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Lesson 1

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.


1. Look: "See what you see, not what someone else tells you that you see." How would this apply to you as an artist? (Write as an essay if you wish and turn in to me)

2. Learn: Any subject has its "nomenclature", its words. Part of understanding the subject is understanding the words. So I will be giving you at least one word a week. By the way, sometimes we think we know the words, but there can be unknown definitions that get in the way of full understanding. Take this into consideration.

ART: Any artistic endeavor, such as painting, sculpture, singing, playing an instrument, or dancing. Also a craft, such as ceramics, jewelry, or wood carving. North Light Dictionary of Art Terms

Derivation: from Indo-European root ar- meaning "to fit together".

Note: the full definition given in any good dictionary is interesting because of the many different meanings which have attached themselves to this little word through the ages.

Drawing of "Head" sculptured by Olivia Coulter. The small balls and the arrows on the drawing indicate the strong directional lighting.

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

a. Set up a space where you can do some drawing or painting.

b. Before next class, set up a small, simple still life with strong directional lighting and do a drawing or monochrome painting of it, focusing on getting the big shapes.

Do the same but with a person or landscape.

Here are some more examples of simple drawing exercises. I recommend that you draw frequently, not to produce finished products, but to sharpen your observational skills. Notice that in the examples given below, I incorporated values from the surrounding space into the drawing. No object exists without relation to its space.

A simple carton

A simple carton


A drawing of a piece of stiff drapery, pinned to the wall, with strong directional lighting.


A drawing of a primitive statue.

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Last updated: February 2, 2011