Painting – How to Learn it – In a Professional Way?

I had been teaching art for nearly ten years. Some students had learned it for hobby and some others to become professionals. They all asked one question…” How to be a good artist?”

Always my answer is … ” Be on the right path,”

” What is that right path? ”

” …like any other subject, art also has some basics. Learning and practising them is the right path. You start this journey with observation.”

” …observation !? ”

” Yes. Observation is the key to drawing. What is drawing? Drawing is nothing but using only a line and a curve. You should acquire the ability of using this line and curve in different shapes and sizes. That means you have to understand the shapes and sizes of the things. This is seeing the things as an artist. We call it…learning to see. This is Observation.”

Let me narrate one incident which happened in my class room. One of my students was copying a drawing. She was little bit confident about her ability to draw. After one hour, in middle of drawing, she understood something had gone wrong. And she also understood, where it had gone wrong.

She drew one of the shapes in the picture, a little bit big. So all connected shape with that particular shape gone wrong in their proportions. She lost.

I told her again, what I said previously to her…’’ Don’t draw. Look at it. Judge heights and widths and their relations. It will come.’’

She had started to work again. This time she began to see their heights, widths and their relations, instead of seeing the picture.

Then she got it.

I asked her..” What happened In your mind in the first and second attempts? ”

She told me that in her first attempt she concentrated on the picture … how to copy it? In her second attempt, she did not bother about the copying the picture. She concentrated only on heights and widths of the shapes and their relations. This was what she said.

To learn art, start with Drawing. To draw you require good observation skills.

Observation is the key to drawing. That is … ”Learning to see ”

Somewhere I read this story.

There were two great Zen masters in the country. A student went to one of those masters to learn.

“I would like to learn from you but I dislike to work hard. I will learn at my comfort.” the student said to the master.

” No. I won’t take you as my student. I teach only to someone who works hard.” The master said.

Then the student went to the other one.

He said the same to him.

The master said ” O.K. You can join. I have no problem.”

The student was surprised by his words. He asked the master, “ I went to another great master one who is equal to you. He didn’t accept me as a student, because he wants only hard working students, not a student like me. But you are accepting me…! What’s the reason for you to accept me.”

The master said with a mischievous smile ” He has concern for student’s growth which I don’t have.”

Tail Piece: Find a teacher who has knowledge and concern for the student. If you don’t get right teacher, your time and money will go into a dustbin.

Mr. Venkat Family Portrait   Artist : Magunta Dayakar

I painted this Venkat family portrait five years ago. To paint a portrait like this an artist requires a lot of patience and an extremely calm mind apart from painting skills. A little bit of wrong judgement in terms of value applications will ruin the whole commission. Just imagine… when your survival depends upon the outcome of the painting how much intensity you should have in your work.
It’s not just one thing you should check in this kind of painting, there are so many like .., Sketch, Value, Color, Edges, Composition … finally Harmony and Unity.
Sometimes you should have to compromise with certain principles of composition to satisfy client. You should know when and where to do that. These many things a student has learn to become a professional artist.

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