as possible.
Anyone interested in more information can check out:
Those who know me, know that I love the academic painter, William Bouguereau. I recently had the opportunity to purchase a letter, written and signed by Bouguereau. I wanted to share this letter and its translation because it might be interesting to other people also. I'm so grateful to my friend, Mr. Arnaud Courgey for his beautiful translation. Please see below for the translation.
I also learned that the black border on the paper means that Bouguereau was in mourning. I did some research and found out that in 1880, his grandson, Willie, was born which was a joyous time for Bouguereau, but before that, Bouguereau experienced much grief from family deaths.
My interpretation of the letter is that an artist wrote to Bouguereau to ask about why they weren't selected for a salon exhibit or other show and Bouguereau wrote back to explain the jury's selection. I like this letter because it shows Bouguereau's compassion by the fact that he took the time to write to this artist. I hope any fellow Bouguereau fans enjoy this letter and will share the information!