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The Way To Happiness The philosophy of these lessons: Look, Learn, Practice

Chapter 17 of "The Way To Happiness" deals with Competence. I've found that too many limit their own progress as an artist with the concept that they "haven't got the talent." 90% of being a good professional artist is about looking for yourself, learning (including good study habits), and practicing what you have learned to become Competent. If you are interested in a free copy of "The Way to Happiness", please email me for one.

Interested in other lessons?

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Lesson 17

1. Thought

"Remember, no matter how beautifully you paint an object, it remains a mere study until it is artfully incorporated into a composition. Occasionally I've seen students whose paint handling is crude, whose home values are unconvincing, and whose forms are badly proportioned, but who somehow manage to unify their paintings and end up with a stronger artistic statement than those with sophisticated skills yet no eye for the overall effect." - Charles Sovek, Oil Painting, Develop your Natural Ability

Note: By "Home Value" Sovek means the basic value of a simple object. For instance, a lemon has a light home value. An eggplant has a very dark home value. An orange has a medium home value.

2. Word for the week:

Limited palette: A selected number of colors on the palette, which by mixing can often suggest a full range; for example: alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow, and cobalt blue. - North Light Dictionary of Art Terms

3. Practice: "Learning bears fruit when it is applied."

Select five objects of various shapes and sizes with different home values and arrange them in a group. Avoid lining up objects evenly in a row. Overlap things. Stack one object on top of another. Turn a form on its side or even upside down.
Begin painting the whole group. Start by painting it as a mass, using a middle grey or brown tone. Focus on the overall compositional shape. Keep the background simple. Then begin to separate the objects by painting in the darks and lights from the middle tone.
The exercise to the right was done with just three colors and white.
Free Art Lessons archives

Last updated: May 12, 2005