Are there any secrets to do better Painting? (From The Painter’s Heart)

I have been teaching painting since many years. All these years I have been hearing how the students have been talking about the secrets of painting.

I have understood, they are thinking that there are some secrets in painting. If they knew them they would become good artists.

Is this true? … I don’t think so. It is entirely a wrong notion. There are no secrets in painting.

Reflection             Artist:Magunta Dayakar

What is a secret? It means something hidden purposefully. Something kept away from others access.

But painting is not like that. It has been evolving continuously with time. Every painting technique has been analysed and is being analysed further. Few good teachers had always tried and been trying to establish best standards for the growth of painting. Beside that so many art books coming into the market explaining various techniques of painting.

So where is the secret? Truly … No secrets.

But many of the art students are feeling … there are secrets.

Artist’s Wife                            Artist: Magunta Dayakar

What are the reasons for this ? Only two reasons are appearing for this. (1) Students are not getting right teachers. (2) They are not able to understand the approaches explained by professional artists in their books.

Getting right teacher is not in the students hands. Because always there are very few teachers who know the intricacies of art. But what about getting right knowledge from the books written by professional painters?

Reasons for the failure of second one is not with the books. Most of the books have been giving a lot of information about proper approaches for better painting. Then why that knowledge is not reaching to the most of the art students ?

Because the student is not prepared for that. The professional writes books with the knowledge and experience gained over a lifetime, But the problem is, learning in the presence of a Master is vastly different from learning from his teachings through books.

The reason for this is, the way our brain responds.
It responds for visual learning easily ( ex: When the Master personally demonstrates some approach), but understanding same approach via Writing is difficult.

Painting is Visual. Writing is Verbal.

Shilpa                          Artist: Magunta Dayakar

To elaborate further…
Our brain absorbs visual things easily and is able to store it in memory for long time. For example something we had seen in childhood, we are able to recall back those visual memories even in our old age. The same brain could not recall properly something read a few months back. That shows that understanding anything verbal and analytical is not easy. It requires a lot of experience and interpretation. Understanding painting in depth through books will take many years of intensive study. I have learned that way.

Reading books will give you a basic understanding, After that, Learning with a Master will help the passionate student to understand it in depth.

Slowly he will realize that there are no secrets in art. There are only problems, that need to be solved. Understanding those problems continuously and finding solutions for those problems will make his work better.

(Left side brain activity-Photograph)

 This photograph was taken by camera which was clicked mechanically without any creative thinking

(Right side brain activity-Painting)
 Artist: Magunta Dayakar   Wet on Wet method in Oil.

                ( This is painted from that photograph by using artistic sense.)

Here my intent is to provide that basic understanding through my column. I am a writer as well as an Artist. I will try to use my experience in both fields to try and explain those difficult problems as simply as possible..
I will start to discuss those problems in upcoming posts.

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